“Travel like an explorer. Stay like a local.” Hotel Indigo
What do you get if you take an upscale boutique hotel, locate it in a historic city and incorporate elements of local character and culture into its modern interior design? The answer is Hotel Indigo York, part of the multi-national Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) and their fabulous chain of quirky boutique hotels that I have only just discovered when booking my recent trip to Yorkshire (read more about that here).
This small but perfectly formed establishment (only 101 rooms) was fashionable chic at its very best with textiles, furnishings, art and photographs that reflects and integrates the history, heritage and geography of York into its overall design. Located in the heart of the city in the Walmgate Bar area, the hotel was just minutes away on foot from amazing vintage shops, independent retailers, bistros and the city centre itself. It really was the perfect place from which to explore everything the city had to offer and I was really pleased with my discovery, especially with its proximity to public transport options.
We were lucky in that the hotel had only opened two weeks prior to our stay so everything was immaculate, it even still had its new smell. The lobby and reception area were filled with an eclectic mix of seating in earthy tones complimented by stylish light fittings that continued into the bar and restaurant areas. The restaurant itself is operated by the Yorkshire Meatball Co. that specialises in you guessed it, meatballs. They are, according to their mission statement, ‘leading the fight against average, tasteless meatballs‘, you will have to take their word for it because as a vegetarian it didn’t appeal to me! The meatballs are hand-rolled using only the freshest and tastiest locally sourced produce so in theory should be super tasty. They also serve Yorkshire craft beers and signature cocktails too. This well-presented restaurant also served breakfast for hotel guests but we opted out of this added extra as we had spotted a Bills restaurant in York itself, our favourite breakfast location.
Our second floor room was large and well-appointed, filled with many design features, beautifully decorated throughout with the continuation of the local character concept. Attention to detail is everywhere at this hotel and the design team have been spot on with their vision and interior choices. The large, high bed was firm and extremely comfortable and the neutral tones of the walls, wooden floors and bed linen were offset by rich earthy tones of brown, orange, yellow and blue checked accessories and furnishings. I loved the quirky wall filled with themed art and vintage local photographs presented in varying sized mismatching coloured frames punctuated by a capital Y for York. A circular mirror hung by a leather belt over the desk, lamp shades that were filled with local characters from the neighbourhood, the extremely in vogue crocheted effect woollen footstool and the cool three shaded standard lamp which obviously just matched perfectly.
The spa-type bathroom was also very fresh and spotlessly clean, filled with more design features and stunning decor. Big gleaming white tiles were in opposition to the bold black, white and grey patterned tiles covering the feature wall in the large walk in rain shower. This pattern matched the rug in the bedroom (also spotted the same design in the restaurant and public areas on the floors and fireplace), which made for a striking first impression. A bathroom speaker allows you to still hear the TV/Music while getting ready. The toiletries provided were from local company H2K of Harrogate, another excellent idea to give a local businesses opportunities within the hotel.
The contents of the fridge were free of charge for guests including soft drinks, biscuits, coffee and of course the famous Yorkshire tea was provided too. York is famous for the making and selling of chocolate with some of the most famous chocolate-making families like Rowntree, Craven and Terry’s finest creations coming from the area so it’s only fitting that this new hotel is embracing the city’s chocolate heritage. York is the birthplace of both the Chocolate Orange and the Kit Kat chocolate bar, who knew? As part of the York Chocolate Story a rather delicious complimentary bar of York based company Choc Affair chunky chocolate was provided to sample, which I may or may not have devoured it all to myself! (read more about York’s Chocolate Story here).
Another one of Hotel Indigo’s features is their location in converted buildings and the York property is no exception as it’s situated in the old Infinity Motorcycle Showrooms. Throughout the world each hotel is as unique as its own surroundings, reflecting not only the local character and geography but also local flavours on the respective menus. Each hotel benefits from periodically changing murals, area rugs, duvets and throws in the guest rooms as well as the public spaces transformed with seasonal touches using different aromas, music and artwork, it really is all about the detail at Hotel Indigo.
As well as the hotel being aesthetically pleasing, the staff were excellent too. As usual first impressions count and the reception staff were warm, friendly and helpful with their local knowledge and providing maps. The check-in and check-out procedures were seamless and the hotel looked after our luggage for a good seven hours after we checked out, definitely another added bonus. It may not look much from the outside but Hotel Indigo York is most certainly impressive inside and I would not hesitate to recommend it, in fact I’m already looking forward to trying out another location somewhere, sometime soon and as they have properties all over the globe that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The Nitty Gritty
Hotel Indigo York, 88-96 Walmgate, York. YO1 9TL
Telephone: +44 1904 231333
Hotel Indigo York offers complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary fridge, 24-hour room service and fitness studio. For more information and to book visit their website.
Excellent city location
Fantastic interior and design features
Spotlessly clean and comfortable
Good use of local products and reflects local history of area
Friendly and helpful staff
The Not so Good….
Parking was apparently expensive and off site (I used public transport so did not affect me personally)
Disappointing that breakfast is not included in the room rate
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved.
Read more about York in my previous post Discover The UK: York