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Scarborough is a popular stop on the Yorkshire coast due to its stunning coastline and family friendly fun beaches, but have you ever thought of stopping here for a spa break? Scarborough is England’s oldest seaside resort, full of history and its legacy of it being a prestigious Spa lives on today.
Recently, I had the pleasure of checking into the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough, a luxurious historic property on the Yorkshire coast. Built over a century ago, it was the first purpose built hotel in the area to cater for those wanting to enjoy some rest and recuperation near the fresh sea air in Scarborough Spa.
Nowadays, it’s the perfect place to base yourself for a few days of pampering and sightseeing! Here’s all the amazing reasons why you should check in to the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough for a spa break on the Yorkshire Coast.
Scarborough is just on the gateway of the North York Moors National Park and provides breathtaking views of the Yorkshire coastline, lush nature reserves and pristine beaches.
You can get here by train by heading up to York from London and then switching trains to Scarborough on the coast. It should take around 3 hours. From York, it takes less than an hour to arrive by train. Check the National Rail page for prices and times.
If you’re driving then Scarborough is only a 90 minute drive from the city of York and 45 minutes from the neighbouring coastal town of Whitby.
How to reach the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough and parking
The Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough is perched high on the cliffs, providing a spectacular view of the Yorkshire coastline. It’s located on The Esplanade and can be found at the following address by plugging it into your SatNav or Google Maps; The Esplanade, Scarborough, YO11 2AG. I struggled a little bit to find it due to road works and the one way system but got there in the end!
The Esplanade is a one way street and there are plenty of spaces to park on the side of the road. But, these a permit holders only before 6pm. So, if you’re staying for more than one night ask the reception staff to give you a parking permit so you can park for free.
Luckily, I managed the last space in the evening so I would definitely park up during the day to find a spot. Most people past 6pm will park up knowing it’s free.
If you’re dropping people and suitcases off, there is a short stay lay-by to pull into directly outside the hotel too.
Reasons why you need to check into the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough
1. Scarborough Spa has been a resort to ‘take the waters’ for centuries
The tradition of a Spa break in Scarborough has been around for centuries, so it’s almost customary to take the waters here!
Scarborough Spa and its natural mineral waters were discovered in the 17th century by a Mrs Farrer and were thought to have medicinal properties. Similar to Bath Spa, the town gained popularity as a beautiful place to ‘take the waters’ for nobility.
By the 18th century, the town then decided to build a Spa House to sell the natural mineral water to those wanting to improve their health. Along with the establishments to ‘take the waters’, the coastline developed for tourists to enjoy and today Scarborough holds the title to be England’s oldest seaside resort.
Although there have been many Spa saloons that have been built and swept away by the sea, what we see today on the seafront is a Spa building that was constructed in 1858 by Sir Joseph Paxton. Paxton was the same architect who built Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and Crystal Palace.
The building could hold 2000 people for concerts, had a promenade, a bandstand, a colonnade of shops and galleries.
It still stands today along the prom, but when I visited it was mainly under construction! However, you can still visit the Scarborough Spa today with their theatre, Ocean Room, Promenade Lounge and the Grand Hall for concerts. There is also a bar area and café too.
So, the tradition of a Spa break in Scarborough is as old as the tradition of the seaside holiday itself!
2. The Crown Spa Hotel was the first purpose built hotel in Scarborough
I love historic hotels and the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough has an interesting tale to tell.
It’s hard to imagine today that is was only around 200 years ago that the UK saw the creation of purpose built hotels. Before this, people would stay in inns or public houses for the night which are still around today too of course!
The Scarborough Spa started to gain popularity in the 19th Century and there was a new rail link between York and Scarborough that was laid down in 1841. John Gibson, who was responsible for the creation of the Spa House on the seafront, had a vision and started to lay the foundations for a hotel.
John Fairgray Sharpin in 1845 decided to visit Scarborough and was taken by the town. He decided to take on Gibson’s plans and proceed with the first purpose built hotel in Scarborough to cater for tourists visiting the area. This hotel ended up being not only the first purpose built hotel for Scarborough, but one of the first in the whole world!
Originally named the Crown Hotel, It opened its doors to the public in 1845. It proved to be extremely popular with extensions being required to cater for all the guests.
Throughout the years it has changed styles and ownership, but now still remains the only four star hotel on the Yorkshire coast with a modern style and finish.
3. It’s the only four star hotel on the Yorkshire Coast
During the 1990’s the hotel switched hands many time and unfortunately lost its four star status. Eventually, it was put up for sale in 1999.
In the year 2000, the Crown Hotel was purchased for just over £2 million by the Frank family, who had a long heritage in Scarborough. It was renamed to the Crown Spa Hotel and with it came new amenities including a pool, sauna and gym.
It had huge renovation works made from investors and a new restaurant ‘Taste’ was added to the hotel too. In 2008, the Crown Spa Hotel once again was rewarded its four star status and remains the only four star hotel situated on the Yorkshire Coast. You really feel the luxury when you walk through its doors!
The Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough now has 116 bedrooms and a penthouse floor with 24 suites. Guest can enjoy the spa and gym facilities, including the Taste restaurant and bar area.
4. The Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough is high on the cliffside with an EPIC view
I loved the fact that the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough was so high above the town on the Esplanade.
The height provides the most breathtaking panoramic views of the resort. You can see the Grand Hotel, Scarborough castle, the Yorkshire coastline with boats pulling into harbour and an endless horizon over the sea!
When I checked into my room I couldn’t believe my luck. The sea views from my window were outstanding and I could see everything without leaving the comfort of my room.
I even made a friend with a seagull who was curious to meet me too!
My bedroom was really cosy and was nice and warm for a windy day in April. The bed was soft and I couldn’t wait to jump on and chill out for a while.
So, I got wrapped up in my new robe and enjoyed a yummy coffee with boozy chocolate truffles, compliments of the Crown Spa Hotel while reading some magazines! It was such a lovely way to see the coast and relax.
Waking up to these views in the morning was a serious pinch me moment! Seeing the sunrise and hearing the crashing of the waves was paradise.
5. It has it’s own spa facilities and treatments to enjoy
As the name suggests the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough is perfect for a spa break. In fact, they have their own spa break rates which you can check out here that include a bottle of wine, afternoon teas and massage treatments.
If you don’t fancy that, the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough has it’s own spa facilities that guests can enjoy complimentary at their leisure and a variety of spa treatments on offer should you fancy treating yourself to a pamper too! Treatments start from £32.50.
The Aqua and Retreat Suite are must visit areas when staying here. You can float in their renaissance style pool or get cosy in the hot tub with water jets. Then, you can take a spa cycle through their sauna and steam rooms, give yourself a foot bath or relax in their wellness area for a while.
The team are on hand with a variety of services including body massages, facials, Mud Rasul, body wraps and salt scrubs to help you relax and rejuvenate.
6. You can enjoy a yummy full English breakfast to start your day well
After a relaxing day at the spa and an amazing sleep, I was eager to start my day in the right way with a filling breakfast for a day of exploring Scarborough.
I was tempted to take their breakfast in the room offer as I loved my little retreat but, personally, I like to head down to the breakfast area in the mornings to eat. If you did want to do this, you simply have to tick what you want on their menu leaflet and leave it outside the door before 2am!
The breakfast area downstairs was so light and airy and looked beautiful with the sunlight. I was treated to some piping hot coffee in a caffetiere and when I was ready I headed to the breakfast bar.
Here they had the continental breakfast items that included, toast, yoghurts, juices, fresh fruits, cereals, pastries and so much more! I was also really impressed with their gluten free cereal options too.
Then when I got back to my table, I ordered a full English breakfast! It was hot, super scrumptious and really filling with bacon, sausage, beans, egg, mushrooms and all the trimmings!
7. The Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough is centrally located to enjoy all the local attractions
It is so tempting to stay in the hotel but if you did want to escape for the day there are so many delights to enjoy on a day out in Scarborough.
I’ve written a whole guide of things to get up to in Scarborough which you can find here.
You can head down to the Scarborough Spa to see the heritage along the coast and pop into the Spa Theatre with its many cafés and sun terraces.
The seafront provides an incredible walk alongside the beach with it’s harbourside, where you can take a boat ride on the Hispaniola, a pirate ship!
Here you can also get gram worthy unicorn ice creams from the Holy Cow, the best Fish ’n’ Chips in Britain from the award winning Papa’s, play the penny arcades, dip your feet in the sea and much more.
If it’s history you’re after you can visit Scarborough Castle that was originally built in the 12th century, pay respects at Anne Brontes grave or stroll around Peasholm Park, open since 1912, which is an oriental garden based on the Willow Tea Sets. The Rotunda Museum owns the first geological map ever created or take the Victorian cliffside funiculars from the Central Tramway to explore the town centre.
Whatever you decide to do, it will be an incredible day out and the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough is the perfect place to base yourself or rest after a long day out by the sea.
With thanks to the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough for hosting my stay. Although I was a guest, all photos and opinions are entirely my own.