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“Great hotel but small things count!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Malmaison Hotel

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Malmaison Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 89 Hotels in Leeds
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Great hotel but small things count!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

If you read my reviews you will know that I stay in lots of hotels each year - most for work, some for leisure. So it's always a disappoint to stay somewhere really promising - great room, nice food, good location - and have my stay experience impacted by the hotel and it's staff getting the little things wrong.

Malmaison in Leeds is a lovely hotel with great rooms. Nice big bedroom, desk with power sockets at desk height, decent lighting and a decent chair, comfy chairs and coffee table, flat screen TV, good sized wardrobe and storage, mini bar etc. It also had a large modern bathroom with shower over bath, decent sized vanity and heated towel rail. The bar and brasserie are also good.

Reception staff were efficient and welcoming on check-in and staff were generally engaged.

However, it's the small things that done right could have made this a really great stay.

The bed was ok but obviously doesn't get the mattress turned regularly as the side I slept on - the one beside the phone and closest to the bathroom ie the obvious default side - had developed a dip so you were in a body-moulded mattress! The room Internet is still wired and the phone beside the bed had its 'message waiting light' flashing the whole time, even though there were no messages. The bathroom mirror is huge but the vanity so wide that putting on make up, or shaving, when you needs glasses like me, becomes a challenge. Why no shaving mirror?

The breakfast team were stretched at 0700 and we waited ages for a waiter to acknowledge us and take our tea order, even though we had advised the waitress who seated us that we had an 0730 meeting in the hotel. Food generally was good and the previous evening dinner in the brasserie was lovely.

Checkout was straight forward but again, small things matter. 2 staff were on the desk, 4 of us (not together) had room cards in hand but both staff were glued to their PC screens and had to be prompted to check us out. Funnily enough if I'm standing in front of you with a room card and wallet at 0930, its pretty obvious I need to go.

Will give it another shot next time I'm in Leeds as overall it suits my needs but a little attention to the small details would vastly improve the overall guest experience.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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714 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

My husband I decided at the last minute to have a child free night away and picked this hotel after it was recommended to us and I have to say that it didn't disappoint. The hotel is gorgeous and our room was nicely decorated and very spacious.
We went for a romantic package which had little gifts such as chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, scented bubble bath and massage oil, cocktails at the bar and a lovely breakfast!!!
The restaurant had a wonderful ambience and the food was AMAZING!! the young staff were lovely and polite and knew everything about the food and drink they were serving.
All in all it was a wonderful break but the price was a little steep. However I don't see the point in being tight when you get a chance to have a break away from the hectic family and working life!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Good location within easy waking distance of Leeds centre, nice large room ( very dark though) with good attention to the finer details. Nice bathroom - large bottles of shampoo etc not those tiny things !
2 course dinner was included. Food was very nice but rather spoilt by the extras - £4 for bread, £4 for chips, £13 service charge etc etc. Surely margins arent that tight that they cant include a few bits of bread !
Breakfast - nice cold buffet followed by wide variety of hot choices all cooked to order - not the fight over the watery beans or solid eggs at the buffet counter.
Car parking is 5 mins away - £10 over night.
Overall staff well trained and professional, decor great with lots of Halloween touches. Some nice touches that differentiates it from other majors but watch the extras !

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012 via mobile

Welcoming reception staff, room everything you need, dinner fantastic, great location, remember....... Parking cost, there is no on-site parking. Watch out for that pesky service charge!
My husband and I have stayed here before, this stay was for our wedding anniversary, having four children this was the perfect retreat. We had a weekend offer which included a 3 course dinner in the price. On arrival there was a warm welcome from the reception staff, everything was explained about the facilities and arrangements for dinner & breakfast. Our room was clean and adequate for the needs of our stay. Dinner was fantastic, just a note, watch out for the extra little bits your encouraged to add on i.e: bread, olives, water...... SERVICE CHARGE, I like to choose whether I tip or not. I challenged this at reception on checking out, we didn't have to pay it. Overall our stay was just what we needed and nothing was spoilt. I will defiantly visit again.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Richmond, North Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

This was my second overnight stay in about a year at Leeds Mal (which is approximately 363 stays too short). Yet again, they completely surpassed all expectations.

I love this place, from the moment we arrived the receptionists were pleasant, welcoming and chatty (extra points for the halloween headbands and tasty themed treats on the desk!). We were shown to our room - sorry, I had better correct that, we were shown to our indulgent, beautiful, extravagant suite.....absolutely outstanding, also known as The Depot. It had the wow factor for sure. The lounge area was perfectly set out with the double doors to the bedroom area just slightly ajar giving you a peek at what lies in store for sleep time...the bed was HUGE and so comfortable, I knew right away it was going to be a challenge getting up in the morning.

Then the exciting bit....we were shown the bathroom. Should have taken my diving gear, the bath was superb, I cant even say sunken into the floor, as that gives the wrong impression, its like a mini swimming pool, with steps down, and surprisingly doesnt take long to fill up either (as soon as the lovely lady who showed us round had left we got the taps on and jumped in, we couldnt wait!) Equipped with bath oils and a couple of glasses of wine we sat and enjoyed the moment. Perfection! We drained the bath, and felt a bit greasy due to the bath oil - ideal time to try out the monsoon shower - wow!!! It was literally the best shower ive ever had. After emerging from the wetness of the bathroom we noticed the lounge had steamed up a bit, then there was a knock on the door to say the fire alarm had been set off - ooops!!! Concerned we didnt hear it, but it was just the sensors that had been alerted from our room, best to keep the bathroom door shut, although the dressing gowns are super fluffy and cosy, wouldnt want to be evacuated in one!

I noticed some other reviewers complaining about the price of the wine?! £20 for a bottle of wine is pretty standard in most establishments with some kind of credibility, maybe you need to get out more.

I thought the wine we had was great value, the bottle of red in the room was £13.95, a spanish tempranillo, we also ordered a bottle of house white at £6.95 from the bar - cant go wrong!!!

I could rave on and on about this room and about the hotel, There are so many good things about the suite, but the best thing I could reccommend is to try it yourself, you will not be disappointed!!

Room Tip: Pick The Depot Suite - well worth it!!!!!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Stayed for one night. Rooms spacious and airy. Bathroom lovely with fabulous complimantary toiletries. TV with, unusually Sky channels, including the sports channels. Not sure I liked the bottle of wine with a price tag!!
Breakfast was amazing.... loads of choice and impeccably presented.

Downside,,,felt wine was over priced at £20 per bottle....not necessary!!!

Staff very attentive and helpful.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

When people describe something as "quirky", I'm always filled with a slight sense of fear. "Quirky" is all too often an excuse to be substandard in some unidentified area, so that when you complain you can be told "oh, that's part of the charm - isn't it a lovely quirk?". Erm, no. Not always. Quirky is an amusing dinner menu, or an amusing picture of a small horse wearing a hat on display in the lobby. Not being able to open a window , for example, is an outright fault.

Then the thought of a whole corporate chain taking the concept of "quirkiness" and making it an overriding theme in a national hotel chain is enough to bring an uber-conservative like me out in a cold sweat. Quirkyness, I assume, is one step away from being a long haired, left wing, vegetarian lentil eater and I had a nagging doubt that one night here might turn me into a Guardian reading, ban the bomb type, which would have been just awful. I love bombs.

I was due to accompany some friends on a night out in Leeds and because I am a man and my organisational skills are non-existent, the aforementioned quirky Malmaison Leeds was my only choice for the night, and I am happy to report to you, dear reader, that all the fears I felt above were dismissed, completely and utterly.

I arrived at about six pm on a Saturday night and due to my own bad timekeeping I was heading out straight away, but the nice young lady on Reception was happy to swipe my card, issue me with a couple of key cards and arranged for my overnight bag to be left in my room for when I got in from my testing evening of drinking beer.

On my return later that night I found that I had been allocated a room suitable for a disabled person (can I say disabled these days?), complete with lots of bars and things in the bathroom area. Now this, I have to say, was a bit of a bonus as I had drunk quite a lot of beer that night so I was having some issues standing up. The metal bars helped me immensely and I swung from bar to bar happily like the drunken ape I am sure I resembled as I tried to brush my teeth.

Nightly ablutions completed, I threw myself bodily into the bed. My hotel bed testing routine goes something like this: Clothes off, remove duvet, run up to bed, swan dive in, pull duvet back over self, wriggle until comfortable. I can normally tell if I am going to be comfortable in the first few seconds, and the beds in this hotel are so comfortable I let out an almost orgasmic sigh of pleasure as I snuggled down from the night.

On waking up in the morning, it appeared that someone had broken in and thrown my clothes and possessions in a haphazard manner around the room. Worse, they had taken all of my lovely money and replaced it with a random collection of loose change and replaced my liver and head with a beating big bass drum and sucked all of the moisture out of my body. There was also some suspicious smelling fast food in the bin. Of course, none of this was the hotel chains fault, this was purely the result of my attempt to drink all of the beer in Leeds the night before - and I do mean all of the beer, but how could this so-far-excellent hotel improve and make my sorry mind and body better?

Well, for a start, coffee is always needed after a busy night out and I was delighted to see that the standard packet of Nescafe granules does not exist in the Malmaison world - instead you get a lovely filter cup of coffee in a packet containing fresh ground coffee along with some delightfully quirky (yes, there's that word again!) sachets of sugar. An excellent touch and a much more delicious cup of coffee than you would get in any other hotel chain.

Suitably full of coffee, the next thing was to try out the shower. Again, carefully holding onto the bars for disabled people (I was feeling VERY fragile), I whacked the shower to the coldest setting and threw myself under in an attempt to inject some life into me. It didn't work, but you could probably have heard my screams in Denmark. Now, my declared religion is "coward", so when confronted by unpleasant things, I like them to cease as soon as possible, so it was back to a more civilised hot shower setting for a good ten minutes until I felt more human. The complimentary all over body wash is pleasant smelling and invigorating and it played probably a major part in my return to the human race. If only they had a product that removed the shame of realising you ate a kebab the night before - I'd pay extra for that.

Clean and full of tasty coffee, I spend the last few minutes of my admittedly very short stay checking out the TV channels (standard), the view from the hotel window (depressingly, the view was of Leeds itself) and trying to retrieve my possessions from wherever I accidentally scattered them the night before.

Check out was painless and the same lovely lady who booked me in the night before was on duty again and I thanked her for a lovely stay. All in all, a very nice hotel in a great location that was good value for money with some nice touches. I'd happily stay in this hotel again, only next time I promise not to be such a drunken bum so I can enjoy just that little bit more.

Things that are unexpectedly quirky and great about the Malmaison Leeds:

1. The aforementioned coffee and brew kit - excellent.
2. The furniture, lighting and decor - deliciously funky.
3. The staff - lovely individuals that talk to you like a real person.
4. The beer - served in schooners instead of pint glasses.

Things that they could do to make it even quirkier and fun:

1. Make all prices more amusing. Charging £129 is standard. Charging £129.56 and 3/8ths plus a picture of a giraffe would be more fun. You should have to pay an extra pound if you fail.
2. Beer is served in schooners. Continue the nautical theme in the bar. Serve rum in tots, and get a discount if you act like a pirate.
3. Remove all the floor numbers from the lift. Replace them in a random order, or with Braille.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Malmaison Hotel

Address: 1 Swinegate, Leeds LS1 4AG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > West Yorkshire > Leeds
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Romantic Hotel in Leeds
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Malmaison Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 100
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Hotel Leeds

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