A unique Art Nouveau boutique hotel in York

Minutes from the heart of York city, overlooking the Knavesmire Strays, lies the Elmbank Hotel – a unique 19th-century mansion house with a rich history. A former home to York’s elite, a venue for York’s most lavish parties, a one-time gentleman’s club, and a WWII army officer billet – the Elmbank boutique hotel holds a storied past.

Redesigned in 1898 by Mackintosh contemporary, George Walton, and sympathetically refurbished in 2019, the Elmbank Hotel is also home to one of the finest and most complete Art Nouveau collections in the UK. Here, impressive stained-glass, beautiful murals, and detailed stencils meld with modern and sophisticated facilities to provide a space of style, comfort, and interest.

The Details

Built: 1862

Remodelled: 1998-1902

Listed: 1968 Grade II listed building

Refurbished: 2019

Architects: J. B. & W. Atkinson (1862) // G and A. J. Penty (1898-1902)

Artist and Designer: George Henry Walton (1898-1902)

Art Nouveau at Elmbank Hotel

Elmbank Hotel is filled with Art Nouveau treasures. Across fireplaces, murals, windows, and lighting, this ornamental, flowing, and decorative style is showcased throughout the hotel with ethereal feminine figures, florals and birds featuring heavily, along with curved edges and opulent jewel-encrusted wall patterns.

Redesigned in 1898 by George Henry Walton, an Art Nouveau pioneer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh contemporary, and fellow Glasgow School member, the Elmbank Hotel is proud to have protected and hold some of Walton’s earliest work outside of Scotland and one of the finest and most complete, surviving in the UK.

Following a multi-million pound, stylish, and sympathetic refurbishment in 2019, the Elmbank now stands as one of the UK’s finest boutique hotels – full of beauty, heritage, and interest.


A prominent image across Art Nouveau works and a once common sighting in York city, the peacock is depicted throughout the Elmbank Hotel. From our GOLEM handcrafted ceramic ensuite tiles to the Peacock bar’s walls, to our blue hallways, bespoke feather patterned carpets, lighting fixtures and more. A symbol of wealth, beauty, and rebirth – the peacock is the perfect Elmbank icon.

Wildflowers at Elmbank

York’s iconic city walls, Elmbank’s adjacent Knavesmire Grasslands and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales and countryside are some of the finest places to see wildflowers in the UK. Restored hay meadows, spaces filled with daffodils and Yorkshires iconic trails provide natural beauty amongst a historic landscape.

Elmbank celebrates this natural wealth throughout the guest experience. From its wildflower brand patterns and colour palette, to the wildflower seed paper available to all guests, allowing them to choose to add to Elmbank’s Wildflower Courtyard or take a piece of Yorkshire home with them, to the organic lines and natural motifs depicted in the Art Nouveau artwork across the hotel – wildflowers are seeded throughout the Elmbank story.