5* and some …
I got an email from Debbie “We would like to book you and Michael a special treat of an overnight stay in a nice hotel”. With 250 reviews already under my belt, I qualify for 5 rosettes and an overnight stay in a hotel.
It didn’t take long to decide on York and the Dean Court Hotel.
We wanted a central location which provided parking and this ticked all the boxes.
The description ‘nice hotel’ hardly begins to describe the Dean Court. It is one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in. It is an excellent location, opposite the west end of the Minster. It is in easy walking distance of all the attractions in the historic walled town. Staff are lovely and nothing is too much trouble for them. We were even shown where the restaurant and the Court cafe bar were, as well as being taken to our room (luggage already delivered). There was none of this “Here’s you key. You are on the first floor. Follow the signs…”
From the outside, the hotel is an understated, elegant brick building, dating from 1865 which was originally used to house Minster clergy. Inside it is an oasis of calm and luxury. It doesn’t have a swimming pool, fitness suite or spa, but to be honest, it doesn’t need them. This is good old fashioned hospitality at its best.
The hotel understands guests may want to arrive before the 2 am registration and leave after the 11 am checkout. This is no problem as luggage can be left at reception. There is a secure car park with valet car parking service and again cars can be dropped off and picked up to suit the guests.
We were given a warm welcome by reception, luggage taken and the car parked for us. We were told we were being given an upgrade to a deluxe room and had a lovely room over looking the Minster. This must have one of the best views in the hotel.
It was a large and extremely comfortable room with plenty of space. Room lighting was also good, unlike in some hotels where it can a bit like moonlight on a foggy day. Not here.
The room was attractively decorated with pale beige walls and plum coloured bed head. The bathroom had a good range of toiletries and an excellent shower over the bath. Towels were large and very fluffy and dried really well. Cotton waffle dressing gowns were also provided. Even though the bath had a non-slip surface, an extra rubber bath mat was provided for guests.
The hospitality tray had a tea pot as well as a cafetiere for the sachet of ground coffee. Knives and plates were provided with the bowl of fresh fruit. Add on the usual suitcase stand, hair drier, trouser press, ironing board, fridge, wide screen TV, DVD and even an umbrella. This place really does think of everything, including a free shoe cleaning service, if shoes are left outside the bedroom door. This really is LUXURY in capital letters.
The room was double glazed and we were surprised how quiet it was. Even the cathedral bells were quiet during the night. There is no traffic noise until the dust cart arrives just before 7am, an effective alarm clock.
Our package included a three course dinner or an allowance of £25 if we chose to eat in the Court Cafe and Bar. We’d originally intended to do this, thinking that the dinner might be a bit too esoteric for our tastes. We needn’t have worried. The choice was different but we were definitely tempted by it. In fact the problem was deciding what to have. In the end we chose different things and sampled each other. Food was beautifully presented – we wished we’d taken the camera in with us – and portions were a reasonable size. My slow braised ox cheek was beautifully tender and as for the dark fondant dessert. Staff were very pleasant and helpful explaining what each course was. And there were big white linen napkins too. In fact it was so good, I have written a separate review.
The breakfast was equally as good with a good choice of fresh fruit, and cereals or porridge. As well as the cooked breakfast there was kedgeree, smoked haddock, kippers, eggs Benedict. We both chose the cooked breakfast which was a big plateful with sausage, bacon, black pudding, hash brown, fried egg, mushrooms, tomato and baked beans served in a small cup. We couldn’t manage any toast and didn’t want any lunch either. Tea or coffee were provided as soon as we entered. A nice touch was the printed weather forecast on the table for guests.
According to the hotel guide in the bedroom, Dean Court is “regarded as York’s most trendy boutique style hotel”. I don’t know about that but we found it a marvellous place to stay. It was understated elegance and a reminder of the best of the traditional British Hotel. There is nothing pretentious about the place. We liked it.
So thank you Debbie and Silver Travel for a lovely reward for all those reviews. Keep writing folks.
A word about disabled access
The hotel is a historic listed building built at a time before people worried about disabled access. There are steps, stairs and narrow corridors but the hotel is aware of the problems and really does try to make things easy for disabled guests. The main entrance is reached up a short flight of steps, but there is temporary ramped access for those in wheelchairs. As this is steep, staff are ready and willing to guests with this. There is level access to all ground floor areas including the lounge, restaurant, Court cafe and the bars. There are disabled toilet facilities. There is a small lift giving access to the bedrooms. There are three rooms which are suitable for disabled guests and there is information on their website.
The hotel also has two wheelchairs available for guests to hire. As always, the hotel asks guests to make them aware of their needs when booking.
BEST WESTERN PLUS
Dean Court Hotel