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UPDATED: Le Meridien Queens Hotel - Chalk and Cheese
Hotels in Leeds in general
Member Name: grahamt
Hotels in Leeds in general
Date: 21/02/03, updated on 09/05/08 (410 review reads)
Advantages: Near the station
On this occasion I had a need to stay in the Leeds area on business and so needed a hotel, as the reason for my visit was a seminar at which I was presenting, which was to start at around 9.00am in nearby Batley. On the basis of my experience in Manchester I chose the Le Meridien hotel in Leeds City Centre.
The Queens is a monumental edifice right next to the Leeds Central mainline station. Built, I would guess, in the twenties or thirties, it looks to have changed very little in the intervening years. Unfortunately, this is not intended as a complement. It looks every bit its age!
A short lay-by is in front of the entrance, where you may leave your car for a short time whilst you unload your baggage. The Concierge will arrange for the car to be taken to the hotel car park overnight for a fee.
Entering Reception, what a contrast! The first impression is uninspiring. Not the staff, who are friendly and helpful; the décor and ambiance. The whole feeling is of a tired and worn environment. This is carried right through to your room. All the way the carpets are worn and marked, as are the walls and paintwork.
This is a hotel long, long overdue for a major refit. My room, if typical, was large, consisting of a bed area and a separate lounge area. I had two TVs, one in each! A double bed plus a double sofa and a separate armchair in the lounge area.
In a very old style of plumbing, the two radiators were both located beneath the windows and behind long curtains. Close the curtains to keep out the light and noise and you keep the heat out of the room as well! Very intelligent!
Wanting something to eat and drink I set out to explore what the hotel had to offer. The initial search proved uninspiring, indeed unfruitful. Many of the signposted facilities are simply not in use at least, not for regular guests; maybe for functions.
I found one bar, the Piano Bar, open for use but the immediate impression was a cold and unwelcoming environment. The room was more or less round with the bar itself is set in a "well" the centre of the room. The wooden floor echoed to every footstep, the ceiling was high, the beer was the usual rubbish like John Smiths. The impression was obviously shared by most guests as there were very few customers.
I had a look at the restaurant, located just off of Reception. The menu was reasonable and the prices not too outrageous however, by this time very little would have persuaded me to eat in.
Now, there's one thing you can be virtually sure of and that's, if you wander around a city centre for long enough you are bound to find a friendly hostellery or restaurant, and that usually turns out to be a J. D. Weatherspoon. Leeds is no exception.
It took me 45 minutes, passing on the way pubs with no (decent) beer, pubs advertising food available but having none ("Yeh, sorry about that. We keep trying to get them to change the sign! We never do food in the evening!" - The Guildford). Pubs with various animal leanings (The Toad, The Slug and Lettuce!), none of which offer anything worth the effort of even opening the door.
Finally, salvation, the Weatherspoons was located (opposite the aforementioned Slug and Lettuce) on the corner of Greek Street.
Now, if there?s one thing you can be sure of at Weatherspoons it's a good selection of excellent beers in impeccable condition and at a reasonable price plus a range of very palatable food of acceptable quality and adequate quantity and exceptional price.
Furthermore, no TV, no music, no pool just peace and (relative) quiet in which to enjoy your drink, food and a good book or, in my case, a presentation which I had to learn for the following day.
A couple of hours later, a few pints of Black Sheep plus a plate of Gammon, Egg, Chips and Peas to the better, I returned to the hotel knowing I had made the right choice.
I did have a restful night. The bed was comfortable, the room adequately warm (once I'd hooked the curtains out of the way to allow the heat from the radiators to permeate the room.
In the end I couldn't be bothered to go down for breakfast in the morning so I showered (clean bathroom at least and an adequate supply of decent towels), dressed, packed and left.
The night's stay had cost (the company) £85 (room only, no dinner, no breakfast and no morning paper, even though I had ordered one and at a company discount rate as well!). I'm sorry but I've had far better at half the price.
Should I need to stay in the area again it will not be at The Queens, not until the whole place is totally renovated, whenever that may be. With competition from Hilton, Marriott, Radisson SAS and many others besides, there is far too much choice of quality to be had.
UPDATED - May 2008
Though I haven't been back since, I learn that as a part of the Le Meridian company reorganisation, The Queens has been disposed of to QHotels Group. They state on their website that the hotel has "recently" undergone a £10M refit. Boy did it need it.
As a result, my comments may now no longer apply. I cannot confirm this myself. You may wish to re-investigate.
Summary: An uninspiring hotel in 2003 that may have improved since.
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