This is a large new building along the canals in Leeds and adjacent to the Royal Armouries. It makes an excellent base for visiting the Armouries.
We were given a warm welcome by the receptionist who explained about breakfast which is included in the overnight rate and also parking. We were given a room at the front of the hotel on the fourth floor with views across the Canal and part of the Armouries. There are two lifts although only one seemed to be working.
It was a pleasant room with large king size bed and a double settee. Walls were pale yellow but were showing signs of wear and were in need of decoration. The deep rust curtains were effective at keeping light out. There was a reasonable working area with a small flat screen TV. There was some hanging and storage space; sufficient for an overnight stay but not for longer.
There was a kettle and usual selection of tea bags and sachets of coffee. A bonus is the free wifi.
The bathroom had a large walk in shower, bottle of liquid soap by the hand basin and shower gel. Towels were good.
There is a notice saying that bed linen is changed every three days and towels every other day unless you ask at reception.
The dining room is off the reception area. It is a large plain room, best summed up as functional. The bar is at the opposite end of the reception area. This has a limited range of alcohol, no real ale, and is just for residents use.
Breakfast again was functional. There was a good range of cereals but just tinned grapefruit. Fresh fruit was a choice of apples, banana or satsumas. The choice of yogurt was also limited and it was warm rather than cold. The cooked breakfast included scrambled egg, sausages and baked beans. There was toast, croissants or Danish pastries to finish.
The evening menu was very restricted – a choice of pizza, burger, curry, chill or pasta. Apparently this is the standard Holiday Express menu. It was a cold and damp night so ddidn’t fancy venturing out to fid somewhere more interesting. I chose the chilli, Michael had a burger. We were the only people eating and the meal was served quickly. The meal was acceptable, but helpings weren’t particularly generous and at £9.95 each we felt it was expensive for what we had. It kept body and soul together but didn’t encourage you to eat there again.
A NOTE ABOUT PARKING
There is a small car park by the Holiday Express but this does not belong to them and is private. It is regularly patrolled and cars parked will be ticketed. Even though there are two disabled spaces, blue badge owners will also be ticketed.
All Holiday Express guests have to use the large multistorey car park next door. Guests collect a parking voucher from reception on leaving. Handed in to the desk by the ticket machine in the car park, this gives guests a reduction on the overnight rate.
I think the word ‘functional’ best sums up our experience. Being a Saturday night we paid £99 for the room which included breakfast. Visiting the Royal Armouries, this was an excellent location. The bed was comfortable and the room was quiet. We felt the evening meal let them down and the breakfast was not as good as Premier Inn for example.