Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Principal Given a New Lease of Life

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Principal Given a New Lease of Life

Article excerpt

T has been seven years since my last visit to The Principal Hotel in York - back then the Royal York Hotel.

IWhile it was grand then, it's even more so now - fresh from a simply stunning multi-million pound refurbishment by its new owners.

As we know from their work in Manchester, The Principal has something of a reputation for breathing new life into historic buildings - just look at the success they've had since the takeover of The Palace Hotel on Oxford Road.

And walking in to The Principal in York the scale of the sumptuous decor in the historic 19th century building really does take your breath away.

A vision of creams and greys - the interiors are seamless, from the grand drawing room (where we enjoyed a delightful afternoon tea), up the stairs to the bedrooms with their king size beds, plush throws and Chesterfield chairs.

While our first visit here was on honeymoon, our return was with our young son George in tow, and the hotel could not have been more accommodating to our two-year-old bundle of mischief.

Naturally, George rather dictated our itinerary during our two-night stay in the historic city of York, and while we had York Passes (yorkpass.com), giving us the benefit of free and discounted entry to a number of city centre tourist attractions, we mostly enjoyed the rather simpler things in life.

For George was never more happy than running around the York Museum Gardens, darting in between the ruins of St Mary's Abbey, chasing pigeons and generally just haring down the hills, as we desperately tried to keep up.

On one of our visits to the gardens he was also ridiculously excited to see a circle of birds of prey set up outside the museum, where you could pay to hold an actual owl. We decided he was still a little young for that particular challenge, but thought it would be good to come back and do it another year.

We also enjoyed a visit to the National Railway Museum, just a short stroll along the road from the hotel, and free to enter.

There is a dazzling array of historic trains to walk along, many of which you can jump aboard to admire the interiors as well as the gleaming exteriors. …

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