We stayed at The Cairn Hotel as part of my husband's office Christmas party. We had been expecting to stay at The Swan in Harrogate as we had the previous year but, unfortunately, it had been fully booked.
The Cairn is a huge hotel and, as such, is perfect for coach parties. This means that a large proportion of it's guests are elderly and, although my hubby and I are in our forties, we felt a little out of place at times.
In it's heyday it would have been a luxurious and grand place to stay but, these days, it is starting to look a little tired. Having said that it is still an impressive hotel. There are just several places where the wallpaper is starting to peel off or paintwork is very scuffed.
We arrived early as we were going to Wetherby races and were able to check in at just after 10am, which is far earlier than most hotels allow. However, we were given no information about breakfast times, or where it was served, nor were we offered a Sunday newspaper, which I didn't realise until I saw them outside several rooms next morning. Clearly a different receptionist had checked them in!
We were pleasantly surprised by our room; it was larger than average, very clean and the bed was comfortable. Some of our colleagues who were staying had complained to us that their room was cold, but we were warm enough. The only negative were the wires coming out of the bottom of the towel rail in the bathroom.
We had been due to eat out that evening, but decided to have a bar meal in the hotel instead. The food was very reasonably priced and my macaroni cheese was delicious. Ordering my husband's steak was less easy. He has a garlic allergy and the steak came with 'sauces'. I have no problem with bar staff of any nationality, but can hotels please make sure they understand English! After several minutes of trying to establish what the 'sauces' were, I decided in exasperation it was safer to opt for no sauces. I will never know what they were! What was more amusing, was the feeling of being interrogated when asking for a lemonade. "You want ice?!", "You want lemon.," I was almost too afraid to say no.
Breakfast was served (when we found it!) in a stunning room, full of pillars and lavishly decorated. Juices, cereal and fruit were self service and tea/coffee and toast were served to the table. The cooked breakfasts were served from a hot servery at one side of the room. The two servers had clearly been told to keep the queues down and virtually threw the food onto your plate. Everything was tasty and well cooked, although portions tended to be on the small side.
Although The Cairn wouldn't be my first choice of hotel to stay at in Harrogate, I wouldn't have a problem with staying there again if choice was limited. It would have been nicer to feel a little more welcome. I can't say that any member of staff we dealt with made us feel particularly welcome.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This grand, Victorian hotel boasts private gardens, a gym, and classical decor. Its traditionally furnished rooms feature private bathrooms, while Harrogate’s centre is 5 minutes’ walk away. Each room at The Cairn includes a TV, along with 24-hour room service and tea/coffee-making facilities. Some rooms offer luxurious bathrobes, wine, and chocolates. Free parking is also available as well as Free WiFi in public areas, in Superior Rooms, or in all rooms if you book direct with the hotel. The Windsor Restaurant serves a locally sourced traditional menu, with a carvery and an extensive wine list. With its classic pillars and arches, guests can relax with a drink in the bar and lounge area. Both The Royal Pump Room Museums and Betty’s Tea Rooms are a 10-minute walk away. Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate Rail Station are 15 minutes away on foot. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cairn Hotel Harrogate, Yorkshire