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“Why wa the breakfast?”
Review of Dexby Town House

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Dexby Town House
Ranked #10 of 47 Cardiff B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 October 2008

Myself and my boyfriend have always loved seeing new places and make a habit of staying in locally run b and b's and hotels however after our stay here we may be changing our minds!!

Firstly it appears the owners own two seperate properties on the same street and consquentially take bookings for both, at both locations so when i thought i booked one place i'd actually booked the other luckily they are only a few doors up from each other on opposite sides of the street.

upon arrival we rang the door bell several times and got no answer at either property despite having just spoken to one owner on the phone and being told to go across to the other property where someone would be waiting... we had to phone again to get this second door opened and checked in which was a bit choatic.

the hostess was lovely but very disorganised on the whole, for example she negelected to tell us where we could find the dining room for the morning despite us asking she preferred to ask how we would be paying. hence we did not recieve breakfast either day.

the room was cold with the windows having been open all day and the floor in the en-suite was still wet from the previous guests. the lamp on the bedside table did not work as didn't the shaver point. but trying to get in contact with the owner/hostess was like mission impossible.

all in all i did not enjoy my stay there but have fallen in love with cardiff.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ExmouthBeetroot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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262 - 268 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2008

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend away in Cardiff for the Millenium Magic Rugby League weekend. Our only complaint would have to be our 'HOTEL'!! Cardiff was very busy and most hotels were fully booked so we were quite please to find rooms on the internet at what looked like a reasonable looking bed and breakfast. We were told we could only book for a minimum of 3 nights that weekend, although very expensive at almost £600 for 3 people we thought why not, but were then told one member of our party would have to stay at thier sister hotel over the road. Over the road turned out to be at the other end of the very long street. Upon arrival they had moved things around so we could all stay in the same hotel, but the service was in general terrible. The rooms were not clean and inviting and the staff were the same, not friendly atall. After our first nights stay we went down for breakfast, we all ordered full english, after waiting over an hour and watching them clean the dining area and being very rude when we asked for more coffee, we realised they'd forgotten our breakfasts and had to walk into cardiff centre to eat. Whist eating breakfast in the hotel the next morning we realised they'd done us a favour. The rooms were very minimal and in desperate need of a good clean, although tidy, dead insects and cobwebs on the walls and mould on the windows really put me off. I was disgusted with the amount of money I had paid to stay in such an unhospitable, unclean, unfriendly place. Do not let this put you off visiting Cardiff, there are many, many lovely places to stay and to visit, just don't stay here!!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank LancashireTuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2007

I can't resist a pun, especially when it plays heavily on the clerical theme that this establishment's name suggests- but like the proverbial curate's egg, it's also a comment on both their breakfasts and their standards: good in parts.
Don't let the name "Church" however let you be misled into thinking this is a guest house run by the Church in Wales or indeed any other Christian denomination.
The Church Town House is one of the two properties on Cathedral Road which are apparently owned by (but managed by a youngish employee manager) the parents of the sometime child star with the "Voice of an Angel" who even sang in front of the late Pope John Paul II- as one of the many pictures and award discs of Charlotte plastered around the breakfast room proudly shows, of which more later.

I decided to book this as my base for a two-day visit to the Welsh capital as a second choice, after reading some unfavourable reviews of my original hotel which was nearer the city centre. From the reputation of the owners and the small amount of information I had found on their website, the Church Town House looked an acceptable choice close enough to the city centre but away from the noise and bustle that some reviews Trip Advisor.com had warned would be my lot at the other hotel.
On balance, I'm not sure if I fared much better here than I would have done at The Sandringham, though to be fair The Church Town House -once I was actually able to access my room- offered a quiet and undisturbed night inside. External noise can obviously not be helped, but the traffic flow was minimal after midnight. There was also a very comfortable double bed with a nice firm mattress, adequate heating on two chily nights (though another radiator or back up heating in the bedroom rather than bathroom would have helped), working if improvable bathroom facilities, a TV and a reasonably stocked hospitality tray.- though no biscuits. I had to bring my own.
My first and biggest complaint about The Church Town House however would have to be the "check in" facilities, which quite frankly were appalling. Having made my booking through their website I assumed I could turn up around the conventional time in the late afternoon/early evening and find a proprietor or staff member waiting for me, to greet me, show me my room and generally make me feel welcome. I got none of these when I needed it most; instead I had to use my mobile at my own expense to dial two numbers which seemed unobtainable, before eventually contacting the manager on the number painted on the wooden sign in the front garden. Fortunately,this did at last link to the manager, though he told me he had gone out because he did not know when I was arriving. This is just unacceptable for the hospitality industry- if this was the case, he should have tried at least to contact me on the mobile number I seem to recall I gave on my booking form. I did not have the time to wait in for him afterwards, but I intend to make a complaint to the local tourist board.
Nevertheless, I did manage to gain access to my room- but only by using a keysafe below the unanswered doorbell which left me with serious concerns about security in this guest house. It would be far too easy for some ne'er do well I think to discover how to gain access. If the management must be away, as will surely happen from time to time, they need to communicate this much better to their guests or even invest in a more sophisticated entry system.
My room as I mentioned above was furnished to very basic standards. Although adequate for my immediate needs, I fail to understand why a double room had only one chair, and not even a table- only the top of the chest of drawers on which the tea tray and kettle were placed. There were plenty of mirrors, but no pictures on bare walls. The TV was perched at a height which would induce severe neckache if watched for any length of time, even from in bed, let alone the chair. It had fuzzy pictures- though again, this may not be the fault of the management if it is down to a poor signal- and was tuned completely wrong for channel positions. Why was BBC 2 on button 5 while Five was on 1!
Curtains were non-existent, just stark, vertical and rather discoloured cloth blinds covered the double glazing which did a fair job of trying to keep noise out and heat in, but one of the windows was frosted in a very ugly way and ought to be replaced.
Linen and towels were all adequate, but the shower lacked a shelf on which to place toiletries, the controls were very rickety and the shower head height difficult to adjust. The hook for a dressing gown was also coming off the door, and outside there was not even a wardrobe but a strange contraption with hangers and a shelf (though as I didn't use it, this didn't bother me unduly).
Overall, I get the impression that every expense had been spared to give the bare minimum of acceptable comfort in a tourist hotel- though at least there were three sachets of UHT milk and tea bags to provide enough hot drinks til morning, though i could have done with another sachet on my second night. Once again, had the guide been placed where I would read it, i would have known that I could ask for more supplies, seemingly at no extra charge (I've known of hotels that disgracefully charge for this). Although of course I could not ask if I could not even find any staff on the premises in the evening: I saw no evidence of any of them around in the evening although the website had given the impression the manager lived on the premises.
Lighting in my room was very poor- with it's high ceiling it could do with a standard lamp or even a basic uplighter, although the bedside lamps were very convenient with toggle switches on the cable. However, I saw no sign of the flower vase on the bedside shelf, shown in the (otherwise honest) example pictures of the room on their website. This looked as though it was intended as a family room (there was an additional single bed which I did not use: I booked a double to give more space), but I wouldn't describe it as at all family friendly.

I eventually encountered the manager at breakfast the following day. While it's always good to be offered a full breakfast at no extra charge if wanted, it didn't seem unreasonable to me to offer the choice in this way so that those who prefer continental breakfast don't subsidise others, and the £2.50 that is now being charged for those who prefer it does not seem extortionate. Nevertheless, the breakfast provision still lacks those little touches that add so much more to the start of the day, either on a break away or a business trip. The kitchen didn't even appear to possess a frying pan- he could not do me fried bread (so presumably no mushrooms either had I wished!).
Nevertheless, there was plentiful choice of cereals and more than enough toast, at least on my first day, and well done to the manager for having a new pot of Marmite awaiting me! However, I was only offered one very small pot of tea and I saw no evidence of croissants or other similar baked goods on offer. My bacon and fried eggs (sorry, griddled!) were a tasty start to my first day, and the sausages I received on the second were cooked to perfection- which is more than could be said for watery scrambled egg not even served on the toast.- this is where that good in parts Church curate should come in. As somebody else has observed, the breakfast waitresses here could do with a lot more training.
I only discovered the hotel's "guide" in my room just before I left- it had been put in a drawer which I might not otherwise have opened. It would be far better to put this on the back of the door where it could be clearly seen. When I did read it, I was more than a little annoyed to find a surcharge for debit cards as well as credit cards was mentioned here- but wasn't on the website.. Fortunately, because i stuck to my guns and said I was annoyed it had not been mentioned on my booking confirmation, I was only charged the cash price on checking out: I think it may have been Mr Church the owner who was also in the kitchen at the time while his young waitress processed my payment, though I did not find his manner at all friendly or sympathetic. A little more personal, friendly interaction with the guests- (also useful, perhaps as a language-learning tool to staff?) would be particularly welcomed by solo travellers like myself, and would have given me a completely different opinion of this house. At least the manager chatted with me about the rugby, on the Monday after South Africa took the World Cup- though of course I may not have been a fan!
The breakfast room, pleasantly laid out with glass-topped Welsh pine tables, is about the only other room in the house (apart from a bathroom for non en-suites) which guests are likely to see. A lounge- and rear garden access- would be a nice touch if practical, but i won't hold my breath for these enhancements to appear. The entrance hall had a small selection of guides and a peculiar layout in the visitor's book (where is the space for your address?) When I arrived to find the expected welcome so clearly missing, I was sorely tempted to try one of the many other hotels on Cathedral Road which were close by, and blow the consequences to paying for cancellation. I think I would have been well within my rights to quibble if this had been tried.
I was tempted to move for my second night, but I gave the hotel the benefit of the doubt and convenience- and they do at least let you leave bags behind after checking out, which was a helpful service. I would probably not choose to stay here again, though, unless I was pretty desperate, or if it can show evidence of still much needed improvements in the immediate future- I'm afraid I can't make head or tail of the response to other reviews, with' still confusing comments about the two hotels and their names given already. I went to the wrong first house in the first place. Incidentally, be warned that there is also a hotel called "The Town House" nearby, which I presume has no connection with "The Church Town House". But Instead of trying to operate two buildings separated by a busy road in this rather strange way, why could the owners not have thought of two completely different names for different houses?
You have the potential to have a nice hotel here - I loved the moulded ceiling in my bathroom!- which could serve guests pleasantly, and have people coming back time and again, but I think you spoil it with inadequate attention to important details- not least the first impression of checking in. Dare I suggest perhaps a little worthwhile investment of a small part of the money that the Church family as a whole might have access to is overdue?

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled solo
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2  Thank beachyboy59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2007

There are nice rooms in this hotel. I saw one. But avoid at all costs Room 2 at No 109 (the hotel is in two parts). It is small, poky, has no wardrobe, chair or table; the windows are frosted and only partly openable - and, in any case, look out on to a small gap/building site between houses. The bed is uncomfortable and cannot be pushed up against the wall (so you can't prop yourself up on pillows to read - the light is, in any case, inadequate). It is also very cold. And you are next to the breakfastroom, so you are woken by banging and loud pop music at 7.15 when the breakfast-maker arrives.
Oh, and you don't get any soap. I had to ask for some and was greeted with great surprise.
And this princely accommodation costs £45 per night - not including the full breakfast.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled solo
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3  Thank DrystaneDyke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2007

Room and bathroom spacious and clean, central-ish location with parking, spoilt by the penny pinching management approach. On arrival the proprietor questioned that there were only two of us (as booked) as our room was a 2+1.

We were asked to pay £4 each for a cooked breakfast although this was included in the rate booked. The cook-manager tried to claim only Continental breakfast was included until I showed him the booking e-mail print. He backed down but this was unnecessary hassle.

The chambermaids were efficient and friendly but the hapless breakfast room waitress had a major training need which management clearly had not met. Don't expect more than one of anything on offer at breakfast. If you request a sauce you will be handed a single, cheap, no-name satchet.

The bathroom had a shower that varied, on the same heat setting, from chilly to scalding on a three minute cycle. The sink was a very small type you might fit in an under-stairs loo conversion. There was no shelf or unit of any kind on which to place toiletries. Or a coathook. Or a towel rail.

To cap it all, I was asked to pay a £5 supplement when I proferred my Switch DEBIT card for payment. The proprietor backed down when I told him to wait while I walk to the nearest ATM.

There are plenty of place to stay in Cardiff that are not yet on the net. There were still "Vacancies" signs up when we went, a weekend of an international rugby match, Cardiff City FC at home, a Cliff Richard concert and an indie rock band gig. If this is the only place left on the web on your budget, my advice would be to ignore it and go to this surprisingly absorbing city anyway.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Roger-of-the-Raj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mainypops, public relations manager at Dexby Town House, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2007

the establisment formerly known as the Church Hotel has undergone major changes in the last six months. This name was used as an umbrella term for the 2 businesses, guest house and town house and has led to some confusion. the Guest house {formally Jollies}was bought at the end of last year and has just undergone a complete renovation and is now fully up and running. the Town house (formerly Church hotel) is presently being upgraded to a superior standard. the reviews posted reflect the pre name change and transitional periods and not the current standards of the businesses, so please come and visit us and make your own minds up. We look forward to welcoming you soon.





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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2006

My friends & I stayed here for the weekend of an international rugby match for a very inflated price. This apparently is normal for prices to be more expensive for these weekends & also we had to stay 2 nights. My friends arrived first & were checked in then we arrived later in the day to find that the hotel was being renovated & still wasn't finished. In the rooms there was nowhere to hang clothes, no towel rails in the bathroom, no toiletries.But there was a container for liquid soap but it was empty. Our towls weren't changed & were still damp the next day. The linen was clean but the pillow cases had grease stains. The second day when we went to have breakfast, at 8.30, we were told that it was too late for cooked breakfast but could have continental as the cook had to take her son to school. When I asked topay they said it had been debited to my credit card. On returning home I discovered that they had charged me more than quoted. When I contacted them about all these problems I was spoken to very badly & lied to regarding the price & everything else. I have now spoken to 3 different people & they have all told me something different. So now I understand that nothing is going to been done about me being overcharged but I just want everyone to be aware that these people are very dishonest & will try & get away with anything if they can. Never again.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with friends
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5  Thank KiwiFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2006

We booked to stay overnight at the Church Hotel on the night of the Maddona concert in Cardiff, for the inflated price of £90 per night! to include ensuite facilities and breakfast. On arrival we were informed that the Church Hotel was fully booked and that we were to stay at their recently purchased property over the road called Jollies Lodge.
The room we were offered was 'to be refurbished' it contained beds only, no furniture, washing facilities, floor covering or decoration and we could have this at a reduced price of £60.

We did not stay, the place is a dump! We just wish that the owners had onformed us beforehand as we now had a 3 hour drive home. We would reccomend that you do not book with this 'Hotel'.

Our relatives were forced to stay on the previous evening as the owner informed them that our credit card would be charged if they cancelled. We had a look at their room, again for £90 it was pretty awful, shabby, kettle on the floor, no headboard on the bed and in need of re-decorating. Do not encourage terrible service, book at the Beverley Hotel a short distance away that looks a nice place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank BSJD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dexby Town House

Address: 126 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LQ, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Southern Wales > Cardiff
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 47 B&Bs / Inns in Cardiff
Price Range: £59 - £268 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dexby Town House 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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Also Known As:
Dexby Town House Hotel Cardiff
Dexby Town House Cardiff, Wales

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