When King Richard III was found in the car park in Leicester, just a stone's throw from the Cathedral, the eyes of the world honed in on the city.
The story brought tourists from all over the world, on day trips, to stay overnight, but there was only a few modern hotels close by to the historic Cathedral Quarter. Until now.....
You can now stay at St Martin's Lodge which has just opened bang opposite the Cathedral where Richard III is buried, close to the city's mediaeval Guildhall..
It's a Grade II Georgian listed building, a former house and more recently a solicitors office, which I've watched being transformed over the last year.
What's more, the rooms at the back overlook the very spot, a mere thirty steps away where Richard III's body was actually found in the car park.
Earlier this week, I was given an exclusive preview of the new, luxury accommodation which offers 28 en suite rooms, two of them fully accessible rooms.
The whole building has been restored sympathetically with beautiful old marble fireplaces kept in situ, and original bow windows restored. It's also decorated in historic colours, with every room very different from each other. Fortunately though, the bathrooms are bang up to date with the latest designer showers and baths!
I was staying overnight , and as the door to my room was opened, I was delighted with the view...
All I had time for was a quick look around, as I was recording and editing all day. I couldn't wait until the end of a long day to return and relax.
The view had changed dramatically by nightfall as the Cathedral was bathed in red for Remembrance
and I just stood gazing out at my favourite area of the city.
Prising myself away from the windows which run along the length of the room, I made myself at home
I eyed the bed longingly,
After a ten hour shift at work though, I decided to make the most of the beautifully appointed bathroom. I wallowed in the huge roll top bath by lamplight, watching the shadows play on the wall and admiring the beautiful tiles.....
After an oh so comfortable night's sleep in a bed the size of the Isle of Wight , I tested the shower, which was big enough for three people, and reluctantly got ready for work again.
It was the attention to detail I noticed though before I left....lovely drawings and sketches on the walls by local artists, local bottled water in glass bottles in the fridge, organic toiletries in recyclable packaging, USB points and plug sockets by the bed, in the sitting area and at the desk and dressing area.
There's a Nespresso machine, kettle and a selection of teas available in each room, but don't expect breakfast or a bar here.
This isn't a hotel, it has the atmosphere of a private house. Breakfasts and lunches are available at St Martins House just a few steps across the square, and a wide selection of bars and restaurants are only a hop, skip and jump away from St Martins Lodge.
This is in a prime location for anyone staying in Leicester, especially if you want to visit the King Richard III Centre which is a mere fifty yards away, or walk around mediaeval and Roman Leicester, or if you're attending a wedding or a conference.
Despite just opening , bookings have been brisk, with the first guests coming from Singapore for a wedding( they took every room except one) and had the reception just across the Square , quickly followed by a posse from Wyoming , USA and a number of business guests.
St Martins Lodge is quirky, quaint and quite unique. I also like its back story. It's owned by the Church - the Diocese of Leicester , who were offered the building a few years ago. How could the Church turn down the space, the location , with a large car park at the back ?
It couldn't...the restored building is enhancing the Cathedral Square, attracting visitors to the area, and the profits will help pay the salaries of priests and church staff as well as extending the church's work across Leicestershire and Rutland. That's what I call a win win situation.
You can find out more information about St Martins Lodge and book rooms here.....
You can also hear more on this story from me here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06p244m
- just scroll I hour 25 minutes into the programme.