Queens Hotel in Leeds, which has welcomed Nelson Mandela, Cary Grant and Princess Grace of Monaco, re-opens after £16m transformation

Over the last 80 years, some of the biggest names in showbusiness and politics have set flashbulbs popping as they passed through the doors of the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 2:56 pm

The hotel's famous guests have included Nelson Mandela, Princess Grace of Monaco, David Niven and Michael Caine and just about every member of the Royal Family you care to mention.

It has now re-opened its doors after undergoing a £16m transformation which aims to reflect the changing demands of the post-pandemic business world.

The hotel's owners, the QHotels Group, believe the Queens is poised to boost the city’s post-lockdown economy and provide a shot in the arm for the hospitality sector,

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The Upper Foyer near the Queens Ballroom  at the Queens Hotel in Leeds
The Upper Foyer near the Queens Ballroom at the Queens Hotel in Leeds

A spokesman said: "The modernised hotel will not only pay homage to its rich history but most importantly, it will play to the new way people are using city centre hotel spaces for co-working and socialising."

"Following the successful Bank Holiday weekend, which saw vast numbers of people flock to the city to take advantage of the long-awaited sunshine and relaxed restrictions, The Queens Hotel has seen a huge spike in bookings."

The refurbishment includes the addition of an extra 17 bedrooms, bringing the room total to 232.

The ground floor has been transformed into a host of communal areas, with a ‘social hub’ at the heart of the hotel.

Dav Singh a Concierge at the Queens Hotel In Leeds, getting the new Cafe Pacific in the entrance to the hotel ready for reopening.

A spokesman said: "The cohesive space will give visitors flexible options to socialise, work, or dine. A far cry from the traditionally quiet hotel lobby, The Queens Hotel aims to bring the outside in by offering communal spaces targeted as much at locals as hotel guests."

The renovations have led to the creation of Grand Pacific, an all-day dining destination comprising a 100-cover restaurant, private dining rooms, bar and cafe.

Alistair Campbell, the general manager of The Queens Hotel Leeds, said: “This transformation has been eagerly awaited and after a tough time for the hospitality industry we can’t wait to open the doors and welcome the first guests back to this iconic Leeds landmark.

“The Queens Hotel is a special place with fond memories for many who have visited or stayed at the hotel. The transformation is truly spectacular and a huge boost to Leeds’ hospitality and tourism industry.

Dav Singh a Concierge at the Queens Hotel In Leeds, in the new reception area at the hotel , getting ready for reopening.

“There has been an overwhelming response to the opening and with people excited to get back out and about to city life we can’t wait to showcase the new look to guests, whether they are staying, utilising our co-working spaces or enjoying the new restaurant.”

The Grand Pacific is hosting a soft launch offer which us available from June 14 to 27.

The Queens, built by William Airey and Sons of Leeds, was officially opened on November 12, 1937 by the Princess Royal and the 6th Earl of Harewood.

The building itself was a state-of-the-art construction which made headlines for its innovative design.

It was among one of the few hotels in the country to have en-suite bathrooms and the only one in the UK to have a completely regulated ventilation system.

It was built as a railway hotel by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and still has private access to the station.

Other famous guests have included Laurel and Hardy, who stayed twice during the height of their fame.

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.