Every now and then, I’m amazed at how lucky I can be. I felt like this at the weekend after receiving an invitation to review the DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds on an evening that just so happened to coincide with James’ and my wedding anniversary.
We had already decided to take the day off work and spend it in Leeds, so having the option of staying in a snazzy hotel afterwards was the icing on the cake.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds is ridiculously close to the train station. Situated within Granary Wharf, it’s just a one minute walk from the south exit of Leeds train station.
We arrived quite early before check-in but were still welcomed by friendly staff and were able to leave our luggage before heading into town. The hotel is less than ten minutes away from the city centre so is in a great location.
We had an indulgent afternoon, enjoying lunch at Bundobust, drinks at Revolucion de Cuba, a coffee at La Bottega Milanese (one of James’ top 3 places in Leeds for a latte!), watching Baby Driver (brilliant film) at the Vue in The Light, a drink at Be At One off Millennium Square (not only is this one of my favourite bars in Leeds but it’s also probably the best place to go for mocktails), before fitting in a small bit of shopping and returning back to the hotel.
We received a cookie when checking in (all places should give you a cookie when you arrive anywhere!) and then made our way up to the 10th floor to our king junior suite. (A word of warning about the lifts – they do tend to get quite busy which means you can be waiting a little while for one, so if you’re on one of the lower floors and fit enough, I’d just take the stairs!)
Our room was amazing. Not only did it have great views of the canal and surrounding area, it also had a Mac computer and a Nespresso machine – whilst I was won over by the cookie, these two things really impressed James. As well as a TV, ironing board and fridge, there was even an umbrella in the wardrobe – everything you could possibly need!
The bathroom was very stylish as well, with a powerful shower, some lovely Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries (ooh posh!) and slippers and a robe.
We went down to The Lock for dinner, the hotel’s new restaurant. Serving a British food menu, with an outside area for eating overlooking the canal, this is a good casual dining choice if you’re staying at the hotel and don’t want to venture too far away.
We had crispy chicken wings, portobello mushroom fries and chicken tacos for a starter (two rather than three dishes would be fine if you’re not too ravenous) and then James had steak and chips for his main and I had the sea bass fillets, samphire and spiced prawns.
The good thing about where the DoubleTree is that you have plenty of food and drink options. Livin’ Italy is a favourite of mine and Bilbao Bar is good for tapas. Across the water, the new Water Lane Boathouse is a great place to sit outside and have a drink on the few, rare occasions when it’s sunny.
We went to The Hop after dinner, which is just seconds away from the hotel, to enjoy some live music; they have covers bands playing every Friday and Saturday.
We went back to the hotel to enjoy a cocktail at Sky Lounge before calling it a night. I’ve blogged about Sky Lounge before – it’s a very swish cocktail bar on the 13th floor of the hotel and is a great place to start or end the night. We got chatting to a couple enjoying drinks here who had also just been to The Hop for the music. They were staying at The DoubleTree for the lady’s birthday and apparently regularly come back to the hotel for special occasions as they enjoy it so much.
The next day we went down for breakfast which was served in a lovely room with floor to ceiling windows, offering views of the canal. There was a good selection of breakfast items including hot “Full English” foods, meats and cheeses, fruit, cereal and pastries (including some rather yummy looking muffins which I managed to resist after already eating a pastry).
After breakfast we walked along the canal, spotting a few ducks with ducklings and swans with cygnets. There was plenty of time to go shopping back in the centre before check-out, if we had fancied it.
To quench our thirst after the long walk, we had a drink in Out of the Woods which is a lovely little cafe serving a great selection of smoothies.
We then went back to chill in the hotel before sadly checking out. Our visit to the DoubleTree by Hilton didn’t end there though. Oh no. In the name of thorough research, James and I went back to the Sky Lounge to try their brunch.
They offer a two-course brunch menu, but even we couldn’t manage that after also having breakfast (remember – we weren’t being greedy, we were being thorough!). James had salmon and spinach on poached eggs and I went for the bacon pancakes – both yummy. Full disclosure here, I have been to the Sky Lounge before to try their afternoon tea, but the service was very poor and we still hadn’t been seen to after an hour so we ended up leaving. HOWEVER, I think that might have just been a bad day. Our brunch was tasty and it’s an excellent cocktail bar, so I’d give it another go.
We had a really lovely stay in this hotel. It’s in such a good location, the room was great and the staff are very attentive. It made our five year wedding anniversary extra special.
Thank you to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels and Active Profile for inviting us to stay a night and review the hotel and restaurants.