Dakota Deluxe, Leeds – Hotel Review
Dakota Deluxe, Leeds
by Katie Leon
Dakota Deluxe is strikingly sleek, inside and out. The external décor of the hotel is jet black and shiny, all the internal furnishings are elegant and plush. There are two entrances, one that leads in to the main bar and lounge and a main entrance that leads to the hotel reception. Outside the hotel reception doors, you are likely to see an array of fancy cars with personalised registration plates parked up outside. It’s all very swish.
On arriving at the hotel, we reported to reception and were greeted by a lovely man named Alex. He tried to check us in but had some difficulty finding our booking. After not too much trouble, and a quick phone call, Alex got us sorted and handed over our room key card. He apologised for the difficulty and gave us his name stating that we can contact him any time until 11pm. To our surprise, Alex also brought a bottle of fizz and two glasses to our room for the inconvenience. We knew at this point that we were going to be very well looked after here.
“Large and comfortable”
Our room was well-sized and followed the same modern and luxurious decoration theme. We were on the side of the building that faces a street lined with bars, which was a little concerning in terms of noise on a Friday night. We needn’t have worried though, we barely heard a thing all night and it didn’t get in the way of our ability to sleep – and I’m a light sleeper! The only slight disturbance was the noise that comes from the air conditioning. This continued through the night and was somewhat annoying, but I still managed to sleep.
The room came with tea and coffee making facilities, although we only had decaffeinated black tea and green tea in our hot drinks selection. You also get an ironing board, iron and hairdryer, which are all useful items. I was initially disappointed to see that there was no bath, although the shower was huge and had good pressure. The toiletries smelled divine. There was also a TV in the room with plenty of channels to watch. The bed was large and very comfortable.
We had pre-booked dinner in the main restaurant so we made our way down there at 7pm. The dining area is on the lower ground floor, which takes you underneath street level. Due to this there are no windows, which actually makes for a very cosy setting. We were shown to a spacious table and given menus to peruse. We were brought fresh bread with a tomato and cheese sauce as we looked through the menus.
We both went for the pan-fried scallops to start, with parsnip puree, parsnip crisps and curry oil (£14). This dish was beautifully presented and it was absolutely delicious. The scallops melted in the mouth, the dish was perfectly seasoned, tasty yet delicate. For the main course, we both ordered steak. I ordered the Ribeye 280g (£26) and my husband ordered the sirloin 340g (£28). We both ordered peppercorn sauce (£2) and chips on the side (£3.50). I ordered the chunky chips and was told that they are the best chips in Leeds by the waiter. Expecting good things from such a review, I was not disappointed. The chips were delicious and the steaks were both really tasty, perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth. The peppercorn sauce was well balanced in terms of heat and creaminess.
We washed this down with a bottle of Malbec (£33) which was served at the perfect temperature and complemented the steaks well. For dessert, I had the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake (£8) which came in a deconstructed format. This was gorgeously presented and topped with an edible flower. It came as a large chunk of cheesecake filling with biscuit crumb on the side surrounded by raspberry flavoured jellied sweets. It was a really fun take on cheesecake and absolutely delicious. My husband chose the Chocolate brownie (£6) which came with ice cream. He described this as “Everything you want from a chocolate brownie, chocolatey and gooey.” We finished off with a couple of cappuccinos, made with very nice coffee.
After dinner, we took ourselves off to the bar for a nightcap. We ordered a couple of cocktails, one from the menu and one that was off menu, a Bramble. Both were exquisitely presented and tasted delicious. The cocktail list is varied and extensive and I could happily have worked my way thought them all!
“Staff were ever so polite”
Breakfast the next day was served in the restaurant area. On a weekend, breakfast lasts until 10:30am which gives you a nice lie in! When we got there, around 10am, the dining room was very busy and we struggled to get a table. There was a collection of things that you can help yourself to on the bar including cereals, pastries, fruit, ham, cheese, juices and smoothies. There is also a hot menu that you can order from. There are six options on the breakfast menu, half of which are egg based. As I have an egg intolerance I was left to choose from porridge, kipper or Yorkshire breakfast. I went for the Yorkshire breakfast, as did my husband.
The service was quite slow as it was very busy, but the staff were ever so polite. Our breakfast eventually arrived but, unfortunately, we were both quite disappointed. The majority of it was overcooked except for my husband’s egg which was undercooked. The bacon rashers were hard and brown/purple coloured, I had one rasher that was hard and purple at one end and pink and undercooked at the other. There were many signs that suggested that the breakfast had been reheated, at least once. This was disappointing and didn’t fit with the quality that we’d enjoyed at dinner, or at previous visits to the hotel. That said, there were some nice-looking breakfasts flying around such as eggs Benedict, which looked very satisfying – so it may have come down to poor choice.
“I was intrigued”
We returned in the afternoon to sample the savoury afternoon tea. For £20 per person, you can have either the classic afternoon tea, a mix of sweet and savoury or the savoury afternoon tea. You can also have cream tea which includes scones, jam and clotted cream for £10 per person. I was intrigued by the savoury afternoon tea, I often find that standard afternoon teas never have enough savoury items and I can’t finish the sweets.
We arrived at the bar entrance to check in, where someone took our coats and showed us to the lounge where we could choose our seats. Shortly after taking our seats, we were presented with two glasses of fizz to enjoy while we looked over the menu options. I chose Earl Grey tea and my husband chose Assam, both arrived in individual teapots. The teas are Taylors of Harrogate and refills are included.
The savoury afternoon tea consists of bruschetta topped with avocado and tomato, mini croissants filled with cheese and ham, toasted baguette topped with shredded duck and hoi sin sauce, spring rolls, chicken samosa, chorizo and gruyere croquettes, mini chicken sandwich roll and cheese scones. Each item was elegantly presented and tasted delicious. It was very filling which made it difficult to finish so I would advise making sure that you are hungry before you go! I really enjoyed the change of having more savoury items, however, for me it was missing a sweet finish.
Overall, we had a fantastic experience at Dakota Deluxe in Leeds. It’s clearly a luxurious brand and the staff go above and beyond to provide excellence in service. We will certainly be returning.
Dakota has been designed by international award-winning interior designer, Amanda Rosa, and oozes luxury contemporary elegance with its dark colour palette, soft furnishing and low lighting. The hotel’s stunning bar and grill serves steaks cooked on hot coals, fresh fish and delectable delicious desserts. Its Salon Privé is one of Leeds’ most exclusive cocktail destinations, showcasing outstanding mixology and a venerable “liquid museum” of spirits, while its Champagne room provides a space of seamless luxury and many fine glasses. The hotel has also launched its first Afternoon Tea and Savoury Afternoon Tea menu, which is presented on elegant stands and features a selection of quintessential items, all handmade by the head chef.
The hotel has also has an al fresco dining and drinking area on Greek Street, providing a relaxing and luxurious terrace perfect for evening drinking (if it’s not too cold)!
Guests including Katy Perry, Stereophonics, Stone Roses, Jimmy Choo and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all stayed at Dakota Deluxe Leeds, which has been recognised as the taste of luxury previously missing from the city.
This is the fourth Dakota Deluxe development in the UK, with three already in Scotland – and will be opening its fifth hotel in Manchester in Spring 2019.
For more info visit: leeds.dakotahotels.co.uk