A cosmopolitan metropolis with a historical setting and a unique, fun but sometimes gritty vibe, Leeds is a great choice for an upbeat and lively city break. The city is a melting pot of cultures, bursting with life and energy. Trendy gastro pubs operate next to traditional curry houses, cheap markets flourish beside luxury shopping malls and the striking Victorian buildings just add to the city’s soul.
A once-emerging independent, hipster scene is also now thriving and a vibrant creative community has brought in many cool craft beer bars, quaint cafés and inspired eateries to complement its award-winning music, arts and fashion.
Now you’ll just need to find an equally interesting place to stay, from intimate boutiques to modern luxury, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Leeds, England (in no particular order)...
1. Malmaison Hotel Leeds – a fun, funky and creative hotel perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
The lavish, atmospheric Victorian building which houses the Malmaison was once the Leeds City Tramways office. This extravagant five-floored hotel which possesses an urban loft vibe is located just a five-minute walk from Leeds’ transport links, on the corner of Swinegate and The Calls.
From cosy double rooms to executive suites, all 100 of the classy rooms come with branded bathroom goodies, a diversely stocked mini bar, exposed light bulbs with gigantic headboards, and certainly stray from a ‘generic’ feel.
One of the great features of the Malmaison is its eponymous Chez Mal brasserie and bar, which offers contemporary, stylish dining with a glamorous historic charm, and the Chez Mal bar, providing an elegant setting for some relaxed cocktails.
The hotel is also very close to the city’s vibrant nightlife, as well as the infamous ‘Trinity Leeds’ and the Corn Exchange.
- To book, check prices or availability for Malmaison Hotel Leeds
2. Dakota Leeds – a trendy, modern and Insta-worthy hotel close to great attractions
The timeless and sophisticated style of this luxury lifestyle brand is matched by its immaculate service. The hotel captures the low-key elegance indicative of the transatlantic Dakota aircraft of the 1930s, after which it is named.
The pure exclusivity of the Dakota is reflected in its glossy-black and pearly-white exterior. Inside, the mirrored wall panels and jewel-toned velvet sofas, the dimmed lighting levels, and the muted, soothing grey-on-grey interior, imitate a modern private members club.
All 85 rooms follow this dark and cocooning style, complete with high-quality bespoke furnishings, and come equipped with well-designed bathrooms and technology to cater for both leisure and business guests.
All food is created with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and produced by a team of first-rate chefs. The restaurant offers brasserie dishes with a unique tweak.
The hotel is tucked away hidden from the city’s busiest streets, between the river and the recently gentrified Northern Quarter, and is surrounded by many boutique restaurants and shops.
- To book, check prices or availability for Dakota Leeds
3. The Queens Hotel – a chic boutique hotel with unique artistic decor
Nowhere will throw you more into Leeds city life than the spectacular Queens Hotel, located right on City Square. This Art Deco flagship hotel, which has instant access to the train station, takes you back to the golden age of the railways, with motifs, and artsy patterns embellishing much of the furnishings and décor.
The Queens has successfully fostered modern conveniences in a 1930s setting. All their 215 rooms, whether Standard Twin or Double, are equipped with top-of-the-range amenities and super-comfy beds, furnished with a sleek modern interior aggrandized in the aforementioned Art Deco style.
The basement restaurant at the Queens serves an exceptionally diverse range of original Modern British dishes, as well as higher-end burgers and steak.
Just a short stroll from some the city’s best restaurants and nightlife, the Queens Hotel is perfectly situated within the hustle and bustle of Leeds City Centre, yet nonetheless offers a quiet, graceful spot to kick back and relax.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Queens Hotel
4. Briggate Hotel – a stylish and unique boutique hotel that provides great facilities
This trendy boutique hotel comes with uniquely styled rooms catered to every need (some with luxuriously large walk-in showers, some with balconies overlooking train tracks) and features good views of the city. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV with Netflix.
As the hotel is situated above the lively Viaduct Show Cabaret Bar, it doesn’t promise the tranquillity of other hotels.
That being said, it is the ideal spot for those looking to enjoy the nightlife, and guests can enjoy healthy yet contemporary meals at the nearby Botanist bar, or venture to one of the many restaurants and nightclubs within a stone’s throw away.
If shopping is on the agenda, you can’t go wrong with the Briggate Boutique Hotel, situated within walking distance of Briggate, the new Victoria Gate complex, and the Trinity shopping complex.
- To book, check prices or availability for Briggate Hotel
5. Quebecs – a unique upscale hotel which is the only independently owned one located in central Leeds
Located in the heart of Leeds, the grade II listed 4-star luxury hotel ‘Quebecs’ is situated in a distinctive building of terracotta brickwork, and was once an opulent political club for the Liberal Party.
Its sheer beauty is characterized by a grand oak staircase with ornate balustrades of finely carved oak, Corinthian columns which flank the elaborate entrance, and five tall stain-glassed windows illustrating the coat of arms of five Yorkshire towns.
This unique structure allows you to take a step back in time, and has attracted the likes of Russell Brand, Coldplay, Vic Reeves and many more over the years.
Whilst each room offers unique characteristics, the amenities are all of a high standard. All rooms come equipped with remarkably comfortable beds topped with Egyptian cotton bed linen and duck feather and down pillows and duvets, suitably equipped with modern technology and options for room service.
There are also a heap of restaurants and bars just a few streets away at the Greek Street and Park Row intersection, providing a diverse range of eating and drinking options.
- To book, check prices or availability for Quebecs
6. Quebecs Luxury Apartments – a charming luxury aparthotel that offers a chic contemporary design
Arguably the best-kept secret in the city centre following a major refurbishment in 2014, Quebecs Luxury Apartments combine breath-taking cityscape views with the convenience of city centre living.
Housed in one of the city’s most recognisable buildings in the heart of the centre – The Grade II listed Old Post Office, Quebecs Luxury Apartments was VisitBritain and Quality in Tourism’s first 5-star accommodation in Leeds.
Transcending the problems regarding lack of space in traditional hotels, this sophisticated concept in urban living provides the luxury and services of a five star hotel, with all 23 private apartments exhibiting almost 3 times the space.
Quebec Luxury Apartments is in the heart of the action, situated in the centre of Leeds, close to the diverse range of events, sights and activities that will constitute a monumental trip to this fascinating city.
- To book, check prices or availability for Quebecs Luxury Apartments
7. Village Hotel Leeds North – a cool and funky place to stay in Leeds that offers leisure centre facilities too
The Village Hotel Leeds North is situated just a few minutes drive from Headingley cricket ground, less than 4 miles from the city centre of Leeds.
It offers the complete package for those wishing to visit the city, however being further north, the Yorkshire Dales are waiting to be explored.
The hotel has 134 modern and bright bedrooms, stylish dining options at the all-day pub and grill, a state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Club, a Squash Court, a Starbucks, a 25-metre pool, a wedding license, and live party nights.
The pub and grill has an interesting global menu of delicious dishes including sweet potato and chickpea curry and roasted okra, available also on room service!
- To book, check prices or availability for Village Hotel Leeds North
8. The Met Hotel Leeds – a chic and contemporary hotel housed in a historic Grade II listed building
Welcoming guests to Leeds for well over a century, The Met Hotel has been long renowned for its gorgeous Victorian terracotta façade and ornate architecture.
The blending of this original design with contemporary interiors helps it maintain its place as one of the most cherished landmarks in the city, leading to its recent accolade of ‘Best Business Hotel in Yorkshire’.
The hotel prides itself on being designed to suit the business executive by providing all 120 rooms with a work area and high-speed internet connection, amongst a wide array of amenities and refreshments to ensure a highly enjoyable and comfortable stay.
The bar and restaurant features a stylish setting, with seasonally inspired dining and drinking crafted from local ingredients.
Based in Leeds’ business district, just a short amble from the highly anticipated Trinity Shopping Centre, the Met offers a peaceful base for a relaxing trip, alongside easy access to all the wonderful attractions Leeds and Yorkshire have to offer.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Met Hotel Leeds
9. Ibis Styles Leeds City Centre Arena – an arty, kitsch, and fun party hotel to stay that features décor inspired by Yorkshire culture
Brewed with the very best of Leeds and Yorkshire, here we have a hotel which is proud to share nods to its past, situated with easy access to restaurants, bars, and shopping spots.
Born and bred Yorkshire, the northern soul permeates this Ibis hotel, and upon entrance and hearing nothing but the famed Yorkshire accent, you can tell immediately that the quirkiness of the Leeds story is authentically woven into the fabric of the hotel.
You will find local lingo printed on the mirrors and walls, modern colours combined with vintage industrial materials, and cityscape graphics on the headboards. A stay here will be like your own little tour of Yorkshire.
Among a multitude of other features, the 134 rooms cater to solo travellers, friends, couples and families, all elaborated by side tables fashioned from industrial antiques, and murals in the shower rooms.
The hotel further boasts an all-day bar and restaurant, and a drinks corner with complimentary tea and coffee.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ibis Styles Leeds City Centre Arena – funky budget
10. Oulton Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort – a quirky-chic upscale hotel housed in a historic 18th-century mansion where pets are also welcome
A historic mansion nestled in over 300 acres of magnificent gardens, the Oulton Hall Hotel, Spa & Gold Resort is the perfect getaway spot to experience some warm Yorkshire hospitality.
Another one of Leeds’ Grade II listed mansions, Oulton Hall is an exquisite blend of traditional 18th-century features, welcoming you into a world of luxury and leisure from the moment you arrive at the driveway.
This hotel’s most unique features are its highly acclaimed 27-hole championship golf course which is maintained blissfully, award-winning dining treats, a luxury spa haven with 10 treatment rooms, and an impressive techno gym.
Those who enjoy golf arrive itching to tackle the pristine course, before enjoying a beverage in the Claret Jug clubhouse. The restaurant offers succulent dishes and boasts miraculous views of the golf course, and the Calverley Grill is host to some fine Yorkshire dining.
Oulton Hall is the perfect Hotel to rest, relax and re-energise.
- To book, check prices or availability for Oulton Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
11. Leeds Super Luxurious Apartments – one of the most sophisticated apartments in Leeds with striking decor
The 8-room ‘Super Luxurious Apartment’ is located a mere 5-minute drive to the neo-gothic Leeds Cathedral. Each room is equipped with a satellite TV, a couch, a microwave, and luxurious bedding.
The apartments offer particularly high standards of quality accommodation, ideal for business travellers and corporate services, as well as guests on the search for a 5-star experience.
Quality and character are what make Leeds Super Luxurious Apartments so distinctive, with an array of charming features and styles which will meet the needs of everybody.
The apartments are conveniently located within 2.5 kilometres from Trinity Leeds shopping centre and the 02 Academy.
- To book, check prices or availability for Leeds Super Luxurious Apartments
12. Woodlands Hotel – a romantic boutique hotel housed in a historic mansion that features beautifully landscaped grounds
This picturesque boutique hotel is set in stunning landscaped grounds on the outskirts of Leeds. The manicured lawns provide a gorgeous backdrop to an elegant photoshoot, whilst the woodland has nurtured a magnificent zone to take a peaceful wander.
Originally built in 1871 for a local textile mill owner, under private ownership and management the hotel has been reinvigorated with modern design, becoming a popular host for weddings and other ceremonial events.
Speaking of which, the staff are trained to assist with such events, and partnerships with local vendors has risen the profile of the elegant Woodlands Hotel, which now accommodates up to 250 for receptions.
The hotel itself consists of 23 individually designed rooms, all with en-suite facilities and higher-end amenities.
It also features a gourmet restaurant alongside casual dining options on-site, however, if seeking a more upbeat evening, the vibrant cosmopolitan city centre and the effervescent nightlife of Leeds is only 3 miles away.
- To book, check prices or availability for Woodlands Hotel
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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome, Twitter @garynansome and his website https://garynunn.co.uk/