Cedar Court Grand Hotel, York, England

 

The Cedar Court
The Cedar Court is framed by the York Wall.

 

In York, way up in the north of England, The Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa is aiming to be the city’s first five-star hotel. It may very well succeed: Redeveloped from the North Eastern Railways headquarters that opened in 1906, the new property opened in May and has been generating plenty of word-of-mouth.

Balancing the building’s history with modern tastes, the hotel evokes the Golden Age of travel, recreating the opulence and luxury that people enjoyed on the Orient-Express or the Queen Mary.

The boutique hotel has 107 unique guest rooms, including 13 suites with butler service. The suites, which we hear are the most popular accommodations, have double walk-in showers (great for getting ready during the morning rush) and a separate guest toilet. Rooms might overlook the historical city walls or offer views of the Minster and medieval center of town—ask for details when booking.

The hotel’s Penthouse has been called “the best room in York,” and we’re well-inclined to believe it. The suite has a large bedroom area with a super-king-sized bed, a private dressing area and a separate lounge with comfy sofas. The bathroom has a separate guest toilet, his-and-hers sinks and walk-in showers and a free-standing bath with views of the city. Little details we love: the Molton Brown amenities and the heated floors—such a comfort on chilly mornings!

More on butler service: Head Butler Simon Sutcliffe just took over from former Head Butler Anthony Seddon-Holland. Butlers get in touch with guests prior to arrival to determine what they may want during their stay. The butlers will then welcome guests to their room upon arrival, and be on hand throughout the stay for anything they may need. With butler pantries on each floor of the hotel, food and beverages will be fresh and hot (or icy cold—no worries about melted ice cream!) at any hour. 

Rooms overlook the historical city walls or medieval town center
Rooms overlook the historical city walls or medieval town center.

Butlers can also advise on the best places to visit, and how to get there. (We hear the butlers and the concierge team can arrange theater tickets, have guests placed on the VIP lists at nightclubs and snag tough tables at local restaurants.) 

Although he is new to the position, Sutcliffe was trained by Seddon-Holland and is familiar with the standards of impeccable service. (We hear he has a flair for picking up guests in style at the nearby train station wearing a top hat and tails.) Cool Touch: When guests need to get around the area, Sutcliffe can arrange for private helicopters to get them there quickly. He can be contacted at butlers@cedarcourtgrand.co.uk.

At HQ at The Grand, Head Chef David Sharp has prepared meals for Diana, Princess of Wales, so guests at the hotel can dine like the royals. Suggest your clients try one of the restaurant’s seafood dishes, as all of the fish is sourced from the Yorkshire fishing town of Whitby. Book tables through the restaurant manager, Audrey Outhwaite, and ask for a table with a Minster view. After dinner, a visit to the whisky lounge (with more than 190 bottles) is a great way to relax and unwind

Executive Rooms at Cedar Court
Executive Rooms at Cedar Court were designed for maximum comfort and are one of six room classifications.

Good to know: For group bookings, the hotel needs a lead-in time of around two months. Advisors should also check if it is horse-race day in York, as these are extremely busy times.

The six-room (including a couples’ room and a mani-pedi suite) Spa at the Grand has a swimming pool, steam room, sauna and gym. The Mediterranean Light Massage, which involves hot stones on chakra energy points and warm scented candle wax, is a top guest choice. We hear the Oxygen Heist facial is also popular, as is the Vitamin-C body wrap. The Spa uses Germaine de Capuccini products, a Spanish line that is new to the UK. Note: The Spa will be getting a new manager this month, but agents can e-mail spa@cedarcourtgrand.co.uk for information and reservations.

Shopping Note: York has plenty of boutique and independent stores, and shoppers will want to make a point of visiting medieval street The Shambles. Nearby, Leeds is one of the best shopping cities in the country.  Also, the popular York Designer Outlet is only a short drive out of the city.

Getting There: There are a number of regional airports that are convenient for travel to York, including Leeds Bradford and Durham Tees Valley, both of which are approximately a 40-minute drive away. The hotel can arrange for transfers from the airports or the nearby train station. Manchester International Airport is accessible by train and is a two-hour drive away.

Luxury travel advisors should contact Sales Manager Louise Bradshaw (louise.bradshaw@cedarcourtgrand.co.uk) with questions.