New Holgate A New Boutique Hotel
Our business writer, Ian Garner, and his wife, Sally, recently spent a very enjoyable night at New Holgate, a luxury boutique hotel that recently opened in York.
Sally and I decided to visit York to enjoy the Christmas Market, one of the best in Europe, with over seventy-five alpine chalets decorating Parliament Street and St Sampson's Square. These charismatic cabins offer an array of locally crafted treasures and artisan gifts, mostly made in York and North Yorkshire.
Although we only live about 20 miles from York, we decided to stay overnight in a hotel. We booked online with New Holgate, who offered a good deal. New Holgate is a luxury boutique hotel in York with individually designed and styled rooms and beautiful lounge areas. The hotel opened as recently as the beginning of November, so it had only been operating for just over two weeks when we checked in.
Photo of York Christmas Market by Ian Garner
The hotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of York, the railway station, and York Racecourse, and has that most precious commodity in York, on-site car parking.
After our time perusing the delights of the Christmas Market and armed with an array of gifts for the family stockings, we ventured on to New Holgate and pulled into the car park.
I drive a hybrid, but I noticed two charge points for those with plug-in electric cars, which is convenient for drivers who have gone fully rechargeable.
The hotel is a Grade 2 listed townhouse, transformed by the owner, Nick Bradley, with help from hotel manager Gessica Giacalone. They have spent time refurbishing the property into this stylish boutique hotel. It has twelve stunning, individually designed rooms for guests. We were impressed!
Gessica welcomed us to the hotel and described how things were going. They had been busy, and they were learning something new every day. We asked about dinner, and Gessica explained they weren’t opening the dining room until next year, taking one step at a time.
We asked for suggestions for nearby restaurants, and Gessica, a proud Sicilian, recommended a few nearby Italian restaurants. In the event, once we were settled into the hotel, we wandered into the centre of York, where options are aplenty.
We were shown to Room 2, which was to be our home away from home for the night. As we passed through the Breakfast Room I spotted owner Nick busy working on his PC at one of the tables.
I have known Nick for a few years and have followed the progress of his development plan when we had the occasional coffee together and through his posts on LinkedIn.
He suggested a quick coffee (or, as people who know me know, a Diet Coke), and we agreed to come back once we had settled into our room.
We were struck by how the refurbishment had stayed true to the original design upon entering our room. There was a beautiful ceiling rose, enhanced tastefully by modern LED lighting, which illuminated the room without detracting from the original ceiling. Smart coving ran around the walls, and I particularly liked the sash windows, which still worked! So often they stick, rattle, and let in drafts, but not a bit of it with these windows.
One of the bugbears I usually have with hotel rooms is the shortage of power sockets. I counted ten in this room, so there was always a convenient power point for the various gadgets that have become an indispensable part of modern life.
In our room, there was a large smart TV. Unfortunately, it was too smart for me, and I was ‘outsmarted’ by the remote control until I gave up. Perhaps an easy guide in the room would have been beneficial.
The absence of the ubiquitous minibar in hotels with extortionate prices was appreciated, avoiding temptation, and the non-appearance of an in-room telephone wasn’t a problem; after all, most people prefer to use their mobiles.
We dropped our bags in the room and started to explore. We found that there were three rooms on the ground floor, which included one with step-free access from the car park. The hotel is a combination of two beautiful townhouses and is a bit of a rabbit warren of steps and corridors, but not difficult to navigate, although parts might be a bit problematic for someone with physical disabilities.
Just inside the front door is a cosy reception desk, which we were told was manned twenty-four hours a day. We passed a private six-seat dining room that is available for small groups to eat together. We turned into the main dining area. Again, quite small, with only seats for just over a dozen residents and tables for couples and foursomes, but with only twelve rooms, it appeared sufficient.
We loved the coordinated internal décor, with flagstones and customised wrought iron railings matching the decorative characteristics of the place.
Just outside the breakfast room window was the outdoor area, which could seat over thirty people when the weather permits. It was late November for our stay and too wet for alfresco dining, but we thought it would be a beautiful setting in the spring and summer.
We looked into a cosy and comfortable lounge, ‘The Whisky Room', and thought, what a nice place to sit and relax over an evening nightcap.
Nick was still at his laptop when we reached the breakfast bar, and he offered us a drink.
I asked Nick about his initial dream for the hotel. He said he wanted to design something warm, welcoming, and exciting at the heart of Holgate.
He explained that Gessica, with a strong background in hotels and restaurants, looked after the hospitality side of the business, and he managed the rest.
He told Sally and I that they are passionate about working in partnership with local and regional suppliers, striving to bring the very best of Yorkshire to the guests while helping reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. The food and drink are sourced from high-quality growers and producers across Yorkshire, wherever possible, combining quality and flavour.
We had a pleasant evening, a comfortable night’s sleep, and awoke to a delicious full Yorkshire breakfast.
All in all, A very pleasant stay at this latest addition to the York accommodation landscape.