Park Plaza, Leeds
THE HOTEL: Aside from the nightmare to find the hotel by car, around the labyrinthine one-way system that is Leeds city centre, the 185- room hotel is well located in the heart of the city, opposite Leeds railway station. It has four precious parking spaces next door so booking these ahead is vital. The hotel is bristling from a £2million refurbishment programme.
THE CHECK-IN: The hotel has a small but welcoming lobby area. It’s been recently refurbished in warm tones of orange and yellows and is an open-plan space that leads to a smart coffee bar overlooking City Square. Check-in formalities were dealt with promptly.
THE ROOM: Our 12th floor accommodation was two interconnecting corner rooms, one newly refurbished and one not, which helpfully pointed up the differences, namely much larger flatscreen TVs, new mattresses, bedding, carpets and soft furnishings. Overall it’s a more contemporary décor, with a silver feature wall, and good wardrobe space neatly incorporating a laptop-size safe, minibar, tea and coffee-making facilities, iron and ironing board. Soft furnishings are in warm red tones.
THE BUSINESS: Almost a dozen meeting rooms and four large function rooms – all with wifi – are spread over two floors, all with natural daylight from the floor to ceiling windows. They can accommodate up to 200 in banquet/theatre style or up to 70 in classroom style. Day delegate rates are from £32. There is also a business centre and ground floor executive lounge.
THE FACILITIES: A gym, one restaurant and two bars complete the facilities. The Chino Latino restaurant and bar is ablaze with dramatic red and black décor, trendy mood lighting and an enticing pan-Asian menu of noodles, curry, black cod et al. The friendly staff were very attentive. On the ground floor, the Scene coffee bar offers more informal fodder, from burgers and club sandwiches to salads, all in the region of £10.
THE VERDICT: A well located hotel and smart looking after its makeover, with young attentive staff that are eager to please. It ticks all the boxes for the business traveller.
THE DETAILS: Park Plaza Leeds, Boar Lane, City Square, Leeds, LS1 5NS. Lead-in rate from £69 including breakfast and tax. Suites on the 20th floor have spectacular views and start from £149. Tel: 0113 380 4000; see: www.parkplaza.com.
Reviewed by Gillian Upton (2012)