We’re firm believers in trying to share as many experiences as we can with our children, and that includes the luxury ones. So with some trepidation and mutterings about ‘best behaviour’, we packed our bags and took our three little ones (7, 5 and 3) to The Grand Hotel & Spa for an overnight stay in Yorkshire’s only five star hotel.
OVERVIEW The Grand is Yorkshire luxury at its best. Housed in the former railway headquarters, the hotel oozes style, tradition and heritage. It’s a popular choice for lucky business travellers and couples in need of a romantic getaway, but it’s a brilliant option for families too. There are currently 107 rooms to choose from, and the hotel is set to double in size, giving you even more chance of booking the perfect stay.
LOCATION The location couldn’t be better. It’s a stone’s throw from the station and just across the bridge from everything that York city centre has to offer. It’s a five minute walk to York Minster, 10 minutes to the JORVIK Viking Centre and a couple of minutes to Pizza Express (an important landmark for travelling families, if ours is anything to go by). The friendly concierges will give you a map and a whistle-stop talk through the attractions and points of interest. Our room had views of the iconic City walls.
THE ROOM We were lucky enough to stay in a master suite, which was incredible. With a huge hallway and lounge, huge bedroom and two bathrooms, it was larger than the flat we used to have in London. Upon arrival, the living area was already set up with two comfortable beds for the older children and a travel cot for the youngest (who was over the moon to also be provided with her own dressing gown and spa slippers). A huge flat screen TV in both rooms, enormous bath and walk-in shower with Molton Brown goodies, Nespresso coffee maker and handmade chocolates all made it very difficult to contemplate ever leaving the room. And that’s before they spotted the two vintage style children’s pedal cars – a lovely touch that really made them feel at home. Our bed was vast and supremely comfortable, so much so that the little one decided to join us half way through the night.
SERVICE From the moment we stepped into the hotel, nothing was too much trouble. Without exception, the staff were warm, friendly and went out of their way to make the children feel comfortable. Service is five star but unstuffy.
FOOD & DRINK The Grand’s new restaurant, The Rise, is a stunning place to eat. It’s stylish but relaxed, serving delicious, beautifully presented small plates of local food. There’s a great kids’ menu too, with a good selection of dishes including the macaroni cheese of dreams. We opted for afternoon tea – including the special children’s afternoon tea – which was fabulous. We’d recommend it whether you’re staying in the hotel or not. For breakfast, we decided to eat in our room (much easier than attempting to get everyone dressed). Despite our efforts to get them to try something more interesting, the kids ate their Rice Krispies in five star luxury while we enjoyed a fantastic cooked breakfast with views of the city walls.
FACILITIES The atmospheric spa down in the vaults was a real highlight. The pool might not have Olympic proportions, but it’s perfect for a splash about with children. There’s also a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room as well as treatment rooms that we’ll try another time.
THE VERDICT Our stay at The Grand was probably the best experience we’ve had of travelling with our children. From the friendly staff to the excellent facilities, amazing afternoon tea and little touches, it’s clear that The Grand understands what families need. Don’t tell the children, but we even found ourselves doing something we rarely do: relaxing. And for that, huge thanks to The Grand.
The Grand Hotel & Spa, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD – Visit The Grand’s website
Thank you so much to The Grand for having us to stay. We visited for a feature we are writing for Visit York about family-friendly York. As always, we will only ever recommend things that we have genuinely enjoyed.
The Grand is a member of the Little Vikings Club for family-friendly businesses