on February 23, 2013
Business trip meant finding a hotel close to the conference venue. The ones suggested obviously had increased their prices considerably as they got booked up, so I started to do my homework and found this hotel - it was closer than some of the suggestions and much cheaper. I decided it was for a few nights I would try it, I needed somewhere to lay my head for a few hours as I knew the conference days would be long so I had no need for great facilties.The plan had been to rent a car because of the location but a problem with my driving license ruled that out, so I headed out here in a taxi. Its in one of those light industrial estates - so fairly quiet. Its really quite well hidden away from the main road behind a David Lloyd Leisure Centre. Apparently the site used to a a brewery and the hotel is in the converted offices. So it is actually a really quiet place - little noise, away from the road. But that means its in an odd location, and so a car is probably required to stay here. Although saying that its a few minutes walk down to the main road and a frequent bus service in to the city centre.I was too early to check in, so I left my case with the receptionist and headed out. The hotel doesn't have its own restaurant but there is one in the David Llyod centre which is the hotel's onsite restaurant. Didnt fancy lunch, or for that matter dinner or even breakfast in a leisure centre so I skipped that pleasure. Hungry for lunch I headed down to the main road - this is an out of town shopping area - hardware, bathrooms car dealers - there was a Greggs bakery and an M&S food store on the other side of the main road at the traffic lights coming down the road from the hotel. But dinner options in walking distance were few - I had seen a TGI Fridays further down the road, but passing by McDonalds I saw a Frankie and Bennys and decided I was probably not going to do much better without actually going further afield.Having eaten I headed back to the hotel, and checked in. All straight forward. A room on the first floor. The hotel has a ground first and second floor. I was just above the main hotel door, and even there I heard little noise. The room was fine - obviously not that long ago it was renovated. Bed- choice of firmer and softer pillows which was nice. Huge flat screen TV. A tub type chair in the corner. A wardrobe/shelving unit at one end that was designed for short stays only, but fine to hang a few things up. The bathroom was a little tight in opening door to the toilet. Plenty of hot water, and I did enjoy a nice bath. A few questions about the cleaning, there were hairs everywhere over the bath. It was set up for one person as there was just a bath towel and a hand towel. There were those soap dispensers attached to the wall - which I know some people hate- I bring most of my own toiletries so I really don't worry. I was not happy to come back on day 3 at 11pm and find my room door was ajar. Now thankfully I had nothing valuable and nothing seemed disturbed - but the room was opposite the doors from the stairs and lift anyone could have been in. Travelling alone I found that a horrible feeling to come back to.The staff at the front desk were friendly and efficient. Not the most professional attitude I've seen in hotel staff but it made for a relaxed stay. I wanted to print off a boarding pass and they were helpful in doing that, even if the lady in reception had never done it before.All in all- slightly strange location - there is not much close by. Not somewhere for a weekend away really. But it served well for work as I got a really good nights sleep in a quiet hotel. It was cheap and definitely cheerful. If I was going back to Cardiff for work I'd happily stay here again! But a few days away I'd be looking somewhere with a little more action that was easily accessible.
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