What We Love
- A plush, five-star stay at a stately home with a royal past – includes one five-course dinnerThe fascinating heritage of this once-royal home, whose past dates back to the early 1600s
- A stroll around the market town of Knaresborough or lovely Harrogate
- Classic gourmet fare in Goldsborough Hall's traditional dining room
What To Know
- The Lascelles Suite is the real knockout; located on the top floor, it has a view of the property's Lime Walk and a sunken Jacuzzi bath planted right in front of bay windows
- Complimentary parking is available in the courtyard
- Free WiFi works well
Situated within 12 acres of private land, the historical Goldsborough Hall dates back to 1620 and was the former residence of HRH Princess Mary, Queen Elizabeth II’s aunt. Located in the bucolic countryside of North Yorkshire, this imposing stately home is appointed with traditional décor and commands beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Completely renovated to accentuate its original features, Goldsborough Hall is one of the finest stately homes in the region – it’s no wonder that it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. Also home to an AA Rosette-awarded kitchen, the culinary team at Goldsborough Hall are renowned for their exquisitely crafted cuisine. When you’re not wandering the halls of this 400-year-old country manor, you could take a drive to Harrogate, York and the bustling city of Leeds, all nearby.
How to Get There
This was our second stay at Goldsborough Hall and we have to say that our stay was perfect and there is no doubt that staying there is a best in class experience. The staff couldn't have been more welcoming and they made a positive effort to go that one step further making us feel valued and extremely comfortable. A special mention for Marius and the two ladies on reception and the amazing food!
We stayed at this hotel to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The car parking instructions emailed in advance were clear and we secured the last spot in the front car park. It is an imposing front façade and creates a very favourable first impression. The walk to reception takes you past sumptuous public rooms and, on checking in, we were very pleased to hear we had been given a complimentary upgrade. Before being taken to our room the charming receptionist gave us a tour of the downstairs which was most helpful.
‘These are such nice rooms’ said the staff member as she let us in. In a 5 star hotel you expect this but we could not summon the enthusiasm to get beyond ‘quite nice’. Checking it out later we had actually been given the room we paid for - there was no upgrade but it would be churlish to complain at the time as the gesture was a goodwill one. Incidentally, a few days before our arrival we received a message inviting us to bid in an auction for the unoccupied presidential and royal suites. I have never seen this before and was slightly uneasy about this attempt to extract extra £s. The message said, if I remember correctly, the presidential suite normally costs £380 more and the royal suite £280 more but the bidding sheet for trying for the upgrade had minimum bids of £190 and £140. Sod that. What a magnanimous gesture it would have been to offer one complimentarily to someone celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary. I must add here that I am not quibbling about the price we paid; we got a very good deal through a promotion in the Gardeners’ World magazine.
About the room. It was well maintained with no scuff marks, clean, fresh paint, and high quality bed linen although I did not find the pillows too comfortable, Moulton Brown toiletries, a hairdryer, dressing gowns, complimentary slippers, curtains and blinds made of rich fabric. I liked the fact there was a small selection of magazines in the room and though we were advised WiFi connection might be intermittent we had no problems. The carpet was clean and there was good storage space.
There were, however, too many minuses. We had reserved a room one up from basic, luxury I think it was called, but the views were far from luxurious. Out of one window a view of the trampoline and stored garden statuary, out of the other storage garages. It was just as well the windows were dirty to obscure the view! The room size was adequate and the dimensions were posted on line so I was not expecting more. In the room was a portable, yet unconnected, air conditioner. In the heatwave of the week before it would have been a real asset but, while we were there, it was unnecessary clutter.
The furniture was fine, no better, no worse. It was solid, modern and pretty characterless. There were two chairs in the room, not very comfortable, but no sofa - there was insufficient space. In the wardrobe were that real bugbear of mine, clothes hangers part of which is permanently attached to the rail. I do not steal shower heads, pillows, towels, cushions, clock radios none of which is tied down, so why do they think I’ll be smuggling out their coat hangers?
The bathroom was small and required a shower over the bath which was not ideal, especially as water seeped on to the floor. The toilet was not as clean as it should have been. Towels were good quality, soft and absorbent and, as I said earlier, the complimentary toiletries were classy. They came in those small bottles which I expect are thrown away after a guest leaves so, in the interests of minimising plastic waste, larger refillable bottles would be good. The lighting for applying make up was poor my wife said though the hairdryer got the seal of approval.
On arrival we were given two complimentary cookies, I assume made in the kitchen and presented in little bags. Two was just a little parsimonious, as was the absence of free bottled water. If you wanted that you had to get a £3 bottle from the room mini bar. I liked the fresh, free, milk in the jug but was disappointed there were only two breakfast tea bags in the room, but lots of that hippy herbal stuff. I know the teabags would have been topped up after a call to reception - it’s just they should have been more in the first place. Housekeeping needs to up its game. Another strange thing: no espresso after the evening meal, only filter coffee.
It was nice weather when we stayed so we spent much time relaxing on the hotel terrace, wandering the gardens, and making friends with the glossiest, sleekest black cat in the whole of Yorkshire. The vista was fabulous and our misgivings about the room were inconsequential because we were outside most of the time. In poor weather there was a sumptuous library and separate lounge where one could relax. Prosecco on the terrace on a summer’s evening was bliss, even if the waiter was a bit tardy in taking and delivering the order.
The evening meal was great but, on checking in, we were somewhat peremptorily told (not invited) to be in the library 30 minutes early. Part of our package was the tasting menu but, for us, the menu was just a bit too left field. It seemed like the chef was choosing quirky ingredients to be different, too different. Instead we ate in the Orangery and could not fault the cooking. It was excellent. The waiting staff were charming but my wife was not too keen on being over familiarly addressed as ‘My Dear’. Asked if she wanted sauce with her steak she asked for béarnaise, the waiter thought she wanted mayonnaise. This did not inspire confidence in training standards.
Breakfast did not match the standard of dinner. Not able to bring herself to use the childish phrase ‘eggy bread’ as cited on the menu, my wife asked for French toast. This sent the sweet young waiter into a spin of bewilderment who was baffled by the request. She had to capitulate and asked for eggy bread. “Excellent,” said the waiter, “so you want French toast and eggy bread?” Oh dear. I had full English. It was good but the eggs were over cooked and the bacon undercooked. I still enjoyed it. Eggy bread came with crispy bacon except the ‘crispy’ bit was overlooked. Waiting for an extra pot of tea I browsed the menu for errors. 9/10 as brioche and barbecue were misspelled.
Perhaps negative comments in this review are a bit picky but, in a five star hotel, standards should be exemplary across the board. Goldsborough Hall was found wanting, exemplified in their answerphone message waiting for us when we returned home. We had left a couple of items in the room and could we phone them to arrange their postage back to us. We duly phoned but it took at least two further calls from us, and they are pretty poor at returning calls promptly despite their promises, to ascertain the items left in the room were left by the guests who stayed in the room before us. So much for their housekeeping standards. We won’t be going back.
We booked directly with the hotel who matched the secret escapes deal upgrading to a deluxe room which was lovely, French doors looking out onto the raised garden lawn and a rose bed, it was lovely. Very clean, nicely furnished, lovely bathroom everything was very good quality.
We had the 5 course tasting menu on both nights of our stay, the food was divine, beautifully cooked and presented and tasted fantastic with a different menu on the second night. The grounds were lovely, herbaceous borders, lawns, woodland and specimen trees, no wonder they do garden tours!
It was a lovely treat which we thoroughly enjoyed and plan to return early next year