You may have noticed from my Instagram posts (@disabledtravelwithgeorgina) that Richard and I recently visited York to have a browse of the Christmas market and attend the annual carol service at York Minster. The city of York is absolutely stunning and we created some lovely memories over our time spent there. One of our best discoveries has to be the Hotel Indigo which is a lovely boutique hotel in the centre of York. It has 4 accessible rooms or 103 conventional hotel rooms if you don’t have mobility requirements. The location is absolutely ideal to access the historic centre of York with wonderful tourist attractions such as York Minster, The Shambles, Jorvik and York Castle Museum. I loved the quirky, modern decor in our room and the breakfast was plentiful and was clearly made from very high-quality ingredients! More on all of this below of course!
We visited in December so Hotel Indigo had gorgeous festive decorations adorning the corridors, Reception and the dining areas so there was an extra sparkle across the whole hotel. However, even if you didn’t visit around Christmas time then the decor of the hotel would still absolutely be an asset. The furniture and decor walked the line perfectly between sumptuous vintage design and modern innovation and comfort. The whole hotel felt very homely and made our stay comfortable and cosy. Parking is available in a nearby car park for £12.50 if you enquire at the Reception desk in the hotel but Blue Badge holders can park for free for an unlimited time in any York City Council car park when displaying their badge. We parked in the Bootham Row council car park which was around a 15 minute wheel from the hotel but we went into the centre prior to checking in so had no problem. We chose that one as it allows overnight car parking for Blue Badge holders for free. Do read the full details on the car parking board of any parking area that you choose or give York city council car parking department a call. The entrance doors to Hotel Indigo from the outside street were automatic glass doors which is really helpful when you are a wheelchair user as your hands might be occupied in self-propelling a manual chair or holding cases on your lap and steering a powered chair. The floor in the Reception area was smooth and tiled so I had no problem wheeling around in this area. I used my WHILL Type C powered chair for this holiday as it tackles small steps very well (up to 2”) so was easier to use in the cobbled streets of York. Plus, the front omniwheels make it very manoeuvrable when wheeling around the hotel room. My WHILL Type C is very compact for a powered chair but all of the hotel corridors and lift were spacious enough for a larger wheelchair to enter also.
There are lots of lovely touches throughout the hotel where you could really see that the staff had thought about their clientele. There was a display of locally produced food, gifts and crafts that you could purchase if you wanted a thoughtful gift for others or a great souvenir from your trip to York. The use of space was ideal in these shared areas as there were plenty of seated areas if you were waiting by Reception for friends or just wanted a cosy area to read the newspaper. The design was also ideal for a wheelchair user as I could access each of these spaces freely and didn’t have to move any chairs or furniture to wheel around.
We entered the lift easily and ascended to the second floor where our room was located. The lift had enough room for a powered chair to easily enter but you would struggle to fully turn around inside the lift unless you had the whole space to yourself. Luckily, my WHILL has omniwheels that allow really tight turning circles so I did actually manage the 180 degree turn to face towards the doors so I could wheel out of the lift forwards into the corridor. Our room was absolutely spectacular! The decorations were quirky and fun whilst also retaining the vintage, sophisticated feel that the hotel and York itself give. I loved the assorted photo frames above the bed-frame and the letter Y in a prominent, central position as the initial of York. I feel the space would be perfect for a couples getaway or to wow your work colleagues as a corporate hotel booking. The bed was very comfy and I could access both sides of it with my wheelchair. There was a pouffe/ footrest at the base of the bed that we had to move as I couldn’t wheel through the space between this and the bed. However, Richard easily moved this out of the way so it wasn’t really a problem. I think the thick-pile rug to the righthand side of the bed would be hard to self-propel through if you are a manual wheelchair user but if you are strong then this wouldn’t be a problem also or you could lift it perhaps. The red emergency pull-cord in the bedroom did reach the floor so could be accessed easily in the event of a fall so this was a massive positive. The room and decor really did have the ‘wow factor’ and the style was a perfect balance between the classic and the contemporary. Plus, I would give a massive ten out of ten for bed comfiness!
Aside from the decorative items in the room, there were also some great functional areas also. There was an iphone docking port in the alarm clock and a large TV screen mounted on the wall. I thought that there were some great thoughtful touches in the room also such as a small carton of fresh milk to use in tea and coffee in the small room fridge. The hot chocolate sachets, tea and coffee in the hot drink making area were also perfect for warming us up after our wintery walks around York! I am very much a sweet-tooth myself so I also appreciated the gourmet biscuits and chocolate that were provided in the room. The decorations were also highly personalised for the local area such as lampshades listing all of the historic businesses at each street number of the Walmgate road that the hotel is located on. A really innovative and unique idea! We also loved the ‘Welcome to Hotel Indigo York’ message written on the mirror and the local York guidebook. There were more leaflets on display near to Reception and the front desk staff were really helpful so I’m sure they would be happy to tell you about local attractions and things to do!
Another great feature of the Hotel Indigo accessible room that we stayed in was the wet room bathroom. There were two red alert pull cords; one by the toilet and one in the shower and both of these reached the floor so could be easily accessed if you had a fall in the bathroom so this was brilliant. The toilet was surrounded with adequate grab rails so I could easily transfer and the sanitary bin was within easy reach of the toilet. The shower was really warm and powerful – very relaxing after a day walking/ wheeling around York! I liked that there was a shower seat if you needed to use one but that it folded up against the wall if you didn’t have additional mobility requirements or if your able-bodied carer/ partner/ friend was using it. There were high-quality complimentary shower products from a Yorkshire skincare company which was a lovely touch. The sink was at the perfect height for me to use it when seated in my WHILL C but I found the mirror slightly high unless I was standing but there was a pull-out shaving mirror that I could easily angle to my seated position.
We changed our outfits ready to go out to the York Minster Carol Service (and wrapped up warm ready for the wintery night!!). Upon exiting the room, I found the corridors were perfectly wide enough for a wheelchair user to wheel down. The only slight problem we had with corridor width was when the cleaning staff were servicing the rooms in the morning that the cleaning trolley made the space slightly tight to wheel down. However, it was still easy to manoeuvre around the trolley in my very responsive WHILL C and I’m sure the cleaning staff would have moved the trolley if they were in sight at the time as all the staff I encountered at Hotel Indigo were really friendly and helpful!
After attending the very festive service at York Minster and going out for evening dinner (a post on this will be up later this week), Richard and I had a wonderful night of sleep in the comfy bed. The breakfast in the morning was served in the same space that houses the No88 Walmgate restaurant that is open from midday until 10pm serving traditional Yorkshire dishes but also innovative dishes with culinary flair. This dining area is large and well-lit; extra sparkle was also added with the festive decorations on display. We were showed to our table and found that I could easily access all areas of the dining area easily, including both sides of the large buffet-style breakfast table in the centre of the space. There were a variety of different table number sizes for different groups and the restaurant area was being cleaned regularly by the waiting staff. The modern decor and light, airy space all added to the leisurely feeling of a city breakfast (plus I loved that breakfast ran until 10.30am so I could have a lie-in!).
The food was so tasty and you could definitely tell that Hotel Indigo had used fresh, high-quality ingredients. There was a continental breakfast buffet that was self-service and you could also order a hot food dish off of the breakfast menu. There was such a huge selection on the large table at the centre of the dining area and food was kept fresh and replenished regularly.
The continental buffet had such a huge variety of options to choose from; there were cheeses, cold meat cuts, pastries, muffins, fruits, yoghurts, nuts and cereals to choose from. There was also a section that were specifically gluten-free for guests with coeliacs or intolerances to gluten. The range of food was amazing; there would certainly be something be something for everyone to choose! I also liked the presentation on a long, central table with small chalk board signs showing clearly what each food item was! Alongside the continental food, you could help yourself to multiple fruit juices and even squeeze your own oranges! The waiting staff brought hot drinks like pots of tea and coffee to your table when you ordered your hot breakfast and they were always around if you wanted your hot drinks replenishing. I took so many photos of the lovely food on the central table that I struggled to choose which to share with you! Enjoy the culinary beauty of the continental breakfast selection!
The hot breakfast menu included lots of different options so, again, there would definitely be something to please everyone! I was so pleased to see pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon on the menu and these were delicious. You got three large pancakes with perfectly crisped bacon laid on top; the perfect start to my day! Richard had the Yorkshire breakfast with black pudding and a poached egg. He said the sausage and bacon were clearly high-quality meat and the whole breakfast was very tasty. Honestly, between the massive continental buffet and the hot breakfast selection, we were both so full that we couldn’t have possibly eaten any more! We definitely left happy and fuelled up for our day around York ahead!
There was also a spacious disabled toilet within a short distance of the dining area. This was clearly signed on the door and didn’t need a RADAR key for you to enter. This was very clean and contained plentiful grab handles for help with transferring. The bins were within easy reach of the toilet and the tiled floor was very smooth for wheeling around on. I used my WHILL Model C during my York trip so I could easily spin around in this space as the turning circle for this wheelchair is handily really tight so I can spin around easily, however, you would have no problem turning and moving around in this large space even if you have a larger chair than my WHILL.
A really helpful factor was that you can also leave any baggage you have at the hotel while you go around York on the day you check out! There is a great level of security here as you are given luggage labels which are attached to your bags and you are given a stub to take away with you. Upon returning to the hotel, you give this stub to the staff at the front desk and they collect your luggage and bring it to you. This gives an extra layer of security as hotel guests aren’t allowed to enter the luggage room so theft might be reduced here. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Overall, Richard and I really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Indigo! We found the room well-designed with modern and classic touches and the bed was really comfy. There were a few layout details I would have changed to allow greater wheelchair manoeuvrability but overall I thought the room decor was sophisticated whilst also giving a cosy feel. The breakfast was a massive selling point for this hotel as the continental breakfast seemed endless and had so many choices and varieties of food that you’ll be spoilt for choice! The hot breakfast options were equally high-quality and we enjoyed these immensely. The staff were so helpful and friendly during our stay and the hotel had some great amenities to make our stay special such as fresh milk in the room, Yorkshire-based toiletries and a luggage check-in option. Thank you to the Hotel Indigo for allowing us to come and visit their wonderful hotel! Do give them a visit if you’re ever in the area (https://www.hotelindigoyork.co.uk) and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful stay!