We will be going to York for 2-3 days in mid March 2019 as part of a 2 week trip. I would love to have some hotel recommendations for a place that is centrally located. We will be arriving via train from Bath and won’t have a car. Also, what are your thoughts on having breakfast included with the hotel? Thank you so much.
We spent two nights in York at the Dean's Court hotel right close to the Minster. It is a Best Western but they are all independently owned, so each has its own character, not a "chain" feel. It is an easy walk to the Shambles, the walk around the wall, and other attractions in the center. We walked there from the train station with our roller bags, but if you do not wish to do that there are taxis and it is a short inexpensive ride.
We did not take the hotel breakfast because all we want is coffee or tea and oatmeal, not the "full English". We found a place that suited us for oatmeal near the shopping street.
Do not miss the train museum by the station; it is wonderful and has a lot of historic cars.
We stayed at the guesthouse '23 St. Mary's' for 2 nights and found it lovely. It is listed in the RS book. That's the name and the address--23 St. Mary's Street. It's about a 5-10 minute walk to the city center and according to Google Maps, about a 9 minute walk from the train station. Our room was a bit small, but the house and the people running it were very nice. We did have breakfast there, but I can't remember if it was optional or not.
What is your budget, and what kind of hotel are you looking for?
In the UK, a reliable chain is the Premier Inn; there's one near the center: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/north-yorkshire/york/york-city-blossom-st-south.html
At a somewhat lower price point, and somewhat lower level of room (still perfectly acceptable, at least to me, but a bit less nice and more plain) is the Travelodge. Again, there are several in York; I stayed at the one near the York Castle Museum https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/196/York-Central-hotel, which is a bit farther from the train station than their other one in town https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/422/York-Central-Micklegate-hotel
Lest you think these kinds of chains are "not authentic," note that they are where British people stay when traveling within the country. If you want to "meet locals," look no further than a Premier Inn breakfast room!
At these hotels, breakfast is not included. At Premier Inns, you can buy either a continental breakfast buffet or a full breakfast buffet. My experiences with these has been mixed, but others have had only good experiences, and feel they're a good deal.
Travelodges vary. Some will have a more extensive breakfast, but the one I stayed at offered only a boxed breakfast (similar to what they serve on a plane - very overpriced at £5). So, I just went next door to Wetherspoons, which offered a full range of breakfast options. Amusingly, for an extra £2 you could add either black pudding (blood sausage) or avocado - talk about where British food was and where it is now!
As for breakfast at the hotel, some insist on it (as in, won't stay at a place without it), some will take it if it's included in the room price but won't pay extra for it, and some decide on a case by case basis. I'm in the last group. At my hotel in Basel, Switzerland, the breakfast buffet was 25 CHF (about 25 USD) - and I just wasn't that hungry! However, at an Ibis in Dresden, Germany, the buffet was €10 (about 13 USD at the time), and was voluminous and good - worth every penny. I sometimes just get yogurt from a supermarket for my breakfast; others would not find this suitable. Some enjoy foraging for breakfast at places outside the hotel; others don't like leaving the hotel for breakfast. Etc.
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful recommendations and insights. I’d rather have breakfast optional. I don’t always want to have a full breakfast, day after day, on a long trip. It can take away from calories I can have later in the day say from a bakery or pub. I’m excited to see York.
I often sleep through breakfast, so I much prefer not having to pay for it. I especially try to avoid buffet breakfasts because if the food is good, I tend to eat too much of it, and I don't need the calories. It makes a lot of difference that I'm not a coffee drinker who needs that beverage as early as possible to get started on the day.