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“A good hotel with great views but a little tired in places”

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The St. David's Hotel
Ranked #16 of 76 Hotels in Cardiff
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A good hotel with great views but a little tired in places”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Stayed at St Davids Hotel and Spa and booked room 601 and am left with mixed feelings some very good while others disappointing.

On entring the hotel the foyer is spectacular and the reception very friendly and helpful. One young man, whose name I did not get, was helpful by parking out car and was very helpful at giving us advice on where to go for an afternoon walk around the stunning lake and sea front. He was at the entrance to the hotel on our return and enquired if we had enjoyed the walk (thank you whoever you are).

First impressions when entering the room were stunning due to the room being very spacious and being a corner room having views from both sides, it all felt very special. On inspection around the room I started to notice things looking a bit tired and not what you expect from a 5 star rating. The sofa had buttons missing which made it look scruffy, the chair to the desk had a torn arm where it had rubbed on the desk over time, a few crumbs on the floor under the desk, several places on the carpet were stained due to condensation dripping down from the very large windows (the windows are what I love about the room). The bed was very large and very comfortable. We called for a jug of milk when arrived promptly so top marks for all the staff in the hotel.

We made use of the spa which is an area of the hotel that really needs work. I could see brown marks in various places around the pools, due to age there are areas of the roof that are cracked and dripping. It just didn't have a clean feeling, but this is due to age not that it is not kept clean. The walk back to the ladies changing room is very slippery, even though there is a notice to warn you that it is slippy. I think a new surface needs to be put on the floors here for safety sake. The changing rooms are fine, with plenty of lockers, showers and products to wash and shampoo.

We ate in the dining room and the food was very good but not spectacular. The young man who served us was especially helpful.

Overall impressions were that some parts of the hotel are tired but staff are excellent. Not to put anyone off, the views are spectacular from the rooms, the rooms are spacious, the beds very comfortable, showers great, and the walks around the area are great. Right outside the hotel are protected wetlands with numbers of rare birds for those who like bird watching.

We enjoyed out stay!

Room Tip: We asked for a sea view but I think all the rooms have a sea view. Our sea view was of the inner lak...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jean_Bates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. I will address the the areas of concerns with our team here at St. David's. I am pleased to read that the service you received during your stay were excellent.

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Worcester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We booked into this hotel over the bank holiday as we were looking for a 5 star experience instead I would describe it as average 3 star at best and am reviewing on that basis. We expected more from a 5 star.

First our arrival - The car park was full and we were told to park in a pay & display across the road at a cost of £15 for the night. Sorry but we just didn't expect this from a 5 star hotel. They said that if we'd read the booking confirmation it would explain the £15 charge. I checked it when I got home and no mention of this charge. No offer of help with bags etc just a polite and formal booking in

The Rooms - We had 2 interconnecting rooms overlooking the bay and these were nice but nothing special however no complaints

Afternoon Tea - We had booked for afternoon tea and had to wait for ages to be served. The waiter was very polite and good when they did eventually serve us but waiting such a long time with young children is a challenge as they were getting very hungry.

Evening Meal - This was fine and the staff were very good and polite but again long waits, particularly for the childens sweet where in the end we did have to chase the waiter and it arrived eventually. The meal however wasn't special as you'd expect in a 5 star hotel. It was the little touches that were missing such as bread rolls whilst you are waiting etc.

Breakfast - Again this was fine but not 5 star. A standard continental/ English buffet but nothing special. Almost identical to what you would get in a Premier Inn.

So overall not a bad hotel but definitely not 5 star!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Gordon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. My apologies for your disappointment on this occasion Rest assured your comments will be shared our team here. I can assure you that we are committed to providing our guests with the best quality food and service here at St Davids.

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Just returned from a weekend visit. It had been a long time since I had last visited when it had just opened. Having read some of the reviews, I was prepared for it to have become a bit run down. I was actually surprised at how well maintained it has been. Our room was spotless - the walls/bedding/bathroom was pristine. The hotel provided an additional bed and teddy bear for our toddler at no extra charge. The pool area was clean. The breakfast was really good quality. The views across the bay are lovely. The décor of the rooms is a little business- hotelish rather than feeling luxiourious. The staff were friendly and incredibly professional. Definitely 5 star service at the front desk. No waiting and our room was ready 4 hrs early! If the décor was just a little more luxurious, I would have given it 5 stars. Cannot fault the service.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank V_M_CBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review and your loyalty by visiting St. David's Hotel & Marine Spa once again. I am pleased the service you received with us was excellent and the small touches like the extra bed and teddy for your toddler.

We look forward to your return.

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Stayed for one night, as part of a group of 10. Used the spa on the Saturday afternoon - it was ok, but not the standard expected. Lockers were unlockable, towels and robes piled high in the changing rooms and not cleared away on a regular basis. The massage was nothing special. Had to return 3 times to the spa reception to pay as the staff member couldn't work out how to take payment.

This is not a cheap hotel, so I did expect a wow factor....but that didn't happen. Nothing special about this hotel and spa. Finally, I am annoyed at having to pay £15 to park in the hotel, when our group must have spent over £1,500 on rooms and treatments.

Positives - The staff in the hotel reception were friendly and professional. The view from the room was lovely - then again, I could have stood in the bay and enjoyed the view for free.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 2012jan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. I am disappointed to read your comments did not meet your expectation, however I will share your comment with our Spa Manger and Head Housekeeper and investigate your comments.

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swansea
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Came here for a night away with my wife hoping for something really special. The hotel is well known in Wales and is iconic within the context of Cardiff Bay. The 5* rating of the hotel was exactly what we were looking for.

Everything about the hotel is underwhelming. The foyer is really lifeless and dull. When we arrived at the bedroom as I was genuinely shocked at how threadbear the carpet was, the divan bed was worn and so were the recliner chairs. The balcony is a really lovely feature but again, the decking was very worn and peeling away. I don't know whether they are going for a 'minimalist' look in the bedrooms but all the walls are white, bear and very uninspiring.

We requested fresh milk and coffee for our room. We had to ring three times over a 40 minute period until they came - when it did finally come it was just more UHT milk and powdered coffee!! It eventually came when we rang again a few hours later. Poor.

The bed was very comfortable on the plus side as were the pillows - this I would say was the best part of the stay really.

The swimming pool and spa which we went to is extremely tired looking and needs some investment. The pool was very very cold and small. Again, the sense of 5* luxury was not evident at all.

We didn't have food at the hotel for evening meal so couldn't comment on that.

Breakfast was lovely I must say (although it should have been at £18/head) and the restaurant overlooks the bay which was really great.

When we checked out we were shocked at our £15 parking fee - their response is that they charge the same as the NCP. Surely they could include this in the price of the stay?!!

All in all - very unimpressed. We will be going back to the Celtic Manor next time which is far better value for money and far more luxurious and enjoyable. We will NOT be returning!!

Cardiff Bay is nice - my tip - stay somewhere else for cheaper!

Room Tip: Try getting a room facing the Bay - the other side is not as nice.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 18tilidie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. I am disappointed to read your comments. I would like to apoligse for any shortfalls during your stay and I will share these comments with our team. I can confirm that we are currently investing our bedrooms and will be upgrading these facilities. I do hope you witness our ongoing investments.

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

This hotel describes itself as the 'only 5 star hotel in Cardiff' which is how my wife and I have judged it. We have just returned from there having spent 3 nights there. 5 stars is very misleading. Please don't expect too much if you have ever stayed at a 5 star hotel before.

Car Parking: 0/5 - disgraceful hotel residents have to fork out £15 per day (so that has added £45 to our stay). For a 5 star hotel it should be complimentary as the hotel is expensive enough. The principle of it stinks. It called taking advantage!

Room: 3/5 - Stayed (and paid) for a Junior Suite. Very pleased with the extra room (although £500 for 3 nights is not great value). Melton Brown toiletries a nice touch. Fridges do not come as standard (not sure why not as there is definately the room) which is very unusual for a 5 star hotel. Was offered one which then had to replaced twice as not working. Even the one we finally ended up with broke down!

Staff: 5/5 - A credit to you. All very friendly

Spa: 2/5 - If you can bear the cackling hen parties, like a nice view then fine. But if you are asking for that something a bit special then you will be disappointed. Been to much classier spa's. Treatments were fine, but then they should be. Anyone familiar with spas will be aware of the 'chill out' room where you go after your treatment. Was very disappointing. Light, bright and cold!!!! Waste of time. Got better facilities at my local gym!

Tidus restaurant: 1/5 Don't bother. Save the money and walk to the bay where the choice is good. Menu far too fussy. Very poor vegetarian options. 1 vegetarian dish off the menu (that was 50%) and no lamb. Bit of irony in that! Wife was served a portion of rice pudding for her main meal, described a risotto on the menu. Felt embarrassed for the kind waitress. Was provided with a complimentary glass of wine. Nice gesture. However, is clearly a measure of the quality / standards of the chef in allowing such poor food to leave the kitchen. I would be, if that the best you can do, god help the next customer! Also, whilst the wine (which by the way was over £9 per glass) was a gesture, the margin was probably 80% so in fact a cheap gesture rather than refunding my wifes dinner. The maths is not complicated!! Very poor practice.

We had a pleasant weekend but that was the location and weather. Very little to do with the hotel which keep bleating on everywhere about being the only 5 star location in Cardiff.
If you want a good spa would thoroughly recommend the MALVERN SPA. Thats a real spa!!

Too many things need sorting in St David's so set your expectations pretty low, otherwise you will be disappointed and full of regrets.
Overall the hotel is an average 4 star. Very tired looking from the outside.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emiliascott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. I was very disappointed to read your comments and apologise for your disappointment on your recent stay with us, especially in regards of your shortfalls in our restaurant. All feedback is taken very seriously and I will discuss your comments with the team. I can confirm that we provide mini fridges in bedrooms upon request, we also do have an extensive 24 hour room service menu to chose from. I would like to thank you for your comments in regards of our staff,

Kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We stayed here for 1 night with my husband and we couldn't praise the staff enough. From the concierge to the two extremely friendly blonde girls at the reception and breakfast (my apologies I missed your name) the service provided was excellent. The room on the 7th was lovely with a magnificent vue of the mermaid quay! The hotel is perfectly situated to discover the beauty of Cardiff Bay. The pool area is such a pleasure after a long walk around the bay but what made our stay was the perfect and relaxing hot stone back massage! Thank you Amy and Eoin, I'm back in London relaxed, stress free and happy! Great place to stay and we will definitely return!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SonuJuli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StDavidsH0tel, General Manager at The St. David's Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Thank you for your review. I am delighted your stay with us was stress free and happy, I will share your kind comments with our team here at the St. David's Hotel & Marine Spa especially your special mentions Amy and Eoin.

We look forward to your return in the future.

kind regards.
Andreas M. Maszczyk.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The St. David's Hotel

Property: The St. David's Hotel
Address: Havannah Street, Cardiff CF10 5SD, Wales (Formerly The St. David's Hotel & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Southern Wales > Cardiff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Cardiff
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cardiff
#13 Business Hotel in Cardiff
#17 Romantic Hotel in Cardiff
#21 Family Hotel in Cardiff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. David's Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 142
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St. David's Hotel is situated on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay. Dynamic and contemporary in style, the hotel incorporates an impressive floor-to-ceiling, glass-backed atrium that provides a vision of space and natural light. All bedrooms have private balconies and waterfront views. Just five minutes from the centre of Cardiff, St David's Hotel is adjacent to Mermaid Quay with a wide range of entertainment including The Wales Millennium Centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. David`s Hotel Cardiff
St Davids Hotel Cardiff
Cardiff St Davids Hotel
St Davids Cardiff
The St. David's Hotel Cardiff, Wales

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