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City centre rooms for just £20 a night with Opal

Swimming pools, Jacuzzi and comfy beds in cutting student apartments

Published on August 17th 2011.


City centre rooms for just £20 a night with Opal

When I was a student, our flat made the hovel the Young Ones inhabited look like a palace, so when Opal asked Confidential to spend a night in one of their Leeds student rooms I was expecting the worst.

Students may have a point about huge loans, but they can't moan about this standard of accommodation, as it is at least the equal of many serviced apartments and Opal has had the smart idea of letting the rest of us stay there in the summer months for just £20 a night.

I was booked into Opal One in Leeds city centre, and when I bowled up later than anticipated I was met by duty manager Paul, who efficiently dealt with my questions, and even pointed out where the car park was on one of the many CCTV cameras dotted round the complex.

I suppose the cameras are useful to keep an eye on drunken students with traffic cones on their heads, but it also gave me a huge amount of peace of mind.

Entry to my block was through a simple key fob, and there are three automatic doors before you get to your room.

I'd been allocated a double room on the fifth floor and the first thing that strikes you is just how quiet it is with no students around.  The room itself had a double bed plus a workstation and an empty wardrobe – all the space you need. Much like your standard serviced apartments, it has an en suite with a plenty of hot water and a power shower. Bedding and towels were part of my package so you don't have to worry about that like you do in many other types of accommodation

Another big plus point is how clean everything is. This might be cut price accommodation but they are not cutting corners, and as a regular in hotels around the world cleanliness is pretty much top of my must have list.

Along the corridor is a spacious kitchen complete with microwave oven, toaster, fridge, conventional oven and kettle plus plates, cutlery and a tin opener.  So all you have to do is bring along food and the basics like bread and milk. The kitchen doubles up as a private TV room with Freeview, or you can wander over to the central common room if you fancy Sky.

But the best bit of the leisure facilities is the onsite Momentum Gym, which you must visit. For swimmers there is a 15-metre pool, which with a depth of only 1.2 metre is perfect if you are having a break with the kids. Adults can also luxuriate in the huge Jacuzzi, or sweat it out in the well-maintained steam room or sauna.

Fitness freaks can lose a few inches in the gym area, which is spotlessly clean with a great range of cross trainers, cycling machines and joggers. For muscle fans there is a separate room with fixed machines and free weights, plus a huge mirror to admire your physique in.

I finished the night with a quick stroll into town and it’s only a 10 minute walk to the Headrow.  Once there you are set for all the sights, including the excellent Damien Hirst show at Leeds Art Gallery or the kids’ activities at the Royal Armouries.

Once back in the block, I knocked together a quick tea of baked potatoes and tuna as I settled down to watch Match of the Day on the box before enjoying a blissful night's sleep.
Checkout was once again efficient and friendly, with good local knowledge as I was directed back onto the M62. 

In these tough financial times, £20 for this package is a steal.  It is clean, secure, and central, there is parking on site and the leisure facilities are outstanding – way above many budget hotels. 

Opal certainly knocks the hotel option into a cocked hat and if you are planning a break with the family or a get together with mates, this is a cost effective city centre option, keeping you close to all the bars and restaurants of a bustling city centre.

I’ll certainly use Opal again whenever I'm planning a city break round the UK - this is a real value for money deal.

* Opal 1 & 2 Leeds, Opal Court Leeds, Burley Road, Leeds, LS3 1JZ and for of how to book a room click here.

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