Where to stay in York – part 1 – boutique B&B

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June 14, 2012 by talkaboutyork

I’ve stayed overnight in York four times since planning our move. On each occasion we have stayed somewhere different. I though it might be useful for me to give my thoughts on them, one at a time, starting with the most recent first. It should be noted that I paid to stay at all of these places so these are my personal views on what they are like.

Holme Lea Manor – a boutique B&B

I stayed at Holme Lea Manor quite by chance. I had booked online to stay at Marmadukes which is another boutique B&B directly across the road. However, when I got to Marmadukes, there’d been an error on the system and they had me down as a guest for the next night and they were fully booked. It’s amazing how much this didn’t phase me – possibly because I was travelling on my own without children and twenty bags. Marmadukes were terribly apologetic, offered me free drinks while they arranged for me to stay somewhere else.  Very quickly they’d got me into their competitor over the road (perhaps they’d heard about my ability to consume wine). If I had to award Marmadukes a score, I would give them a 3.5 out of 5 because although they messed up the booking, they dealt with it really well (and it did look quite nice).

So Holme Lea Manor. It looks slightly less posh on the outside than Marmadukes, but boy was I in for a surprise when I got in. For the same rate that I was paying for a single room at Marmadukes, I was given a double bedroom suite with four poster bed, free standing bath in the room, two sofas, big screen tv and a separate en suite. I could quite happily have soaked in the tub and enjoyed the bliss of being entirely on my own (a rarity) but I had to head off to a parents’ evening at the new school.

The bath

I never got to use the bath. I managed to get slightly tipsy at the parents’ evening due to nerves – it’s amazing how adrenalin pumps alcohol around your body, and after eating a meal at a table for one at Pizza Express (old habits die hard even when the kids aren’t with you), I collapsed into my very comfy bed. And it really was very comfortable with crisp white cotton bedding and lots of plump cushions.

The Bed!

In the morning, I could lie in my giant bed, like the princess and the pea, flicking gaily through TV channels. I actually got to watch the news instead of CBBC or sport. The shower was powerful and washed away the dregs of wine from the night before. Breakfast included a selection of cereals, yogurt, fruit and juice followed by a choice of cooked breakfast. I would say that it was good, rather than great. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spoilt recently by going to a boutique B&B in Bath which had the most incredible breakfasts ever. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this breakfast – well except that they put an English Breakfast tea bag in my pot of hot water which had been intended for my peppermint tea which resulted in an odd flavour – but it didn’t set my world on fire either.

What was lovely was watching the quiet street outside, seeing the school kids walking past on their way to school, knowing that ours would soon be doing the same.

Holme Lea Manor is centrally situated – about a ten minute walk into the heart of town – yet is on a quiet, leafy street. You’d never know you were in a city centre. It would take you about 15 minutes to walk to the train station from the B&B, making it good for a weekend away without the car (and trust me, you do not want a car in York). Rates are £80 for a double, £90 for a family,  £50 for single occupancy and £100 for a luxury room with four poster bed and jacuzzi bath (which I think is what I ended up getting!)

In short, I would recommend Holme Lea Manor and give it 4 chocolate stars* out of 5.

*Chocolate stars are a new official rating made up by me – York is after all the original home of Rowntrees and has a chocolate museum too. I won’t actually be sending anyone chocolate stars but if anyone would like to send me some I won’t say no.


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