The Queens Hotel: New Swedish owners hope to ‘preserve but also develop’ landmark Leeds site

The new owners of The Queens Hotel in Leeds have said they hope to preserve the history of the landmark hotel, whilst still developing it with targeted investments.

This follows an announcement last week that the hotel, which was opened in 1937, had been purchased by Stockholm-based firm Pandox for £53 million.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Pandox chief commercial officer Jonas Törner said: “We’re going to do our utmost to give the people of Leeds the best possible hotel with the best possible service, and to put the hotel where it really belongs.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Noting similarities between The Queens Hotel and Manchester’s Midland hotel, which is also part owned by Pandox, Mr Törner added: “Its a traditional hotel with a lot of history, and we really like that part of it. History is something we really look for, its a key thing for us to preserve but also develop.”

The Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre.The Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre.
The Queens Hotel in Leeds city centre.

Founded in 1995, Pandox owns 158 hotels across 15 countries. The firm became active in the UK in 2000, and in 2015 partnered with Israel-based Fattal to purchase hotel chain Jurys Inn.

Jurys Inn has since been rebranded as Leonardo Hotels.

The deal to purchase The Queens Hotel began in October of last year, after Pandox first considered buying the business two years ago. The hotel will be operated by Axion Hospitality under a deal with Pandox.

Previous owners Aprirose completed a £16 million refurbishment of the hotel in 2021.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking of Pandox’s plans in relation to this, Mr Törner said: “The previous owner has done a great job in the refurbishment of the hotel, so we’re just going to look at some very targeted smaller investments within the hardware.

“We’re also working with Axiom as a managing partner, who have just moved into the hotel, so we’re going to look at how the service element of the hotel works, and the offerings that we have.

“We also want to start to actively market the hotel. It's been a long time with the pandemic and the hotel being refurbished, so I think it's time to relaunch the hotel again and move forward in a very positive way.”

Mr Törner said that Pandox had no statement to add in terms of staffing at the hotel, but that it expects the business to grow.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Discussing the long term plan for the hotel, Mr Törner noted that the firm hoped to appeal both to locals and those from further afield.

“We are strategic buyers, we buy very long term, and we are active owners in the sense that we want to keep developing the hotels that we own, not sit back,” he said.

“We always try to move forward, and can hopefully make this hotel very relevant to the guests, whether they come from Leeds or from anywhere else.”

We cater for different demands here, of course to the Leeds market, with a very good food and drink offering for the locals, but also for the visitors that are coming in and experiencing the city for the first time. Both are important, so we try to keep that in mind.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Noting what had drawn the firm to The Queens Hotel, Mr Törner added: “Location is very important when we look at these types of opportunities, and with the close vicinity to the railway station and everything which goes on around the square, the hotel is in an excellent location.

“Being from Sweden, we also like cities that feel local but are very dynamic, and that's what we find with Leeds.”