The signature style at the Leeds Mal pushes all the usual Gallic buttons, from the French-speaking elevator to the classic dark-wood brasserie and bar. Rooms in this grand Victorian red-brick – once the city bus company’s offices – are in subtle, earthy colours, and the check-tile bathrooms feature amazingly fast-filling baths and serious power-showers. Business visitors during the week (working off stress in the cutely named ‘Gymtonic’) give way to more of a shopping and clubbing crowd at weekends, and the location is great for the city buzz, although the hotel’s restaurant and bar also get plenty of foot-traffic of their own.

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★★★★☆

An easy win for Malmaison Leeds

With their individually decorated designer rooms and attention to detail, the Malmaison chain has developed a style and feel of its own in the 21 years since their launch. Malmaison Leeds is no exception to the rule, with sweeping steps leading down to an interior reception area that strikes the visitor both as being stylish and comfortable. The rooms are not as spacey as some other luxury chains, but they’re adequate enough, the furnishings are lush, and the bathrooms are an adventure in luxury just by themselves. The Malbar is a little more relaxed than those at other hotels in the chain, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and allows for a quiet evening drink. The brasserie, meanwhile, lives up to all expectations, offering delicious food served promptly by attentive staff. Within easy walking distance of the railway station, the central location makes the Malmaison an ideal base for business or pleasure in Leeds.

by Sarah E

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