“In prime position on West Cliff, this hotel is eye-level with the gaunt, Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey while the busy harbour is directly below. Possibly these views are what attracted Lewis Carroll, author of the children’s classic ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, to choose to stay in this terraced house in the 19th century. Today, there’s more than a touch of fantasy about the place. Staircases, sitting rooms and hallways are lavishly decorated with vintage ephemera from gilded mirrors and birdcages to bunting and chandeliers. A bit of a clue that the bedrooms have not gone for the uncluttered, pared-down look... Each of the eight rooms is dressed like a stage-set. La Rosa is a saucy nod to the Folies Bergère; cosy Little Red is all red and green with spinning wheels, stuffed rabbits and a lavish four-poster bed; Caravan is a cosy, Gypsy-caravan affair; and the top-floor Sacré Coeur has a Parisian feel and theatrical bathroom of drapes and tassels. Dracula fans should choose Stoker; while Arabesque has a hint of the Arabian Nights.
While the clutter can mean it’s hard to find somewhere to put your suitcase, the rooms have huge charm. Breakfast arrives in a picnic basket outside your door, to eat in your room at leisure. Choose La Rosa or Stoker for those big views across the harbour, plus small stone balconies. Don’t expect TVs, but there are heaps of books dotted around. There’s also a basement ‘events’ space for gigs, films and theatrical events plus, at weekends, and daily in the summer, you can enjoy a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party afternoon tea (book ahead). It’s colourful and fun - but minimalists beware!”
Written by Helen Pickles