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“A lovely place to stay :-)”

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York Alternative Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #155 of 195 York B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 18, 2011

I'd thoroughly recommend staying here. Don't worry about the fact that you're sharing a bathroom and that the individual rooms don't have locks. We left all of our stuff there and didn't have any problems whatsoever, and as another reviewer said the bathroom is kept spotless.

We were very pleasantly surprised by Di and Paul's guest house. As soon as we walked through the door we were made to feel very welcome, given a tour and then shown to our room which was very clean, spacious and lovely and warm!

Breakfast was amazing. Di makes her own muesli, jam and marmalade and left us feeling very satisfied after a huge, but also extremely healthy breakfast. The city centre (and station) are an easy walk, even with bags.

Choosing to stay with Di and Paul made our weekend that bit more happy and relaxing. We will be back! :-)

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ken_Justice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 19 of 19 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2011

Advantages: Reasonable price, no extra charge for singles, all diets catered for and a relaxed place to stay.

Disadvantages: Not easy to tell it's a B&B from the road and no on-suite bathrooms (didn't bother me!).

When I decided I wanted to stay in a bed and breakfast in York the first thing I did was a Google search for "York vegan B&B" because it was important to me that they'd be able to cater for my diet (there's no point paying for bed and BREAKFAST if you can't have the brekkie!).

The place that showed up regularly in the results was this one, York Alternative B&B, their website is:
http://www.yorkalternativebandb.co.uk/

After doing a bit more Googling I decided this place would be worth a try so I sent an e-mail asking if they had a room available on the nights I needed and in less than 24 hours they gave me a phone call to confirm they had. I didn't book straight away as I wanted to organise my coach/train ticket first to be sure I could actually get there for a reasonable price but they were happy to reserve the room for me for a few days.

The actual booking was really straight forward; I just phoned back then sent a deposit for £32 (the cost of one night's stay) and let them know when I'd be arriving. They sounded really friendly on the phone and checked that I knew how to get to them and that I wanted vegan breakfasts.

Using the directions and map links from their website I was able to find the place easily, taking just ten minutes to walk from the train station. However, as you can see from the photo, York Alternative Bed and Breakfast is a house that's been converted into a B&B and it's not obvious that it's a B&B as there's no sign outside and it was hard to see the house number due to the garden being a bit overgrown. I don't mind 'natural' gardens but I would've expected a house number on their gate so travellers can clearly see they're in the right place.

On arrival Di Hennell, the person who runs the B&B with help from her husband, gave me a warm greeting, an information pack, a quick tour of the place and asked if there was any specific information about the city I wanted or if I needed anything.

I was staying in the 'lizard room' (I've called it this because it was decorated with lots of lizard models, pictures etc.) which contains the two single beds. I felt there was plenty of space for two people to share this room although I was travelling alone. It had a real 'home' feeling to it (as does the rest of the B&B) with knickknacks on shelves, books to read, a TV, spare blankets, bedside lamps etc.

There was tea/coffee making facilities and soya milk was provided for me although I made more use of the filtered water as I'm not really a hot-drinks-person! As the water was just stored at room temperature it wasn't cold which didn't bother me but I know many people prefer water to be colder. There was also Original Source bathroom products (shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner) for me to use during my stay which is fantastic as they're vegan, cruelty-free and smell great!

Each visitor is given a laminated card on which to mark their choices for breakfast and asked to leave it outside their room by 10pm the day before. I really liked the sound of the cinnamon toast so I chose that for my first morning.

I was given a key to the house so that I could come and go as I pleased during the day but I wasn't given a key to my room which did make me a bit concerned about leaving my belongings there. However as the B&B only has two guest rooms and is quite small I thought that it would be too risky for other guests to steal my stuff so I put my trust in Di and her hubby, and I wasn't disappointed - my things were safe all day.

Overnight my bedroom wasn't too hot or too cold but I could've opened a window or popped an extra blanket on the bed if I'd needed to. The bed was comfortable and I had a wonderful night's sleep.

I stayed for two nights so enjoyed two breakfasts as well! I enjoyed the cinnamon toast so much on the first morning that I chose it for the second one too! Di used a homemade seeded loaf to make it and it tasted lovely (I'm now trying to recreate it to have at home!). There were also different cereals to choose from as well as toast and fruit. It was all very tasty and great not to have to worry about checking ingredients labels or asking lots of questions about what was vegan as Di had sorted it all for me.

I met Hoover the cat on my second morning (there's a whole page on their website dedicated to him!). He was really friendly but Di warned me that he can act all friendly one second and then suddenly nip. He must've liked me because I left with nip-free hands! Considering a cat is in residence, there were no noticeable cat hairs or the typical 'catty' smell you sometimes get.

The bathroom had a bath with an electric shower attached, toilet and sink, and is shared by everyone staying in the house. It was clean and airy with plenty of space for dressing and has a towel-drying rack too. I'm normally one of these people that has to ask others how to use a shower when staying with friends or family but I managed to figure out the B&B's shower easily so it must've been simple to use!

On my departure I settled my bill and handed back my door key. Di said I could use my room for a bit longer if I wanted to leave my bags there while I went for a walk before my bus was due but I declined as it was just easier to take them with me.

Overall, York Alternative B&B is a really chilled and relaxed place to stay for the ethical traveller (all the products they use are environmentally friendly, locally produced or homemade when possible, not tested on animals, fair trade and organic!) and it feels just like staying at a relatives house as there are photos, pictures, knickknacks, plants etc. all over the place. Some would say it was cluttered but I really liked it as I love looking around at what people have on display in their homes (my house is just as 'cluttered'!).

When I go back to York I definitely intend to stay here again and am going to recommend it to any of my friends/family who will be visiting York, five stars! It's an 'alternative' to all the other B&B's out there and that's definitely a good thing :)

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank InsaneStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2010

An absolutely brilliant little B+B nestled on a side street a short walk from the train station and the city centre. Perfect for those of you who want to avoid the boring same-old-chain-hotels but still have clean, comfortable accommodation. No additional supplement for single travellers also a huge bonus, considering the value for money on offer for a room. Breakfast was really great too.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled on business
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Thank ayepod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2010

Am so glad to see that this great B&B has found it's way on to Tripadvisor. I found York Alternative B&B after much searching on the internet for a reasonable priced place to stay in York. It is only 10 minutes walk from the train station. The rooms are lovely and spacious and although I was, at first, extremely worried about sharing a bathroom, there is only one other bedroom so you don't bump into anyone else. The bathroom is also kept spotless so there is absolutely no need to fret!
As others have said, the breakfast is second to none and every need and appetite is catered for.
I would also recommend Lo Spuntino for a great Italian meal just 5 minutes walk away but book early as its very small and gets incredibly busy.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jess_hellard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

This B&B (found via recommendation on tripadvisor) lived up to the reviews and to the description on their website: friendly, welcoming, comfortable. The breakfast is great, menu supplied and choices made the day before catering for a good range of organic food and special diets. The owner is very accommodating - no problems about leaving bags there both before actual check-in time and after check-out time. The bedroom was comfortable and the bathroom is large and bright with a good shower/bath. The experience was akin to staying in a friend's house.
This is not a B&B for people looking for brand-hotel type accommodation but rather for travellers who want the informal comforts of home in a good location. The city walls are a short, pleasant walk from the house, the railway station is nearby too.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled on business
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Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2009

Excellent find only ten minutes walk from the train station. Small, friendly and personal, I would happily stay here again and again. The room was spacious and warm, with facilities to keep you happy overnight. The breakfast was amazing, with a huge selection of alternatives from full English to cinnamon toast, or pancakes with bananas and maple syrup. Incredibly friendly owners made our stay a memorable one.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank BarmyScout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2007

I couldn't find this place on TripAdvisor so I had to add it! (Note that I don't have any relation to the people running the B&B).

We stayed here for one night on the way to Whitby from London. It was absolutely lovely. The place is run by a really friendly couple. The room was large, comfortable and really fun to stay in. It felt like staying at a house, not at a hotel. There was nothing homogeneous or stale about the stay.

The food in the morning was wonderful - cooked in front of your very eyes from a vast range made out of almost entirely organic ingredients. If you are vegetarian or vegan they are happy to cater. I cannot emphasise how nice the food was, and what a great start it was to the day!

This is a fantastic place, and at their very reasonable prices stay here rather than at a bland chain.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank mmerlin33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about York Alternative Bed and Breakfast

Address: 82 Scarcroft Road, York YO24 1DD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > York
Hotel Style:
Ranked #155 of 195 B&Bs / Inns in York
Number of rooms: 2

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