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News release - Issued by The Principal York

The Principal York

The Principal York, formerly The Royal York Hotel, opens to guests on 1st November 2016, just outside the Roman walls that enclose the heart of one of the country’s most historic cities. The hotel has been sensitively restored by Goddard Littlefair to create a hotel that combines historic architectural detail with all the comforts of the modern day.

Originally The Station Hotel, The Principal York opened on its current site in 1878 and features an impressive Italianate façade of Scarborough brick and Tadcaster stone. Situated adjacent to York station, The Principal York can be accessed straight from the platform as well as by a short driveway to the front of the building. The hotel, once a stopover for Queen Victoria en route to Balmoral Castle, can now be reached in less than two hours by train from London’s King’s Cross Station.

The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, the hotel’s restaurant, is housed in a conservatory-style dining room, and uses regional ingredients such as salt aged rib beef and Harrogate blue cheese. Adjacent to the restaurant, the lively Chapter House Bar serves craft beers and cocktails including a wide variety of local gins and York Brewery beers. The Principal York’s elegant Garden Room, next to the main lobby and its sweeping grand staircase, is where guests can enjoy traditional British afternoon tea whilst looking out across manicured lawns to York Minster in the distance.

The guest bedrooms and suites, each decorated in a muted soft cream palette, feature polished marble bathrooms with freestanding sinks, large walk-in showers and Victorian roll-top baths by Villeroy & Boch. Accommodation at the front of the main building boasts uninterrupted views of the gothic York Minster towers, with generous double-height sash windows opening onto three acres of manicured gardens and a secluded water fountain. Quirky homely touches for guests of the hotel include the in-room Tuck Box, with complimentary fresh coffee, tea, crisps and biscuits, which can be restocked at the Corner Shop in the downstairs Lobby, located in a trunk-style leather armoire.

A paean to Victorian grandeur, architectural features that have been restored include the cantilevered ironwork stairwell that sweeps down into the lobby lounge. There are nods to the city’s rich history throughout the hotel, including antique-style cartography hanging on the walls, which maps out York’s bygone era as a Viking and Roman capital.

With a purpose built events centre, The Principal York offers ten meeting and event spaces as well as a gym and indoor pool.

Richard Mansell, General Manager of The Principal York, says: “The launch of the Principal York is an exciting time for our team and the wider York community. We are proud to have preserved and maintained the beautiful architecture and design of the building and look forward to welcoming guests into a jewel in the city’s crown.”

The Principal York
Station Road, York, North Yorkshire YO24 1AA
+44 (0)1904 653 681


For press enquiries please contact Purple:

Kate Bell -
Georgie Griffiths -
Tel: +44 (0) 207 434 7002 or +44 (0) 207 434 7084

Notes to Editors

Principal is a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom. The distinctive heritage and resulting relationship between the properties and their surroundings are the cornerstones of the Principal brand. Each of the hotels has a story to tell—of its history, its design and architecture, its quirks and characters, and its role in shaping the city and forging relationships with local partners, whether corporate or creative. From the elegant Georgian townhouses that form the core of The Principal Edinburgh George Street (formerly The George Hotel) to the clock tower that’s synonymous with The Principal Manchester (formerly The Palace Hotel) and its history as the headquarters for the Refuge Assurance Company—Principal Hotels define their cities and neighbourhoods.

The Principal portfolio also includes Principal Partners—iconic hotels that will join the brand over the course of 2017, among them The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow; The Hotel Russell in London, which is currently closed and is due to reopen next summer as The Principal London; and the former Martins Bank, which will open as The Principal Liverpool in early 2018.

The creation of Principal is a part of Starwood Capital Group’s rebranding of its portfolio of U.K. hotels under the new name of THE PRINCIPAL HOTEL COMPANY, comprising PRINCIPAL in city centres, and DE VERE—modern, country estate hotels, with mansion houses at their heart, mixing leisure with market-leading conference facilities. The De Vere brand is scheduled to launch in spring/summer 2017, following an investment of more than £50 million.

The Principal Hotel Company, which owns and operates over 40 landmark buildings across the length and breadth of the U.K, received an investment in excess of £200 million following the acquisition of Principal Hayley by a controlled affiliate of Starwood Capital Group in 2013, and the subsequent acquisition by controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group of De Vere Venues, Four Pillars, the Townhouse Collection and some individual, strategic assets.