“ 2 The Gateway North / Crown Point Road / LS9 8BZ / Leeds / Tel: (+44)113 245 0725. „
A friend and I decided to take a trip to Leeds over Easter to look at the universities and the area. We were on a strict budget - opting for the Megabus to take us there from London! - so we were not willing to spend that much on accommodation. After an intense hotel search we came across the Etap hotel, advertising a room for £25 to sleep up to three people - it was a no-brainer!
We had only decided to go roughly three days before departure so we did not look at the accommodation much before leaving. We had the name of the hotel... and not much else!
=== Etap Hotel Chain ===
I had never heard of Etap before going to Leeds, there is certainly not one near where I live. Etap is a European chain of budget hotels owned by the Accor group. They currently have hotels across France and Germany, and they are slowly branching out into the UK.
The Leeds branch has 218 en-suite rooms and is close to the M1. It is a non-smoking hotel.
=== Arrival ===
As with most hotels, the reception area is manned 24/7. The reception is situated near a food area, where you can purchase drinks or snacks, and a wi-fi area with a lot of tables and chairs. It was very easy to find the reception and we were seen to very quickly. The reception had good access for wheelchair and pushchair users via wide automatic doors. We checked in around 2pm, although you can do so anytime after midday.
The reception staff were very polite and answered all our questions. We queried why they asked for our card details a second time (once when booking) and they assured us that our money was not taken out through the booking system online. We were given one key-card for our room, although we were offered another if our party were to separate.
We were given the number to our rooms and directed towards the lifts or stairs. Both routes required your key-card to gain access, which assured us the area was very safe. The lifts were very reliable, but difficult to know which way and how fast to slide the card in the machine!! Our room number was 516, which meant we were on fifth floor. We were told to leave our key-cards in a basket at reception after our stay, and we had to be out of our rooms by midday.
We were advised that we could have breakfast for an extra £3.95 (roughly) but we opted out for this service. To be honest, it would be much cheaper to go to town, which is only a few yards away!
=== The Rooms ===
The rooms were extremely basic, but I guess you get what you pay for! Upon entering there is what we thought was a cupboard on the left, followed by an external sink and shower. There was a large double bed and a single bunk bed overhead. The room had a shelf underneath a small television with remote. We later discovered the cupboard was the toilet!! There is no wardrobe, but we simply hung things from the high bed...
In each room you are given a couple of towels, a bar of soap and some glasses. It would have been nice to see some more toiletries, but I guess they want you to pay over-the-top for them downstairs!
The rooms are air conditioned/heated but we found it took a while for you to notice a difference since you couldn't tell whether it was on or off without looking at the dials!
The rooms were decorated in blue and white, and they were extremely clean. There was no lock on the toilet door, it was just a case of pulling the door closed, which was very hard in actual fact! A child could struggle. A simple sliding mechanism would have been a much better idea! The shower door was practically see-through as well, which felt a little embarrassing to use. I guess Etap did not realise not everyone wants to see their accompanying party in the nude!
The bed was really hard but bearable. Not good if you have back problems I should imagine. Apparently they are meant to be memory-foam, but I beg to differ!! The pillows were particularly unsupportive - I had to fold mine in half. There was only one duvet between the single and double which was really odd... I'm not sure if this was deliberate or not... but even without the duvet it was warm enough.
Our room was facing towards the flats on the opposite side of the hotel. We didn't get much sunlight because the area was all enclosed, but not that this bothered me particularly!!
Our stay was very quiet - but we did visit mid-week - and we did not have any problems with other guests. According to the website pets are allowed in the hotel, although we did not hear any during our stay.
=== The Area ===
Etap was really easy to find because we were literally located next to the place our coach dropped us off. I can not imagine the Leeds locals would have any problem directing you either because of its sheer size!
Etap is located on a busy junction, but our room was facing away from it, so we did not hear any traffic in the day. There are a lot of crossings so it is very safe to cross.
The hotel is located just outside of the main town. We were able to get into the centre in about ten minutes maximum, so it really is in a great location. We asked reception for a map and they kindly directed us to where we wanted. There are loads of take-away shops near by if you want to bring food back with you like we did.
If, like us, you are visiting the universities, I could not recommend this hotel more, because we were able to locate the various university establishments with ease, despite no directions! We did not have to use public transport the whole time we were there.
I was pleasantly surprised at Leeds in general. I expected it to be quite dull and gloomy, but there was so much to explore. I guess this is coming from someone who is new to the area, but my impression of Leeds really changed having actually gone there!! We visited Leeds City Museum for free and managed to see the new Spice Girls exhibition while we were there. Definitely took me back to the 90s!!
=== My Opinion ===
I would definitely stay at another Etap hotel. It offers excellent value for money and everything was very clean and pleasant. This hotel in particular is so close to the local amenities, it is in the prime location for visitors like us. The only negative points would be the comfort of the beds and the small details like placing a standard lock on the door and a non-see-through door to the shower.
I give this hotel 4/5, thank you for reading!
=== Hotel Details ===
2 The Gateway North
Crown Point Road
0113 245 0725
[This review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
I stayed here only once after a night out, its not something I would normally do as I do live in Leeds but I decided to have a change.
To book all you do is call 0113 245 0725 they take all your details, and your bank details, and book you in for your selected night. The do say that if you book more than 30 days in advance you can save more money. But I only gave a weeks notice so I paid the normal price. The staff were friendly on the phone and very helpful.
To check in you just go to the front desk and give them all your details, and you have to sign some forms, and also give them some form of ID to prove that you are who you say you are. They then tell you your room number, give you your swipe card and tell you where to find the room.
Well I was pretty shocked at the rooms, yes they were nice and clean, clean sheets, bed made everything in there was clean, so what was I disappointed in?. The size the rooms were very small, not really a lot of room if you were there for a while and stuck in the room all the time.
In the rooms they did have everything you could really need. They had a TV which you did not have to pay any extra for, although you did only get your main channels, but for free who could complain, normally there is a charge for channels.
The bathroom in here was spot on, it was literally spotless, there you had a toilet and also a shower, the shower was good pretty powerful and nice hot water. There was plenty of clean towels also. The sink was in the sleeping area, which was not too bad, with a big mirror in front if you, ideal for a man who needs to get a shave in the morning.
Now for the beds, the room had a big double bed, and then also above that you had a small single bed stuck to the wall. The beds were ok, but I do prefer the comfort of my own bed, and these beds were slightly hard and uncomfortable, but lets face it after a night on the beer you don't really feel the uncomfortableness. I did sleep well on the bed but only because of the beer, it is not somewhere I could sleep sober I don't think. Which is why I have only rated this 3 stars. Plus we did not get a mini bar :-( which most hotels do have.
I paid £36 for the night here that was not including any food so I am not sure how much it would cost with any meals, and also on what their meals were like. Also if you do book in advance you do get it cheaper, and it will also depend on the time of year you go, so prices will vary.
Where to find them
2 THE GATEWAY NORTH
CROWN POINT ROAD
LS9 8BZ LEEDS
Tel: 0113 245 0725
My overall opinion
The hotel was ok it was nice and clean and the staff were friendly and helpful. But the rooms did not impress me much, I felt they could have been a little better, but at the price compared to most other hotels, I suppose you can't expect too much.
The thing I did like about here was that there was no specific check in time, I suppose with it been near the city centre they will get a lot of bookings from people who want to go there straight from the pubs. They have a 24 hour reception desk, so I knew I could stay out as long as I wanted with no rush to check in.
Overall I would recommend this to stay at if you are on a budget and just want it for after a night out, but for those who are on a business trip I don't think it would be suitable, I think you would need a better hotel with more space and more comfort.
From the outside this looks like a very nice hotel. The building is modern and bright and airey. Checking in was easy, you are given a form to fill in then you pay and are given your key. Checking in for took around 5 minutes which is nothing, the staff were, well, there. I can't say I was overly impressed with the customer service, the staff made their presence obvious however everything seemed rush, as if to get rid of us to get back to watching the TV in the back.
Anyway, after checking in I was given directions to my room. When I got there it initially looked ok. Unfortunately this wasn't to last long, after initial inspection the carpet was stained and the bed covers looked use. I was trying to pick fault as I am not usually one to complain however the first room I couldn't stay in. I went down to reception and they changed my room without any questions. My second room was much better in respect that the bed was now clean however the shower had scum in the bottom and the toilet had not been cleaned from the previous occupier. At this stage I made do with this and went to bed, of course avoiding the shower first thing in the morning!
I stayed in the Leeds Etap, reason for this was it's rather central location and easy access to local transport facilities. The room rates are reasonable.
My overall impression of Etap is poor. I know that this hotels offers rooms at bargain rates however even the bargain rooms I expect to be clean is nothing else. I have stayed in cheaper room than this and not had any issues. I will not be staying at Etap in the future by choice, this maybe a one off and unfortunately happened on my first visit however it is not a risk I am willing to take again.
After reading many scary stories about Etap hotels i was a bit nervous about staying there, i had booked up with 4 other girls as a boozy/shooping weekend mainly because it was so cheap (£35 per room per night)
We got a taxi from the train station as we had a lot of luggage but i'm sure its not a long walk (and theres a bus stop i noticed right outside the hotel) and we used taxis to get into town because we couldnt be bothered to walk but again its about a 10/15 min walk (the taxis cost about £4/5 and its worth ringing a private company rather than hailing one)
The hotel looks nice from the outside, quite modern with a big glass reception, checking in was easy, you have fill in a quick form with your details and pay the bill. A swipe card is given to as many people as you want and you use this to access the lifts and room door (although there are stairs too)
The room was a pleasant suprise (after thinking the worst) there was double bed with a bunk over the top complete with ladder. Each bed was made up with a duvet and one pillow and i think there was one hand towel and a floor mat for the shower. There's cleaners every day that change your towels and empty your bins and a do not disturb sign if you don't want them.
There was a shower cubicle right off the room, small but functional but the door is a little see-through so ok if you're not shy! Also there was a separate toilet behind a closed door (with toilet roll) and a sink in the room with large mirrors and a small amount of space to put toiletries.
A desk with a chair and a wall mounted flat screen tv (without remote controller) finished the other side of the room.
Everything seemed clean and neat, theres a lock on the inside of the room door. Obviously the hotel does not compare to the ritz but we thought it was suitable for a place to sleep in and had all that we needed! It seems very popular with groups of people and although reception was a bit packed a times we never really saw many other people on our floor or really heard them!
Around the hotel is a busy main road and what looks like fairly new developments of flats. Theres a great bar called surburban just next door that serves food all day which is modern and comfortable. If you venture round the back of the hotel there is a corner shop and a little cafe that serves full breakfasts for £3.95!
We would definitely recommend this hotel, we had a great time in leeds and if you don't mind basic accomodation this is the place to be!
Having become a firm fan of the bargain that is the Formule 1 chain of hotels, I always check on that company's website first when looking for accommodation in the UK. However, when planning a trip to Leeds recently I learned that the chain do not have a hotel there and so had to do more research. The usual "cheap accommodation in
." search found an article about a hotel that was due to open in Leeds the day before our visit.
The Etap chain of hotels are a French concern and part of Accor, the same parent group of Formule 1. They have hotels across France and Germany and are gradually opening hotels in the UK as well as in Central and Eastern Europe.
The concept is simple; all rooms are identical, sleep three people and are designed to require little maintenance and all rooms are the same price. In the hotel in Leeds this is £32; it does not matter whether you have one, two or three people in the room the price remains the same. I think this represents excellent value. For even one person £32 is pretty good value for a central location and everything you need from a basic room.
In this concept Etap hotels differ little from Formule 1; however there is one major difference and it may just be the clinching factor for people who have not previously wanted to stay in a Formule 1 hotel. Where Formule 1 hotels have shared self-cleaning shower rooms in the corridors, all Etap hotels have en suite facilities. They might be smaller than the average telephone box but Etap hotel rooms have a separate toilet and a separate shower cubicle in the room.
Breakfast is never included in the room rate but can be added if booking online or by telephone. You can also decide at the time of check-in and add the cost to your bill. Since breakfast is served in a coffee shop facility, you don't even have to decide in advance and can just take breakfast on the day if you prefer.
You can also buy hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and fruit at reception.
The Etap Leeds is situated on the south side of the city centre, next to the Calls and five minutes walk from the central markets and the main bus station. The train station is fifteen minutes by foot.
It is situated on a large island amongst some busy roads and entails three pedestrian crossings if arriving by foot from the city centre. The hotel has free customer parking.
The reception at Etap Leeds appears to be staffed twenty four hours (obviously I can't say this for certain) which is also a little different from Formule 1 hotels which are only staffed briefly at check in and check out times. It may be that this hotel was staffed because it was newly opened but the website said that the hotel reception was staffed limited hours and the automatic check in facility could be used outside those times. As far as we could see, Leeds does not have this facility.
It took some twenty minutes to check in because the computer systems (and those operating them) were not yet fully up and running. It was frustrating but only to be expected considering that the hotel had just opened. It did not appear that the very young staff had much hotel experience at all - not just with this company. It would have been a good idea for them to have training at an established branch prior to this one opening.
Two adjacent lifts take you up to the accommodation floors. You can't get lost, there is only one corridor of rooms on each floor. After a couple of attempts our keycard gained us access to the room and we surveyed our surroundings.
As you would expect everything is clean and new and in immaculate condition. Each room has one very low double bed and above it, running along the wall is a single bunk. As you go into the room the toilet is on one side, and just behind it is the shower cubicle. Next to the shower cubicle is a small vanity unit with a washbasin and excellent lighting. In the opposite corner is a built in desk and a chair. Above the desk is a flat screen television. There is no wardrobe but there are some coat hangers securely built into the frame of the bunk to act as a clothes storage area.
There's just enough space to walk around the bed but this room would be very cramped with three guests. Luckily, if you are not using the bunk, you can place your luggage on it to get it out of the way.
The television shows terrestrial channels only and you must pay a £5.00 deposit if you require a remote control. Don't bother - the room is so small you can almost reach the television from any point in the room simply by reaching out an arm.
Waking up on the first morning we both complained of aching backs; I can safely say that this was the hardest mattress I have ever slept on. I was in agony for the first twenty minutes each morning and I do not normally suffer with back problems. Since the hotel is new this may just be a case of unused new beds but I am inclined more to think that it is because these mattresses are built to last!
Another thing that disturbed us was the noisy plumbing. Every time someone on our floor flushed the toilet or ran a tap the plumbing would lurch into service and sounded like it had been installed in the reign of Victoria. The door to the toilet had a pull handle that did not move and the closing mechanism was one of those rolling ball things so you have to pull or push the door hard to close it fully. Each time this happened the whole floor shuddered.
My final complaint The hotel was clearly not finished when we arrived. We were not surprised; in act we had joked about it before we arrived. There were workmen everywhere, drilling, painting, cabling
We were rudely awoken before eight on the first morning by the sound of drilling. Since there are no telephones in the rooms I dressed quickly and went to reception where the duty manager told us that there couldn't possibly be any noise because she had told the contractors they could not start before 9.00am. I insisted that there was work going on and she said she would go up there and investigate. I said I would be leaving around nine and would come back to hear her response.
At nine o'clock I saw her at reception but at the same time she saw me and made a dash for it. The young receptionist went to look for her at my request but said she was "busy talking to contractors and couldn't come out right now". Not wishing to spoil our day, we left and hoped for a response later in the day. Later on we were told that there would be no repetition of the noise the following morning.
Of course there was. And the same duty manager still did not believe us and determinedly refused to consider any kind of compensation for the disturbance. She would not even go and find out where the noise was coming from because she so adamantly refused to believe we could hear anything.
In terms of customer service this left a very bad taste; I am sure that the work is now finished and that the hotel has ironed out its problems but I do think that the inexperienced staff lacked initiative and simple service skills. Maybe my rating seems surprising after what I have said? My rating is based on the concept, the value and the fact that I think it would be very rare that you would have much to complain about. I am sure my complaint only came about because the hotel is so new.
I would be prepared to stay at this hotel again because it offers tremendous value and because of its good location. I do not require much form a hotel on a city break; for me it is simply a place to wash and sleep. So long as it is clean and safe I am happy.
Etap Hotels are merely a cheap and convenient place to lay your head; for spa treatments and genial hosts look elsewhere. For sheer good value, however, walk this way
Etap Hotel Leeds
2 The Gateway
Crown Point Road
Leeds LS9 8BZ