Where to stay in Yorkshire

Grim up north it ain't with these two stylish hotels in Yorkshire offering modern comforts and world-class cuisine.

The Feversham Arms, Helmsley

What's so special

The Feversham Arms is working hard to counteract the old clich that it's grim up north', says Ruth Jackson. This fabulous Victorian-built hotel is on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors and offers guests luxurious rooms, great food and a spa that is the best for miles around.

How they rate it

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The staff at the Feversham Arms offer guests a friendly Yorkshire welcome that helps you start to relax and enjoy your stay. The hotel is bright and comfy with a wealth of amenities including a hot tub, valet parking and a large outdoor heated pool. The bedrooms are plush and comfortable with great views. My only gripe concerns the entertainment system, which is so complicated you are given a five-minute lesson on how to work it when you arrive.

The menu

The food is traditional Yorkshire fare done to a high standard every dinner course was delicious. I would recommend pork belly with mushroom pure without a doubt, the best of its type I've ever tasted.

The cost

A three-course meal costs £45 and a double room from £105. For more information visit www.fevershamarmshotel.com or call 01439-770766.

The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill


What's so special

Frances Atkins was one of the first female chefs to be awarded a Michelin star and has hung on to it for eight years. Her restaurant in the picturesque Nidderdale valley has become a Mecca for foodies and recently featured in the BBC series The Trip, starring Steve Coogan. To add to its appeal the restaurant has several bedrooms attached, so no one need play the role of designated driver'.

How they rate it

Be in no doubt that the food is the main reason to visit the Yorke Arms, but the hotel rooms aren't exactly an afterthought. They are modern and cosy with thick duvets, large televisions and wonderfully luxurious bathrooms although the frosted glass door rather assumes you get on well with your partner.

The menu

Frances Atkins' menu has managed to charm even the fiercest of critics over the years. Giles Coren called it "almost perfect" and Jay Raynor once described the dishes as making "a virtue out of prime ingredients without being in thrall to them". I agree. The food is magnificent without being fussy. The crab and melon salad in particular was sublime.

The cost

A three-course meal costs around £65 while rooms are from £260 B&B. Find out more at www.yorke-arms.com or call 01423-755243.

What the travel writers are saying


Watch out for the hidden costs that many hotels now levy, says Jill Starley-Grainger in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "It's becoming increasingly common, especially in the US and the Caribbean, for hoteliers to add charges for all sorts of services", so make sure you don't get caught out.

One of the most popular wheezes is a seperate bill for breakfast. Worse, this is one charge that is rising fast. For example, at the Hospes' Hotel Lancaster in Paris a small buffet breakfast will set you back £33. But you can avoid being stung by getting breakfast elsewhere. "Download the free Qype app on your smartphone before you go. It uses GPS to pinpoint your location, then shows you user reviews of nearby places."

Many hotels and resorts in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean now charge a daily, compulsory resort fee' which isn't included in the upfront price. "You'll pay £10-£20 per day, even if you use none of the facilities." One of the highest fees around is £36 a day at the Caribbean's Ritz-Carlton St Thomas (pictured). Check the terms and conditions of your booking for mention of daily use fees' or service charges' and ask your travel agent before you book. If you were not informed of a fee, "kick up a fuss" as the legality of it is then questionable.

If check-in staff enquire whether you want a newspaper delivered to your room, ask about charges it's rarely free. And beware the minibar as well as being expensive, many now use remote monitoring systems. So leave it shut.