Hotel Indigo, York – Hotel Review

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

By Steve Crabtree, April 2024

When you’re from Yorkshire, it doesn’t matter. A stay in York is always special.  It’s got too much to do, too much to see – and it doesn’t matter how many times you visit, you’ve never completed it, mate.

But, my wife and I had three days and two nights in Yorkshire’s capital – and for our first evening, Hotel Indigo hosted us.  And what an impression the place made.

We arrived mid-Wednesday morning, and although it’s clean and tidy from the outside, nothing about Hotel Indigo screams “YORK!”. But, we were to realise a confectionary curation during our stay here and a bit like popping candy… once you’re inside, the place bursts into life.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

“Chocolate heritage and rich history”

In reception, your eyes look around and it’s got a boutique flavour in some areas, and a simple, semi-industrious look in others.  The restaurant to your right looks clean, bright and spacious, and the small waiting area to your left is comfy, stylish and begins giving you clever and subtle nudges towards the city, starting a running theme throughout the accomodation.

Oh, and the smell of the place…if you could get addicted to sniffing hotels….

We’d come for a cultural and food-infused couple of days in the capital of Yorkshire, and Hotel Indigo was one of two hotels we’d be staying in during our trip. It’s an easy check-in, and a friendly one too at Hotel Indigo. A simple name drop, and a bag drop if you’re there a little early (grab them later when it’s time to go to your room).

We were up on the second floor, and when you come to stay here I’d suggest taking the stairs if you can. The city’s chocolate heritage and rich history are celebrated throughout Hotel Indigo with award-winning interior design by Matthews Mee. And you don’t want to miss anything that taking a few steps might have to offer.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

“Hotel Indigo adds illustration”

First impressions of the room as you walk in are great. A compact, clean space that comes in different shades of chocolate. Cream walls, with the panelling looking like chocolate squares. There are a few treats in the room here and there to welcome you as a guest as well.

You spot the bed, and it’s huge. It’s king-size. And, with quality, thick and cosy Egyptian cotton bedding, you know you’re going to enjoy getting into it at the end of the day.

There are a number of stories about York, and the Hotel Indigo adds illustration to that over the bed. The quirky array of frames and images look great from afar, but when you take time to inspect them a bit further, they very nicely champion the city’s rich heritage.  It works at making Hotel Indigo more than just your place to stay, acting almost as the opener to an educational visit. A very important nudge to York’s wonderful history. From chocolate, to gin, to the city walls and its Viking connections.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel ReviewThen there were the personal touches. We loved our greeting written to us on our mirror and the hand-written welcome card from the staff. Indigo’s customer service is incredible – and you get that from them throughout your entire stay.

With a huge, clean bathroom that comes with plenty of towels, and a huge supply of toiletries, Hotel Indigo is levels above your usual chain hotel. And to say it’s within the same pricing bracket too, it should be one of your first thoughts when you’re planning a visit to York.


My wife and I were in York as part of a larger group, and although Hotel Indigo are experimenting a little with their food offerings at the moment, we were able to arrange a lunch buffet on our arrival day that really impressed everyone.

Healthy and not-so-healthy, meat options and veggie options – with vegans taken care of too, alongside sweet treats that are naughty but nice.

I helped myself to a bit of everything.  Slices of pizza that were a cheese-fest. Wraps that were cool and fresh. Then I tried the sticky chicken wings, dips and halloumi fries…followed by cheesecakes and slices of chocolate brownie. A feast fit for all, and very tasty indeed.

But even that was outdone by our breakfast.  We’d spoken to Simon, the Hotel Manager about the food, and he’d promised me a memorable cooked breakfast. His words turned out to be true to form when we returned to the restaurant at 9am the following morning.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review


A very well-presented, clean plate gave me sourdough toast, grilled tomato, and a side of beans. Bacon perfectly cooked, the sausage too. And, hiding under the mushroom came a crispy hash brown and a gorgeous portion of black pudding.

I have to rave about the flavour-full sausage and the hash-brown. They were delightful. And it was one of the nicest slices of black pudding I’ve had as well.

My wife chose the Belgian waffle with maple syrup. It’s her indulgence for breakfast when it’s on the menu, and I class her as something of a connoisseur. So, if she tells me it was delicious, and was even nicer than it looked, then none of us can argue.

I’d say that the Hotel Indigo don’t really champion their food offerings at the moment, they concentrate on character, comfort and service.  But they do all of the above really well. And I’m including the food in that. You’ll love it when you stay here.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

“On the edge of everything”

The proximity of Hotel Indigo to the city centre is perfect. You’re within the city walls, and right on the edge of everything. Food, drink, culture and history.

We were only 10 minutes away from York Chocolate Story, where we were booked in for a tour.  If you’re a chocolate fan or a British history fan – this is a great bit of fun where you learn, get taken back to your grandma’s kitchen, get fed bits of chocolate along the way (hooray!), and get to make your own chocolate lolly.

Do you remember the Terry’s Chocolate Apple?  Did you know there was a huge rivalry of confectioners that came together and gave us the foundation for some of the best sweets we’ve ever had?  Can you decorate chocolate with bits of crushed-up Kit Kat and other bits and pieces?  This is what we were given, along with a whistle-stop demo of how luxury chocolate is made thanks to Sam, the on-site chocolatier. Well worth a visit.

We also took in The Shambles, a place we visit every time we’re in York, but never get bored of. If you’ve never been here, where have you been?

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

“Great service, great food”

For our evening meal, we hit the Fat Badger pub. This lies close to the York Grand Theatre and has a dimly lit interior, made up of various rooms and corridors. It’s very nice, and we were booked into the snug area which was nicely intimate, towards the back of the building, along the passageway from the not-as-fat-as-I-thought-he-would-be badger, who stands in a corner, giving you a warm look..!

Served with care and attention, our pre-ordered meals consisted of Pigs Head Croquette and Warm Garlic Ciabatta as our starters, and the Badger Beef Burger and Rump Steak as our mains.

The croquette was marvellous. A very worthy starter and my beef burger was thick, juicy and up there with the best of them.  My wife’s steak was requested well-done, and the chef duly obliged. No pink, but still succulent. All our food was presented nicely, and the drink options here suit all tastes.

Fat Badger does great service, great food, and in the dark chocolate cheesecake and rhubarb crumble – great desserts too. It creates a perfect ambience for friends to eat, drink and be merry together. And it’ll be on my list of must-visit pubs next time I’m in York.

Hotel Indigo York Hotel Review

“A lovely stay”

After closing, we headed back to Hotel Indigo and hit that gorgeous-looking bed I mentioned earlier.  And it was a dreamy way to end our evening.

We’d had a very good, very comfortable sleep. And we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for our next day in York after checking out.

What a lovely stay, and a lovely hotel. It’s more than your mid-range hotel, with an eclectic and trendy design that comes at a very reasonable price. If you want to be minutes away from the action in York, this is your place.

Hotel Indigo, 88-96 Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL
Tel: 01904 231333
For various rates and packages, visit


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