June 26, 2012 by talkaboutyork
On our first ever visit to York, we wanted somewhere to stay that was close to the heart of town, didn’t cost the earth and was suitable for children. By that I mean having a large room with plenty of space without priceless knick knacks that could be destroyed, which many of the more upmarket and historic B&Bs tend to have.
Our intention was to explore as much of the city as possible while cramming in school visits, so we really didn’t really need more than somewhere to lay our heads.
I found a good deal for the Novotel York so booked it. It was EXACTLY what we needed.
The room was huge with a large double bed and sofa bed in it for the kids, and plenty of room for all of us. The decor throughout the hotel was modern, crisp and clean. It didn’t have a massive amount of personality or historic charm (none in fact) but that wasn’t what we were looking for.
It offered fantastic breakfasts – a buffet with plenty to choose from. Our boys loved being able to help themselves to whatever they wanted and probably would have sat having breakfast all day if we hadn’t chivvied them out.
It’s located alongside the River Foss. By walking out the back entrance, you get to the riverside pathway that follows the River Ouse into town – a lovely 10 minute walk. We didn’t have time to go for a run, but it would make a great place to go for an early morning jog or bring the kids scooters and let them scoot up and down the path. It’s also very close to the York Castle and ancient city walls.
The highlight of the hotel though, was the heated swimming pool. After dragging our kids around schools and landmarks all day, they were so happy to get back to the hotel and have a swim. I hadn’t intentionally looked for a hotel with a pool but it was a fantastic bonus to have after a long day of sightseeing. The hotel also offered a video game area for kids, which we didn’t end up using but is another nice family friendly touch.
It has a large car park (you pay for it but it’s much cheaper than elsewhere) and as car parking is notoriously difficult to find in York, it’s a bonus as you can just leave the car there and walk into town.
The downsides: We didn’t eat at the hotel as the prices were expensive, opting to walk into town. There aren’t many good places to eat right on the doorstep but there are a few near the York Barbican which is about four minutes walk away. Your best bet is to go back into town rather than looking for something on your doorstep. The staff, while friendly, didn’t seem to be able to recommend anywhere nearby to eat either.
The upsides: family friendly, great location, pool and reasonable rates.
Kids stay and eat (breakfast) free when they share a room with their parents. It cost us £184 for two nights.
I would give Novotel York 4 chocolate stars out of 5 if you are looking for a family friendly place to stay. I wouldn’t recommend it for a romantic break for a couple.
*Note: this is not a sponsored post. I paid to stay at this hotel and have not been asked to review it. The opinions are mine entirely.