I've been looking forward to writing this review since I came back from York.
The hotel is situated slightly off the beaten track and you might be forgiven for thinking that you're in a bad part of town - it's not bad, it's just a bit run-down. The hotel, however, is a brand new development - opposite a Travelodge. And you'll be pleased you stayed there as it's a very nice property. You'll be surprised that it's only a 3-star. The hotel very much is a destination of choice for young couples - you can make of that what you will. Staff are welcoming and friendly. Breakfast is offered as a discounted optional extra for those who have booked on a room-only basis. It's still expensive at nearly £8.
As noted by other travellers, the place is absolutely immaculate. The room was spotless and it was very encouraging to see. The bathroom (shower only, no bath) was simple but clean and adequate, the bed was comfortable and of high quality. Perhaps the only let down was a blind rather than curtains across the windows which is rather a telltale sign of the hotel's three-star status. Some proper bedside tables would be a good addition too. Largely speaking - and despite the fact the hotel is close to a main road - you'll get a good night's sleep.
Facilities wise is a different matter. The free wifi didn't seem to be available in the room I was staying. Both the restaurant and the bar are quite clinical - they could do with being made a bit more welcoming. The front desk also doubles as the bar itself, in an ingenious space-saving effort. A skeleton room service operates which runs during main meal times and not outside of those hours. It's better than nothing and the tray charge is very modest.
However the big let-down - and the reason for the review title - is this: You can't use, open or touch anything without being warned about a fee for misuse. The windows have stickers warning about misuse fines, when you enter the room the first thing you spot is a no smoking sign (the sentiment I agree with) with warnings about cleaning fines. You are warned about additional fees for check-out tardiness. When you arrive, you even sign a form which warns about the cancellation charge. This is amusing as you wouldn't be signing the check-in documents if you had cancelled!
Most of these extra costs are well known to seasoned travellers as they are common across almost all hotels so it is not necessary ram them in customers' faces. I've noticed that hotels end up putting up warnings everywhere when they've had their "fingers burned" by previous customers. This hotel would benefit from the skills of a marketing manager or copywriter to soften the message somewhat. You want to feel welcome and not feel like the hotel is trying to trip you up to make a fast buck.
But the big question is whether I would stay there again? I would. Despite the irritations, above, it's a good hotel. A solid three-star property with four-star aspirations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel 53 is in a central location within the city walls and is a short walk from York's major attractions. The hotel's clean, modern exterior is complemented by elegant interior design, creating an atmosphere of stylish simplicity. Whether you're taking a short break, staying with us for a little longer or on business you'll feel immediately at ease at Hotel 53 York. At Hotel 53, we aim for individuality and flair, with the most modern facilities to ensure that our guests receive a warm and professional service throughout their stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Quality Inn York
- 53 Hotel York