24-hour room service: Is Leeds the Manchester?

Quebecs

Leeds has certainly acquired enough designer shops, chi-chi restaurants and American coffee bars to rival the northern hub across the Pennines. Business travellers and weekend shoppers abound in equal numbers.

Leeds has certainly acquired enough designer shops, chi-chi restaurants and American coffee bars to rival the northern hub across the Pennines. Business travellers and weekend shoppers abound in equal numbers.

Quebecs, one of the Eton Town House Group of hotels, opened in February. It's the former home of the Leeds & County Liberal Club, a Grade-II listed Victorian building. After checking in, forgo the lift and climb the intricately carved oak staircase that sweeps past stunning 19th-century stained-glass windows to the first-floor.

It's beautifully decorated throughout – not a gloomy corridor to be found. With 45 rooms in all, you can choose anything from a cosy turret bedroom to a large, sunny studio at street level. The stylish decor blends neutral tones, luxury fabrics and a few quirky accessories. Bathrooms are trés chic, with snowy porcelain, marble-effect tiling and chrome fittings.

Location, location, location

Very central. Two minutes' walk from Leeds railway station via the City Square exit – you won't need a taxi. Quebecs, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds LS1 2HA (0113-244 8989; e-mail quebecs@etontownhouse.com).

Getting there: Return fares from London King's Cross on GNER (08457 225 225, www.gner.co.uk) start at £24. Leave your car at home: Leeds has a one-way traffic loop of Byzantine complexity and a compact city centre, so it's quicker to walk round. Harvey Nichols and the City Art Gallery are both 10 minutes away on foot.

Being a boutique hotel, Quebecs has no dining room, but there's full room service and a conservatory for breakfast. Sous Le Nez restaurant in the basement is not part of the hotel, but meals taken there can be billed to your room.Gueller, possibly Yorkshire's finest restaurant, is nearby, as are many other cheaper eateries.

Are you lying comfortably?

You may be tempted to cancel a night on the town and make like Henry Moore's Reclining Woman instead: beds are piled with soft pillows, velvet bolsters, downy quilts and Egyptian cotton bedlinen. Bedside mineral water and sweeties. All rooms have remote-control TV; CD player, radio, safe, minibar, and air conditioning. A muffled bass-thump from the neighbouring nightclub is audible in rooms at the back of the hotel, but if you draw the thick padded curtains it shouldn't disturb you. There is disabled access, but split-level suites are unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Freebies: Molton Brown toiletries; a 150-CD library at reception; a bowl of apples. You can keep the waffle-cotton slippers provided. The elegant Oak Room is a guests' lounge with comfortable sofas, daily papers and glossy magazines.

Keeping in touch: A two-line phone and modem point in all rooms, plus bedside cordless phone in suites.

The bottom line

Prices from £125-£200 per night, not including breakfast.

I'm not paying that: Try Malmaison, Sovereign Quay (0113-398 1000), £105 weekdays, £75 weekends inc breakfast; or 42 The Calls (0113-244 0099), £98 weekdays, £42.50 weekends.

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