Review of The Met Hotel Leeds

I stayed at the 4 star Met Hotel Leeds in September 2012. I booked through the otel.com Facebook page which offered me a 10% discount, bringing the price for a single room for three nights including breakfast to £121. The other advantage of the Met was its proximity to the venue for the Write on Finance Blog Up Leeds event, which I organised for my personal finance blog, Help Me To Save. The Met (originally Metropole) Hotel Leeds, constructed during the late 1890s, is now a Grade 2 listed building. It took a couple of minutes to walk to the hotel from the City Square exit of Leeds railway station.

Exterior of Metropole Hotel Leeds

Exterior of The Met Hotel Leeds

The hotel underwent renovation in the mid 2000s and the lobby is beautiful. I arrived at The Met Hotel Leeds at around 1pm, one hour before the official 2pm check in time. There was a muddle up over my booking. The receptionist informed me that Otel.com had cancelled my booking, but not to worry as there were rooms available and she would sort it out.  She phoned Otel.com and although she was unable to fully resolve the issue during that call, she checked me in. An example of great customer service there. However, I do wonder what would’ve happened if the hotel had been fully booked. This incident underlined why you should always contact the hotel directly a couple fo days before arrival to confirm your booking, especially if you make your booking through a third-party site. I usually do this, but I was too preoccupied with organsing the Blog Up.

Lobby at Leeds Metropole Hotel

Lobby at The Met Leeds

My fifth floor room was a good size for a single. It was located above an access road to the back of the hotel and opposite an office block, which I thought should make it fairly quiet over the weekend. It had an unusual layout, with two interconnecting areas, each with a window; one section had the bed, desk and a TV cabinet, while the other was like a dressing room with the wardrobe. The bathroom was spacious with an old-fashioned looking shower above the bath.

Single room at Leeds Met hotel

Single room at The Met Leeds

I didn’t think that the room was up to 4 star standard. The carpet was looking worse for wear and there was a stain beside the bedside cabinet. The bed was really soft. The choice of free TV channels was very limited. Often I don’t watch TV at all at hotels, but I felt like a bit of relaxation on the Saturday night; BBC3 & 4 weren’t even available. There was one small bar of soap and one container of rather watery shower gel/shampoo. In fact, I’ve stayed in better rooms in three star hotels e.g. Jurys Inn Leeds.  Maybe some of the other rooms at The Met Hotel Leeds are furnished to a higher standard; my room certainly wasn’t in keeping with the grand lobby.

If there hadn’t been the confusion over my booking when I checked in, I probably would’ve gone down to reception to request a better room, but I was embarrassed to do this and the room wasn’t absolutely awful. In any case, I had an appointment at 3pm and wanted to get unpacked and have a cup of tea before heading out again. I was also rather focused on the event I was organising.

I was delighted to have free wired internet, I find this provides a more stable and faster connection for working on my netbook than WiFi. However, the connection instructions could be clearer. Initially, I clicked on the guest option which only allowed a 30 minute connection, whereas the third option, labelled  “if you had an access code” had no time limit. There was free WiFi in the public areas which had a reasonable signal.

So much for thinking that my room would be quiet. At around 6am on the Sunday morning, I heard what sounded like a bin lorry but when the noise continued for several minutes, I got up to investigate. The din was from a mobile window cleaning platform working on the office block opposite my room. On the Monday morning I was awakened by a lorry reversing into the access road to make a delivery to the office block. Now neither of these noise issues are within the control of hotel and I do appreciate that there’s likely to be some noise in a city centre hotel. However, if the hotel only has single glazed old sash windows, any noise is likely to permeate.

Met Hotel Leeds review

The beautiful stairwell at The Met Leeds

The breakfast was OK, again not really up to 4 star standard; the hot selection was greasy and the fried egg rubbery. The fruit salad, Danish pastries and cheese selection were good. I thought that the restaurant was a bit dingy, due to lack of natural light.

Met hotel Leeds review

Cold breakfast selection at The Met Hotel Leeds

In summary, my room at the Met Hotel Leeds was incongruous with the four star rating and the public areas of the hotel; my room was in dire need of a new carpet and bed. However, bearing in mind that I paid just over £40 a night, I was happy with the central location, the free internet connection (which can cost £10 per 24 hours in some hotels) and the fact that breakfast was included (which often costs at least £10 a person per night). It’s partly about expectations, I expect higher standards in a four star hotel. Having said that, even a three star hotel room shouldn’t have worn, stained carpets and a sinky bed.

Click here to see all my photos of The Met Hotel Leeds.

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