The Queens Hotel in Leeds is the most iconic hotel in the entire city. After a recent transformation, the Queens Hotel is back to its best and this is my review of an overnight stay.
The Queens Hotel is a historic landmark, an icon of the city of Leeds, and I’m here to show you exactly why you need to stay here on your next trip to Yorkshire.
I’ve visited Leeds many times whilst living a short train ride away in York between 2011 and 2017. Every single time you arrive or leave Leeds, you will be greeted or waved goodbye by the Queens Hotel. The art deco Grade II listed building with its grand white stone cladding dominates Leeds’ city square has always filled me with intrigue. I’ve always wondered what it was like to stay there though, to be honest, I always thought it might have been a bit of a let down.
However, it’s 2022 and the Queens Hotel is back with a bang. After a nine-month restoration costing £16 million, this hotel is somewhere where every visitor should stay at least once. The hotel has kept its art deco opulence and added a touch of modernity and class everywhere.
With a visit to Leeds planned to catch The Wonder Years touring their brand-new album, there was only one place that Emma and I wanted to stay.
There are 232 rooms all refurbished to a high standard and we stayed in a superior suite overlooking the city square. The square at the moment is undergoing its own renovation but the best views are to be found in the front rooms. Well, you could opt for one of the rooms with its own terrace if you have a bigger budget.
STAYING AT THE QUEENS HOTEL IN LEEDS
We arrived at the hotel on a cold and very wet Tuesday afternoon and it was enough just to step in off the streets to warm up. Immediately you are greeted with huge leather Chesterfield sofas in a cavern like space, dimly lit save for the extravagant chandelier above your heads. The staff made us feel welcome which I take note of now as often you can feel out of place the higher up the star rating a hotel is. Top marks for the doorman we spoke to remembering our names as left the following afternoon.
After a smooth check-in process, we headed up to our rooms (an hour earlier than the advertised check-in time of 3pm thankfully) via the most art deco lifts I’ve ever seen. For a few minutes we were the main characters in a brand-new Wes Anderson movie. 1.37:1 ratio and all.
Our room was on the sixth floor and, as I said earlier, overlooked the city square. The room was huge, I didn’t expect a hallway and a little lounge area. There were a few nice little touches in the room that went a long way; the free mini bar obviously, a bar of chocolate, a make your own gin station, a Nespresso machine and a copy of Men’s Health that served as a reminder that I must start exercising again!
The Queens Hotel is ideally located for exploring Leeds and so, after a short rest, we were back into the rain to enjoy a child-free evening. It was also perfect for us heading to see a bit of live music for the first time since Covid-19 and having a baby. We chilled out with a few drinks in the room before walking up to the venue (at the student union at Leeds University). The walk back was quicker knowing that we had a very comfortable night’s sleep ahead of us.
Finally, breakfast was included which is sometimes just easier and less hassle than going out for a bite to eat. Breakfast was lovely with plenty of options available but of course it had to be a full-English.
The room we stayed in was offered at a discounted media rate but all opinions and views in this post are most definitely my own.
As it had been so long since we had visited Leeds, we re-scratched off some of the city’s highlights such as the Corn Exchange, Kirkgate Market (the largest covered market in Europe) and grabbed a beer at Headrow House followed by ramen at House of Fu. The day after’s energy was supplied by coffee from the impressive Tiled Hall Cafe and the institution that is Layne’s Espresso.
If I was visiting the Queens Hotel again, I would definitely travel by train as the hotel is just a few steps from the train station. There’s even a separate entrance from the station itself so you don’t even have to venture outside if the weather isn’t great (this is Yorkshire after all). It wasn’t cost-effective to catch trains this time (£80 return from Durham is a rip-off) so we drove and parked at the Q-Park Sovereign Square on Swinegate. With this car park, you can pay directly at the hotel for £15 for 24 hours and it’s only a short walk away.