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Impossible Motel

5 St. Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QN England
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#49 of 52 hotels in York
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Calling all Dreamers, Romantics,Rock Stars, and the Curious at Heart …Stay Impossible! Impossible Motel could not be any closer to the city centre with its bustling, vibrant and yes, a little boisterous and rich urban street life, with buskers, performers, classical opera singers and even over-indulgent partygoers and late night revellers. Don’t worry about St. Helen’s church bells however, they do stop overnight! Impossible Motel is an adventure best taken on your own or within the company of that special someone and so it’s strictly 18+. The Motel is located in a building of elegant historic architecture, actually a former bank, but don’t worry, we took out all the money and threw ourselves a massive party. With the balance, Impossible Motel was carefully crafted and offers visitors to York the advantage of being in the heart of the action while cosseted in lovingly prepared spaces in this gorgeous grade 2 listed building. Having opened in December 2022, offering 13 fabulous zen-like accommodation spaces, intimate bathrooms, tantalizing basement rooms and secret roof top terraces with the city’s only rooftop private Jacuzzi experiences, the Motel offers a little something for every type of discerning, curious, open minded, hedonistic and ‘dare to be different’ traveller.
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43Reviews0Q+A11Room tips

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Ray J wrote a review 16 Feb
2 contributions
+1
Just spent valentines in the Sir Joseph Terry room and after reading all negative reviews online can certainly say was completely opposite for me and my partner. We arrived to a welcoming/warming reception, once showed to our room we was blown away with the room as a whole and the attention to detail was incredible, Walk out to the spacious terrace to a top of the range hot tub. Was just a perfect get away for us both and within a day of being home already on with booking another few days for my partners birthday later this year. Would highly recommend!!
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Date of stay: February 2024
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 1 week ago
Ohh Ray you big romantic you, staying on Valentines day - well done and thank you for your lovely review, we were all excited to be able to welcome you on one of the most special nights of the year. Glad you appreciated our amazing team and the carefully curated spaces in this former bank building. We know that particular room is a tad on the smaller side, but banks were not built to be converted into accommodation spaces. That aside we feel the excitement and feel of this renovation was truly and properly appreciated by you as our guests. Do let us know when you book again, we love repeat customers, this way we can pop a nice little birthday treat in the room for you. Stay amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Sandra M wrote a review 15 Feb
Glasgow, United Kingdom15 contributions5 helpful votes
We arrived at the impossible asked to smell three samples of soap once in the room the receptionist flourished on a tray in our room a chocolate square sized bit of soap which if you dropped it in the shower you would lose and talking of the shower room joke cupboard contained a shower which the tray overflowed onto the floor a toilet pan with a sink on the cistern you ever tried to brush you teeth over a toilet pan not easy and very unhealthy oh by the way the bit of soap was advertised as free toiletries what a laugh the room was very hot could not open a window. When I complained all the response I received was uh hi
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Date of stay: February 2024Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 1 week ago
Dear Sandra, Any unhappy guest is a failure for a hotel and we are sorry that in your perception we fell short of your expectations. On our website we have very candid photos showing the style of bathroom and additionally we provide the exact measurements in metric and imperial so there are no surprises for our guests. We even use wording like touchy feely, uber small, intimate to accurately describe the bathrooms of the 4 rooms out of 13 that have the smaller bathrooms as well as very accurate photos showing the set up of the bathrooms. Please note that the other 9 rooms have bigger bathrooms. You have used an online agency to book your stay with us and we provide them as much information as we are allowed which includes the size of the room including the bathroom along with some photos of the room. That agency does not separately express measurements of the bathroom which is why we provide them photos as well. All that said, I am sorry that you were not a fan of our quirky converted former bank spaces. Relating to the shower, there are exquisite White company soap and shower gel in the shower area on dispensers on the wall. The soap butler experience is a little fun and something different to the norm and is by no means an obligatory aspect of check in though almost every single guest checking in quite likes the experience. We have actually just switched over this week to rather delightful creamed soap in small tubs that guests can either use at the sink or take home a small gift. We may be one of the first hotels in the UK to do so, how exciting! Sorry this seemed such a pointless part of your stay. Like most new hotels (I recently stayed at a branded property in London where I also could not open my window) - we have oversized air-conditioning/heating units to ensure the regulation and air exchange is optimal to suit every guests personal needs. On guest check in to each room our concierges explain the AC unit and how to operate it as well as mentioning that our team are available 24 hours a day to assist with any matter, shame you did not reach out to us for assistance with regulating your in room temperature. Just like at most homes, the radiators are simply turned off at the side on a twist knob. It is hard to answer the last comment about a team member response but the team are trained to listen to customers, try to provide solutions for issues in the rare occasion they crop up, and provide empathy where necessary with aspects that are outside of our control. Sometimes it is hard for a customer service agent to react to guests based on how the information is presented as well as the tone of the presentation of a complaint however they receive constantly high praise for their positive can do attitude and they all love dealing with customers, sorry you felt that the reaction was not appropriate in this case. Not having been a party to that particular conversation it is hard to say much more on the matter other than to apologise if you felt a reaction was not apt or appropriate in this case. Despite these few niggles I do hope you will return to York and try out one of our other rooms - all the information about exact bathroom sizes, room sizes, along with clear photos are included on our website. Thank you for being a guest and we do hope to see you again, Stay Impossible! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Allan McF wrote a review Jan 2024
Falkirk, United Kingdom6 contributions
On a pre-Christmas visit to York, my partner and I decided on staying at the impossible Motel for two nights. This unfortunately turned out to be very much, the wrong decision. For the first night we were booked into the one of the subterranean rooms (£195). The alarm bells started to ring when we were handed ear plugs on arrival, when I questioned this, I was told ‘These rooms can be quite noisy’ … not quite the ‘sleep peacefully like a billionaire’ as quoted on their web site. I was told that somewhere in the small print, it mentioned that these rooms can be noisy, but I shouldn’t have to go look for this, people should be warned during the booking process. Sure enough, music booming from the club above kept us ‘fully entertained’ until well after midnight. Also, the TV had no remote in the room, which eventually (after some persuasion) was replaced by the night porter. The room itself is VERY small with no wardrobe or space to store any luggage, the open shower is nice but an open WC?. You could not spend any more than one night in this type of room as it is so small and quite claustrophobic. Admittedly, the advertising does say the rooms are small, but the web site pictures of these rooms show images of glamour that is not reflected in reality. Day two saw us move to the luxury (Sir Joseph Terry) room complete with outdoor hot tub (just under £300). Much better we thought, and it started off great although the bottle of prosecco we ordered (£40) arrived with no glasses. All was well until we arrived back to the room at around 10:30 pm to find that the power was out in the room, which meant no lights and no heating. We contacted reception and the night porter arrived and after several attempts to reset the breaker, change the key card etc. there was nothing he could do to restore the power and there was no other room we could be moved to. Therefore, we spent the rest of the evening in the dark, very cold, and very, very angry. This was scheduled to be a lovely, relaxing romantic weekend for my partner and myself and had rapidly turned into a stressful nightmare. Shivering in a cold room and showering and dressing to torch light is not the most relaxing of weekend breaks. The next morning after complaining to the staff (although it was plainly obvious that they didn’t believe a word of what we were telling them (even though the power outage witnessed by the night porter), they eventually agreed (by e mail) that £150 compensation would be paid within 10 days. After 10 days had passed, I contacted the Motel only to be told that because I had booked though Expedia, they (Expedia) would have to apply for a refund. Expedia did this only to be told that no refund would be forth coming. Expedia apologised and gave me a £50 voucher. I then got back in touch with the motel and asked them why they were reneging on their e mail stating they would refund me £150. I informed them that if this was the case, I would consider taking the matter to the small claims court. Lo and behold, the next day Expedia contacted me saying that the motel would now refund the amount they agreed to. My advice to anyone reading this far… Avoid the Impossible Motel at all costs, it’s just not worth it.
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Date of stay: December 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 1 week ago
I am so sorry that you are not a fan of our quirky, fun property with arguably one of the best locations in the city and your review deserves a full reaction to each and every point you have raised. Thank you for being a guest and apologies you feel your stay has come up short of being the amazing experience you have expected and that so many others have already had, and raved about. Just to be quite technical, we have never used the text sleep like a billionaire, I actually don’t know that that means, sleep is sleep for all of us and crosses the boundaries of wealth. In our diatribe on our site and on our confirmation letter we talk very candidly about our city centre location as well as potential along with that for some noise transfer, this gives and booker a chance to reconsider their sensibilities to the potential of some unwelcome city centre vibes. This is not small print, the information about it is clearly and openly provided on the website, which you have stated to have read, in the confirmation letter, and the second letter sent out 3 days ahead of arrival to York and the property. Guests with doubts after all this have in the past contacted us to move to another room or cancel a booking. At the end of the day it is our aim to get each guest in the room that best fits their direct needs on a stay in York. When booking and airline seat, I have never been advised by the airline there could potentially be horrible turbulence or that a car rental may get a puncture! Despite this, we do take trouble to provide as much information as possible with candour. The ear buds are a nice little touch for our much lighter sleepers and on the contrary to your own reaction, many guests have welcomed them as an option if ever needed. Mostly we find them left in the original packaging in the rooms rarely used. Since the addition of triple glazing a few weeks ago to our Blake Street rooms, we do not even offer them but still leave them in the bedroom just for guests who may not be familiar with the very gentle whisper of our uber efficient recently installed AC units. The fact that we have welcomed over 3,000 guests since opening and noise features just a few times in reviews is generally a result of neighbours being rude than the odd extra noisy street noise penetrating the building pre installation of the triple glazing. In the same welcome letter, we do state clearly that our gorgeous Pink cocktail lounge closes at midnight due to the proximity of rooms especially the basement rooms and we strictly monitor and adhere to our own rules on the closing time of the bar. Guests can always continue in another part of the building where we have other bars and away from the Motel and Cocktail bar if they so choose. We are a lively city centre property and do nothing to conceal this aspect of the property or location. My apologies that you state that there was no TV remote, as part of the room set up for each guest arrival the TV is put on by the housekeeping staff on the welcome mode and at this stage they know that the TV remote is working and present in the room so I am at a loss to explain how it was not there when you needed to use it. The rooms are by vibe black and ambient mood lit, so sometimes even obvious items are missed. I am glad this was quicky rectified as soon as we were alerted. At the risk of sounding repetitive we are very open about the size of each one of our 13 rooms with exact size of room and bathroom in metric and imperial. We have not put any photos of the wrong room with the room you stayed in these are accurate photos along with the measurements and perception of size varies from individual to individual so yes the room may be considered small by one person, adequate by another and large by the next person. Our apologies therefore if in your own perception the room was too small for you and you did not enjoy the rather gimpy and quirky open bathroom aspect so clearly shown in our photos on our website and that of our online partner sites. The style is not for everyone and this is exactly why we say it clear and show it in the photos. No glasses with your bubbly? An oversight from the front desk member of team who immediately rectified this for you with apologies. I am so sorry you have experienced issues with power in your room as you have recorded it and on my arrival to the building and immediately following your check, out I visited the room with the same key card you have been issued and it opened the door and on inserting it into the power box, everything immediately sprang to life so I can only assume that the card was inserted incorrectly. I also tried it with another card and again everything worked. The night porter has run through a standard trouble shooting checking breakers etc so I am no closer to understanding how this could hqve failed to work at night, as suggested, but work fine in the morning. On rare occasions power distribution issues in rooms are generally always experienced due to faulty equipment being plugged in a room and this is resolved by asking guests to stop using anything recently plugged in and in this case the power is restored through the in-room trip switch. Again, I can only apologize if your two nights were not as expected and we have accordingly provided you with direct apologies and a refund in answer to the many exchanges we had with you following your departure. A refund through your booking agent was authorised and passed to your agent the day of departure. That they failed to provide the refund to you and then we only found this out when you contacted us again is something outside of our control. We at no stage asked to cancel the refund already approved and this is a direct fabrication of events by the agent, I assume in an effort to conceal inefficiency in this respect. They are usually fabulous partner who we love to work with and it seems like unintentional human error can pop up anywhere in business. You assert that we only decided to offer the refund when threatened and we certainly do not make decisions based on any threat veiled or otherwise. We always base our decisions as a business on fairness and efficiency and following any required investigation to allegations made. As soon as we were alerted to the fact there was an oversight from a third party, we acted immediately to ensure the refund was made as we had requested many days before, and one made in recognition of some of your asserted shortfalls you mention. We respect all our guests and their views, and as a business we also are entitled to put perhaps a different angle on situations that happen and lay bare all sides of a situation. We were truly sorry that in your opinion we have failed you and our agreement to compensate you was based on all the things that have been claimed rather than us having deliberately set out to ruin your experience and based on your assertions not on agreement that they were all correct. Despite this, we are happy you have accepted our compensation as fair and appropriate and certainly hope to be able to welcome you as a fan not a frenemy in the future and will be happy to provide a nice upgrade and pop a little treat in your room subject to availability and knowing when you have booked. Stay Amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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emily d wrote a review Jan 2024
1 contribution
as soon as we got to impossible motel we where greeted with a warm welcome and very helpful staff. the room ended up being ready early (usually 4pm) which was a bonus, upon arrival of check in we got offered a small block of soap which we got to choose our favourite scent of (we went for rhubarb). from then on we got treated with the upmost respect, if we needed anything all of the staff where more than happy to help. the room was super cosy with a great aircon system and a large tv with all channels and the option to rent any film, even ones that have recently come out. to top our stay off we had complimentary tea/coffee and pastries in the morning! the hotel is a 5 to 10 minute walk from all the tourist attractions too which is super handy.
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Date of stay: January 2024
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jenna Barber, Guest Services / Front Office at Impossible Motel
Responded 24 Jan 2024
Good morning, Thank you for leaving us a review. Lovey to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and got a warm and friendly welcome from the team. We will pass on all your kind comments. Our location is perfect for exploring York and all the fabulous things we have to offer. We hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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allisonfincham wrote a review Jan 2024
Tamworth, United Kingdom337 contributions118 helpful votes
I really don't like writing reviews that aren't positive, but here goes; For Christmas my husband had booked an overnight stay at the Impossible Motel as we'd spotted it in an article in the Times some time ago and he had remembered that I'd said I'd love to stay there. With high hopes we set off for a weekend in York. We dropped our bag off and were warmly welcomed, they stored our bag and said they would ring us when our room was ready (which they did) though we didn't plan to return until about 4pm (check in time) anyway. So all good so far. When we went back tot he hotel, just before 4pm we were taken up to reception and given a flyer for a restaurant (Forage), even though when asked we'd said we had booked for dinner. The staff member was quite persistant and suggested we find time to visit and perhaps try brunch on Sunday (then informing us it was their sister property). Then I was asked to smell the scents under 3 cloches and to select the one I liked the most. I did and small piece of it (though I'm not sure what it was) was put onto a tray along with a bath bomb... I was very much looking forward to using that! (though I still wasn't sure what the other thing was other than it was Rhubarb and Custard). We were taken to our room and upon entering it was incredibly cold. However, being an internal room we knew this wasn't just from a window being open to air the room. Hubby asked how we warmed the room up and the staff member switched on the aircon/ heater in the bathroom and said "there you go". Now, whilst it had switched on (well the light had come on and the fan's dropped down) no air was coming out (hot or cold). Hubby went back to reception and the member of staff came back in and simply said "you have to wait for it" - it had been a few minutes by then. We asked if there was any other way to heat the room and told they could give us a radiator. Now practically I'm not sure where you would've put it (the room - the Red Room was very small with just enough room to get around the bed and to the bathroom). At this point hubby asked again what the solution was if the heater wasn't working and the staff member started raising her voice as they were getting exasperated - hubby said "don't raise your voice with me please" and they stormed out and said they'd get maintenance. Maintenance turned out to be Nick the General Manager who informed us first of all the heater was on but that it was a "whisper" unit and it would take time to feel the benefits. There was no air (whisper or otherwise) coming out of the unit so he went to change the batteries on the remote (which was working). When he came back hubby asked again what other solutions there were if this didn't come on as the room was simply too cold to stay in. At this point it started to get really uncomfortable; it honestly felt like Nick thought we were "after something" as he kept saying he was fully booked, there was nothing he could do, nobody else had issues with the temperature and most frustratingly that it WAS working and took a little time. He offered to put the underfloor heating on even though nobody else in the building had any issues with the temperature. He even said "if you don't like it I'll refund your money and you can go elsewhere". This was becoming so disheartening and to be honest at this stage I was on my phone looking for alternative arrangements, I just didn't want to be there anymore. When hubby commented that the other member of staff had raised their voice at him Nick simply said it was because they were European (that's a first, we've dealt with people from around the world in hotels and guest service is a standard the property sets, not based on an individuals origins). He also kept talking over hubby who naturally got frustrated as he wasn't being listened to. The sense of being patronised became so acute that hubby was getting quite agitated to the point where he said "we've stayed in enough hotels to know when heating/ AC isn't working, we spent 140 nights away last year on leisure alone" and it's true, we're incredibly fortunate to stay away a lot in a whole range of accommodations and we've never experienced anything like this. After about 20 minutes of not getting anywhere I had found a room at Malmaison and Nick kindly gave me the wifi details to make the booking. Even if they could rectify the issue, at this point I didn't want to stay there anymore. At this point, the heating unit decided to join us and as Nick had turned it up to level 4 20 minutes ago it made him jump when it finally kicked in. It was pumping heat out at a phenomenal rate. But the damage had been done, I just wanted out of there. Nick refunded our money and we left to stay at Malmaison where we received a lovely warm welcome and we made our way to a much bigger, more comfortable room. Now, I write this review knowing very sadly that the response will be somewhat condescending and pass/agg as I've taken a look at the responses to less favourable reviews. It's a shame as within all of this is a lesson about listening and really hearing what your guests are saying and having some empathy, rather than being defensive and assuming people are after something. We're well travelled and have dealt with issues (small and large) with hotels (big and small, from Premier Inn to pubs with rooms to 5 star hotels around the world) to resolve them quickly and without anxiety or ill felling (though thankfully this is a rare occurrence). However, this is the first time we have ever changed hotels. To me this is the very saddest thing. This was my Christmas present and somewhere I'd really looked forward to staying. footnote; all's well that ends well - this hour long blip did not ruin the weekend
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Date of stay: January 2024
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 9 Jan 2024
Thank you for your full and concise reaction on your recent experience at Impossible Motel. I am very sorry that you had this experience and your obvious upset, to the point of taking pen to paper and sharing it with the world as well as choosing to leave us and find another hotel room. I do not feel that I had a fair chance to resolve this for you on the day in question so that you would have had a lovely stay with us, as so many have done in the last year since we opened. Allow me to react to each of your points made. The reason bad reviews often take time to respond to is in ensuring all known information is in play before answering, and this often has to take into account team members rest days and third-party input – this all takes time. In this case, I was on days off and able to answer this on my return to work especially as there is no one else I need to consult in this respect and as I was the one to attend you during your visit, I have already spoken to the other lady you interacted with on the night of your visit. She has assured me she was polite with you and quickly went to get help when she thought she was not able to resolve the situation on her own. Relating to your comments on this member of staff, I have answered this below. She also asked for you to accept an apology from her if you thought she was rude, she has been in hospitality for some years and never had any intention to be misunderstood or perceived as rude in trying to resolve your issue relating to the temperature in your room. As a business manager, and as an hotelier with many years’ experience, any guests checking out of a hotel is a very disappointing and unfortunate situation and we do take each and every guest review seriously. Listening to our customers makes us a more robust, empathetic and ultimately a more successful business. It is also true that sometimes there are situations beyond customer and hoteliers control that mean a successful marriage is not always possible. Our success since opening just over a year ago is also in part to the 81% of our guests who love us but do not decide to share their wonderful experiences, always a shame for a hotel doing well with its customers. 19% of our guests however did complete reviews and out of all our guests, 0.9% (a little over 20 guest stays) said their stay was not great or that they had issues. Many of these were due to factors outside our control (like noise at street level, noisy neighbours, some maintenance related issues, heavy rain causing water ingress etc). The actual amount of guests who really experience what they say is a poor service related stay is limited to just a very few in the year from well over 2,500 guest stays. This is something we are proud of and work hard to achieve. Even one bad review still hurts and we want to achieve a level of perfection we and all our guests can be proud of. We are certainly disappointed to not be able to include you as fans of Impossible Motel and hope we may have a chance in the future to change this! This entire situation escalated quite rapidly I believe due to an element of impatience and volatility caused by your husband already feeling cold and therefore frustrated with the cool room temperature encountered (you had mentioned that he had been feeling cold all day in front of my colleague) so clearly arriving to a cool hotel room was less than stellar and we understand this may inflame an already unhappy camper. When we take a booking, we only get a name unless a client has advised us in advance of any particular needs they may have that we need to pay attention to in order to make their stay with us satisfactory. We have absolutely no way of knowing the personal temperature needs of our guests or any other specific need until they are with us. Due to heat related issues in the very early part of 2023, we bit the bullet and installed state of the art (with special ‘whisper’ mode for guest benefit) units twice the required capacity to ensure every visitor no matter their personal temperature needs could quickly and easily find that sweet spot on arriving in the room. Even with the most efficient AC/Heat unit a room will take some time to adjust to heating or cooling. In this case I felt that the unit was not going to get the chance to prove its worth and I was right due to the speed at which things happened. With you having travelled over 140 days in 2023 as mentioned during exchanges, I was quietly hopeful in my mind from that comment, that you may have been at terms with the fact that some rooms present hot, some cool and with adjustments made (just like at home) a change of environmental temperatures is achieved as quick as the equipment can react. I do not think you gave the unit a fair chance to change the room temperature in this case. Red Room was in fact the very first room to get an AC after I had personally stayed in it pre-opening myself, and realized immediately it could be a very warm room (even in the winter). We installed another AC in the room behind the bathroom so that this would also allow for that room to be able to be cooled to a temperature for comfort given that once guests run a bath or shower the temperatures would also rise. We installed under floor heating prior to opening the hotel and to date it has not been used once! The only thing used has been the AC and we mostly find that left on by the guests at around 17 – 20 in the morning and this is even in the winter. We therefore set it nice and cool for guest arrival and part of the arrival procedure is to show and explain the AC remote to each guest including the heat function. Sorry that this was not to your personal preference. In future we may set the arrival temperature a little higher in the knowledge that the room will chill quickly if required. The young lady (who is not Eastern European despite the assumption, is also an amazing member of our team) and who showed you to your room and explained the AC and room features quickly came to advise me of your temperature dissatisfaction and without any hesitation whatsoever, I came immediately to the room. I am sorry you thought she was raising her voice, she is blessed with a good pair of lungs, so I can see how she may have been misunderstood. Neither race, gender or any other factor excuses poor customer service but there are times when accents and other factors can impact how we are perceived by others. We also trust that our guests will respect us as well, especially in trying to support and rectify issues as deftly and successfully as we can. Your hubby did say I am ‘well used to these Eastern European types’ – I decided not to push or reply and to focus on getting you warm. Your husband was already a little hot under the collar – no pun intended - and still in his outdoor coat, so I wanted to address this as quickly as possible which is why I had mentioned the under floor heating and the fact that the unit was whisper unit and very powerful. Just like a car going from forward driving gears to reverse through braking and applying neutral, an AC has to switch from a cooling function to a heating function and this is not an instant result. I set the remote to 26C and I had asked for your husband to give it 5 minutes (a little more time than I knew it would take to kick in) as also I started to feel somewhat uncomfortable with the rapidly changing stance towards me which was quite terse and becoming vitriolic. I used this as a chance to leave the room to allow your husband to calm down and to remove myself from a quickly changing situation where I felt unsafe and out of an abundance of caution I felt I needed to keep myself safe in the execution of my duties. As I tried to explain things, there was several comments in quick succession from your hubby so I guess we will have to agree to disagree on who said what to whom in what tone and who was interrupting who. I have not been a successful hotelier for all these years by being rude to my guests, and I never will be. One fact is, I never changed any batteries, they did not need changing but I wanted to provide a few moments to restore the situation to where I could resolve it in a rational and calm way. I did during our conversation explain unfortunately that the property was fully booked and if we were unable to resolve it to your satisfaction the only action left for me was to suggest you move to another property and to provide a full refund. I had hoped this would not be the case but as you suggest you were already on your computer looking at other options so I felt there seemed little more I could do to salvage the situation, I really wish I had the chance and that the technology also had the chance to fairly resolve your issue. Having asked for 5 minutes, my staff were knocking on my door within not even 20 seconds from leaving your room to be told it still was not working. I came back immediately and within another 15 seconds or so (about a minute after first asking to give the unit 5 minutes to do its work) there was a continuous belt of hot air. I mentioned this and invited your husband to come and feel it, he said that he trusted me and did not want to come and check, but I gently insisted for him to come a feel it so I could be assured that your stay would be comfortable and you were happy the unit was doing what it was supposed to do. He did come and feel that hot air was gushing out and asked you what you wanted to do but as you already mention, by then you had both made your minds up that you wanted to leave the property. My offer of a refund was not in any way linked to feeling you wanted something back, it was given out of genuine sense of true hospitality and even though I knew we would end up with an empty room and no revenue, I had put your satisfaction and comfort in the situation ahead of profit and a room sale. Sorry you had misconstrued this aspect of the short exchange. I was somewhat shocked when a team member explained that on your way out of the hotel your husband addressed other arriving guests he did not know telling them “good luck” and warning them this was a “s*** hotel” – This is not included in your version of events, but not really the sort of behaviour one would expect even given the circumstances and showing further that your husband had still not calmed down even after your own decision to leave the property and having received a full refund. In hindsight, I think removing myself to allow some personal cooling space was the right action to take. I truly wish we could have had you stay as our guest since the heating was working perfectly, it just needed a short time to adjust. I am genuinely glad to hear your night ended up being well enjoyed as well as your time in our beautiful city, and I would truly and warmly welcome you back to our property if you felt you wanted to come and experience what makes us popular with the quirky fund and very different spaces and great service that sets us apart from many other properties. If you do, then I would hope you would contact me personally so I could help choose the perfect room for you and take attention on any specific needs you may have ahead of arrival and put a few nice treats in the room for you to enjoy! We rather have fans than frenemies but must realise we are not a perfect choice for everyone. In regards the mystery of the rhubarb and custard thing! They are actually soaps, and this is our unique soap butler experience. We have White Company amenities in our shower areas and in addition to this we invite guests to choose their favourite scented soap from a selection which we put with the hand basin, This is a little fun and in the warmer months arriving customers are additionally invited to enjoy a chilled scented face cloth to wipe their hands and necks, faces as they desire. This type of service is usually offered in much more expensive luxury properties, but we aim to be different and try to up the ante wherever possible. Thanks for taking the time to share your feelings and thoughts about your experience and I will certainly use it for myself as further education, one is never too old to learn. Also it will help the team in understanding how we can better prepare for all eventualities in ensuring we get it right every guest every time. Onwards and Upwards! Wishing that 2024 is a brilliant travel year for you and Stay Amazing - Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Cadence F wrote a review Dec 2023
3 contributions1 helpful vote
Had a lovely comfortable stay at The Impossible Motel which is right in the heart of the centre, will definitely be going back. Staff were extremely welcoming, specifically the receptionist Nicola who was super friendly and helpful! The room had both heating and air con so you could find the right temperature for you. Very clean all around with a supportive and comfortable mattress.
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Date of stay: December 2023
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 7 Dec 2023
Thank you for your wonderful comments and your personal shout out for Nicola has been noted and passed along to her with thanks. The building is what you get, the staff are unique and we are lucky to have such a dedicated and pleasant team to work with. Glad you enjoyed your stay and do come and see us again soon - with thirteen very unique and individual ones we can keep surprising you with each visit. Seasons greetings and stay amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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gemandmic wrote a review Dec 2023
Hartlepool, United Kingdom174 contributions76 helpful votes
+1
Booked for a nights stay with my sister so we could visit the Christmas Markets. Chose this as centrally located, no parking but overnight car park 5 minute walk away. Late check in at 4pm but the hotel kindly offered to store our luggage when we arrived in York. They also phoned us to say our room was ready early for us. And what a 'Splendid' room it was too. So comfortable and cosy with an amazing view. We visited the hotel bar Pink and I had one of the nicest mojitos ever! We both had a really lovely sleep, and definitely want to return next year. The staff kindly let us keep our bags there after check out so we could do a bit more shopping. Definitely worth a visit!
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Date of stay: December 2023Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Park overnight at Margate and walk through Museum Gardens - only 5 minutes away.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jenna Barber, Guest Services / Front Office at Impossible Motel
Responded 5 Dec 2023
Thank you for the fantastic review, So nice to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and got to visit the Christmas markets. We will pass on your kind comments to all of the team. Pink cocktail bar do some amazing drinks and it's well worth a visit. We hope to see you again soon. Kind regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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mocha_upo88 wrote a review Dec 2023
Birkenhead, United Kingdom52 contributions48 helpful votes
Location - 10/10 Noise - yes they may pre warn you but even in the basement it is disturbing. Difficult to ignore, difficult to rest, difficult to sleep. Talking about noise - you can hear everything apart from the TV. The hotel minimise the volume to 15 and this can't be adjusted apparently so don't bother trying to watch a movie to drown out the noise because you've got no chance. Quirky - yes. Too quirky - also yes. The open plan bathroom is a horrible feature for a double room. Privacy is nil and even if you are comfortable with your partner (which I very much am). Still ... no one wants to use a toilet with no door. Temperature - someone call Sean Paul for the right temperature because it is a disaster. The basement room is 500 degrees and although the room features aircon, it is very hard to find a happy medium. Decor - spot on. Very trendy. Very dark with some crazy cool mirror lights and lights under the bed. Brick walls with industrial copper pipes at ceiling level. A few nice touches for sure. Smell - upstairs / reception absolutely delightful. In the basement room, it smells damp. Price - for the location it's worth it but that's about it. WOULD I STAY AGAIN - no.
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Date of stay: December 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 2 Dec 2023
Ahh Mocha - we are sad that we won't be able to tempt you back to any of our delightful rooms upstairs, they are so very different from the basement and sorry you were not a fan of these very industrial and fun zany rooms. Your narrative is fair and represents how you personally felt about your experience, sorry therefore that it was not as you had expected. We do try to be very upfront and candid about things including the open bathroom aspect in all our descriptions so guests can choose ahead of arrival. Getting rooms too hot or too cold for guests is a really tough thing hence the oversized AC,heat,dehumidifier added to every one of our 13 rooms - in addition in the basement we have dry heating from individually controllable radiators just like the ones at home, so that we can balance the humidity. Our team work very hard between guests with doors open, AC on 16 dry and then heated up ahead of arrival depending on ambient external temperatures. All the radiators have controls on just like the ones at home and the AC remote is explained to guests on entry to the room for both heat and cool. If one has time to read every review or talk to every guest who ever departed then there may be one or two who have found the humidity and temperatures a challenge but it really is a very small percentage and like British rail with the wrong snow on the tracks, it may be an unlucky perfect storm of temperature and humidity on the night of your stay. I sincerely hope that you would consider one of our other rooms and we will certainly sweeten the pot if you do! I spent around 3 hours before we opened going around every single room to balance the volume of the TV's to ensure that they could be heard but not to the detriment of neighbours, again a very personalised situation. Given the brick and hard floors in the basment this tends to amplify sound. I don't have 100% hearing so they will be a bit louder than I possibly thought and we do get complaints possibly 1 in every 200 guest stays, my sincere apology this was not to your personal liking. Do think about it and call us so we can personalise your room choice. Stay Amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Alex wrote a review Dec 2023
7 contributions4 helpful votes
The basement room I was in looked great but you can't possibly give a room anything above 0 if you cannot sleep. I stayed on a wednesday so noise from the bar above us was not going to be much of an issue and the earplugs perhaps not needed however! Looks like they have added an industrial fan to the bathroom and there is no switch on it. I assume this was added to handle stagnant air. Do not underestimate the whirring noise of this jet engine. I was awake the entire night and reception didn't seem to care when I told them in the morning. Such a shame! Can't be sure if all the baseroom rooms have a fan, maybe ring and ask ahead of booking.
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Date of stay: November 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 2 Dec 2023
Dear Alex, you stayed in our most popular room in the entire property, Labyrinth which is as crazy as it is fun and we do try to be as candid as possible in all our website narrative so guests know exactly what to expect and have the choice of booking this particular room. I really really really wish guests would call our front desk which is staffed 24 Hours exactly to be able to assist guests in situations like this. We cannot predict what a guest may like or dislike in their room based on expectations. You are 100% correct in your assertions, the industrial sized extractor was added as the bathroom is essentially in two caves underneath Blake Street and one of the biggest attractions of the room. In order to balance humidity this was added BUT it is linked to the light in the bathroom just like all our basement rooms to answer another part of your review. As the light goes off, so does the fan - simples! It is also why we added a door between the bathroom and bedroom along with the installation of the new fan. There really was absolutely no need for you to have a sleepless night - and I don't think to tell the entire world not to stay either as your experience was sadly a little bit self inflicted by not allowing us to be involved or help - one quick call and all would have been resolved. Honestly we love to help and love to serve but if we are not asked during or after guests depart we can do nothing to support our beloved guests. Statistically, we have had over 2000 guest nights in the basement rooms since opening (our one year anniversary today actually) so if they were prone to sleepless nights I don't think we would have sold any at all as 2000 people would be writing similar reviews. The fans have been installed between the 6th and 9th September to improve the overall neutrality of the air balance of the rooms and other guest reviews have been positive. Sorry that you rated our service as only 1/5 when we did not have the chance to serve you as we were not asked, however, sorry to hear that in the morning you did not feel you were listened to - sometimes depending on how complaints are delivered it makes it hard for team members to do anything more than apologise and pass information along. It does take time to react to guest comments as there is a need to talk to team members involved and your reaction has been submitted yesterday while we were still checking with staff members who may have been involved during your stay. Our Pink bar is open Thursday through Sunday most of the year and usually Friday and Saturday in the winter months. A review easily avoided with a quick call for help - shame and we certainly thank you for allowing us the chance to explain about the fans and how they work. I truly hope you may have a change of heart and come back to stay in any of our amazing 13 unique rooms basement and above ground and for sure we will put something extra sweet in the room. Stay amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Abigail M wrote a review Nov 2023
3 contributions
Awesome dungeon room, albeit a little dark! As we were leaving, we found the drawers under the bed with a hairdryer that had been much needed the day before! Also, Malcolm the sock stealing ghost struck on the first night and a sock has never been found!
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Date of stay: November 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Nick Davies, General Manager at Impossible Motel
Responded 2 Dec 2023
Dear Abigail, Thanks for your review, each and every comment good and bad are pored over so that we can continue to work towards perfect stays every time. Some things however we cannot change about the building and location hence the candid narrative on our website. We are glad you loved the room and a quick call to our concierge at front desk 24 Hours available, would have meant we could have brought you one of our uber bright yellow arc lights, kept especially for those who might want additional lighting. Our heritage is club scene and fun bars, hence the mood lighting and dark spaces which we do try hard to point out ahead of guest arrival. On a future visit, please note all our non basement rooms have loads of wattage and the arc lights are there for the basement when needed. Every single room has a hairdryer and in the basement they are located in the draws at the end of the bed - we keep these open so they can be seen on check in to the room, however a quick call to our front desk and they could have assisted you with finding it when you needed it. Ahh Malcolm! Though we have never seen Malcolm or for that matter any other Malcolms, that is odd, I often lose my socks in other clothing items or in the most darkest corner of suitcases - hope you were reunited - Though York may be the worlds most haunted City, our building is warm and welcoming as it was a bank for 200 years with a gentle and rather more slow paced history. We certainly hope to see you back and look forward to welcoming you again - stay amazing! Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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PRICE RANGE
AU$192 - AU$280 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United KingdomEnglandYorkshireNorth YorkshireYork
NUMBER OF ROOMS
13
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IMPOSSIBLE MOTEL (AU$192): 2024 Prices & Reviews (York, England) - Photos of Hotel - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Impossible Motel
Which popular attractions are close to Impossible Motel?
Nearby attractions include York Minster (0.3 km), Shambles (0.3 km), and The Hilt (0.3 km).
What are some restaurants close to Impossible Motel?
Conveniently located restaurants include Casa Brazilian Rodizio, Cresci Pizzeria, and Wheldrakes.
Are there any historical sites close to Impossible Motel?
Many travellers enjoy visiting York Cold War Bunker (2.1 km), Holy Trinity Church (0.3 km), and Merchant Adventurers' Hall (0.5 km).