Cardiff’s hotel repertoire is maturing with promise. Once home to a whole string of seedy b&bs and tatty city centre 50s throwbacks, it’s now armed with an array of tasteful independents and classier chain hotels. Compared to other capitals such as Edinburgh and Belfast there’s still a lot more potential in the boutique department, but there’s a great choice of funky budget hotels and really elegant traditional hotels, especially on the outskirts of the city.
Things to consider before booking
Here’s the good news: Cardiff hotels are highly affordable considering we’re in a capital city. Almost all of them come in at under £100, even the more plush establishments.
Here’s the bad news: that price skyrockets to double, if not more, on event weekends. The Millennium Stadium is one of the city’s finest assets, but it comes at a steep price for visitors. So if you’re planning a trip to the city that doesn’t involve a major event, then keep an eye on local events by checking my when to go section or consider mid-week visits.
Parking: the prices might not be capital city, but parking certainly is. Most central hotels have arrangements with multi-storey car parks nearby, some have limited space if you book early.
Inner city life: If you’re after the city’s main attractions, then opt for one of my central choices - the ones on the outskirts are beautiful and peaceful but they’re pretty quiet in the evening and approximately £10 or more in a cab.
Rates: watch out for WiFi tarrifs; most hotels are beginning to offer it for free but there are still a few who will charge you over £10 for 24-hour internet access. Breakfast should never be considered as part of the room rate; it’s about a 50/50 split between those who do include it and those who don’t.
Gyms: almost every hotel in the centre has a deal with Vitality Gym. Depending on the hotel’s location, it is either extremely convenient (The Parc Hotel is literally just opposite while Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre is the other side of town) or just a nice extra if you’re in need of that all important fitness boost.