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“OK - but don't pay rack rate.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Novotel Cardiff Centre

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Novotel Cardiff Centre
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Schooner Way | Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff CF10 4RT, Wales   |  
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Ranked #9 of 81 Hotels in Cardiff
GreenLeadersSilver level
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“OK - but don't pay rack rate.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2009

The hotel can be a little tricky to find, but once found is in a nice marina location. There is parking, although I didn't use it. The lifts are amazing - glass with a lovely view of the outside.

The room was comfortable, but not exceptional. One of the cushions (which went on the bed) was stained and the others looked very worn.

The staff were friendly and very helpful - you really felt as though nothing was too much trouble.

I paid a very reasonable rate for this, but I would not have been willing to pay the rack rate or anywhere near it.

OK for what I did - one nights stay then off.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,233 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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Manchester
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2009

We chose this hotel after reading some good reviews. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to expectation and we were really disappointed. The hotel is part new build/part warehouse conversion and is literally the 'wrong side of the tracks' from the city centre. You have to walk down the busy main road to get under the railway track to head up into town. The walk is an easy 10 minutes, but charmless and would not appeal on a dark night. The area where the hotel is situated was redeveloped in the 1990s and consists of offices and flats and houses set around a wharf and canal system - very reminiscent of Salford Quays but much less well maintained. The area looks tired, unloved and is litter-strewn. A 20 minute walk through though takes you down to Cardiff Bay, which has plenty of life going on and loads of places to eat. Food at the hotel was expensive, so don't bother - just get down to the Bay, where there's lots of choice.

Our 'standard' room was in the new build and was really nothing special and not particularly clean. Coffee had been spilled on the valance sheet by previous occupants and the maid had not bothered to change it. They had also taken the trouble to lock the safe before leaving too, and alas, the manager was unable to make the gadgetry work to release it, so we had to carry our valuables about for the duration of our stay, which was irritating. Toiletries are provided, but are minimal and nothing to write home about and no luxuries such as face cloths were provided. These are just the sort of things that we normally expect in four star chain hotels.

Breakfasts were okay - buffet style, with choices. The restaurant looked tired though and in need of a good clean up. It is situated in the older part of the building and could have been a real feature. But it isn't!

The hotel is on the fringes of the city, but Novotel obviously make a substantial killing on car parking, taking in about £250 per night when the car park is full. There's really no justification for charging their customers to park in this location. Again, it is just another irritation. They also charge silly money for items in the minibar - make sure you take stuff with you.

Probably the best part of the hotel is the leisure club, which boasts a small gym and pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Surprisingly, it is free for guests to use! Pool towels are also supplied, but don't forget your £1 coins (returnable) for use of lockers.

Right next door is a budget sister-hotel, the Etap, where rooms are advertised for £35 per night. If you just need a heads-down, that might be a useful option at a bargain price. Nearer to the Bay is a Travelodge and in the other direction on the 'right side of the tracks' nearer the city centre, is the Marriott. We would probably opt for that if we stay in Cardiff again.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2009

Booked a small group in here recently and although the hotel is fine, location fairly good, rooms well presented, etc., you should be aware when booking online that the dropdown menus do not allow additional information to be given. So if you are booking for three individuals, the room plan assumes a couple and one or two others who will also share a bed. I.e. a bed and a convertable sofa are the only available configuration. Conclusion: Ok for families, but not good for more than two singles, as the 'Family room' option is not a real family room.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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West Midlands
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

We stayed here over a weekend (Friday night to Monday afternoon), as a family of four whilst visiting Cardiff. Kids loved the pool (although children are limited to 9:00am to 7:00pm), clean, large room in the converted part of the hotel, and very little noise as we overlooked the car park. Only 10mins walk from Cardiff Central Station, but about 20mins to the Bay area. We walked to the Bay on the first night, but it's along a quiet road amongst the numerous apartments (Schooner Road), and we were a little wary at times, so taxis became the order of the day thereafter (approx £5.00). Would stay at this hotel again, certainly one of the best Novotels we've used, although we saw most of what Cardiff has to offer in the three days we were there! Recommend Demiros in the Bay for eating, and Techniquest for a visit.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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london
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

This is the first time I have booked a hotel using tripadvisor and was disappointed my experience did not match what others have found - a couple of things: we paid for a room upgrade which is in the renovated wharehouse part of the building - you get a larger room but little else and we found the room a bit dark and gloomy, the bathroom had peeling mastic and the carpet was stained. The gym is really small and the pool is right by reception - people do walk down in front of reception in their swimming costumes - too cold for me :) apart from that we asked twice for extra pillows and had a bad nights sleep when they didnt turn up and charging £2.50 for a can of coke is just outrageous even from a mini bar. Finally the location is not great its walkable into town but I would not do it late at night - you are almost on a business park,.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

Booked this hotel as a result of reviews on this site. Purpose was for one night stay to attend concert at International Arena. Manged to find a good price online, cheaper than most other places. A bit worried on arrival as the area is being regenerated and very industrial. However the hotel was excellent, a converted warehouse with modern annex. The room was clean and spacious. Only a small amount of traffic noise at night. Staff were all very efficient and friendly, even those not involved directly in customer service. They had a promotion on breakfasts which, although not cheap, wasn't unreasonable for a hotel. Hotel was no more than 10 minutes walk from the arena and about 15 to the shops. Would have happily stayed for another couple of nights. Another plus is they have their own parking at £5/day. Several others seem to direct you to local NCP.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

Excellent location to shops and attractions. Rooms large and very comfy.

Only downside was that the safe didn't work and the bath tap came off in my hand! However, have no doubts that these points would have been sorted quickly if we'd bothered to report them

Breakfast very dear but no problem as you are close to city centre

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Novotel Cardiff Centre

Address: Schooner Way | Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff CF10 4RT, Wales
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Southern Wales > Cardiff
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Cardiff
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cardiff
#5 Family Hotel in Cardiff
#7 Business Hotel in Cardiff
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cardiff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Cardiff Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 138
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Novotel Cardiff Centre is a 4 star hotel perfect for your next break in Cardiff. Close to live sports action at Millennium Stadium and shops, restaurants and entertainment at Cardiff Bay. Enjoy our Elements Restaurant and Bar, superb indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam bath and whirlpool. Guests on a business trip will find WiFi internet and nine meeting rooms at their disposal including The Warehouse, a fabulous venue for weddings and conferences alike. 120 parking spaces at GBP 8 per day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Novotel Cardiff Centre Hotel Cardiff
Hotel Accor Cardiff Centre
Cardiff Novotel
Novotel Cardiff Centre Wales

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