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The Ellington Hotel

Hazel Davis checks out Leeds’ newest boutique hotel, a bedlam of styles which might just work

Published on July 24th 2008.

The Ellington Hotel

Just when you thought Leeds’ York Place couldn’t get any posher, along comes a development to make it just that little bit more exclusive.

The £4.6m Ellington Hotel opens at the beginning of September, the latest luxury boutique hotel from Pantin Hotels – the luxury group created by David Pantin, former MD of the Rocco Forte Collection –in the heart of Leeds’ financial district.

The hotel’s double-height 56-seater restaurant, The Restaurant at The Ellington, is a collaboration with world-renowned chef Albert Roux. The Bar at The Ellington also offer afternoon tea, early evening drinks and post-dinner nightcaps.

The Ellington is the group’s first property in a proposed series of bespoke hotels around the UK. The architect behind the development is London-based consulting architect Consarc, the company behind Manchester’s award-winning Lowry Hotel.

Situated at 23-25 York Place, the 35-bedroom hotel is in the shell of three Georgian town-houses which have been knocked to the ground and completely rebuilt.

Construction is now complete on the hotel and fitters are moving in as we speak. Says Sally Rouse, director of sales at Pantin Hotels, “One of the architects’ briefs was to ensure that the three terraced houses would look as they did when they were built but because of the way they were designed, we had to completely open them up inside so the only way was to knock them down and rebuild.”

Despite the horror of demolishing Georgian townhouses, Rouse says that the development has been done with utmost care. “We actually took the three roofs off slate by slate and put on again slate by slate so the skyline wouldn’t look like it had been touched. We have had chimney stacks built and craned back and all the flagstones at the back were removed one by one and replaced gradually.”

Inside the hotel there will be an atrium in one of the bar areas, letting in a lot of natural daylight. Rouse explains, “This will create the heart of the hotel. There will also be a marble back-lit staircase with amber glass. The interior of the hotel, she adds, “will have a touch of Art Deco about it. But the glamour will reflect that of the 1950s.”

It’s true that Leeds does suffer from a distinct lack of old-fashioned style. What the city does well is grand tall buildings, slinky bars and black-ash elegance. And what it could do with is a healthy dose of art-deco sumptuousness. The Ellington harks back to a day when the beautiful and the damned slunk down staircases exposing their knees and sporting daring bobs.

But, rather confusingly, the developers are keen to point out that all the mod-cons will be decidedly 21st century, making it one of the more technologically savvy hotels in the country. Each room will have a plasma screen and satellite television, iPod docking station,three telephones and complimentary WiFi, as well as an entertainment centre for playing Xbox 360, Wii and PS3.”

What on earth would Jeeves say?

The hotel’s double-height 56-seater restaurant, The Restaurant at The Ellington, is a collaboration with world-renowned chef Albert Roux. The Bar at The Ellington also offer afternoon tea, early evening drinks and post-dinner nightcaps.

Explains Rouse, “The Ellington is one of only six properties in Britain to be a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World and the first in England outside London.”

Rates at the hotel will start from £190 for a classic double bedroom and, hopes Rouse, the hotel will not only be the stopover of choice for visiting corporate bods but also the drinks venue of choice for Leeds’ financial workforce: “There is a huge mix of workers in Leeds but we expect a lot of our clientele to be from the corporate sector.”

She adds, “To be honest, there aren’t a lot of beautiful bars in the area. We would love to see people after work having a cocktail in the bar or coming here on special occasions. We would love for people to see the bar as a place to come and have cocktails and champagnes before a big night out too.”

It might be a confusing Leeds-Georgian-Deco-Star-Trek hybrid but the Ellington looks like a useful addition to the Leeds hotel scene and I for one can’t wait to don my flapper dress and down a gin sling in its honour.

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DigJuly 24th 2008.

Does anybody live in Leeds and come on here any more? Anybody? It's so quiet here. Yorkshire born, Yorkshire bred, strong in the arm......... I'm not casting any generalisations now, it's just what you sing when you come over here.

GillyJuly 24th 2008.

I come from the right side of the hills.... Leed sis a poor second to the land of Gods Manchester

GillyJuly 24th 2008.

and you work for???

DigJuly 24th 2008.

I thought Leeds had been wiped out. Nobody seems to exist here. I thought I'd come and check for myself. Yep I can confirm that Leeds is no more. If anybody has a spare city lying around there's room here for it. In fact forget that. I'm gonna stay here and claim squatters rights. Looks like it's been empty for ages.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2008.

FYR Designs was responsible for the interior design of this project from bedrooms to all the public areas including the restaurant (with many bespoke design work)and FYR Projects was responsible for the project management of the construction of this building. Consarc Architects were responsible for the shell of the building. It would have been good to have credited FYR for this project.

DigJuly 24th 2008.

A friend is going for a night out in Leeds tonight. I think she'll be disappointed when she gets there and realises it's derelict.

Woman on a Pigrimage on the PenninesJuly 24th 2008.

Dig!!! what are you doing here, does the charge nurse know? You are a very naughty boy. Back to Liverpool at once.

Manchester RanterJuly 24th 2008.

Leeds Confidential: "It's just like being in Church"

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