Crave Magazine

The Grand Hotel York: Fabulous, Luxurious and Delicious!

The Grand Hotel York

The historic city of York has always held a special place in my heart, being a Yorkshire girl through and through, a day out in York as a child was a special treat, of which I have exceptionally fond memories.

Navigating the cobbled streets, snickets (Yorkshire for alleyway) and narrow lanes crammed with chocolate shops, boutiques and cafes was an exciting adventure, and I have to say, not much has changed.

York has managed to retain its exquisite old world charm whilst seamlessly embracing the 21st century with all of the modern amenities and attractions one could desire from a city break. History buffs are drawn to the ancient Roman walls encircling the city; these fortifications offer not only insights into Roman Britain but also provide vantage points for breathtaking views including the imposing York Minster, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, dominates the skyline, inviting visitors to marvel at its stained-glass windows that have illuminated the spiritual heart of the city for centuries.

For those wanting to enjoy the city’s other alternate attributes, there is a plethora of wonderful shops, bars and restaurants to explore. The city centre is busy and vibrant and thanks to the healthy amount of UK and international tourism that York enjoys, this has allowed the city to thrive and unlike other Yorkshire cities, an empty shop window or closed-down business is rare to see on the high street. There is a wealth of independent eateries, coffee shops and boutiques as well as the big hitters who have long since departed other towns. It’s great to see and long may it continue!

Even though York is less than an hour in the car for me, I rarely visit and still see it as a ‘day out’ destination, so when I was invited to spend a couple of days in this charming city, wild horses couldn’t hold me back!

After after a 40-minute drive from my home town Wetherby, I was greeted by a beautifully turned-out concierge sporting a top hat and tails who promptly whisked my car away for valet parking and invited me into the opulent lobby of The Grand Hotel, a five-star hotel located in the heart of the city.

You simply cannot beat valet parking on a city break, one of my (very much first-world) pet peeves, is parking the car across town and trundling through the city with my suitcase, I always arrive rather flustered, there is an extra charge for this service however, it is money well spent (in my opinion) and I particularly liked my departure gift – more on that later.

The Rooms and Suites

Standing as a beacon of luxury and elegance, The Grand Hotel York offers an unparalleled guest experience. From the moment one steps through its grand entrance, one is enveloped in an atmosphere that effortlessly blends classic charm with modern sophistication. The hotel’s rooms and suites are meticulously designed to provide not just comfort but a truly opulent stay. There are well appointed rooms to cater to every type of stay from family breaks to romantic rendezvous, a group get away or a city escape.

The hotel was renovated and extended in 2017–18 and as such there are newer, more contemporary rooms available with modern decor and added extras such as USB sockets etc. These rooms are spacious, offer light and airy accommodation and all the top-notch finishing touched one would expect from a five-star hotel.

However, if you are a bit of a traditionalist like me, you might prefer one of the original rooms which encompass the history and heritage of the building’s former guise as the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway (then one of the richest businesses in Britain).

Both room types are equally as opulent, offering elegant and sophisticated styling with lavish linens, plush carpets, fluffy robes, comfy slippers and glorious Molton Brown guest amenities – I simply love a high-end toiletry!

The Spa

Besides offering wonderful accommodation, The Grand also boasts a state-of-the-art spa where tranquillity reigns supreme, inviting guests to indulge in bespoke treatments designed to rejuvenate both body and soul. This exquisite sanctuary is designed to provide guests with a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Featuring a jewel-like indoor pool that glimmers under soft lighting, a modern fitness center for those with more energy than me, and a thermal suite that includes a steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi, The Spa has something to please all types of spa guests, including me – the lazy type!

Their extensive menu boasts an array of treatments from rejuvenating facials to soothing massages, all performed by highly skilled therapists using premium products. If you plan on visiting the spa or booking a treatment, please do book in advance as it is very popular and numbers are limited to ensure a relaxing experience.


The Grand is home to various drinking and dining options, from fine dining to elegant cocktails in stylish surroundings, deliciously tempting afternoon tea or steak and chips and a bottle of plonk – the options are almost endless!


Whilst we didn’t have a reservation at Legacy on this occasion, I have made a very definite mental note to book my table as soon as possible to experience their tasting menu, it sounds divine! The restaurant has already been awarded three AA Rosettes and has been featured in The Michelin Guide & The Telegraph’s Top 10 Restaurants in York. Foodies, you heard it here first, put it on your ‘to do’ list immediately.

Afternoon Tea

Is any city break complete without afternoon tea? York is home to plenty of wonderful places to enjoy the tradition, including the world-famous Betty’s, but if you don’t fancy trekking across town, let me tell you, The Grand knocks afternoon tea out of the park. A beautiful selection of well-thought-out delicacies to delight the senses and tantalise the tastebuds, there are delicate sandwiches, tasty pastries and the most wonderfully colourful array of cakes – oh, and scones!

cannot believe how much I enjoyed this experience, I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so I often avoid afternoon tea, generally I’d rather have a cheeseboard, but this was incredibly enjoyable, and of course I opted for the glass of fizz (or 5) but there are various options including gin – check them out here.

The Rise Restaurant

The Rise Restaurant has also been awarded an AA Rosette and after dining here in the evening of my stay, I can see why it is so highly regarded. The menu offers a Yorkshire twist on British favourites from expert chefs served in a beautifully appointed restaurant with an expansive open kitchen.

The evening menu is served from 5.30pm and starters include The Grand Scotch Egg, Salmon Tasting Plate and Orkney Scallops with Pork Belly. Mains are a grand affair with local produce and seasonal ingredients taking center stage. You can enjoy home comforts with a twist like the delicious Macaroni Cheese with Lobster or a meaty Cheeseburger with Fries.

I went all out and ordered the Beef Wellington – perfectly cooked beef encased in puff pastry with mushroom, chicken farce and pancetta. The beef was served with pickled Heritage carrots and black garlic aioli and tasted like I never wanted to eat beef in any other way ever again. I can’t say fairer than that! Having filled my boots on cake earlier in the day, I opted for a simple scoop of ice cream to finish my meal, but if dessert is your thing, there’s plenty to go at. You won’t go far wrong dining at The Rise, I thoroughly enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere very much, it’s upmarket, but not stuffy and that’s exactly the right combination for me.


A bit of bad planning on my part meant I had to be home rather early on the day of my departure, so I was unable to enjoy breakfast, but I mean it’s sure to be fabulous, everything else certainly is! I had previously arranged for my car to be available to me by 7am and of course, it was bang on time. I reluctantly stashed my luggage in the boot and climbed into the driving seat, I wouldn’t normally mention this because, why? Who needs to know about my journey home? Nobody.

However, The Grand’s parting gift to me was a beautiful tin of mints and an air freshener for my car that smells like my hotel room, now you might think that’s not a particularly big deal, but when it comes to upscale hotel, the devil is in the detail. Everything had been exquisite at the hotel, the service was impeccable, the staff friendly and knowledgeable and the facilities, well they are knockout (Yorkshire for excellent), the measure of superb hospitality (in my mind) is the small details that add up to excellence. I drove home in my pleasantly aromatic car sucking on a mint with a smile on my face, that is hospitality at its best.

If you are planning on visiting York, then The Grand should be your next phone call, tell them I sent you.

Words by Joanne Brook-Smith

Contact Details

The Grand, York, Station Rise, North Yorkshire YO1 6GD

+44 (0)1904 380038

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