Tag Archives: Hostel

Group bookings at The Fort Boutique Hostel

We recently added space to The Fort Boutique Hostel by converting luxury apartments that were situated next door and turning them into accommodation perfect for larger parties.

We have been inundated with group bookings and thanks to the extra room we can now accommodate them in the new dorm rooms that not only boast the same quirky feel as the double rooms, but also provide guests with a kitchen and en-suite bathroom. We are particularly happy with the largest dorm room, which even has its own relaxation area – perfect for deciding on the day’s activity, watching TV, or simply relaxing after a day in one of the UK’s best loved cities.

If you fancy booking a dorm for a group, then please head over to our website and contact our team to not only discuss a possible discount, but also organise breakfast at Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant next door.

Of course, the extra room isn’t just for group bookings, and we are thrilled to be able to offer even more room to York’s number one hostel ensuring our guests have a memorable stay.

You may have also seen on The Fort Boutique Hostel’s Facebook page that we were featured in the Guardian’s travel supplement. Well, the reviewer loved his time with us and we can now boast a third of a page write up in a national publication with great photos!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (at Kennedy’s!)

It has been an incredibly exciting year for us here at The Fort. Not only have we seen bookings go through the roof, but we have also played host to a variety of creative visitors to York. These have included numerous journalists who were keen to venture to York and stay with us in one of our very lovely rooms (not to mention try a breakfast from Kennedy’s, next door).

In fact, if you check out the travel section in the Guardian next Saturday you will see The Fort’s latest review. We were thrilled to be chosen as a destination for a journalist from the Guardian, and will post the link as soon as it is available.

Speaking of Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant, they have just sent out a newsletter to inform all their loyal customers about their planned activity for this New Year’s Eve. Starting at 8pm, you can expect bubbly on arrival with a complimentary hog roast on the roof terrace with music from top live band, FUNKtion.  Not only will Kennedy’s bash allow you the chance to see the  New Year in with style, but you also have the option of heading over to the minster at midnight, to then return and party until 2am.

To ensure that your New Year goes off with a bang then please contact Kennedy’s to purchase your ticket (£20 each) by emailing contact@kennedysbaryork.co.uk, as they are limited in number we urge you to book asap!

Regardless of your planned activities to see in the New Year, everyone at The Fort would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Going Solo?

As we review the visitors to The Fort, we can’t help notice the number of solo travellers. Being a hostel it is to be expected that we will attract guests either travelling alone, or needing accommodation for business purposes.

We’d like to highlight the things that previous guests have stated to ensure you have a full and enjoyable experience whilst staying with. Jennifer Ryder who stayed with us in August all the way from Australia, said:

This place was lovely, really like a hotel more than anything. There aren’t any laundry facilities but the staff were more than accommodating with helping us out. You also get a discount on meals at the restaurant next door and it is close enough to absolutely everything you need. Awesome rooms and super comfy beds.

Ricardo Messano from Uruguay was thrilled with his experience earlier in the year, and a UK guest who stayed with us in July echoed this:

An amazing, well positioned hostel and fantastic as a base for sight-seeing/shopping/business trips! The lounge area is also great as it means that if funds are tight, you can easily just rustle up a ready meal or just chill out to avoid the weather! I will definitely be back later this year!

The communal area now has the added benefit of a computer hub with complimentary Wi-Fi, so you are also able to access the Internet and update your friends on your activity.

We endeavor to post the latest news and useful links on our Twitter page and also use our Facebook page to highlight the latest updates.

The Fort readies itself for the festivals

The past year has flown by, and we are only weeks away from one of our favourite of all York’s festivals: Illuminating York.

If you are unfamiliar with this particular festival of lights, then let us enlighten you on just why we love it. To begin with it is spread across the city, incorporating many of York’s finest buildings. Now in its seventh year the festival responsible for illuminating our historic treasures is set to continue its mission to enable both residents and visitors alike to look at York in a different light  – quite literally.

Using multi-coloured lights to add a contemporary twist to the illumination of buildings such as Clifford’s Tower and York Minster, we eagerly await the ingenious methods used to provide entertainment simply using different lighting techniques. Last year we were enthralled by the work of two French artists whose work was highlighted through light in real time.

The Fort was chosen as the accommodation provider for a number of the talented artists involved in last year’s festival, and we are proud to say that it has once again been chosen as a base for those who will be working their magic across the city.

If you’d like to see York in all its illuminated glory, then please feel free to head over to the city from 26-29 October. If you’re looking for accommodation at The Fort then we suggest you book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

We will be featuring our own images of the festival on Facebook along with a blog entry, so if you don’t get the chance to head over and see it you can check in with us online to see what you missed.

With the Ghost Festival (22-31 October), York Early Music Christmas Festival (30 November – 10 December), not forgetting the Festival of Angels (10-11 December), there is plenty to see and do in York over the coming months.

For further info on the Illuminating York Festival, please head over to their official website.

New delivery at The Fort

We recently decided to invest in a computer for use in The Fort’s communal area the other week, and we are thrilled to announce that it has been delivered and is being prepared for installation.

As we are so keen on shouting about The Fort online we felt it only right that you should be able to have a free access point to the internet at The Fort. Although we offer complimentary WiFi, you may not have a laptop or smartphone with you so we hope our new edition will provide you with the opportunity to access our website, designed by the very talented team at York’s digital design agency Nugenko. From the website you can find out what’s happening in York along with access to our various social media sites (including this blog!).

As soon as the computer is linked up we’ll send a tweet and put a picture on here and Facebook.

Just to note that our beautifully designed lift is currently undergoing some TLC, so if you are heading over to stay with us in the next few weeks you’ll have to bare with us. As soon as it is brought back to life we’ll let you know. (You can read the interview with Simon Gornall on how he came up with his concept for the lift’s interior by clicking here.)

The Fort extends to offer an even more luxurious experience

If you have checked out our blog before you will no doubt be aware that we listen to what our guests tell us and ultimately act on any improvements suggested; our latest development fills us with excitement, as we feel it will provide you with the ultimate hostel experience – the superior dorm room.

Ever since The Fort opened its doors last July, it has been obvious that the most popular room has, and still is, the log cabin dorm room. Now, this might seem pretty obvious, seen as we are a hostel, but we also offer some rather fabulous double rooms.  As a result of this we decided to provide another dorm room.

The latest addition to The Fort provides you with not only a luxurious finish, but your own private kitchen, bathroom and lounge. With three bunk beds, this room would be ideal for a group booking; kicking off your shoes after a day of sight seeing, you could unpack and then all chill out on the sofas with a snack prepared in the kitchen, before heading out for a night of fun in the city.

Alternatively the room provides a great base for those that aren’t travelling in a large group, enabling you to mingle in the social space, complete with complimentary Wi-Fi.

With prices from £29pppn then why not book into the dorm that offers you the ultimate boutique experience, or why not surprise your friends and book the entire dorm to for a trip to remember!

We would encourage group bookings to plan in advance, as the superior dorm is proving to be incredibly popular, so as we say here at The Fort – you try getting in!

One year on…

As we begin to prepare for The Fort’s first birthday, we look ahead with a great sense of achievement after our fantastic first year of business.

If you follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter, you will have no doubt noticed that we have been featured in some incredible articles; highlighting just how quirky our accommodation is, and ultimately the continued rise in popularity of boutique hostels.

As we endeavor to continue bringing you our latest news, we will be entertaining reviewers from various publication over the next month to ensure that you receive an unbiased opinion regarding our ‘little gem’.

We will be posting the links to the various articles via our own social media accounts, but look out for Urban Coco, Shoestring Magazine, Gr8 Life Magazine, and also Plush Magazine.

A few weeks ago we received a fantastic surprise as a television personality stayed in our ‘ocean room’ as part of her tour of the best the UK has to offer. You may not have heard of Astrid Sudarwanto, but apparently in her native country of Indonesia she is quite the star! Her photographer has promised us images of their time in York, so we will get them up on here as soon as we receive them.

On a side note, we received a comment on the blog from a reader that was keen to tell us about something we could alter (travel info) so we looked into it, and discovered that you can indeed take a more direct route from York to Manchester airport than we had mentioned. If you have any suggestions or things you’d like to see, then please feel free to leave us a comment.

Please don’t forget to check out our ‘Things to do in York‘, if you are heading on over to York soon, and please feel free to leave your own suggestions.

Reviewing your reviews

We mentioned last week that we would address the concerns raised in any of our reviews left on our booking providers website, Hostelworld.

We have done this in the past and it has proven to be a popular way of engaging with our visitors, and also ensuring that we continue to provide a unique experience.

With an 89% rating on Hostelworld, we are currently the highest rated hostel in the city of York, but that doesn’t mean that all those that stay leave without a suggestion to push our percentile even higher.

Firstly we’d like to thanks to the reviewer from the US, who stayed with us in May, who commented on our amenities, and happened to state that she wasn’t keen on the seating in the communal area. Well, this has been duly noted, and we are looking into providing bespoke furniture for the area, to maximise the space available. As for the amenities, we’d like to say that if you ask any member of staff all the essentials will be provided; including iron, hairdryer etc.

A female traveller left a review from the UK in April, and she mentioned that the bathrooms in the private rooms have a curtain, rather than a door. We can announce that this issue is being dealt with and we will update with photos as soon as possible.

We also accommodate those on business, and one Italian reviewer who joined us whilst on a work trip happened to mention the issue of lockers in the dorm room. We are currently sourcing some quirky secure storage, and we’ll have pictures as soon as we receive them.

We also have to thank all the lovely reviews left by other guests, including Ricardo Messano from Uruguay, who said that The Fort was everything he wanted to be, and that if he comes to our lovely city again, that he will be sure to book into The Fort – Thanks Ricardo!

To all those who have stayed with us over the last year, many thanks for your reviews and we look forward to seeing lots of you again. If you check out our latest coverage in the York Press, you can see that The Fort is only in its first phase of development, and that as we prepare for stage two you all have plenty to look forward to!

Keep on moving

It was recently highlighted in the Yorkshire Post (Yorkshire’s premier newspaper) that due to the proposed rail improvements across the UK, train times would be slashed.

Now particular emphasis was placed on Yorkshire (as you can imagine) with the article stating that track improvements and five more trains daily to London’s Kings Cross, the time to York from London would be cut to just over two hours.

Now we appreciate that if you are planning a jaunt through the UK, be you an international traveller or fellow Brit, getting to your destination is not always the most enjoyable experience – especially if you face delays. But with these improvements meaning that you can travel up to York, and onwards to the North of England and then on to bonnie Scotland, we couldn’t be happier that you will enjoy a more relaxing ride.

OK, we realise that these improvements may take a while to implement, but it is a start. It is also a fantastic reason to experience the city of York on you trip across the UK.

Don’t forget that if you are planning to travel to York, you can arrive here by plane, train and/or automobile (sorry, had to get that in). Trains run daily from the London, and coaches are just as frequent – the National Express service providing really pleasant ride, despite the extended journey time.

To arrive at York by plane you would need to fly to Leeds Bradford Airport, then hop on a train from Leeds to York (taking about 40 mins). Alternatively, if you flew in to Manchester then you would simply board a train at the airport and be whisked directly to York in around 1hour 45mins (with TransPennine Express).

So, with the train times set to improve and an infrastructure that already offers you a swift ride to the Medieval heart of the UK, why not make it a key destination on your journey?

Honeymoon in a hostel

Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant (next door to The Fort, and the essential venue to visit if you want gorgeous food or a fun night out) recently welcomed a wedding party.

As a reception venue, the partying to celebrate Katie and Lee’s union continued long into the night, with guests from further afield needing accommodation. Now, with one of the UK’s leading boutique hostels right next door, numerous guests booked a night with us.

You may be thinking, ‘Why would a wedding party want to sleep in a hostel?’ But if you view the images on our website, or throughout this blog, then you will see we offer more than just a dorm. The double rooms offer four star hotel standard luxuries, each with en-suite wetrooms.

We recently tweeted about people turning to boutique hostels for their honeymoon now although we haven’t had a couple on their honeymoon as of yet, we would thoroughly recommend it if you are travelling across the UK and fancy something different.

So, if you are planning your big day, don’t hesitate to contact Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant; or us here at The Fort for your accommodation needs.

Don’t forget to check us out on Twitter, as we offer tweets that will not only keep you updated about us here at The Fort, but also offer something a little quirky – just like our accommodation!

Oh, and if you have visited our blog before you may notice that it’s had a complete overhaul (along with our to do page) so now you can link straight to the options available on the website!

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