The Grand Hotel, York
REVIEW: Jontje Cunliffe-Lister
There is a fabulous sense of ‘arrival’ at The Grand York. Greeted by a warm welcoming doorman who immediately assisted with our bag and took our keys to whisk away our car. Equally friendly were the reception team who escorted me to a side room to be seated to check in with a little more privacy.
We were then seamlessly introduced to concierge, Graham, who guided us to our bedroom on the second floor with a little bit of a history tour as we went … the building was formerly the Edwardian home to Great North Eastern Railway Company’s HQ before being re-invented into The Grand Hotel and opening in 2010. A 1970s office block was annexed to create more bedrooms and The Grand now boasts 207 luxurious bedrooms with the jewel in the crown being the Penthouse Suite. The wide corridors and sweeping stone staircase are testament to a bygone era.
The bedrooms are vast and stylishly appointed with all the usual fineries that you would expect from a 5* establishment – bathrobes, slippers, Molton Brown toiletries, etc.
The reason for our visit was that we had heard great things about Hudson’s (The Grand’s fine dining offering) with Craig Atchinson at the helm. The restaurant is small but once you see the intricate delicacy of each of the dishes being served in here, this is quite understandable.
We were not to be disappointed. We were welcomed by Nick who was to look after us for the evening. His relaxed yet self-assured persona and Northern wit and warmth really did make us feel at home. He was knowledgeable about each dish that was served and had also chosen the wine pairing that was to accompany each dish/dishes. Nine courses in total each exquisitely presented and equally flavoursome. My favourite plates had to be the Confit of Ocean Trout, Cured Roe & Dashi – such delicate and contrasting flavours working so beautifully together and the Lemon Meringue was a sweet treat sensation! My husband declared the Pork Belly, Apple & Turnip a hit with succulent and well-balanced flavours. The wines worked superbly alongside – all credit to Nick who told us he had had no formal training as a sommelier.
Breakfast at The Grand has hot and cold buffet offerings with specialities that are cooked to order. We opted for the hot buffet with poached eggs that were par-cooked and reheated for us in a matter of minutes. There was an excellent choice of breads and juices and plenty of staff on hand to ensure that you had everything that you needed.
The ESPA branded spa is housed in the atmospheric former vaults which has a swimming pool, whirlpool, and steam room, plus a range of treatments from facials to options specifically for men or mothers-to-be. The gym, which has state-of-the-art Cybex equipment, can also offer personal training sessions.
There is also The Cookery School which opens its doors imminently. I am looking forward to returning to hone my culinary skills with a Fish Extravaganza.
All in all a fabulous place that has all that you need to enjoy a luxurious 5* Spa break within the heart of the historic York city walls.
The Grand Hotel, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GD Tel: 01904 891 838