A converted corn mill, the Leeds hotel is full of charming nooks and crannies, its odd shaped rooms fitted out with comfortable beds. If only they would add a few more lights. I could barely see well enough to unpack my bags and ended up with a few bruises from bumping into furniture in the dark.
- Address: 42 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 7EW, England
- Tel: +44(0)1132 440 099
- Visit their website
- Price Band: $$$, breakfast is not included
- Bedrooms: There are 41 rooms - ranging from small study rooms to a penthouse suite
- 24-hour room service
- Accessibility:Some attempts at accessibility have been made and there are lifts to the upper floors. But this is an 18th century building with odd twisting corridors and steps in unexpected places. Disabled guests need to give the hotel advanced notice to because only a few rooms are wheelchair accessible.
Leeds Hotel Room With a View
Beginning with its name - 42 The Calls - which is, in fact, also its address, everything about this Leeds hotel has an idiosyncratic charm. Located in a converted 18th century corn mill, it sits right on the River Aire. Rooms on the river side have fishy artwork and real, working fishing rods - in case guests care to drop a line out the window. At night, the view of Leed's old world river front sparkles with character.
Irregularly shaped rooms are fitted into the old mill's eccentric shape; corridors twist round corners or go up and down steps so unexpectedly that it's easy to get lost. The morning after I stayed, I had some difficulty finding my way out.
Public areas and guest rooms have been designed around the building's original features. Wherever you look there are exposed brick walls, oak beams, industrial girders and original mill mechanisms that were used to haul grain up from the quayside.
It's a Tight FitIn keeping with the original building's antiquity, everything - from corridors to closets to bathrooms - is on a rather small scale. Even the tiny, revolving door entrance is too small for a human being and a medium sized suitcase. Fortunately there is a side door and a bell to ring if you need help getting in - as my group did. If you like to have more than enough room to swing a cat, you might find this Leeds hotel a bit cramped.
Beds, on the other hand, are big and comfy. According to the hotel brochure, they are handmade.
Lots of Goodies
There are several telephones in the room and a modem point. But the high speed internet access, which many guests find essential, is via the television - clumsy and costly.
A Big - Expensive - BreakfastBreakfast, is served in the River Room from 7a.m. to 9:30a.m. on weekdays and until 11:30a.m. weekends. There's a buffet breakfast for about £12. A full Yorkshire breakfast - with a choice of two different kinds of sausages from the hotel's selection of 10 varieties - costs just under £15. Variations include waffles, kippers, smoked haddock or kedgeree.
Having become disoriented and lost in the labyrinth of corridors and staircases on the way to breakfast, I only had time to gobble down some scrambled eggs and coffee - so I cannot report on the quality though it all looked very nice.
Access is up and down some narrow steps so guests with accessibility issues would probably be better starting the day in the cafe at the Corn Exchange, not far away.
Bring a Flashlight
Stumbling around in the dark made it impossible to do much of anything besides enjoy the great river view in the evening and hard to wake up and get organised in the morning. That spoiled what otherwise might have been an interesting stay in a charmingly eccentric Leeds hotel.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of reviewing the property. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.