Yorktowne Hotel Review: Making Merry in York PA

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Yorktowne Hotel York PA - The gorgeous restored brick facade and architectural details of the Yorktowne Hotel.
The gorgeous restored brick facade and architectural details of the Yorktowne Hotel. Photo credit: Judy Antell

The writer was hosted.

The Duke of York isn’t the only way York celebrates royalty. The Royal Square District, in downtown York, Pennsylvania, is where King, Queen, Duke, and Princess Streets meet. Right around the corner is the most luxurious hotel in the area, the Yorktowne Hotel.

I spent a weekend exploring York, from outdoor adventures to foodie destinations to history and culture. I was both surprised by – and thrilled with – the hotel.

The meticulously renovated hotel, a  beacon for downtown York, opened in 1925. The original terrazzo floor, brass mail chutes, mural behind the front desk, and wood accents are some of the historic elements that were preserved.

Read More: Like Historic Hotels? Check Out Chattanooga’s Read House Hotel

Over the years, the hotel attracted celebrities and now it draws a big wedding crowd. The weekend we visited, there were three weddings spread out among the ballroom and large meeting rooms.

Yet, the staff wasn’t overwhelmed and seemed eager to help – and show off the hotel’s charms.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - Historic brass letter box in the hotel lobby.
Historic brass letter box in the hotel lobby. Photo credit: Judy Antell

Why Choose the Yorktowne Hotel

The luxury hotel, part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, features the Graham rooftop lounge where you can watch the sun set and enjoy cocktails. You also get a great view of the domes of the old York County Courthouse.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA -The view from the Graham rooftop lounge at the Yorktowne Hotel
The view from the Graham rooftop lounge at the Yorktowne Hotel. Photo credit: Judy Antell

You can even go to the rooftop in inclement weather. There is a small indoor seating area with comfy couches, and floor-to-ceiling glass so you can enjoy the view. The 14-story Yorktowne Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in York PA.

The Graham Rooftop Lounge, open to hotel guests and anyone in the York area, has a modern feel to the snacks and light bites, which include bahn mi, pizza, and soba noodles. Local craft beers are just $6 or $7, about half what a rooftop bar at a hotel in New York City would charge.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - The Davidson Lobby Bar has a good selection of bourbon
The Davidson Lobby Bar has a good selection of bourbon – plus the taxidermied pygmy goat on the top shelf. Photo credit: Judy Antell

Craft Cocktails

If you prefer your drinks at ground level, the Davidson Lobby Bar has the same interesting cocktails (elevated, but not “elevated”). Classic cocktails get a modern twist with ingredients like charred lemon, ginger-infused vodka, and house-made amaretto. There were so many other places around York to eat or drink that my husband and I didn’t do either here, but the Yorktowne certainly has great options.

One of the original occupants of the Renaissance Revival-style hotel, a stuffed pygmy goat, is mounted above the bar.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - King sized bed
King-sized bed. Photo credit: Judy Antell

Rooms at Yorktowne Hotel

My suite had a king bed in the bedroom, a bathroom with a rainfall shower, and a separate living room with a sofa bed. There was also a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and a microwave.

This room would have been great for a family. or hosting an in-room celebration, but my husband and I enjoyed spreading out with just the two of us.

SheBuysTravel Tip: If you are a Hilton Hotel gold member, you get a $10 food & drink credit, (per day, good at the bar! Or room service or the on-site restaurant) early check-in and late check-out. Plus extra points to keep your loyalty status. With Hilton offers like double points, you’ll have free rooms in no time. If you aren’t a member, join before you book. It’s free and you’ll get all the perks.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - Hilton Honors gold recognition, on the TV.
Hilton Honors gold recognition, on the TV. Photo credit: Judy Antell

Hotel Amenities

Though the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has modern amenities like free wifi and accessible guest rooms. The Yorktowne Hotel is also pet-friendly. A station by the Market Street door offers poop bags and wipes so you can clean up after your dog.

There are also connecting rooms and a concierge.

SheBuysTravel Tip: If you drive to the hotel, don’t put 48 East Market Street as your Google map destination. While that is the address of the hotel, bag drop-off and check-in are at 31 S Duke Street, so set your GPS for that address. It’s also an easier spot for bringing in a stroller or wheelchair, though the Market Street entrance is wheelchair accessible.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - The plaque designating the Yorktowne Hotel as a historic place.
The plaque designating the Yorktowne Hotel as a historic place. Photo credit: Judy Antell

The 24-hour fitness center had plenty of room, free weights, yoga mats, and cardio machines. We couldn’t adjust the air conditioning but propping open the door with a kettlebell cooled us down.

The Yorktowne Hotel had very good coffee, for free, in the lobby. If you want a more elaborate morning beverage, the Prince Street Cafe, just up Market Street, has lavender lattes and oat or pistachio milk. The Lancaster, PA location is actually on a different Prince Street.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - One of the many historical markers within walking distance of the Yorktowne Hotel.
One of the many historical markers within walking distance of the Yorktowne Hotel. York is just a short drive from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Judy Antell

Downtown York

York was the United States’ first capital city – for all of nine days. There are historical markers for the Civil War trail. And an American history museum will open in 2024 in the center of York.

Right around the hotel, the First Friday celebration each month showcases local businesses, restaurants, and art galleries. Streets are closed to traffic so you can stroll through the center of York without worrying about cars. You can also do an art crawl looking for the murals around the Royal Square District.

Yorktowne Hotel York PA - Saturday morning at York Central Market.
Saturday morning at York Central Market. Photo credit: Judy Antell

York Central Market

York Central Market, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1888. It has amazing food, from local produce to sit-down restaurants and a brewery. There are kiosks throughout with more yummy food. We had a fantastic vegan lunch from Hype. The seating area had live music playing and a great community feel.

Nature Trails Nearby

The pet-friendly Yorktowne Hotel is a short drive from Rocky Ridge Park. The wooded walking trails are an ideal place to stroll with your dog (we didn’t bring ours, but with all the outdoor dining and activities, we probably should have!). The park was getting ready for its holiday light show, a walk-through experience that opens the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through December 30th.

Read More: Best Holiday Light Displays in the Northeast

Yorktowne Hotel York PA -  Into the woods at Rocky Ridge Park.
Into the woods at Rocky Ridge Park. Photo credit: Judy Antell

We drove a Chevrolet Bolt to Pennsylvania and the Yorktowne Hotel’s garage, across Market Street had electric vehicle charging. Since many of the city center restaurants, along with the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, are within walking distance, we could let the car charge while we sampled the best of downtown York.

You can also take day trips to Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hershey, and Lancaster from York.

Judy Antell is an empty-nester mother of 3 who spends a lot of time visiting her daughters. Why don’t they live in Brooklyn? Judy and her husband love to travel, by bike, car, or plane, whether to see their kids or have friend or couple adventures, mostly centered around vegetarian food.
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