Feeling in need of a break? Managed to get babysitters for an overnight stay? Looking for somewhere to go?
We don't do Travel Inns or Premier Lodges when we have the opportunity for a weekend break. A 2 night weekend break. On. Our. Own. It's a rare opportunity. A chance to splash out and enjoy being us again. So with that in mind we generally do splash out and try a different hotel every time we head to our favourite weekend break destination, Leeds.
We like shopping, but rarely get the chance to shop on an actual street instead of online. So if we are going to be browsing for treats, or looking ahead and getting a couple of Christmas presents.... come on you know you've already started thinking about it, September or not... then it's Leeds we head to.
It's a once a year trip normally and this year we picked The New Ellington. A hotel due to celebrate it's first birthday next week, located 2 minutes walk from the train station (we always get the train and I don't do long walks) and just a 5 minute walk into the centre of the Victoria Quarter (shopping heaven).
I'm writing this blog sat in an Executive Suite with the Rugby World Cup on the TV, sipping complimentary sparkling water, having had a gorgeous in-room breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast, cornflakes, coffee, orange juice, toast and marmalade and a selection of fruit. The rooms are large, well presented, clean and well stocked with everything you could possibly need. From the coffee machine, kettle, fridge, complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate and milk, a hairdryer, shampoo, shower gel, Molton Brown body lotion, in room safe and an iron and trouser press should you need it, the rooms provide that comforting feeling of luxury. The knowledge that if you need something, the staff will be only too happy to run around and sort it out for you.
They even lend out DVD players and pre-loaded Ipods, so that you can watch a film or listen to music in the comfort of your room should you wish. That's if you've managed to read the selection of current magazines provided. Not the type of magazines you'd find at your local dentists' surgery. Definitely not. No 'TV Quick'. No 'Hello'. No weekly gossip. The magazines we found provided for us were none other than 'Vogue' and 'GQ'. There were others, but I was too distracted by the fact that I was reading 'Vogue'. Me. Reading 'Vogue'. OK, looking at 'Vogue', since you have to turn between 50 and 100 pages before you get to anything resembling an article that requires reading. But even so, it was fun feeling all Sarah Jessica Parker for a couple of days. Even if I couldn't afford anything in it!
And finally of course, they provide the all important (these days) free broadband connection.
Only one minor downside. Breakfast was confusing. The room service menu doesn't have a price on it. The book it refers you to doesn't have a price on it. And then when we went for our restaurant-based breakfast there was not nearly enough orange juice on the buffet, it wasn't clear if you could help yourself to the buffet or if you'd get charged separately for it, we had to ask for toast twice before it arrived after we'd finished our cooked breakfasts, and the preserves are in a large pot on the buffet, but there's no pots or other similar devices to put it in to take back to your table. The absolutely gorgeous American Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup made up for it. But it's worth noting in advance that you'll need to be clear what you do, or don't want, for breakfast!
Other than that minor irritation, which I'm almost tempted to delete for fear of putting you off a hotel that is definitely, definitely worth a visit, the hotel was brilliant. I'm gushing somewhat, and so apologise. But I suggest you take a look at this hotel when planning your next break. They know what good service is. And that's rare.