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Radisson Blu, Leeds, Yorkshire
Forget notions of corporate hotels with formulaic bedrooms, international food and bland public spaces. Radisson Blu in Leeds, 10 minutes north of the station and next to the Light shopping mall, has style, panache and an upbeat vibe that suits both leisure and business travellers. Created out of the former art deco headquarters of the Leeds Permanent Building Society, its double-height ground floor is a striking space of high arched windows and mirrored pillars that flows between drinking, dining and relaxing areas all with a clubby style. Bedrooms are airy and cool affairs of light colours and sleek, glass-topped furniture while a Josper grill is a feature of the restaurant.
It's a great spot for nightlife, whether you want the bars on nearby Merrion and Greek Streets or a spot of music and culture - three theatres, plus the Arena, are within a five to 10-minute walk.
The hotel is only a minute's walk from the Leeds Art Gallery.
By car: around 2 hours 20 minutes from Birmingham and 4 hours 15 minutes from London or Edinburgh.
By train: there are direct trains to Leeds station from Sheffield (1 hour), Manchester Piccadilly (2 hours) and London Kings Cross (2 hours 20 minutes). The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
With its more casual style - a fire-pit-style fire amidst leather armchairs - it appeals to both business and leisure guests wanting four-star service with a more relaxed vibe. The vast portrait of actor Peter O'Toole, a local lad, painted on an exposed-brick wall on the ground floor, characteristic cigarette in hand, is clever and unexpected.
Service & Facilities
Slatted wooden screens and different floor levels cleverly break up the ground floor to create more intimate spaces.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Room service
Push the boat out and book one of the corner junior suites with views of the cathedral; otherwise top-floor rooms with dormer windows have a cosy feel. The lack of fussy ornaments and cushions, plus discreet but well thought-through storage creates a feeling of calm.
Standard, Superior, Premium, Family rooms, Junior and Junior Cathedral View suites
Facilities include: ensuite with shower, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities
Food & Drink
After dinner, we took our drinks to the comfy leather armchairs around the indoor 'fire pit'; a lovely relaxed way to round off the evening. Breakfast is bright and buzzing, with a generous buffet including charcuterie, fresh cheeses, pastries - including vegan options - frequently replenished hot dishes plus cooked-to-order items such as omelettes and vegan pancakes.
FireLake Restaurant & Bar: comfortable and cosy, American grill classics and vegan options. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.