By Laura Turner
The Queens Hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in Leeds, but this Art Deco landmark has also attracted many a famous face over the decades.
Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Laurel and Hardy and even Nelson Mandela have all danced and dined here since its grand opening back in 1937.
Today, The Queens Hotel is just as glamorous following a £16 million makeover in 2021. Now part of the QHotels collection, it boasts 232 luxurious bedrooms, 13 event spaces and opulent bar and restaurant, Grand Pacific.
Here’s what happened when The Boutique Handbook checked in for the night.
There aren’t many hotels that have their own private entrance from a train station, but if you are travelling to Leeds by rail to stay at The Queens Hotel, you won’t have far to walk. Turn right out the Wellington Street exit and look for the chic black carpet and large revolving door which greets you at the hotel entrance.
Leeds bus and coach station is also a short walk away. There is no car park on site but guests can park at The Q Park car park nearby at a discounted rate of £15 a day.
Once inside, the hotel lobby is one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever seen. There are large leather couches, banquet seating, wall-sized floral paintings and a magnificent teardrop chandelier centrepiece.
This area, called Cafe Pacific, is the ‘social hub’ of the hotel and where guests can meet for a drink or High Tea.
Our room wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, but we were able to leave our bags at reception and invited to sample an impressive selection of refreshments. There was chilled water, fresh fruit and sweets on offer. Be sure to try the buttery and delicious mini chocolate chip shortbreads.
STYLE AND INTERIORS
Beautifully decorated in muted tones with black and gold accents and bold geometric shapes, the Art Deco features of a time gone by remain at The Queens Hotel.
But it’s the lighting here, which is nothing short of spectacular, that is perhaps the most captivating of all. Giant chandeliers, paired with low hanging pendants and warm strip lights invite you to sink down into one of the many cosy seating areas with a glass of your preferred tipple in hand. It’s just a lovely place to be.
There are 232 elegant bedrooms at The Queens Hotel, ranging from Cosy Doubles to Superior Rooms and Suites.
The showstopper is the Presidential Suite. Complete with a statement bathroom and freestanding bath, open plan bedroom and its own private terrace, this room is perfect for extra special occasions.
We stayed in one of the Superior Family Rooms and were certainly not disappointed. The stunning view of the city square was a particular highlight, along with the Elemis toiletries and complimentary mini bar.
And we can’t forget to mention the king sized bed, which was one of the comfiest we’ve ever slept in – the perfect place for drinking the complimentary gin and tonics that had been left for us.
FOOD AND DRINK
Back downstairs, past the reception desk you’ll find the door to the Grand Pacific bar and restaurant, where you must book a table or at least pop in for a drink.
To call it beautiful is an understatement. Palm prints adorn the walls while gold accents highlight the otherwise dark interiors. In the centre of the room there’s another stunning chandelier. Unlike the one in the lobby, this one has lots of individual glass surrounded filaments suspended from gold rings and is simply stunning.
We visited for Brunch served from 11am to 2pm at weekends, which was accompanied by a string quartet playing modern day hits by everyone from Coldplay to Britney Spears, and was such an unexpected treat.
The Shakshouka with Spinach and Goats Cheese (£10.95) was an absolute delight paired with crunchy sourdough for dipping and full of flavour. If meat is more your thing, the Fillet Steak Sandwich (£13.95) is not to be missed, cooked perfectly pink and layered with oyster mushrooms, pickled vegetables and wasabi crème fraiche.
Oh and did we mention the curry salt? You can’t leave here without trying it. A real explosion of flavour that has to be tasted to be believed. Just when we thought a bowl of chunky chips couldn’t get any better, Grand Pacific go and prove us wrong.
This was washed down with an Iced Coffee (£3 – made on request) and a Butterfly Pea Latte (£3.50). These organic superfood drinks are a great vegan option, made with oat milk and rich in antioxidants. Choose from Turmeric, Matcha or Beetroot.
We ended our meal with a couple of cocktails. Try the Lady Lamington (£9), a mix of coconut rum, Chambord, apple and gingerbread foam or The Grand Pacific G&T (£9) infused with lychee and lemongrass.
High Tea starts from £24.50pp and is served every day between 1pm and 5pm.
There is an onsite gym guests can use and if you want to explore the city a little more after you’ve checked out you can leave your bags at reception free of charge until you’re ready to travel home.
The Queens Hotel is the perfect base for a city centre stay in Leeds. Even if you don’t book a room here we strongly recommend you visit Grand Pacific bar and restaurant. The food scene in Leeds is vast, but the dishes here are in a league of their own. We can’t wait to come back and try the High Tea.
Rooms start from £109 per night
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