A short visit to Scarborough last week saw us staying at the new Bike & Boot hotel. The weather was shocking, stormy, grey and wet, so we were happy to spend most of our time indoors, not least because the hotel’s interiors proved to be quite an inspiration.
It’s right on the front, on Cliff Bridge Terrace, behind the Rotunda. It was a hotel before – The Mount – and had in a former life been a row of Georgian terraces, so plenty of character.
As the name suggests, the Bike & Boot is a hotel created with the great outdoors in mind. I almost wished we had a dog as they are most welcome and even have their own beds in the bedrooms (you can have a non-dog room, if you want). There are facilities for walkers, cyclists, dog owners and surfers with a “Wadobi” area in the basement with lockers, loos, washing areas, showers and secure cycle and surfboard storage. For walkers, there is a boot washing station and drying areas and a dog bath and grooming table. I didn’t venture down there as our visit was flying, but there is also a free cinema room showing films three times a day.
The brainchild of entrepreneurs Simon Kershaw and Simon Rhatigan, Bike & Boot is a great pioneering concept that could be rolled out across coast and country locations as a relaxed, classy, hip and cool leisure hotel for the 21st century. I do hope so.
It’s not too pricey with a small double room starting at £81 per night. We paid around £114 for our lovely sea-view non-dog room. The fit-out of the 65-room hotel by Malton designer Rachel McLane’s had to be completed during lockdown. Nevertheless, the design concept are details are impressive, bold and striking, packed with references to Scarborough’s heritage as Britain’s first seaside resort, and featuring all the paraphernalia of a modern seaside resort – there’s a boot sculpture at reception and a flip-flop clock in the lounge, lighting fashioned from old bike wheels and crates. All the communal areas are painted half and half in orange and deep teal blue. I really loved the picture postcard blind in the bedroom – very clever.
The bar/restaurant Bareca is lively and stylish, serving pizzas, salads pasta and grills – to be frank, it’s a bit of a haven for those who don’t much like the traditional Scarborough very British seaside atmosphere.
Parking is not bad, and there are parking spaces outside the hotel but all were filled when we arrived and we had to drive around for quite a while until one became free in the square just above the hotel (where The Grand Hotel is). But it was free with a pass from the hotel!
Perhaps best of all, the Bike & Boot is a short walk across the bridge to Scarborough Spa, which I am completely in love with. It opened in 1880 and it’s so elegant with its black and white chessboard floor and its classical columns. Absolute heaven. Empty now, of course, through lockdown. But I digress.
Anyway, we will definitely be staying again. I’d love to see more of these hotels across the country, especially in places where it’s quite hard to find somewhere cool and reasonably priced.