Leeds’ growing repertoire as Yorkshire’s capital of cool makes it a popular destination these days. One of the fastest-growing cities in the UK is Leeds, the university city on the River Aire. Over the years, the city centre has undergone a massive transformation to emerge as a place to reckon with. A revitalized Victorian mill district, glitzy malls, and lively nightlife draw people here from all over. Not surprisingly, many of the best hotels in Leeds are in the city centre. You’ll find some of the best hotels in Leeds City centre housed in restored buildings that are a treat for the eyes. These revitalized spaces beautifully blend in the old with the new.
Leeds is a vibrant city that has culture flowing through its veins. The Leeds Festival and the Leeds International Concert Season, a year-long celebration of music, bring in quite a few visitors. There’s also the Leeds International Film Festival that sees a good turnout. Apart from these events, visitors to the city also take in the many attractive parks and gardens. The city of York is also less than an hour’s drive from here, so if you have the time, you could also combine the top things to do in York with your visit to Leeds. Another interesting city to explore near Leeds is Manchester, an hour’s drive in the other direction.
Where to Stay in Leeds
While Leeds is growing in leaps and bounds, it can still be tricky to decide which place is the best to base yourself. Though most of the best hotels in Leeds are in the city centre, there are other places that you may want to check out.
The beating heart of Leeds is the Civic Quarter, where you’ll find many of the city’s major attractions. It’s one of the best places for first-timers to get acquainted with the city. There are plenty of good restaurants and bars in the area plus some of the best hotels in Leeds city centre like the ibis Styles and Dakota.
Shopaholics will love the Briggate neighborhood with the largest shopping centre in the city, Trinity Leeds, located here. Besides shopping, you’ll also find dining and entertainment venues here. One of the classiest hotels in the area is Quebecs, housed in a restored Victorian building.
Though most of the nightlife is in the city centre, Holbeck is another upcoming area for modern bars and clubs. The Royal Armouries Museum, one of the best in the city, is located here. Families looking for some respite from the hustle and bustle of the city centre may prefer to stay in the leafy suburb of Roundhay in North Leeds. It’s also a good place to take in the local vibe.
Leeds is a very welcoming, inclusive city, so if you’re looking for gay-friendly hotels in Leeds, you have plenty of options to choose from. Alternatively, if you plan a day or two in York, check out our list of the best hotels in York to enhance your stay. However, some of the best hotels in Leeds centre are so impressive that you may choose to extend your stay in the city.
ibis Styles Leeds
ibis Styles Leeds belongs to the Accor chain of hotels, but despite this tag, the hotel in Leeds is far from a chain hotel in terms of warmth. Colorful interiors and playful features incorporated into the design make this stand out as one of the best hotels in Leeds city centre. The best part, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
The 134 guest rooms are spread over five floors. They feature a contemporary design but with the touches of Yorkshire. The hotel prides itself on being ‘Yorkshire through and through,’ and the bedrooms reflect this. Big windows and colorful curtains add a touch of brightness to the rooms. Expect all the modern comforts that you would look for in a chain hotel.
Dining is at Arnold’s Bar & Restaurant, where you can enjoy the best of local cuisine plus afternoon tea or cocktails. Breakfast is included in the rate and is also served in the restaurant. However, if you prefer dining out, there are plenty of options in the vicinity. Besides restaurants, Leeds’ main shopping district is also a short walk away, as is the Leeds Arena concert venue. If you’re in the city for a concert, this is definitely one of the best hotels in Leeds centre.
Mansio Suites The Headrow
Families looking for bigger accommodation in Leeds centre will undoubtedly appreciate the spacious Mansio Suites The Headrow. Just off one of the best-known streets in Leeds, these luxurious service apartments push this aparthotel up the rankings in the best hotels in Leeds city centre. You’re surrounded by pubs, bars, and restaurants in the area, so you won’t have to worry about food. These apartments are also a good option if you’re in the city for a longer time.
The tastefully decorated apartments reflect a contemporary design and soothing colors. You know you’ve chosen well the moment you arrive at the attractive, red-brick building. From smaller studios to two-bedroom apartments, the 26 accommodations are welcoming and comfortable. you can find handmade comfy mattresses, spacious bathrooms, Molton Brown toiletries, and fluffy bathrobes and slippers in all apartments. Apart from these, you’ll also find sleek Bosch kitchenettes with full ovens and other necessities you’d need to rustle up a decent meal.
Quite expectedly, you won’t find any dining options on-site, but there are quite a few complimentary items in the kitchenettes to get you started. Bread and milk, preserves, still and sparkling water, plus tea and coffee are included in the welcome pack.
DoubleTree by Hilton
There are quite a few chain hotels in Leeds, but not all of them are as stylish or as comfortable as DoubleTree by Hilton. Located beside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the revamped Granary Wharf district, it clearly stands out as one of the best hotels in Leeds centre. It’s a two-minute walk to Leeds train station through the Dark Arches, while shops and bars are just 10 minutes away.
Floor-to-ceiling windows in all the hotel’s spaces allow plenty of light, ensuring a bright open space. Predictably, guest rooms are bright and modern with a good range of amenities. Rooms on the higher floors enjoy some pretty good views.
One of the more popular spaces at the hotel is the rooftop Sky Lounge. Open throughout the day; the lounge offers panoramic views of Leeds and Yorkshire. There’s a dress code in place for visitors, so you’ll need to read the full policy before you head up. Another good dining space is The Lock Kitchen & Bar. Guests can enjoy a two or three-course meal or bistro food such as burgers and pizzas. Breakfast is not included in the rate, but a buffet breakfast is served every morning for an extra fee.
The Queens Hotel QHotels
Overlooking Leeds City Square, The Queens Hotel puts you right where all the action is. A recent 16 million pound refurbishment has transformed this into one of the best hotels in Leeds city centre. With its rich past blending seamlessly into an upgraded modern space, the result is impressive, to say the least. It’s a few minutes’ walk from here to the Trinity Leeds shopping mall and Leeds Art Gallery.
Despite being in the thick of things, the noise from the street does not filter into the hotel. You can look forward to a relaxed time here. All 232 guest rooms of the hotel were also part of the massive overhaul at the hotel—the result – stylish, sophisticated rooms offering comfort and serenity. High-end toiletries and other amenities such as Nespresso coffee machines and well-stocked minibars are part of all the rooms. Some suites and rooms are still undergoing refurbishment, so you may not book some of those rooms.
While breakfast is included in the rate, you’ll definitely want to check out the other dining options at the hotel. At the hotel’s in-house restaurant, you get to enjoy flavors from far-flung lands infused with British classics. The beautiful bar is another place where you can have a quick bite or a perfectly crafted smoked Pineapple Daquiri. If afternoon tea is your thing, Cafe Pacific serves up a good range of treats with tea or coffee. Apart from the dining venues, the hotel also has pretty good meeting spaces. It’s also a popular venue for weddings or special occasions.
Novotel Leeds Centre Hotel
Novotel Leeds Center Hotel is as good as it gets if you’re looking for a combination of luxury, style, and comfort. The prime location puts you within easy walking distance of shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s also close to the train station, which makes it a popular choice for business travelers.
Step into a bright open space with the open-plan ground floor enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows. Futuristic-looking armchairs and splashes of color liven up the public spaces. The bedrooms are a little more toned down but stylish, nonetheless. Sleek ensuite bathrooms come with tubs or walk-in showers.
The Soap Factory Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen is a buzzing space with strong ties to the city’s history. It’s popular with locals for its eats and cocktails. However, if you prefer dining in your room, you could order room service, including snacks or hot meals.
Park Plaza Leeds
You can’t miss the Park Plaza hotel, towering above most buildings in the city. The sleek 20 storeyed building is one of the tallest in the area, just five minutes from the Leeds Art Gallery. It’s a short drive to Leeds Bradford Airport and Leeds Station from here, making this one of the best hotels in Leeds city centre for business travelers.
Although the exterior of the building isn’t all that welcoming, the interiors are much better. Pops of color, neon lighting, and floor-to-ceiling windows brighten up the interiors. Rooms range from Superior Doubles to larger Executive rooms and suites. The rooms feature tasteful decor and come equipped with a good range of comforts you would expect from a chain hotel. For an exceptional experience, upgrade to the Penthouse Suite.
Foodies will love dining at the award-winning Chino Latino, which dishes out lip-smacking Pan-Asian cuisine and Latin cocktails. A few South American dishes also feature on the menu of this sophisticated dining area. To kickstart your day, a buffet breakfast is included in the rate.
On Quebec Street in the heart of Leeds, you’ll find the classy Quebecs hotel housed in a Grade II-listed building. The former ‘Leeds and Country Liberal Club,’ which dates back to 1891, has a look and feel of a country house despite being right in the middle of the city. If you’re in town for business, it’s a good place to base yourself as the hotel is located in the Financial and Legal Quarter.
Many of the original features, such as the terracotta exterior, wrought iron gates, Corinthian columns, and the grand oak staircase, give the hotel its unique character. Additionally, five tall glass stained windows illustrating the coat of arms of five Yorkshire towns light up The Gallery. Guest rooms tastefully blend in the old and the new, each with its own unique character. Comfort is key here with a comfy mattress, Egyptian cotton bed linen, and duck feather and down duvets. All rooms have a good range of modern comforts to enhance your stay.
Breakfast is not included in the rate, but a Full English and Continental Breakfast is served in The Conservatory on the fourth floor. However, if you prefer to have your breakfast delivered to your room, an additional five pounds tray charge, you’ll find The Porter’s Lodge Bar & Lounge near the main entrance, where you can enjoy a light snack lunch, afternoon tea, or supper. It’s also a good place to unwind at the end of the day with a cocktail or aperitif. At the top of the oak staircase, The Gallery is the perfect place to sip on a cup of tea and people-watch.
Other facilities you can look forward to at the hotel are in-room dining, a 24-hour reception, and free passes to the Nuffield Health club. The health club has a gym, yoga, and pilates, plus a swimming pool & spa, ideal for those who prefer to stay on top of their exercise regime.
Stylish, contemporary apartments within a lovingly restored historic building set The Bells apart from the rest. These individually designed apartments combine the feel of a boutique hotel with five-star luxury. To top it off, the location within the grounds of Leeds Minster adds to the allure of staying here. You’re within walking distance of Leeds railway station and have a wide choice of dining options at this location.
The magnificent Victorian building that houses the apartments traces its roots to the 17th century when used as a clergy house. Though the building received an overhaul, its character has been kept intact. Think steel grinders, original stained glass windows, and exposed brickwork. The spaces that were deemed unusable were also given a facelift, and outside areas were added. What has emerged from the makeover is a luxurious yet homely space.
You can choose from eight different apartments with names like Little John, Old Tom, and Great George. The two-bedroom penthouse apartment is aptly named Big Ben. Some apartments come with a decked balcony with a hot tub, while others feature oak-paneled walls. You may feel like you’ve taken a step back in time, but there are enough modern comforts to keep you grounded. If you’re with your special someone, then you can make the experience even more meaningful by doing something special. Rose petals on the bed, champagne on ice, or a bottle of chilled Prosseco can all be arranged.
Radisson Blu Hotel
Housed in a restored building that was once the main office of the Leeds Permanent Building Society, the grand Radisson Blu Hotel is unlike most chain hotels in look and feel. The hotel sits in The Light shopping and entertainment complex, putting you close to shopping, dining, and the First Direct Arena. However, don’t be put off by the location as the noise from the outside does not filter in.
The original art deco style of the building has been preserved, but the interiors are chic and modern. Greys and whites with a little pop of color are the general decors of the rooms. Guests can choose from standard twins up to suites. All rooms are complete with flat-screen TVs, quality toiletries, and coffee and tea facilities.
When it comes to dining, the FireLake Grill House is a good place to head to. High ceilings, pretty floor tiles, and an overall good vibe make dining here special. The menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free varieties in addition to locally sourced succulent meats from a Josper grill. You can also enjoy dishes with a Yorkshire twist that blend well with signature Yorkshire cocktails. The signature breakfast buffet, included in the rate, is also pretty good.
You’re spoiled for choice when choosing the best hotels in Leeds city centre as there are so many excellent options such as the Dakota. Low-key elegance is the selling point of this hotel that enjoys a central location. There’s plenty in and around the area to keep you occupied from shopping, culture, and entertainment.
Velvet sofas, mirrored wall panels, and low lighting add to the appeal of the interiors. Bedrooms reflect the same grey-on-grey color scheme with high-thread-count cotton linen, super comfy beds, and a host of amenities. They’re stylish, sleek, and comfortable.
Elegance and style spill over to The Grill restaurant on the lower ground floor. Here you can dig into the finest quality seasonal produce that’s beautifully presented. Succulent steaks are the specialty, lightly seasoned and flash-grilled to perfection. Alternatively, head to the Dakota Bar to kickstart your evening against a backdrop of some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. If you prefer live music, move upstairs to the Salon Prive with an exclusive heated terrace and upbeat music. It’s a popular city destination for a good evening.
Malmaison Hotel Leeds
Like many of the chain hotels in Leeds, the Malmaison Hotel is also housed in a historic Victorian building. There are hardly any traces of the former Leeds City Tramways Office in this vibrant hotel, spread over five floors. It’s easy to get around the city from here as the railway and bus stations are a five-minute walk away. There is also plenty of shopping and dining options in the area.
You’re struck by the glamour and elegance of the hotel with its contemporary decor and dramatic colors in some places. The rooms have the feel of an urban loft with exposed light bulbs, huge headboards, and quirky artwork. They’re well-stocked with all the necessities you would look out for. Comfy robes, a minibar, and big comfortable beds make your stay here that much more special. The Signature Suite is quite obviously the cherry on the top with its vibrant colors and quirky decor. Think yellow chairs, yellow washbasins in bathrooms, and a yellow rhino blending in with a bright carpet.
Dramatic chandeliers, exposed brickwork, and neon and glossy tables give the Chez Mal brasserie its unique character. It’s not just the decor that stands out, though. The food here is quite outstanding, especially their Sunday lunch. Choose your favorites from an a la carte menu but make sure to leave room for a delicious dessert. Breakfast, included in the rate, is a good spread of home-baked pastries, freshly squeezed juices, fruits, and yogurts. Ensure to check out the hotel’s website, so you don’t miss out on any special offers.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Leeds:
- Leeds Street Food – Enjoy some of Leeds’ mouthwatering street food in Leeds city centre. Tantalize your tastebuds with multiple tastings inspired by cuisines from all over the world. You’ll also get to enjoy drinks at two of the venues and learn interesting stories of the places you visit.
- Heritage Pub and Beer Tour – Explore the rich beer heritage of Leeds on this 3-hour walking tour that takes you to a total of five pubs. There’s much to learn about the history of beer, brewing and pubs as you enjoy a few beers on the way.
- Ox Club – Located in Headrow House, this award-winning restaurant is a solid-fuel grill restaurant. You can feast on some of the best of Yorkshires’seasonal produce here. The restaurant has also been featured in the Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide.
Recommended Activities in Leeds:
- The Headrow – Shopping buffs and culture vultures will enjoy walking down the pedestrian-friendly half mile. Many of the city’s premier shopping and cultural attractions, such as the Leeds Town Hall and Grand Theatre are located here. It’s also close to other attractions such as the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the oldest music hall in the world.
- 2-Hour Highlights Walking Tour – Enjoy an entertaining and informative tour of Leeds on this two-hour walking tour that begins in the heart of the city. You’ll visit the Corn Exchange, Victorian Arcades, and Kirkgate Market plus get to discover a lot more about the city and its architecture.
- Royal Armouries Museum – One of the most interesting museums to visit in the city is this museum, built in 1996. It houses armour and weapons from the Tower of London, one of the most haunted places in the world, as well as other weapons spanning 3000 years.