Background here: this was my fourth trip to Cardiff, my favourite city. Last time, I stayed at the Sleeperz, right next to the train station. And I loved it, thought it was stylish and cool and the cost was right, and had a great stay (this review's a twofer). I will admit, though, that the room was a bit on the small side. Still, for all intents and purposes I was expecting to lay my head there on this trip. I remember checking out the Maldron when I was in Wales last time just out of curiosity, a bit of research in case the family ever decided to come visit. For kicks, in two separate tabs on the computer, I checked the prices for my dates and to my shock, I could get a room at the Maldron for about twenty quid more over the course of four days. I don't know if it was one of those late-night deals that hotels seem to sneak out into the interwebs then yank back, or a glitch, or just the fortunate result of booking three months early, but I decided I wanted more floor space and booked it.
Located a whole forty yards from the central train station and just about as far from the bus terminal, I dragged my sunburned self into the lobby ten minutes after slogging off the train from Carmarthen and a few minutes after that was checking out a stellar view of the entire city centre, nay, the entire city straight across to the Valleys, from the tenth floor. Astonishingly, my room had two beds (double and single) so I had plenty of room to stretch out, and I was instantly happy at my choice. The location of this hotel is pretty great: five minutes from the Hayes, around the corner from Bute Street (down to the Bay), close to restaurants, clubs and two movie theatres, convenience is everything.
Perfection? Well, close. My TV had a vertical line running through the picture on every channel (first world problem if there ever was one). Not the end of the world, and I mentioned it to the front desk and was told they'd swap it out, but that never happened. On the other hand, I reported a flickering light in the elevator lobby while heading out in the morning and it was changed by the time I got back from breakfast. I never ate at the hotel; there's a Brazilian restaurant on the ground floor, which didn't really appeal, so I just used the Weatherspoons across the street (Brits may knock the chain but I can't get enough of it whenever I'm over there). For some reason I'd been led to believe that the hotel had a pool when it didn't, I think that was my bad, reading the Maldron site.
(Here's a thing, and it's not just for this hotel, but any I've stayed at in the U.K.: they could make a killing if they'd bring in affordable send-out laundry service. Every where I go the desk clerk comes right out and says "We have it but honestly you're better off taking it somewhere else, 'cause it's really expensive." Seriously British hoteliers: knock that crap off with the five quid a shirt stuff and trust me, you'll make it up in volume. End rant.)
Anyway, I was staying right at the beginning of the summer season (3rd weekend in May) so I imagine things have gotten a bit steeper. Still, the Maldron was by far the most comfortable place I stayed on my trip. As a bargain hunter with some standards (I don't mind small as long as it's clean) this was my one vaguely luxurious stop out of sixteen days in country, and I'm glad I stayed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Clayton Hotel, in Cardiff City Centre opened on the 16th May 2011. Millennium Stadium is only a short walk from the hotel. The 12-story Clayton hotel Cardiff comprises of 216 air-conditioned guest rooms as well as bar, restaurant and meeting rooms. Facilities at a glance: •216 air-conditioned guest rooms• FREE Broadband & wireless internet access•Cardiff city centre Hotel•View Restaurant and Bar•Dedicated Business centre - 7 state-of-the-art Cardiff conference rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clayton Hotel, BW Premier Collection Cardiff, Wales