Royal Hotel Cardiff

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Address: St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1DW, United Kingdom

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.6

Scott of Antarctic’s last meal and a trendy, laid back boutique feel...

I remember visiting record fares in this hotel; glum and decrepit, it was a sad old place. Many years later and, besides the building’s historic Italianate Victorian facade, Cardiff’s oldest hotel is unrecognisable. I love the way the subtle entrance continues this mystique as you make your way through a quiet, sharply decorated corridor appointed with vibrantly renovated old fashioned long backed chairs and take the lift to the reception on the second floor.

Location
4.3
90%
Eating/drinking
4
90%
Leisure facilities
n/a
90%
Service
4.4
90%
Value for money
4.4
90%
Bedrooms
4.7
90%
Public areas
4.7
90%

Location

The Royal commandeers the top corner on one side of St Mary Street, it's just one road away from the train and bus station, and instantly connected to whole range of bars and restaurants. The centre’s cool continentally-flavoured street Mill Lane is over the road, plugging you into a wealth of great eateries. The Millennium Stadium is just behind it, too...

Bedrooms

The entire hotel has undergone a recent refurbishment and the bedrooms are certainly no exception. Black and white with splashes of red and deep brown, the furniture winks with an understated contemporary charm while the epic beds deliver in every way... Not least because they face sinfully large flat screen TVs that I’m sure cause no end of check-out delays!

The views from the rooms facing St Mary Street should satisfy the inner architect in you. Each window frames an inspired montage of the street’s old Victorian roofs with the sleek, bold contemporary frame of the new shopping mega centre St Davids 2 in the background. St Mary Street has now been part-pedestrianised so the hustle and bustle of traffic it used to experience is no longer a problem.

The junior suite is large enough for a small family with the sumptuous leather sofa opening out into a decent sized bed for two children. Its corner position is another occasion for neat views.

Public areas

I love the way you hop out from the lift into a serene reception that opens up as you walk round the corner. The oak floorboards and deep purple colour scheme sing with class. The Terra Nova bar area is dotted with relaxing leather chairs and the dining area is most noteworthy; it’s where Captain Scott of Antarctic enjoyed his last meal before he embarked on his fatal Terra Nova mission.

Eating and drinking

Breakfast is served in the very same room Captain Scott dined. Full and continental for £8 it’s worthwhile adding that to your room rate. The dining room is available for private functions and parties but otherwise there is no dinner.

Service

Slick and stylish that befits the hotel’s style. I was especially impressed by their knowledge of the building’s great history.

Who stays there

Families, business travellers and weekend leisure seekers are The Royal’s most common guests

Price advice

Breakfast is very reasonably priced. They have a deal with the Vitality Gym on the other side of town for £5 and look out for special offers.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Room Service

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Families with younger children
  • Live entertainment
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping
  • History
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Interesting history
  • Stylish interior and impressive bedrooms
  • No dinner
  • The noise of the night time revellers can sometimes be heard
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