Have I mentioned that I’m from York? I don’t think I have…that’s obviously a joke, I know I bang on about it and if you read this blog regularly you’re probably rolling your eyes at me wishing I’d stop telling you all the time, but if you’re new here…I’m from York! I repeat it so much because I genuinely, hand on heart, unapologetically love my home city. I love it more than any other city in the world – bold statement, I know. It just has everything you need; good food, nice people, a rich history and it’s where my family and closest friends live, which is ultimately the reason why I can’t stay away and keep going back. I feel proud to say I’m from York and getting to stay at one of it’s top hotels, Hotel Indigo York, meant I got to enjoy the city from a totally different perspective.
As you’d expect I pretty much always stay at my Mum’s when I visit. She lives 10 minutes away from York town centre which makes things easy for a night out with my oldest and bestest friends. She doesn’t mind me rolling in at 5am (yep, I’ve not grown out of that yet) and she always offers to make me a nice little tea to line my stomach (of course).
But, on my last trip home, just after my visit to Hull, I headed back over to York and rather than head to my Mum’s like I usually do, I carried on driving past her house and straight down through Walmgate Bar and on to one of York’s oldest streets to check in at the luxury Hotel Indigo, York.
Walmgate’s location is pretty good for seeing the whole of the city centre. With one of the city’s most complete and recognisable Bars dating back to the 12th century, it’s also a street that when going growing up our parents would say “don’t walk the Walmgate way back” because it didn’t have the best of reputations. So you can imagine my surprise when I spotted coffee shop after florist, clothes shop after record shop and realised it what was not the Walmgate I once knew. In fact, it appears to have regenerated itself into this cool up-and-coming urban area that I quite liked. The once empty red-bricked buildings were now homed by buzzing restaurants, half-timbered pubs and delis selling lots of local produce.
My oldest friend (not in age, just in how long we’ve known each other) and local York girl Jo, came to meet me for dinner and when I told her I was staying at Hotel Indigo York and where it was, even she said “on Walmgate, how strange; I had no idea there was even a hotel down there”.
Located about halfway down and closer to the ‘good end’ of Walmgate this road is also home to the York Press Office and some of York’s best restaurants: Press Kitchen, Khao Sarn and Il Paradiso Del Cibo. It leads onto Fossgate, Stonebow and gives access to all the best tourists spots, shops and places you may want to go to on a visit to York.
Not too far away is Crumbs Cupcakery, one of my most favourite cafe’s in York. Nestled just by the side of the Minster it’s probably about a 12-minute walk away from Hotel Indigo York. Skip tourist loaded Betty’s and head here for afternoon tea, you won’t regret it.
Hotel Indigo York makes for the perfect hotel if you’re looking for somewhere modern, contemporary and quirky to stay. As a part-time York person I’d absolutely choose to stay here over many other hotels available in the city… probably also influenced by the 24hr bar (No.88 Walmgate) where you can order late night cocktails (an Old Fashioned for me) and hot chocolates and natter away with your bestest friend until the early hours.
Rainy and windy weather is never fun and having to check in whilst feeling very cold and damp wasn’t the nicest. But Natalie, the hotel receptionist on duty when I arrived, couldn’t have been more welcoming. Full of smiles, she helped me park my car in their car park, offered me a brolly and told me to not to rush nor worry. She even offered to take my bags in, so I didn’t have to walk back from the car park with them.
Check in itself was quick, simple and all was done in a very organised and ordinary way – just how it should be. There’s a little corner near the check-in desk which I couldn’t help but notice looked so cosy! Wintry candles were burning, cosy cushions were thrown on the large armchairs and someone was drinking a hot drink whilst most likely waiting for the rain to pass.
I instantly felt relaxed and relieved to be out of the cold and into the warm. My room was on the 5th floor so I took the lift, discarded my bags and instantly stepped into the big hot steamy rainfall shower to wash away the stress of the drizzly morning… and a slightly fuzzy head from the night before 😉
There are a few things that are really important to me when staying in a hotel. Towels that are big enough to wrap around my whole body without having to constantly re-adjust, a proper hairdryer, and nice toiletries. Hotel Indigo York has them all. Every. Single. One. The towels were big, fluffy and super soft. The toiletries were perfect and locally sourced from H2K of Harrogate and the hairdryer was good enough to dry off my hair in ten minutes flat.
Might not be a big deal for some, but to me, it’s a matter of having to struggle with one of those hairdryers where you have to continually hold the button (awful) or just giving in and leaving my hair to frizz up and look horrendous (not an option).
I then took a few minute to look around my room, admire the decor which is influenced by York’s rich chocolate heritage where both Rowntree’s and Terry’s roots can be traced back to and took a moment to appreciate all the little touches whilst discovering the welcome message on my mirror and some local baked treats to enjoy – it’s as if they knew how much of a sweet tooth I have! 😉
I particularly loved the eclectic artwork painted on the wall in the far corner of my room. A floor to ceiling mural depicting some of York’s most famous things: Guy Fawkes, Rowntree’s Chocolate Factory and The Minster. I loved how bright it was and thought it really helped give the room so much character.
My room was a little small and at 5ft 4″ the bed was just fine for me, but I suspect someone taller may struggle. Regardless there were plenty of big good quality pillows and it was very comfortable. I knew instantly that I’d sleep well that night.
With rich brown and dark red fabrics, dark brown wooden panelling, subtle warm lighting and thick heavy curtains it’s all a York visitor can hope for.
The mini-bar was stocked with KitKats, fresh milk (though I couldn’t see any non-dairy options) lots of hot drink options and two bottles of water – all of this is included in the room rate.
The wardrobe was small but had plenty of hangers for my clothes and there was even an ironing board and iron meaning I didn’t need to call down for one when I needed to iron my dress later on that night.
Overall, I thought my room was cosy, relaxing, and I felt at home as much as you can when staying away.
Sometimes when away on my own I like to order breakfast to my room. It’s a luxury I never get at home and without any children to occupy or boyfriend to eat with, it’s sometimes a bit easier too.
But when I was sat with my friend Jo the evening before in the bar, I noticed the staff setting up for breakfast and thought the restaurant looked really nice. So instead of hanging the breakfast card on my bedroom door I went down the next morning at a leisurely 9am and ate a very peaceful vegetarian breakfast, enjoyed a pastry and a muffin which was all washed down with some fresh orange juice and a coffee.
The only thing that could have made it better for me personally would have been having another milk option to soy. Out of all the non-dairy milks to choose from I’m not a fan of soy. Oat, almond or even coconut milk is much nicer… but it’s no biggie.
My breakfast certainly gave me the energy I needed for a day out with my Mum. Before I set off back to her house, I had a little wander into town for a last ‘soak up my city’ stroll, passed through the Shambles, the market, back on to Parliament and down by Merchant Adventures’ Hall.
Wandering back up to my room to get my bags I admired the quirky staircase, spotted all the local produce available for sale in the hotel foyer and realised again that York, and Yorkshire itself really is my most favourite part of the world.
I love how passionate and proud Yorkshire people are. Hotel Indigo York seem to get that and the staff along with everything else about the hotel are doing the city proud!
With hotels like Hotel Indigo York you can absolutely embrace the city’s culture, traditions and stories and whilst the choice for accommodation is plentiful the prices at Hotel Indigo really mean you get your money’s worth.
Book yourself a room here, I stayed in a standard double, it was perfect for two but if you’d like more room treat yourself and upgrade to one of their premium rooms.
And if you go to York, let me know if you love it as much as me.
My stay at Hotel Indigo York was complimentary in return for an honest review on my blog. All the opinions in this post are honest and written by Hello Cuppies. Photos also belong to Hello Cuppies.