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YORK & ALBANY, LONDON - SLEEPOVER REVIEW
A night at the York & Albany is like sleeping over at a cool friend's London townhouse. Perched on a bustling corner of Regent's Park and just a two minute walk away from Camden High Street, this well known neighbourhood bar & restaurant with rooms, part of the Gordon Ramsay group of properties, is a popular meeting point for North London locals. And therein lies its charm. It's a place that makes you feel like you live in London rather than are just a visitor.
The nine bedrooms are tucked away from sight - upstairs and round the back of the outdoor courtyard. So private that unless you knew they where there you'd never know you were in a hotel. Sidestep the people waiting for a table and slip through the private door leading to reception and, before you know it, the charming host manning the check in will have whisked you and your overnight bag in to the lift and up to your den for the night.
Sounds lovely right? But of course, for us, it all comes down to whether you can get a good night's kip. We did the Kiss the Moon sleepover test on our last visit and here's what we found...
Comfort level: 8 out of 10 - We've stayed in a few of the rooms over the last year or two and each one has contained everything needed for a comfortable night's stay. We love the old style glamour - our last room (The Roundhouse) had fabric walls and tassled lampshades. All very Grace Kelly. Old wood furniture that looks like it's been well chosen from an antique fair makes a nice change from the built-in standard wardrobes and regulation desk that most hotels make do with. Beds and bedding ticked all our boxes in terms of quality and comfiness. Some of the rooms are quite small though so no room for anywhere to sit and relax and bathrooms we've seen are all quite tight on space. But for a night or two, the smaller rooms work well and if you want to stay longer there's always the penthouse which has oodles of room and its own little outdoor sitting area.
Noise level: 7.5 out of 10 - Despite being next to the park, the hotel sits on a busy Parkway junction and as most of the rooms are front facing there is some traffic noise. Not enough to keep you awake we'd say, but enough for you to know you are in the midst of a big non stop city.
Light level: 7.5 out of 10 - We love the glamorous lighting and it works in terms of being able to adjust the mood in the room. We just would have loved some curtains as well as the plush roman blinds so that none of the daylight could sneak in round the edges.
Temperature level: 8 out of 10 - Air con reliant but with windows that open so you can have a bit of fresh air if you want it. All nice and toasty when we went, despite the chill outside.
Care level: 8.5 out of 10 - Despite there only usually being one person manning the reception desk, everything works. Requests are handled with ease and the bar staff (who take charge of breakfast and room service requests) are impressive. Expect great food, good service and some nice touches in the room - from magazines to flick through to Green & Spring toiletries.
Total score: 8 ZZzzz's out of 10 - Relaxed glamour that's easy to be around. This neighbourhood favourite let's you live like a local for a night or two.
York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, London, NW1 7PS, 020 7592 1227.