The historic Elmbank Hotel in York has marked a milestone achievement completing a £5m transformation, and a new general manager has been appointed at this exciting time for the property.

Nick Testa from Lancashire has crossed the border once again to take the reins at the former manor house on The Mount which is well-positioned from York Racecourse visible from the outside terrace and short walk along the Roman Road to the city centre

Nick joins the team at a pivotal time as the hotel embarks on a new chapter after accumulating over 30 years in the hotel industry in both Yorkshire and his home county. He is also no stranger to owners Cairn Group as he enjoyed a spell at the renowned operator’s Majestic Hotel in Harrogate in 2017.

With experience seeing hotels through build phases and renovation projects, Nick has closely managed the refurbishment works in their final weeks and welcomed the first guests when the finished look was recently revealed. His role will now be to put Elmbank Hotel firmly back on the map for visitors to the British Heritage City and nearby attractions.

Nick said: “The moment I saw this opportunity to return to Cairn Group, I knew it was meant to be. I really rate everything the company has done over the years and personally love being in York so it was the perfect fit. I’m passionate about locality so we’ll be focusing on that a lot here and giving back wherever we can.”

As part of the hotel’s move into Cairn Group’s luxury and boutique property brand The Cairn Collection, the rooms and suites in both the main house and the adjacent annexe have been refurbished along with the reception areas including the Peacock Bar, and the gourmet restaurant has been relaunched as Leetham’s Brasserie.

Nick added: “We announced 40 new jobs would be created as a result of the investment, and we’ve been blown away by the response from the community. I’m a really hands-on manager so am looking forward to being involved in every aspect of the hotel from dining to hosting events.

“Ideally located just a short walk from the train station and city centre, we have made sure our venue is family-friendly with our lodge accommodation offering and beautifully restored Botanical Garden with patio seating, so we can’t wait to show it all off this summer.”

Richard Adams, HR director at Cairn Group said: “Nick made a great impression with his colleagues and our senior employees while at The Majestic, so it’s fantastic to have him back on board at another of our much-loved properties. He’s a familiar face in the region amongst many customers and has credible skills in change management, therefore we have huge confidence in him to make Elmbank Hotel the number one choice of York boutique hotels.”

Elmbank Hotel offers a convenient and charming base for exploring and is open to local diners or available for special occasions in an intimate space. For more information visit

Cairn Group is one of the UK’s premium hotel and bar operators. Today the Group owns and operates a portfolio of hugely successful businesses, including 33 hotels and more than 30 bars and restaurants across the UK from its headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne.