Cardiff Sandringham Hotel
21 St. Mary Street, Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 1PL
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Stag / hen parties, Art, Live entertainment, Nightlife, Shopping
Expert review of Cardiff Sandringham Hotel
To step inside the Sandringham is to step back in time. A narrow, 100 year old building, I love its mazes of corridors and levels, even the occasional creaky floorboards have an unintentional retro charm. It’s run by a true character who’s passionate about his business and serves as a comforting reminder of how many UK hotels were before big chains dominated the market. Cardiff residents will know of The Sandringham through their jazz club below; one of the city’s most longest standing live music venues, and certainly the only one dedicated to jazz and blues, it’s something of an institution.
The Sandringham is at the very heart of the city centre. Equidistant from the new sparkling shopping hub St Davids 2, the Millennium Stadium and the castle, the hotel is on the centre of St Mary’s Street, one of Cardiff’s oldest thoroughfares. Now pedestrianised, there’s a new air to The Sandringham’s atmosphere; the spluttering busses of old are a distant memory, creating a sedate, almost retreat-like air about the place.
They’re much bigger than I’d assumed from the initial staircase on entry and compact reception. Double or twin, there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre and more than enough storage for a long weekend stay. The same can be said for the bathrooms; they make a refreshing change from other two star hotels who just throw a bathroom in a small corner cupboard.
The roomy Grovesnor Suite and cosy Stuarts Lounge don’t really seem like they’ve changed since the 70s. For some this will add to the hotel’s personality, for others it might seem a little too dated. CafeJAZZ downstairs, however, is an unarguably cool area with subdued lighting and carefully placed seating that’s waiting to be taken outside on the newly pedestrianised street when the sun comes out.
A hearty breakfast can be found in the Grovsenor Suite but for main meals CafeJAZZ is open to guests with a 20% discount (and free entry to all events in the club later on in the evening). Food in CafeJAZZ is equally as hearty; a reliable blend of traditional pub food such as homemade pie and beef lasagne.
The play-safe menu does seem a little at odds with the cool reputation the venue has developed on the UK jazz and blues circuit, but it’s always been well appointed with guests and locals whenever I’ve been there.
Professional but relaxed and extremely welcoming, the manager takes a remarkable hands-on role.
Music aficionados visiting CafeJAZZ, business travellers during the week and sports fans visiting the Millennium Stadium.
Sundays are the cheapest days to stay, breakfast is included in the price and WiFi is free. Guests also have access to the Vitality Gym about five minutes across town for the reduced rate of £5.
More information on Cardiff Sandringham Hotel:
- 21 St. Mary Street, Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 1PL
- High-Speed Internet, Restaurant
- City Centre