From £80
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OVERVIEW

A classic 'Mal' hotel in a converted Victorian commercial building close to both Leeds station and the city's regenerated riverside area. The sober colours, uncluttered bedrooms and powerful showers, together with the quirky quotations dotted around, give the hotel a relaxed vibe while the punchy brasserie food is nicely filling.


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Rooms available from £80 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

On a corner site, where Swinegate becomes Call Lane, with one side overlooking the River Aire, the hotel is part of the regenerated riverside area with its cool bars, restaurants and apartments. The railway station is a five-minute walk as are the city's main shopping areas. The restored Victorian Corn Exchange with its independent shops is five minutes' walk as are bars and eateries such as North Brewing taproom and Brasserie Blanc.

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 Picadilly (2 hours) and London Kings Cross (2 hours 20 minutes). The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the station. Book trains to Leeds.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The large Victorian red-brick building, the former head office of Leeds City Tramways, sits prominently on a corner site. Interiors are in trademark Mal colours - grey, chocolate and blood-red - which, together with dark wood dado panelling, lend a sober masculine feel. It's relieved by bold industrial-style light fittings, a bar that flows into the restaurant, and low-key funky music.

THE FACILITIES

The hotel keeps prices keen by offering a few extras. A very small, rather bare, seating area is tucked beneath the main staircase; otherwise the bar doubles as a lounge and meeting place. There's free access to digital newspapers and, although there's no on-site parking, guests are offered discounted rates at a nearby car park.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Spread over four floors, the rooms share the same fuss-free, grey-on-grey masculine style with velvet headboards and cushions adding softness and bold pop-art posters and funky feature wallpapers adding colour. Even standard rooms feel airy, although those with high windows can feel dark. All rooms offer baths as well as decent showers.

Room types: Cosy, Standard, Club, Club Deluxe, Signature Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with shower and bath, tea and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

The brasserie menu offers French classics mixed with a twist of Asian. Starters might include Thai sticky beef and noodle salad and confit duck and ham terrine while mains, on our visit, included pot-roast guinea fowl and fishcake with a poached egg. Classic steaks and burgers are always on the menu. Vegetarians aren't ignored with a tofu alternative to the noodle salad, plus vegan burgers.

Chez Mal Brasserie: French and Thai classics. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Mains from £14.

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