Tuesday 8 January 2019

Christmas at the Britannia Leeds Bradford Airport Hotel! - Review!

If you read hear regularly you will know we went away for Christmas. My dad treated us to a stay at the Britannia Leeds Bradford Airport Hotel & Spa! He spent Christmas there with his partner Sarah in 2017 so knew what to expect. I didn't and there wasn't much online about it either, so I thought I would write this blog post in hope it might help someone. 

the front of the hotel

Britannia Leeds Bradford Airport is a 3* hotel set in 3 acres of attractive grounds 2 miles from Leeds/Bradford Airport. The hotel features a contemporary restaurant with an excellent menu and leisure facilities in Spindles Health Club including indoor heated swimming pool (small charge applies - £4 per person per day). 24 hour room service is also available.

My dad arrived before Stu, the girls and me so already had the key cards but he said it was simple to check in. There is a lift to all the floors but we found it quicker taking the stairs.

Stu and I were in one room and the girls in the room next door. There was no adjoining door but that was OK. Where we were on he 4th floor was quiet and throughout our stay we only saw a handful of people up here.

The wardrobe, tea and coffee things, the bathroom and a bedroom with a double and two single beds in.

Both of the rooms had a double bed in and two single beds. If we had know that we would have just all stayed in one room and my dad had paid for both. To to be honest it was nice to have some space away from the kids. hehehe In each room there was a kettle, tea, coffee and things like that, extra blankets, pillows, a trouser press, iron and ironing board, lots of hangers and drawers to unpack and plenty of clean towels. The rooms were clean and very warm. We left the window open for most of our stay.

We arrived just before 3pm and unpacked a little. On the bed when we arrived there was a Christmas present. Fudge and shortbread which was a lovely touch.

There was a catch on the room doors which made sure they didn't shut which came in handy when the kids were going between the two rooms.

Each day between 3.30pm and 4.30pm there were mince pies and hot drinks in the lounge. On the first evening it was packed in the lounge so we sat in the bar which was fine. We sat and chatted and at 5.30 bucks fizz was served in the Bramhope suite. It was more orange juice than fizzy wine but it was a nice start.

At 6.30pm dinner was served in the Carvery Restaurant. The first night was a bit of a fuss. Everyone needed to be seated before you could help yourself to food. It made sense as the tables you were given were yours for the duration of your stay but it meant there was a lot of queues to start with.

There was a selection of pate, salad, tomato & basil soup for starters. For the main course there was roast pork, stuffed peppers, chicken and mushroom pie, and a couple of other dishes. Along with the main part of your meal there was roast and boiled potatoes, carrots, swede and green beans. For dessert there was a selection of gateaux, rice pudding and cheese and crackers.

There was more than enough food. The only complaint I had about the first nights meal was that the gravy was so watery. We like our gravy a lot thicker. hehehe

After we had all eaten we went back to the Bramhope suite for that nights entertainment. There was a singer and he was hilarious! My girls were the youngest by far staying in the hotel and he kept having a bit of banter with them. Becky was mortified! She found it all a bit cringe but he was a good singer and a lot of fun. He sung everything from Michael Buble to Elvis. There was also another singer on in the lounge. I didn't hear much of them but there was only a few people watching and listening so he can't have been that good.

We went off to bed at about 11pm and I was looking forward to a good nights sleep. As soon as I sat on the bed I could tell that wasn't going to happen. The bed was so hard. Uncomfortably hard. I tossed and turned all night and I was quite glad when it was time to get up. 

Breakfast was served each morning 7am and 9am. There was lots to choose from. Pastries, melon, cereal, toast, jams and of course a traditional English breakfast which you helped yourself to. There was scrambled and fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages, tomatoes, hash browns, fried bread and probably things I have forgotten about. It was so good. The fried eggs were perfect and runny. There was also hot drinks or orange juice available. The breakfasts were a great start to the day. You could fill yourself up and easily not get hungry again until it was time again for mince pies in the afternoon.   

We went out and about for Christmas eve so didn't spend much time in the hotel until it was time to get ready for the evening meal. I had a shower and can say it's the best one I've ever had. The temperature was just right and it was so powerful. I loved the big, well lit mirror in the bathroom. It was perfect for putting my make up on. The lights in the main room are not great.

On the 2nd evening there was vegetable lasagne, hunters chicken, gammon, some sort of fish and meat and potato pie. My family all had different things and they were very happy with what they ate. The portion of meat and potato pie I had was very generous and tasted so good! The desserts were gateux again and apricot and peach crumble. The second nights entertainment was so not good. She tried way too hard, she was a good singer but warbled a lot and there was no need. 

the entertainment, a female singer and everyone seated around tables watching and listening.

On Christmas eve night we had to put the stockings into the kids room so we took their key card so we could get in and it just wouldn't open the door. Stu had to go down to the main desk and they reset it and it worked fine after that. Stu was not impressed as he'd already changed into his Santa PJ's. hehehe

On Christmas day we had a light breakfast because the Christmas dinner was between 12 and 2pm. I had a crayfish and prawn salad to start which was lovely and turkey and all the trimmings for main. 

Crayfish and prawn salad, a roast turkey dinner and profiteroles and cream

It was a bit hit and miss. The turkey, stuffing and pigs in blankets were delicious but the parsnips were mixed with the carrots and were boiled instead of roasted and they were under cooked, the boiled potatoes were like golf balls, the spouts had been over cooked too. Hmmf! The profiteroles for dessert were lovely.

At 3pm there was hot drinks and Christmas cake served along with the queens speech which we missed because half of us were sleeping and just relaxing in the room.

On Christmas day evening there was buffet tea between 5.30 & 7pm I wasn't that impressed with it. There was leftover pigs in blankets from lunch, over cooked spring rolls, Onion bhajis which were so spicy, mini quiches, potato wedges and things like that. It was all too dry so I helped myself to some of the salad just to moisten it up a bit. When I think of a buffet I think of sausage rolls, sandwiches and things like that.

a plate with a selection of picky buffet food, potato wedges, pigs in blankets and salad.

After the buffet there was bingo and a disco which was a lot of fun! The guy running it was really nice and had been running each Christmas day for a few years. He pleased all the older people by playing their type of music and when they went to bed at about 9pm we took over and had everything from Bon Jovi, Rhianna, The Greatest Showman songs and Baby Shark. 

On the 4th night the food was not great. Turkey and leek pie ended up being chicken and mushroom, the gammon was overcooked and chewy, the fishcakes and risotto were nowhere in sight. The only good thing was the sliced beef says my fella and dad. I am not a big beef lover. 

There is a happy hour which finishes at 6pm and we figured out to buy our drinks for the evening then but on the whole the drinks are not overpriced. A bottle of the house wine was just under £13, Baileys was £3 and a pint of lager was about £3.50 which I think is reasonable. 

All of the staff were lovely and were very helpful. There was a young girl. I thought she was in her early 20's but she was only 17 years old who was doing a great job in the dining room. The cleaners were lovely too and were sure we had everything we needed before they had the day off on Christmas day.

The average age of the guests over Christmas were about 60/70 years old and there were no other children here apart from my two girls until the last night. My girls had so many compliments about how polite and well behaved they were. I felt very proud. 

There is little for kids to eat from the carvery/restaurant menu unless your kids like big dinners with veg. You can order from the bar. They serve pizza, burgers and things like that. There is also little help for people with food allergies. It is not obvious what meals contain what. My dad knew someone there who had various allergies and there was nothing suitable on the 3rd night and asked for something off the bar menu and had fight not to pay for it despite the evening meal being included.

There is free internet in public areas but you get cut off after 20 minutes and have to reconnect. Upstairs in the rooms you get 20 minutes free per day. I think in the world we live in now the internet should be included but I didn't really miss it, it was nice to spend time as a family.

We had a lovely stay at the Britannia Leeds Bradford Airport Hotel and would happily spend another Christmas there but my dad who was spending his 2nd Christmas there said he wouldn't. He noticed differences between Christmas 2017 & Christmas 2018. He said they were cutting costs on the food by just having the same sides/veg each evening, not having things like salmon for starters, having awful tasting coffee at breakfast and having less staff clearing plates in the dining area. He also complained that there was no fridge in the room this year. It may seem like a little thing having no fridge but him and his partner are big tea drinkers and would have liked somewhere to store a carton of milk.

I would say this hotel over Christmas is great for couples and older people but not good for families with young children. My two were OK because they could sit and amuse themselves on tablets, colouring or just people watching. On our last night there was a family with young children who arrived and all the older people were complaining about the children being loud. (I wouldn't say they were, they were just being kids but I guess older people have less patience).


  1. Sounds like it had some good and pad points but overall I'm glad you had a lush time and how lovely of your dad to treat you all too xx

  2. I like how you've included the good and the bad. It's a shame the beds where not so comfy, I don't think I've stayed in a hotel with hard beds before, they've always been too soft for me (I like a bit of firmness.) I do love the hotel mirrors with lights though, did you get one of those adjustable magnifier mirrors too, they are great for make up if you're eyesight isn't so good. I keep saying I have to get one. I think Christmas in a hotel sounds lovely, especially if you've got other family staying there too. x

  3. How lovely of your dad to treat you to a stay away over Christmas, it must have been nice spending Christmas with him. It sounds like you all had a nice time, despite the few little problems x

  4. I wish we could afford to go away with the children over Christmas. How did your girls find being away from home over Christmas? Must have been lovely not having to cook or do the washing up for a couple of days. Hope you had a great new year too xxx

  5. Sounds like a great place to visit for Christmas.

  6. It sounds like there may have been different chefs on different nights. Maybe that's why the food was a mixed bag. But lovely to be away at least one time for Christmas and no washing up, no tidying up, no cooking! Sounds divine

  7. I don't think I could be away from home at Christmas but like the idea of no cooking or washing up!

  8. Great idea to stay - there's always someone who complains at children being children ! I find it frustrating with the internet set up

  9. I would love to spend Christmas away somewhere one year. A shame about the food though because it sounds like your stay would have been amazing if that had been a bit different.