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REVIEW | The Mount Royale Hotel, York

By Lyndsey Thomas | 6th June 2019

Why I Love The Mount Royale Hotel

The Mount Royale Hotel is just a stone’s throw from York city centre but has the charm and character of a country house hotel. With beautiful landscaped gardens and an outdoor pool, it’s an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of York.


Worth getting a babysitter?

Definitely. The Mount Royale Hotel is a great place for a romantic night away in York with an amazing fine dining experience. Having said that, it’s family-run and has a lovely relaxed atmosphere so children would be made very welcome here. (They also allow dogs if you want to bring one of those too!).


What to expect at The Mount Royale Hotel?

A thoroughly relaxing stay with impeccable food and second to none hospitality in a cosy, country-house style hotel. A huge bed so comfortable you won’t want to leave. A magnificent secret garden and an outdoor pool which is unique to York city centre.

The Mount Royal Hotel Overview

The Mount Royale Hotel is situated a short stroll away from York’s medieval city walls and Mickelgate Bar, which is one of the main historic gateways into the bustling city centre. Despite its central location, The Mount Royale Hotel feels like stepping into a tranquil country house retreat.


Driving up to the entrance, guests are met with an impressive, grand period building spectacularly clad in ivy. Dating back to 1834, the hotel was originally two private houses built during the reign of William IV. It is set within the most stunning landscaped gardens which feature an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, a hidden oasis in the heart of the city.


The hotel has been established over 50 years and is still run by the Oxtoby family, who pride themselves on giving guests a very personal, warm and friendly service. This really sets the Mount Royale apart from other larger establishments in York and makes it feel like a home away from home with a lovely relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.


Behind the ivy-clad façade, the interior is an eclectic mix of original period features, antiques and quirky décor. It is full of character and charm which gives this traditional hotel a really cosy and unique feel. Each of the 24 guest bedrooms is decorated in its own style which further adds to the hotel’s individuality. This is definitely the antithesis of a bland identikit chain hotel!


The rear of the hotel opens onto the beautiful, expansive gardens with meandering pathways and secret corners. Tucked away in seclusion at the end of the garden is a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool. Sadly, the good old Yorkshire weather was a tad nippy when I visited so I didn’t take the plunge but I will most certainly be returning when Summer (finally) arrives! I can’t think of a more perfect place to enjoy a sunny day in York, plus they also have a large draped gazebo for al fresco drinks and dining. The gardens are magnificently serene but for even more relaxation, there’s an on-site spa which offers Thai-inspired massages and other treatments.


My Room at The Mount Royale Hotel

Each bedroom at The Mount Royale is decorated in its own style so each one has a unique character and individual charm. My room for the night was on the ground floor, in an extension to the original historic building, and the glass-covered walkway to get there was lined with a stunning tropical indoor garden. I was lucky enough to have been given a garden suite which had its own private veranda overlooking the hotel’s exquisite gardens.


The room itself was wonderfully large and spacious, featuring an absolutely huge bed. It felt very indulgent having such a ginormous bed all to myself but it was a lovely treat given that I usually end up sharing my bed at home with a wriggling three-nager for half the night!


The décor was elegant with a mix of rich, warm tones and antique furniture. Even though it was a big space, the room still felt really cosy and homely. Opposite the bed was a seating area with two armchairs and a good-size television. There was a separate dressing room which had towelling robes and useful bits and bobs such as an iron, ironing board and hairdryer, as well as plenty of space to hang clothes.


In the dressing room was also a mini-fridge stocked with complimentary bottles of still and sparkling Harrogate Spring water which was a lovely touch, plus cafetière and tea facilities. The bathroom was spotless, with a good selection of toiletries and plenty of warm fluffy towels.


What made the room so special were the floor to ceiling windows opening up onto the private veranda. It was a joy to have such an absolutely delightful garden view.


Dinner at The Mount Royale Hotel

The Mount Royale is renowned for its fine dining restaurant – Oxo’s On The Mount – so I was excited about having dinner here as part of my stay.  It has been awarded two AA-rosettes and it certainly lived up to the high expectations I had.


My evening got off to a great start with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc sat by the roaring fire in Oxo’s cosy bar. Whilst I perused the menu, I received a very warm welcome from the maitre d’ Julian, who was an incredibly attentive and charming host throughout my dinner at Oxo’s.


Oxo’s menu is all locally sourced and focuses on classic British food with imaginative twists. To start with I had seared King scallops served with celeriac puree, apple, pickled walnuts and sauternes dressing. These were the best scallops I’ve ever tasted, cooked to absolute perfection.


For the main course, I chose the rump of English lamb served with dauphinoise potatoes, fine beans, red wine baby onions, butternut squash, spinach, and redcurrant jus. It was a rich and very tasty combination of flavours, presented beautifully.


Dessert was an indulgent dark chocolate fondant, coffee ice cream and popcorn, complimented with a perfectly paired glass of dessert wine which Julian had expertly recommended.


Overall, dinner at Oxo’s was nothing short of spectacular and of exceptional quality. This is formal fine dining food but served in a really friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The charming and personable service made the meal particularly memorable and gives the restaurant real Yorkshire character.


Breakfast at The Mount Royale Hotel

Breakfast was outstanding and it’s not hard to see why The Mount Royale received the AA Breakfast Award in 2018. As well as a lovely selection of fruits, cereals, pastries and juices, there was an extensive cooked breakfast menu all made with locally sourced ingredients. I opted for smoked salmon and chive scrambled eggs on a toasted muffin which was delicious and beautifully presented. I wish I could have stayed an extra night to sample another breakfast as there were lots of lovely options on offer including fishcakes, omelettes, bacon muffins, fish benedict, eggs benedict and of course the Full English. Like at dinner, the service was exemplary and delivered with genuine charm.


What it costs:

Double rooms including breakfast from £135.

Dinner at Oxo’s On The Mount from £24 per person for the set menu.


To find out more visit



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