Five things: The Queens Hotel, City Square, Leeds

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Think you know the Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre? Think again.

The Grade II-listed hotel was built in 1937 in the art deco style of the period. It was built as a railway hotel by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and still has private access to the station.

The hotel has 215 rooms and was one of the first in Britain to have en-suite bathrooms. Famous guests have included Laurel and Hardy, who stayed overnight in 1932 and 1954.

A night in the Queens in the 1930s cost the equivalent of £18. At the time the average house cost £540. The hotel is clad in Portland stone and fossils can be seen in the brickwork.

Beneath the hotel are underground tunnels and rooms used for storage. One opens directly onto the diverted River Aire and scenes from crime drama A Touch of Frost were filmed there.

The original hotel on the site was built in 1863 by the old Midland Railway, near to the terminus of their line at the Wellington Street station. It was a break point on the Leeds-Glasgow route.

Ian Beaumont of KPMG

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