York, United Kingdom

No.1 by Guesthouse, York

Price per night from$112.35

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP93.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Antiquity-filled Georgian abode

Setting

A meander from the Minster

In a city where Roman roads traipse through Georgian basements, teeny mediaeval streets wind through the centre and the former Viking occupation is still keenly felt, you want a hotel that’s equally storied. No 1. by Guesthouse, York is a 19th-century townhouse that dips a dainty toe into the past and is set to become a beloved fixture of its present. A delightful renovation by the family-owned Guest group (visionary band of brothers: Tristan, James and Tom) – who seek out historic homes throughout the UK to turn into cosy hideaways – the stay's sash windows, sweeping staircase and column-graced façade have been primped and preened; the vaults in the World War II air-raid shelter basement have become deliciously scented spa-treatment suites; and designer Martin Hulbert (who’s formerly styled Cliveden and Chewton Glen) has added antiques and textiles that nod to the locality – thus packing centuries into a chic, cosy shell.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of prosecco each; GoldSmiths get a bottle

Facilities

Photos No.1 by Guesthouse, York facilities

Need to know

Rooms

39, including three suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £112.00, including tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include a cooked or Continental breakfast (full Yorkshire, well-filled baps, French toast, house bircher, pastries, omelettes); and guests can help themselves to snacks, soft drinks, freshly baked treats and ice-creams from the pantry.

Also

For rainy days, there’s a stash of board games in the lounge; or you could ask staff to talk you through the curios on display throughout, many of which relate to aspects of the city's industrious nature: haberdasher's tools, gas lamps, apothecary drawers. And for sunny days, ask the hotel to pack you a picnic, which you can lay out in the museum’s botanical gardens or Dean’s Park by the Minster.

Please note

The hotel's restaurant will be closed from 20 February to 24 March 2023 for renovations. Breakfast will still be served, but at reduced offering, but the staff are always happy to offer local recommendations. 

At the hotel

Spa, treat-filled pantries, library, lounge with board games and free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV with Chromecast, turntable (records can be hired from the library), Nespresso machine, tea-making kit, 100 Acres bath products and bathrobes.

Our favourite rooms

We like the Bootham Suites, which were formerly the library and drawing room of this esteemed townhouse. As such, they come with an array of attractive period features: a fireplace, decorative balconies, high ceilings and some well-chosen antiques in keeping with its past. The only-just shielded from view bath tub is quite the enticement too. Or, if you’re not planning to spend too long in your room, the Guest Rooms are serviceable and stylish as a city-exploring bolthole.

Spa

In the cellar vaults residents once huddled to escape the bombs of World War II; these days, it’s much more tranquil as the in-house spa, which is strung with sprigs of Yorkshire lavender. There are five treatment rooms, including one for couples, and therapists armed with knot-untying know-how and organic vegan lotions from Pinks Boutique carry out a calming range of massages, therapies and rituals tailored to guests’ particular concerns.

Packing tips

Bring cobble-friendly footwear, a brolly and your friendliest demeanour – York’s the sort of place where people may offer a cheery greeting.

Also

One of the hotel’s ground-floor rooms is suitable for guests with mobility issues, there are ramps at the entrance, and the restaurant and bar are both accessible.

Pet‐friendly

All except the Small Guest Rooms accommodate dogs; for £25 a night, they get a bed, bowl, blanket and treats. See more pet-friendly hotels in York.

Children

All except the Small Guest Rooms can fit an extra bed for a child, and the hotel has a range of board games for rainy days. Plus, York is packed with adventures for small Smiths, from treasure hunts to the Dungeons, to the Jorvik Viking Museum ride.

Best for

York’s – sometimes gruesome – history, family-friendly museums and sweet shops will appeal to juniors.

Recommended rooms

All except the Small Guest Rooms fit a cot or extra bed, but the Bootham or Clifton Suites will give you the most elbow room. Some rooms interconnect too. Extra beds cost £25 a night for four-to-11 year olds and £35 for 12-to-16 year olds.

Activities

The hotel has board games and Instax cameras to borrow, plus books for bedtime stories, but little else to entertain. Never fear, because York has fortified towers to explore, ancient walls to clamber over, ghost tours to spook and museums on science, chocolate, gaming and trains that will hold little ones’ attentions. And, outside the city there’s a wildlife park, the theme park Flamingoland and working Viking village Murton Park.

Meals

The hotel's kids' menu has tot-pleasers such as hot-dogs, simple pastas, fish and chips and ice-cream (and chicken-kiev bites to start), plus a few healthier options.

Also

The hotel will have a tipi set up in your room on arrival, with plenty of toys and books, too.

Sustainability efforts

The hotel sources food from as many Yorkshire suppliers as possible, to keep the menu organic, sustainable and seasonal. The spa uses Earth-kind products too, recycling is duly done and the use of plastics has been reduced.

Food and Drink

Photos No.1 by Guesthouse, York food and drink

Top Table

For intimate date nights, ask for a table in the back room, or if you're feeling sociable (striking up a conversation with your fellow diners is well-received here), then sit at the row of tables along the banquette.

Dress Code

No need to go full Georgian, but flouncy dresses and jaunty waistcoats and jackets won’t necessarily go amiss.

Hotel restaurant

The love for the ’Shire’s produce is very much felt in the restaurant menus. Honey from the Moors is drizzled over porridge at breakfast, and sausages and bacon from Lishman’s of Ilkley grace the full Yorkshire; and lunch could consist of locally sourced cured meats and pork pies, a soufflé with cheese from the Dales and a curd tart with clotted cream and rhubarb from Tomlinson of Pudsey farm shop. And dinners are as hearty and British as they come, starting with plump pheasant kiev bites and mussels doused in Yorkshire cider, followed by a Scarborough woof fish with pak choi and No. 1’s deconstructed take on a Jaffa Cake, with chocolate from city-based chocolatier Andrew Thwaite. The eau de nil-hued dining space has a homey feel too – with plates and pictures displayed on the walls and a range of storied curios it feels more like a loved one's living room.

Hotel bar

Yorkshire loves a brew in all senses of the word, and when it comes to the alcoholic kind, they’re well represented in the cosy-as-can-be hotel bar, with local ales on tap. We skipped between the two poles of deliciousness: starting with a 'light, fresh and aromatic' English Rose Fizz (with Beefeater dry gin, Guesthouse English rose syrup, English spring bitters, fresh lemon and Furleigh Estate Cuvée Rosé), and a 'bold, rich and indulgent' Old Fashioned Parkin (with bourbon, clarified butter, burnt wildflower honey, winter spices and bitter chocolate to mimic York's favourite sweet treat). But, everything in between is reliably delicious too. The wine list has some top picks too; and no, you haven’t had one too many, that is a miniature steam train chugging its way around the room. Ask staff for the story behind Lady Rhubarb, whose portrait has pride of place on the wall – she may not actually exist, but acts as an intriguing segue into how the fruit was once farmed by candlelight, and the curio-filled tables pull on other historic threads. You can also take your drink, or afternoon tea in the elegant Marmalade Lounge, which is coloured after the beloved toast-topper.

 

Last orders

The bar pours from 8am to 11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday, and till midnight on weekends.

Room service

Have breakfast in bed from 7.30am to 10.30am.

Location

Photos No.1 by Guesthouse, York location
Address
No.1 by Guesthouse, York
1 Clifton
York
YO30 6AA
United Kingdom

The hotel is a mere toddle from York’s historic centre, set between the redbrick-filled Bootham and Clifton neighbourhoods.

Planes

If you’re arriving from a major city in Europe, you can fly direct to Leeds Bradford Airport, around an hour’s drive away from the hotel. Manchester Airport is further away (a two-hour drive), but flights landing here connect directly from the US, Asia and Africa.

Trains

York station is a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from the hotel. If you choose to walk – and it’s a lovely one, over the River Ouse and past the York Museum Gardens – the hotel will send someone out on a bike to grab your bags (and give you a brolly if it’s raining), so you can stroll unimpeded. The London to Edinburgh line (which runs from King’s Cross) stops at York, so the city’s easy to reach from either direction.

Automobiles

You won’t need a car in York – it’s easily walkable and the made-for-mediaeval-traffic centre is largely pedestrianised (just try squeezing a car through the Shambles). There’s a car park at the side of the hotel with 19 spaces and 24-hour access for £20 a night; or public car park Marygate is a five-minute walk away.

Worth getting out of bed for

You’d need a long spade to dig into York’s history, which is a whirl through prehistoric tribes, Roman and Viking invasions, Norman rebellions, the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses, assorted besiegements and finally finding a foothold as a noble cultural powerhouse during the Georgian period. It’s been a rocky road to the present, but what’s left is a city where layers of history can be seen in a 10-minute walk. The remnants of Roman Walls and columns are the most visible legacy of Empire, but there are also sarcophagi, stretches of road, sewers and bathhouses unearthed under various establishments – some of which are open to the public. There are fewer prominent Viking ruins, but you can learn about their lives in the city at the fascinating Jorvik Viking Centre, which has a ride through their reign and an archaeological centre.

Clifford’s Tower, the keep of the former York Castle, sits atop a hill and has a dark history as the site of a Jewish massacre and a prison, but it’s worth seeing as part of a tour (the city’s famous ghost tours tell tales of blood running down the walls, but it’s safe to say these are somewhat exaggerated). The Treasurer’s House has Roman ruins in the basement and genteel Victorian interiors upstairs (it, too, is allegedly haunted by centurion ghosts). And the spectacular York Minster is a time capsule on a very grand scale; it’s stained-glass rose window is maybe its most recognisable feature, but there’s much to explore: climb the central tower for panoramic city views, gaze up at the intricate nave and chancel ceiling, explore the details of its many colourful windows in depth and head down to the undercroft and crypt.

The quaintest remnant of mediaeval York is the Shambles, a very narrow yet picturesque street left pretty much as it was, now lined with tea salons, sweet shops and places where you can buy souvenirs (and to round off your tour of strangely named throughways, seek out Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate – the city’s shortest street – close by). You can also explore the restored wattle-and-daub Barley Hall and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. History buffs will be in heaven, but if you want a (relatively) more modern distraction, you can visit the Wonka-esque Chocolate Story or Penny Arcadia with its old-school games, see a restored Cold War Bunker, wander the Art Gallery or see exotic species at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. And, York's indie shops make it a magnet for shoppers too – try Heima (named after a documentary about Icelandic band Sigur Rós) for eco-chic homewares, Devil's Elbow Antiques for vintage curios and Botanic for exotic houseplants.

Local restaurants

York’s dining scene is decidedly modern, with plenty of mover-and-shaker chefs, fine produce from the surrounding dales and moors, and well-executed novel concepts. Skosh gives you the choice of small plates to pick greedily at or sharing courses for the hungrier – whichever you choose, you’re sure to be delighted, with plates such as puris stuffed with Whitby crab, mango and tamarind; Lindisfarne oysters laden with pickled-ginger granita; braised ox cheek with wasabi and lemon; and a whisky-quince doughnut with masala chai spice (they even have savoury ‘afters’; gorgonzola cheesecake with mince-pie ice-cream anyone? Close to the station, the Rattle Owl has a Roman road in the cellar and a small yet coolly contemporary eatery upstairs. It has strong ties to artisanal markets, farms and foragers, dairies, fowlers and more, so the menu changes depending on what’s available and in season, but dishes tend to be mightily creative, say crab with apple sorbet and curried granola, roast mutton with apricot chutney and mint fritters, or peanut butter parfait with lime jelly and caramelised bananas. Partisan also partners with the finest suppliers in York (Haxby Bakehouse, Love Cheese, M&K Butchers…) and brings in herbs and veggies from the family farm to craft delicious brunches and lunches with a Middle-Eastern accent. Head here for Persian eggs with medjool dates and almond dukkah, a chorizo ibérico sandwich with homemade chimichurri, a weekly changing selection of cakes and brownies, and fulsome veggie and vegan breakfasts. And, if you like the furnishings and accoutrements here, you can buy them to take home. There are only eight pizzerias in the UK recognised by Italy's True Neapolitan Pizza Association, and York is lucky enough to have one – Cresci uses only the good stuff (San Marzano tomatoes, EVO oil, fior di latte), so even the simplest dish is top-notch.

Local cafés

Bettys is a beloved York institution, where staff dress like they’re in the 1930s and interiors are inspired by an ocean liner of old, and its afternoon tea is fittingly genteel. It has cakes and pastries to suit all sweet tooths, and tip-top teas, but it’s also best known for its Swiss rostis and Fat Rascal scones, which have almond teeth and glacé-cherry eyes. They don't take bookings, so be prepared to queue. And, less established but fast becoming a favourite is the Pig and Pastry, which does full-to-bursting breakfast butties and sandwiches, and has a dedicated ‘Benedict’ menu. And, just a short hop down the road from No. 1, get your hand caught in various cookie jars at glorious Greek patisserie Oleria, who have plump sausage rolls and tastily filled filo parcels, plus baklawa, cakes and many kinds of cookie. The Shambles Sausage and Pie Company is squeezed into its charming namesake medieval street and serves pies bursting with steak and ale, pork and bramley aple and daily changing flavours, alongside portly sausage rolls. Or find street-food favourites at Spark, a sprawling community hub. Try tacos from Dog's Nose Taqueria, buttermilk-fried chicken burgers from Clucking Oinks, and juicy cuts from the Smokeyard Club, washed down with pints from Brew York. 

Local bars

York’s more of a spot for cosy old pubs with wonky dimensions and fiercely loyal – yet friendly – regulars. There are many to choose from in this cathedral city, but why not go for the cosiest, the Blue Bell, a traditional, Edwardian-sized pub for just a handful of drinkers, where conversations easily cross-pollinate. And, if you want somewhere a little more lively, with a mixologist manning the bar, Fossgate Social is a laidback caff by day, and by night becomes one of York’s coolest hangouts, serving craft beers and cocktails under neon lights. 

Reviews

Photos No.1 by Guesthouse, York reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this grand Georgian townhouse just beyond the Roman walls and unpacked their wodges of parkin and wheel of Wensleydale, a full account of their era-skipping stay will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside No. 1 by Guesthouse in York…

York is one of the UK’s most fascinating cities, with something ancient and engaging to find at every turn, meandering cobble streets, pubs to hunker down in, a New Age underbelly and a burgeoning banger of a culinary scene. However, it is slightly lacking in truly characterful boutique hotels close to the city centre, or at least one primed for the top spot – step up, No 1. by Guesthouse, a Grade-II-listed Georgian townhouse replete with sash windows, an elegant swoop of staircase and an ivy- and column-graced frontage. Carefully and sensitively re-tooling the interiors is Martin Hulbert, whose portfolio boasts best-of-British hotels such as Cliveden, Coworth Park and Chewton Glen, and who’s sourced antique objets, artworks and furnishings that pay deference to the past – rugs and upholstery give homage to Yorkshire’s textile industry, curio tables carry tools of the haberdasher's trade – yet evoke the city’s forward-ho propulsion. And that’s not the only thing driving this love affair: the restaurant menu has crossed hill and dale and swept the ‘snickelways’ to find fine local produce to use in quail kievs, warming shepherd’s pies, curd tarts and more. The drawing room and library have become two romantic suites and the World War II air-raid shelter in the basement is now a serene lavender-scented spa, so it’s as alive with history as its hometown.    

Price per night from $112.35

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