Destination Guides for areas in Yorkshire and the Humber
This is an honest review of The Judges Court Hotel. I independently booked online and paid in full for my room and am therefore under no obligation to write a review, positive or otherwise, about my stay.
At the end of March, I had the pleasure of spending 3 days in the historic city of York.
Being around 7 months pregnant at the time of the visit, staying somewhere comfortable was of upmost priority to me! I’m not a great lover of big, impersonal chain hotels, generally opting for smaller, boutique style choices with a bit of character. And so, after much research and deliberation, we booked a stay in The Judges Court Hotel.
Where is The Judges Court Hotel?
Firstly, it’s worth noting that there are 2 hotels with a similar name in York so make sure you double check which one you’re booking!
The Judges Court is tucked away off one of the main shopping streets in York. Just opposite Monsoon on Coney Street, you’ll find the hotel at the end of a narrow, dark passageway – the kind of hidden alley that York is so famous for. It’s a bit like stepping back into bygone times as you leave the hustle and bustle of the modern shopping street behind you and emerge into a concealed courtyard, coming face to face with the 4-storey Georgian townhouse that is the Judges Court Hotel.
Is The Judges Court Hotel in a Good Location?
York is a small city and it’s easy to get around everywhere on foot. That said, the location of The Judges Court Hotel is pretty damn perfect. Despite being inside the city walls and therefore in the thick of the action, it’s secluded location in its own hidden courtyard means it’s just far enough away from the noise of the town to ensure you get a peaceful nights sleep.
History of The Judges Court Hotel
Like most things in York, The Judges Court Hotel has its own fascinating story to tell.
Between 1720 and 1806, as the name would suggest, Britain’s most senior judges stayed in this Grade II listed building before they went to pass sentence on some of the most gruesome criminal cases of the time. Many of the 200 or so convicted were later hung at the Knavesmire in York. Most famously, it’s where Judge William Chapple lodged in 1739 before convicting the notorious Dick Turpin for horse stealing.
Checking into the Judges Court Hotel
The reception is a simple table set up inside the small hallway of the townhouse which appeared to be staffed at all hours. Staff were attentive enough and efficient at checking us in and out. There was little offered in the way of information about York and the local area, but then having extensively researched this before arriving, this didn’t bother us too much.
The Rooms in the Judges Court Hotel
Thankfully, this beautiful townhouse is no longer reserved for important upholders of the law and us mere mortals are able to book a stay in one of its 15 individually designed, bespoke rooms. Maintaining its Georgian character, guests can enjoy rooms decked out in deep Georgian colours, with original panelling and polished woods.
We stayed in a luxury room with a king size four poster bed (well, I did say I wanted comfort!). There are other, smaller rooms available including a deluxe king or a deluxe twin.
All rooms come decked out with a HD TV (Netflix doesn’t come included but if you have your own account, the app is available so you can log in), wifi, radio and iPod dock, tea and coffee making facilities and a mini bar.
On first impressions, our home for the next 4 nights was nothing short of impressive. The room was dominated by a modern four poster bed on one side with crisp clean Egyptian Cotton linen, and a free standing, luxuriously deep, roll top bath on the other. Wood panelling and original wall features maintained the room’s period charm.
The bathroom was hidden away behind a heavy, large door which looked a bit like a secret panel in the wall! The black and white tiled interior was clean and modern and included a spacious walk in drench shower and deliciously scented luxury Cowshed products.
I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed by the so called bar. It’s not really a bar, rather a very small seating area just opposite the reception table. The night staff will gladly make you a drink, but it’s likely to be restricted to a spirit and a mixer. Don’t be expecting fancy cocktails or craft ales on tap.
Breakfast at the Judges Court Hotel
There are no facilities on site for breakfast but if you order the night before, staff will arrange for breakfast to be delivered to your room from Bill’s restaurant just down the road. We didn’t use this facility as it gave us a good excuse to go out and try somewhere new for breakfast each day, but it’s possibly a good option if you fancy a chilled morning lounging around the hotel.
Final Thoughts on The Judges Court Hotel
Practically speaking, although on first impressions our room was the right mix of spacious, cosy and stylish, I could have done with somewhere comfortable to sit and watch the TV during our rest periods. The 4 poster bed, although comfortable to sleep in, was not the most comfortable to sit up in due to the lack of headboard. The lights in the bathroom could also do with some maintenance – they had a habit of flashing on and off on occasion. Was this due to dodgy electrics or could it have been the ghost of Dick Turpin haunting our room…..?!
My stay at The Judges Court also made me realise that having access to a lounge/bar area within a hotel is quite important to me. Yes, there were chairs in our room, but they weren’t really chairs for lounging in and the tiny ‘bar’ area is pretty much just part of the reception. It’s a good thing the bedrooms are so nice as there’s really nowhere else in the hotel to go and relax. Due to the lack of communal space, the hotel lacked any real atmosphere.
That being said, the location of The Judges Court Hotel couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s within easy walking distance of, well, pretty much everywhere you’d want to visit in York! And, like I mentioned earlier, as it’s set back from the main street, any noise from the rowdy York nightlife won’t affect your sleep.
I loved the mix of traditional and modern décor and the quirky features such as the bath tub in our bedroom and the interesting artwork on the walls. Oh, and that shower with those Cowshed products – what a dream!
Should You Book The Judges Court Hotel, York?
For a short stay in York, The Judges Court Hotel is definitely an option that should come high up on your shortlist. It’s comfortable, quirky and has bags of character, and what it lacks in atmosphere, it more than makes up for with its central location.