We have recently completed our refurbishment (ignore Google street view, the scaffold is down) and it's brilliant! The Acer B&B looks romantic, absolutely gorgeous, as well as being spotlessly clean and extremely comfortable. Luxurious silks, sturdy pale oak, state of the art televisions and beautiful new lighting. Combine all of this with a nod to Charles Rennie Makintosh, Hercule Poirot, the first 30 years in the life of 52 Scarcroft Hill (1900 to 1930), the golden age of rail travel, seduction courtesy of Jack Vetriano, and The Acer has been transformed into a contemporary guest house.
There are currenly circa 274 independent, genuine reviews about The Acer Guest House on TripAdvisor (every one with a response from Karen). The reviews are glowing and getting ever more complimentary after the recent redecoration of the B&B (especially for the fabulously romantic four poster room).
This multi award winning (notably for breakfast), 4 star, Silver Accolade B&B with readily available free parking, free cycle storage and free WiFi is run by proprietor Karen Allen. Karen, who has over 28 years experience of working in the hospitality industry, offers professional, discrete, unobtrusive and friendly service in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
Stay with Karen in the peace and quiet of a residential street, only minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the city with it's many excellent bars, pubs and restaurants. Book a table at Melton's www.meltonsrestaurant.co.uk, one of York's top fine dining restaurants, and stroll a few blocks home to The Acer guest house afterwards. Alternatively try dinner in the bistro at the stylish, boutique Hotel Du Vin www.hotelduvin.com (look out for their excellent special offers in their bar and Bistro) and be back at The Acer B&B in a matter of moments. Should Italian be your food of choice go to one of Karen's favourites Delrio's ; it's well worth braving the trip down into the basement!
The Racecourse is only 10 minutes walk from the B&B.
Christmas: Stuck for a gift idea? How about an Acer Gift Certificate? The Certificate can be redeemed whenever it suits the recipient (subject to availability at the B&B) and, when purchased, is valid for a minimum of one year. Ideal as a wedding gift for the couple who already have enough toast racks.
"MINI MOON" PACKAGE: Do you need to take a short rest after all those months of wedding planning? The wedding was fun but the two of you are in need of some peace and quiet in order to recuperate? If the thought of airports and flights is too much for you to contemplate right now book our "Mini Moon" package. (Alternatively book it to celibrate an anniversary and I will swap the juice, fruit and water for a bottle of wine).
- Mini moon package. £195 for a two night stay (Sunday to Thursday) in our luxurious four poster en suite room. The package includes breakfast (served in the privacy of your bedroom if desired), a bottle of chilled champagne (to celebrate), fresh orange juice on arrival (to start the detox), a bowl of fresh fruit (vitamins and minerals to help restore vitality) and plenty of bottled mineral water (for rehydration).
York is well served by public transport, we have free cycle storage or we have free parking at The Acer Guest House. Guests are given keys so that they may come and go as they please (although you are very welcome to stay in the room around the clock). We are ideally located for a "Mini Moon" on a quiet, peaceful, residential street only 10 minutes walk from the city with it's vibrant bar and cafe culture and visitor attractions.
"INSIDER TIPS" updated December 3rd.
Want to stay somewhere recently refurbished? The Acer has just been fully redecorated...it's fantastic if I say so myself!
- December 14th and 15th; The Festival of Angels. This is worth seeing. Ice sculpture in the streets, al fresco dining, hot mulled wine and street entertainment.
- National Railway Museum during December join Santa delivering letters on his steam train.
- Ice factor at the Designer Outlet. Come on down all you budding Torvil & Deans!
- Castle Museum in December. Become an elf, pack the toys and slide down a chimney (don't get soot in your beard).
- Drop into Narnia and visit the Lion and the Witch through the Wardrobe at the Rockplex Centre.
- Snooker at The Barbican until December 8th (less than a mile from The Acer Guest House).
- This neighbourhood made number 9 in the top ten places in the U.K to live. Come for a visit and see why. (Harrogate made number 1; only 17 mies from The Acer Guest House).
- Going to a conference? On a budget? Need a free parking space? Prefer a great (Award Winning) breakfast to a "corporate" breakfast? Stay at The Acer (if you are by yourself ask for the single occupancy rate); within easy walking distance of The Marriott, Park Inn, the Royal York, the Racecourse Grandstand and several other conference venues.
- Terry Deary's " Plague, Poverty and Prayer" at the Barley Hall. Ask your kids who he is and then take them along to see this exhibition which is a 15 minute walk from The Acer bnb.
- Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7.30pm: Musket and Muslin. The Siege of York during the Civil War - 01904 416244. Starts at Clifford's Tower, 0.75 of a mile from The Acer guest house.
- Want to stay near The Mount School? The Acer Guest House is a 5 minute stroll away
- The University is 3 miles by car from The Acer Guest House and the number 4 bus takes you there from the end of the street. it's only a 2 mile walk.
- Castle Howard, of Brideshead Revisited fame, is a 30 minute drive from The Acer. Alternatively, catch the bus at 11am from Piccaddilly and catch it back at 4.50pm. Or, take the train to Malton and do the final 6 miles by taxi.
- Whitby is a 1 hour 15 minute drive from The Acer across the dramatic landscape of the North Yorks Moors. If you'd like to visit an historic seaside harbour, with an Abbey made famous by Bram Stoker in Dracula, but don't fancy staying where the seagulls are very noisy...make it a day trip from York.
- Book your tickets for The Jorvik Viking Museum on line and avoid the queues. Only buy the joint ticket for the sister museum DIG if your children are with you and they are of primary school age.
- Sightseeing tours by bike, call 01904 720003.
- Our new cycle racks have been installed. Secure back yard, hose pipe and bike racks...what more could you cyclists want? (Padded Shorts?)
- York's new Chocolate Museum opened in 2012. York was home to Terry's and Rowntree's and on certain days you can still get the aroma of chocolate all over the city from Nestle (especially in A&E! - that's E.R to our North American guests.). Celebrate 50 years of Toffee Crisp in 2013. Combine a visit to the museum with a guided walk, Yorkwalk, around the city's chocolate hotspots...free samples.
- Can we Brits make it three wins in a row? July 5th and 6th 2014 The Tour de France comes to Yorkshire. The stage starts on the 6th in York, come and support Sir Bradley. It's going to be fantastic and you will need to book early. Make a 5 day reservation at The Acer BandB, for dates including the race weekend, and receive a 5% discount. You are welcome to bring your bike to stay too parked in our bike racks behind two locked gates (with 24 hour access to it for you).
- The Grand Depart 2014 is The Yorkshire Grand Depart! Fact of the day: 5,000 hotel rooms required each night just for the media and teams.
- National Trust members; the Terry (chocolate orange) family home, Goddard's, on Tadcaster Road is open for visitors. Fantastic Arts & Crafts house with amazing gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/goddards.
- Rowntree's Park is a gem hidden from the tourists by the locals. It is built on land donated by the chocolate family as a memorial after the first world war. It is absolutely gorgeous with ponds, tennis courts, skateboard park, zip wire and, joy of joys, the tea rooms have been refurbished! The beautiful Arts & Crafts building housing the tea rooms (up the bank well away from the river when it floods) used to have an old, municipal, typical park caff. It's been completely revamped, looks wonderful, has had the "cappuccino and Nigella" treatment and it is well worth a visit. (Spot the "Yummy Mummies")
- The revamped York Dungeon - Buy your ticket from the Tourist Information Centre and save a lot of money.
- Best ice cream in York? Licc on Swinegate, a lovely, proper ice cream parlour, and Trinacria Sardinian Cafe on Bishopthorpe Road (try the granita!).
- For a healthy lunch try Filmore & Union on High Petergate (or, if travelling by train, from platform "9.5" on York station). The tagine of the day is excellent.
- Best chocolate? Hotel Chocolat. Look out for the half price bargains.
- Spa discount for The Acer guests at The Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa. Discounted daily rate of £15. Amazing spa in the vaults of the old railway HQ.
- Jamie's Italian now open. Amazing building and shopfit, pricey food.
- Banyan Bar and Grill recently opened. Trendy bar, excellent staff (so far!), average food.
- Yo Sushi! on Goodramgate and Cote have ventured out of London into York.
- Restaurants serving Halal meat - Kapadokya Turkish on George Hudson Street (serves alcohol), Lal Quila on Bishopthorpe Road (serves alcohol), Akbar's on George Hudson Street (serves alcohol). (Source of information is the University of York website.)
- Great pub food in the newly refurbished Rose & Crown just outside Walmgate Bar.
- The Star Inn has JUST opened under Lendal Bridge...Wow, wow, wow. This is how to cook in a restaurant.
- Restaurants the locals frequent :
Delrio's Sardinian (Italian mainly) in a basement on Micklegate. The food and service are excellent; be brave like the locals to go down those stairs into this cellar restaurant. Full of extremely cosy nooks and crannies...you will overhear and be overheard! Closed on Monday.
If you like authentic south east asian food, and you don't mind scruffy, a bit grubby and students get yourself to The Evil Eye on Stonegate. The food is fantastic, in huge portions, but slow to arrive. The best cocktails, not the best cocktail lounge, in York. Also a hot tip for Sunday Lunch.
Saffron Indian on Micklegate. Join Willie Wales, and maybe Georgie, at his (allegedly) favourite York Indian restaurant.
Noodles? Waggamamma on Goodramgate.
Thai? The Old Siam on Micklegate.
Malaysian...Ning near Clifford's Tower has the most excellent Malaysian food in an unpromising looking restaurant. Give Malaysian food a go, it's delicious. the Beef Rendang is gorgeous. As recommended by me and Tom Parker Bowles. Closed Monday.
A stunning place to eat lunch is Grey's Court behind the Treasure's House. Used in the filming of Eternal Law with Sam West (now starring in Hyde Park on Hudson) and visited by Drew Pritchard of Quest TV's Salvage Hunters. Drop down off the walls into their beautiful garden and if it's too cold to sit outside aim for a sofa in the gallery. It's like having your lunch in a stately home and the food is lovely. Now doing weddings. Be warned, the service can be appalling.
Our new kid on the block, literally on our block as it's only a few minutes walk away in our neighbourhood, Trinacria. A Sardinian cafe bar just like the one's I frequented whilst living in Italy. Now open on a Friday and Saturday evening and THE place to go during every day. Great pasta, superb ice cream and licenced too. I can't recommend this place too highly.
- Where to find the best chefs in the city?
Ate O'clock up the ginnel by Fat Face and Costa Coffee. Not too fancy and really well thought through menu. Go B4 Ate for some very good deals.
Star Inn in the City - Lendal Bridge. Newly opened and the best dinner you could have in York. (Bring a full wallet).
Melton's, 5 minutes walk from The Acer B&B where Michael cooks his socks off (worked with the Roux brothers). Not to be confused with Melton's Too. You will need to book.
Bistro at Hotel du Vin, another 5 minute walk from The Acer Guest House. Look out for their outstanding deals in the bar and restaurant. The place for celeb spotting (Glen Campbell, Lenny Henry, Aldo Zilli and Prunella Scales were our latest). A word of advice, always check your bill.
- Overseas visitors try not to regard York as simply a convenient overnight stop (which it undoubtedly is) between London and Edinburgh. York is 2 hours by train from King's Cross London and 2.5 hours by train from Edinburgh (5 hours and 4.5 hours by car respectivley). York has a lot for you to see and do...spend some time with us because "we're worth it"!.
- Never mind Bicester Retail Village come to York and visit our recently revamped Designer Outlet. Only a short road trip from the city centre, great parking, an excellent public transport service and a smart new food court. If you can't do the "Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Bicester triangle" get your discount shopping/culture fix here at York on your way north to Scotland or south to London.
- Unless you are a hardened horse race fan avoid York during the racing. It's a very popular event here and things get busy and more expensive. Next meeting: May 2014
- City Screen Cinema off Coney Street has a good, licensed cafe with fantastic views of the river and an out door terrace. Ladies, if you need to feel comfortable sitting having a drink alone this is the place to go. Try the chips with aoli.
- A Yorkshire institution not to be missed? Betty's...remember to take a full wallet to this beautiful Edwardian tea room and bakery. Tourists should make sure they get to Betty's rather than Litte Betty's for the full experience.
- My tip for restaurants in the UK...do not pay the service charge. Have the charge taken off the bill (if you ask them to remove it they legally must) and leave the tip of your choice in cash.
- Be careful when you look at internet review sites. Read the reviews by all means but any ranking system they use includes how much money the site owners (e.g. Expedia, Thomas Cook) can earn indirectly from bookings made at the establishments. If the hotelier has been allowed to post a response read that too, for a more balanced view.
- If you use internet booking sites apply the "filters" which will really help you. "Most popular" may well mean most popular with the owners of the site i.e. those establishments paying the most commission to the site owner for your booking rather than most popular with previous guests. Get internet savvy guys!
- When writing reviews on the internet only put what you would have been prepared to say direct to the face of the hotelier. If you feel the need to write the review anonymously you probably should not be writing it at all.(This is my tip for any e mail writing too).
- Parking at The Acer is plentiful and free of charge and there is never a problem getting parked here.
- Accommodation providers really, really appreciate bookings made direct rather than through the internet. Make my day, give me a call, 01904 653839, and speak direct to me...