Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: A Yorkshire Ramble (2014)


Hotel 1: Hampton by Hilton, York
Wednesday 01 October to Thursday 02 October (1 night)
Room 401 (Queen with sofa bed)
Hampton by Hilton, better known as Hampton Inn in the USA, is the Hilton group's lowest ranking brand, targeting the same market segment as Holiday Inn Express. This was my first stay at a Hampton property in the UK and, based on this one example, I mentally placed the brand above the first-generation European HIX properties and roughly equivalent to the rival brand's second-generation product. This hotel is located in a surprisingly quiet street, just a five-minute walk from the city's railway station and within easy reach of the historic Roman walls. All rooms feature air conditioning and are either double- or triple-glazed. A fairly comprehensive hot breakfast is provided on an inclusive basis; it should come as no surprise that this is on a self-serve basis.
Hotel 2: Holiday Inn, Harrogate
Thursday 02 October to Saturday 04 October (2 nights)
Room 705 (Double)
This hotel occupies an impressive eleven-storey building next door to the Harrogate International Centre and a short walk from the centre of town. My seventh-floor room was reasonably spacious, but had a plain, strictly functional appearance. The breakfast offering was good and I had dinner on my second night, which turned out to be most enjoyable and exceeded my expectations.
Hotel 3: Leopold, Sheffield
Saturday 04 October to Monday 06 October (2 nights)
Room 132 - The Wilkinson Suite (King Mezzanine Suite)
Occupying the home of a former grammar school for boys, this centrally situated property claims to be Sheffield's only four-star boutique hotel. The Leopold is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an association of independent hotels that, in its own words, celebrates "individual luxury and style worldwide". Bruce and I had enjoyed SLH hospitality a number of times in the past, both when travelling together and on our own, and we felt that this stay didn't measure up to the customary standard. Our mezzanine suite had the potential to be spectacular in terms of its physical layout, but was let down by uninspired furnishings, decor and lighting. And without wishing to sound unduly snobbish, the Saturday clientele were not the usual SLH set, being heavily skewed towards hen party attendees. It wasn't much fun being woken at 3am by loud, drunken women trying to find their way back to their rooms. In summary: plenty of potential but ultimately rather disappointing. 
Hotel 4: Hilton, York
Monday 06 October to Tuesday 07 October (1 night)
Room 105 (Double Deluxe)
This modern hotel, centrally situated opposite Clifford's Tower and the Castle Museum, is convenient for all attractions within York's Roman walls and for many lying outside as well. The rooms adhere to contemporary Hilton standards in the UK. The property offers a good choice of eating and drinking options: in addition to the fairly upscale Towers Bar & Restaurant, there is Applejack's, an American-style sports bar and diner.
Hotel 5: Best Western Forest & Vale, Pickering
Tuesday 07 October to Wednesday 08 October (1 night)
Room 11 (Superior Double)
This hotel was conveniently situated on major bus routes and within easy walking distance of Pickering railway station, with its heritage services using preserved rolling stock. My room was nicely decorated in a contemporary style and I found it to be both spacious and comfortable. In contrast, the dining room struck me as being decades out of date in terms of both the decor and the menu. I assumed that modernisation of the property was a work in progress. Overall, based on a pleasing room and a comfortable night's sleep, I enjoyed my stay. Furthermore, thanks to the hotel's status as a Best Western member, it was gratifying to be able to spend a night in a town of less than 7,000 souls and still earn airmiles for doing so.
Hotel 6: The Marine, Whitby
Wednesday 08 October to Thursday 09 October (1 night)
Room 2 (King Mezzanine Suite)
This absolutely stunning little hotel was the out and out winner of the 'accommodation highlight of the trip' award. Why "little"? The independently run property consists of just four luxuriously appointed and individually styled rooms attached to a prestigious seafood restaurant, situated directly on the town's harbourside. Nothing was too much trouble for the friendly owners and their staff, while dinner and breakfast both fully lived up to my expectations. Hopefully the photos below will do justice to this truly memorable stay.
Hotel 7: Premier Inn, Durham
Thursday 09 October to Friday 10 October (1 night)
Room 124 (Double)
Although the Marriott or the Radisson Blu would normally have been a more obvious choice for a frequent traveller, there are times when a bargain is simply too good to resist, and the offer of a room from the UK's largest hotel company for £29 was most certainly a bargain. I set my expectations to match and was pleased to find that, while my room was fairly basic, it was entirely fit for purpose and provided a good night's sleep. (Indeed, had this not been the case, I would have been entitled to a full refund.) A cooked breakfast was provided for just a few pounds extra. In summary, an irresistible value-for-money proposition.