We moan about them , but when we want a cheap getaway ,we're back for more. The rooms in Cardiff central are as basic as it gets. Bed (I found the mattress quite hard) , Coathangers, kettle/tea/coffee, some power points and 1 chair. Bathroom has a decent shower, soap and plastic cups. The upside is that I got it for £19/night, its clean, and its as central as you could wish for. Tips :
1. Whatever you do, don't buy breakfast for £7.65. Admittedly its all you can eat, but there must be at least a dozen cafes within a 5 minute walk where you can get a good full english for £3 - £4. Also, the breakfast wasn't that good.
2. Don't pay crazy parking charges in the city. I think it starts at £10/day. There are fantastic, secure park and ride schemes for £3/day. From the east (england), its off the M4 J29 (google it), and it drops you about a 5 minute walk away on Dumfries Place.
The hotel is about 500 metres from the castle which seems worth a look - I didn't have time, but apparently you need 2 hrs to do it justice and £11 or £17 entry depending on whether you have the premium ticket or not. To go to Cardiff Bay, come out of the hotel, turn right, bear left at the top of the road where the Hilton is and follow the road round. Look for the No. 6 bus( I think its the 2nd or 3rd stop), you can get a ticket you can use all day for £3.40 each. It only looks about a mile or two away on the map, but don't try and walk it, its at the end of a fairly uninspiring dual carriageway. Cardiff itself is a nice city, and the Travelodge is on the main pedestrianised shopping street. All the shops on here are high st chains though. For something different, try the Morgan quarter, little individual shops, this is in an arcade off the main drag. Duke St arcade is similar but not as good. Cardiff is very lively at night, especially weekends, lots of hen parties etc. I'm in my 40s and the nicest pub I found (tried a few!) was the Cardiff Cottage on St Mary St. Good Ales, nice atmosphere, not too rowdy, but not dead either. I had two nights and ate both times in the Brewery Quarter, just past the Cottage. The name is misleading, because it's where the restaurants are. There are about 10-12 in there. I ate in Nandos and Chiquitos, both times they were fairly good but nothing special. All the eateries in there are chains unfortunately.
Cardiff Bay is very nice. The cafe & bar area is buzzing, but if you walk past the national assembly and the "Norwegian Church" is quite a chilled out area. Did the Dr Who experience at the end of the bay area which was a good laugh. Recommend the hotel but be realistic about what your getting. Cardiff is a good place for a long weekend, stay central, explore the streets, and do your homework on restaurants. If you get a room on 4th (top) floor, the noise from below is reduced. Hope you found this helpful. Enjoy.
Top floor !
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.