How a tired B&B in York has been transformed into luxury boutique hotel in York's Holgate area in a £2m renovation

Developer Nick Bradley has turned a tired B&B into a luxury boutique hotel melding traditional features and contemporary design with a nod to the heritage of the city’s Holgate area. Catherine Scott reports.

When Nick Bradley bought an old B&B in the Holgate area of York he had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve. “My vision was to create a beautifully designed, welcoming hotel that provides a relaxing haven for guests to unwind and feel at home,” he says.

“We aspire to make responsible and sustainable choices for the long-term benefit of our guests, our people, our local communities and the environment. I want the local residents to come in and have coffee in the breakfast room or hold a meeting in the private dining room if they want – i really want the New Holgate to be part of the community.”

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Bradley bought the three-star hotel, which had originally been a pair of Grade II-listed Victorian town houses, in 2022 and set about a £2m renovation and redesign to create the New Holgate which opened last November.

The Whiskey Lounge at the New Holgate in YorkThe Whiskey Lounge at the New Holgate in York
The Whiskey Lounge at the New Holgate in York

The eight-month project saw the 15 bedrooms reduced to 12 all ensuite and the entire building rewired.

Arranged over four floors, the hotel now comprises 12 individually designed bedrooms including double, king and luxury family suites, with all the ground-floor rooms being dog-friendly.

With sustainability being one of the key aspects of the hotel’s vision, many of the original features have been carefully restored and measures have been taken to help reduce its carbon footprint including installing on-site electric vehicle chargers for guests to use during their stay.

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“Once we started to pull out all the 20-year-old stuff from inside we found some stunning original features from ceiling roses to wood panelling that had been hidden,” says Bradley.

Breakfast room at the New Holgate YorkBreakfast room at the New Holgate York
Breakfast room at the New Holgate York

"I really wanted to restore these original features and yet combine that with the industrial heritage of the Holgate area as the houses were originally built for staff from the railway. As a result, the renovation took a little longer than we had hoped.”

The concept of New Holgate’s design marries together “heritage town house and high-energy industrial” inspired by the history of the building and Holgate itself. With nods to York’s industrial heritage and nearby Holgate Bridge, which was built in 1911, locational elements such as iron inspired fixtures and artwork have been woven with vibrant colours throughout the hotel, from the entranceway to the suites themselves.

Curated with style, comfort and relaxation in mind, the bedroom suites include luxurious Hypnos beds with plush headboards paired with cool-toned soft furnishings. Embellishments of fringing and fancies including statement lighting, luxurious throws and individual seating are woven throughout the suites to create a true home away from home for all guests to enjoy.

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A rich colour palette of dark blue, greens and mustard is balanced with the light walls and wooden furnishings, creating the perfect mixture of masculine and feminine styles.

Double suite in the New Holgate YorkDouble suite in the New Holgate York
Double suite in the New Holgate York

Bradley roughly knew what he wanted for the interiors of the New Holgate and employed Zoe Wheatley, co-founder and director at Studio Two Interiors, to make his vision a reality.

“Zoe took my concept and took it to another level. I knew I wanted navy blue because its my favorite colour, but she said to have chairs in the whiskey lounge that colour would be too dark so she went with green which is so much better.”

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The whisky lounge was created in homage to Bradley’s grandfather Ted who was a keen dram drinker. “When he died I was asked if there was anything I wanted and so I took a bottle of his whisky which I still have 40 years on.”

New Holgate hotel in YorkNew Holgate hotel in York
New Holgate hotel in York

Bradley plans to launch a residents club next month for members of the the local community who will have exclusive access to the lounge and offers. “We are already working with Filey Bay and hope to have all the Yorkshire distillers represented.”

Paying homage to the site’s history, the building’s original features have been preserved throughout the suites, with ornate ceiling roses and restored covings highlighting the building’s historic beauty.

The quirky interiors of the hotel are carried throughout its entertainment areas which include a breakfast room, bar, as well as the whisky lounge and boardroom. At the moment the Old Holgate just serves breakfast but there are plans to introduce an all day brunch menu and in the summer an evening menu of boards of Yorkshire meats, cheese and breads. Constructed in 1846, the building dates back to the Victorian era of industrial progress and railway expansion, when York was put firmly on the map with the arrival of the first direct trains from London.

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Formerly the Holgate Bridge Hotel, named after the nearby bridge, which was erected in 1911 to carry road traffic over the railway tracks joining Holgate to the city, the building has welcomed guests for decades.

With years of experience in hospitality and real estate, and an established career as a business coach, Bradley is using his expertise and his connections from across the region to create a beautifully designed hotel that provides the best quality customer experience.

“We are passionate about working in partnership with local and regional suppliers to bring the very best of Yorkshire to our guests whilst helping reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint and supporting the regional economy,” he says.

A bedroom at the New Holgate YorkA bedroom at the New Holgate York
A bedroom at the New Holgate York

“We are thrilled to have worked with the New Holgate to design and restore the hotel,” Wheatley adds. “The design was very much inspired by York’s rich industrial history, so we are pleased to be able to celebrate the city’s heritage whilst taking the hotel to a new modernised level. We look forward to seeing the hotel continue to flourish.”

Overnight stays range from £200-£300 and can be booked directly on New Holgate’s website,