Hotel Review: Malmaison, York

The spectacular view of York Minster and the city from Sora, the new sky bar at Malmaison, York

The spectacular view of York Minster and the city from Sora, the new sky bar at Malmaison, York - Credit: Tim Winter Malmaison

A swish rooftop bar gives this new city centre hotel a stylish edge 

Where:  
Malmaison York is super handy for the York Station, just two minutes’ walk. On Rougier Street the sky-high hotel building occupies the former Aviva offices. Fair to say it isn’t what you’d call pretty, but don’t judge a book by its cover. If you’re coming by car (not great in central York), there are only a few parking spaces and you might be directed to lager car parks of which there are plenty nearby.  

Welcome: 
Step inside and you’ll clock the Mal trademarks. Sharp monochrome interiors, statement lights, sleek lines, big windows and some funky accent fabrics. 

Room time:  

The deluxe rooms at Malmaison have bold contemporary furnishings 

The deluxe rooms at Malmaison have bold contemporary furnishings - Credit: Malmaison

There are 150 of them. The look is neat, modern and a bit funky. Deluxe rooms have low slung chaise sofas, space to relax and big TVs. There’s lots of space for desk work should you need it as well as attention to detail when it comes to a hair drying area. Tick. Bathrooms are well designed with big showers and large bottles of toiletries rather than overpackaged minis.  

The wow factor:

Heaters warm the roof top bar 

Heaters warm the roof top bar - Credit: Archant KA


You’ll come here to swoon in the sky bar. Take the big golden lift up seven floors and arrive at the slick cocktail and Asian tapas bar. Occupying a huge space inside with windows looking towards York Minster and the compelling cityscape. Once you step outside the space has a very cool look and feel – beats, burners and beautiful people. Most definitely a ‘place to be seen’ city hotspot for now; when we visited (a sunny June evening), there were cocktails clinking, champagne buckets galore and happy people, all combining to give the bar a buzz. Cocktails follow through on the Asian theme, such as cherry blossom negroni while the champagne list runs from a £69 Lanson to the £395 Dom Perignon rose for when you’ve had a profitable day at the races.  

Evening views over green York 

Evening views over green York - Credit: ArchantKA


Enjoy it all from this vantage point that shows how green the city is from on high as you overlook the Museum Gardens.  
Blankets are provided to keep off any chills and at weekends and bank holidays there’s live music and DJ performances.   

Feeding time:

Asian tapas is the speciality at Sora, York

Asian tapas is the speciality at Sora, York - Credit: Tim Winter


At Sora rooftop bar the menu centres on Asian tapas with an impressive selection at different price points. If sushi and sashmini are your thing, there are deftly made good-looking platters to share as well as selections of nigri and maki sushi.  
The menu features small plates so you’re advised to go for three or four per person. The Robata grill is the star of the food show delivering a delicious Himalayan salt-aged sirloin with salsa verde and garlic crisps. We were impressed with the veggie options. The cheekily-named KFC, definitely not living up to its name - Korean fried cauliflower, was spicy, crispy and delicious. Just as good, the Robata-grill aubergine with miso caramel and whipped tofu – silky, sweet and surprising - a contender for my dish of the year to date. Miso cod and tempura prawns were just-so but the seared sesame tuna with avocado and wasabi was definitely a come-again choice.  

Margarita and mojito on the menu at Sora, York 

Margarita and mojito on the menu at Sora, York - Credit: Tim Winter


As tapas portions, they were decently sized and good value, from £3.50 (Asian slaw) to £14 for sirloin. The wine list is good – Gewürztraminer available by the glass a great choice with this type of food with its robust flavours.  

Staying:  

A room with a view at Malmaison, York

A room with a view at Malmaison, York - Credit: Malmaison


It’s all very comfy and efficient. On the ground floor you can grab and go at the in-situ Starbucks or if you’re staying for breakfast Chez Mal the offering includes continental breakfast or hots such as salmon and scrambled eggs (nice and creamy), eggs Benedict to suit, or the full English and vegie version. Very good punchy coffee.  

malmaison.com/locations/york

READ MORE: A historic walk around the city walls of York

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