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Reviewed June 14, 2009

Check what they give you carefully or you may well be disappointed! I booked an executive room on the hotel tier of standard room, superior room and execuive room. I carefully read the reviews and looked at Novotel website, as I do my research carefully. Someone in a review mentioned the wow factor with an executive room, I would say don't waste your money unless you check it out carefully. We arrived at 3pm, one hour after we were supposed to be able to check in and were allocated our room. We opened the door to a dingy room with the sofabed made ready for a child, certainly not ours! I went to reception and said I had booked an executrive room and was told I hadn't. I showed them the paperwork and guess what, yes I had!! We were told it would be a 30 minute wait but as I had an appointment in Cardiff we locked our belongings in the car and retunrnd to the hotel at 8.30pm. We were handed the key and went to a rather dark and standard looking room (315) but as we were dashing out again, other than disappointment didn't take a lot of notice. On returning I wanted to access my hotmail account but the in house system was going to charge me £5.99 even though it was supposed to be free in an Executive room - alarm bells started ringing!! The night manager told me we had been allocated a superior room and not an executive room and to see the duty manager the following morning,. As it had gone midnight I didn't pursue it but felt that I was being strung along.
The next morning it went from bad to worse. I spoke to the duty manager who didn't really seem to have clue. He said we had been allocated an executive room as all the execurtve rooms were being renamed superior rooms despite the fact that they are all at different prices - I am starting to smell someting fishy I asked to see an executive room on the 5th floor but he told me the fifth floor was all standard rooms but that I could be allocated an executive room for the night - no good as I was checking out....but I thought I was already in an executive room. Fortunately for me a cashier said that room 512 had just been freed and I could see it. Up I went with the duity manager who told me it was a standard room - on entering there was a 'wow 'factor and this, despite his protestations that this was a standard room was indeed an executive room - but I too had an executive room according to him. I told him to come and look at the room I had been allocated which he did. It clearly wasn't an executive room but he said it was as he told me it had a wardrobe and sofa etc etc....by this time I felt there was a complete lack on customer apprecication and I was totally being fobbed off. What I had booked I hadn't received but he wasn't going to back down and it left one very disgruntled customer who would not, under any circumstances return to the Cardiff Novotel.
The location of the hotel is OK, about a 10 minute walk to the bottom end of St. Mary's Street in Cardiff near the train station and restaurants etc. The hotel bar wasn't atmospheric but the breakfast was good and plentiful and served in an attractive room. Car parking is £5 a night despite being in an area where parking isn't at a premium.
I stay at about 30 hotels a eear and have never felt it necessary to write to head office to complain, this is going to be an exception. Why am I annoyed? Simply because I did not get what I paid for and rather than come clean, feeble attempts to fob me off was the management approach rather than addressing the issue in a professional way. If indeed I had been allocated an executive room this hotel urgently needs to get an expert in to assess all its rooms and relabel them so clients get what they pay for!
If you book the Cardiff Novotel, check your room carefully before accepting it and make sure you know what you are getting for your mony. I don't like being ripped off and would have been placated by a few kindly words and deeds but the approach was not up front and I felt that I didn't get the product I had purchased and paid for. I won't get caught out again so take my advice, be on the ball!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bob1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2009

We recently stayed here for a long weekend break. Finding the hotel was bit of a nightmare - not the hotel's fault, could have done with sat nav for getting about the Cardiff area! On arrival my husband checked that they'd put us in a quiet room as per our email request which they had replied to - they hadn't, but to their credit they changed it immediately. The room we were given was lovely and quiet (it was in the converted warehouse part of the building), a good size with excellent bathroom facilities (had separate shower and bath) and very comfortable bed. Breakfast was included in our price and was really excellent. However, if you are vegetarian and want veggie sausages order them immediately you go into breakfast as there were none laid out, even though they're listed on breakfast buffet menu. Buffet breakfast has good choice, cereals, fruit, cheese, bacon, sausages, eggs etc, cold meat, smoked salmon, croissants, pastries, yoghurts, fruit juices & hot drinks. The staff were very attentive, friendly and polite in the restaurant.

We used the leisure facilities (one of the reasons we chose this hotel), we enjoyed them, they weren't crowded and fairly basic but adequate.

A couple of niggles were that a) The air con in our room didn't work, as we reported it at end of our stay we can't really say whether or not it would have been fixed during the stay had we reported it earlier. And b) On our second day there, we returned to our room at 4pm in the afternoon and it still hadn't hadn't had been visited by staff for tidying/cleaning etc, although they arrived to do it just after we'd discovered it not done.

The location was also a factor in choosing this hotel, easy enough to walk into city centre or down to the bay. Other reviews comment on the walk down to the bay and feeling wary about it, we didn't find this a problem at all but we didn't do it late at night.

Cardiff is a great place to visit, lots to do within walking distance (like castle, bay, museum) and some great places if you have a car that aren't too far away (St Fagan's Museum of Welsh life - our highlight, Castell Coch, Llandaff Cathedral.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dandb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2009

The Novotel Cardiff is one of the nicest hotels in Cardiff, very helpful an friendly staff, nice clean rooms, excellent room service and lovely leisure club. Staff cant do enough for you and they are really lovely an down to earth. I would recommend this hotel for leisure or business its just fab and the food is really nice too . Have already booked another stay in there. Just as good as the Marriot or Hilton but staff are more friendly, cant wait to go back, excellent value for money.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank firstwelshprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

a nice hotel with a good location close to walk to st marys street, we didnt go for the berkfast as it was very expensive! 12.95 per person! the pool was nice quite basic really, wasnt quite worth what the prices reflect if you can get it on the cheap less than half the asking which is £155 per night then its worth it, btw they do a deal where if you find a cheaper price then they can quote they will beat the quote it by 10 percent (an offer i didnt take advantage of) but over all an ok hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank aran1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2009

I stayed here for a night in March and found it to be very comfortable with friendly staff. Did not make any use of the facilities as I was only staying overnight.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
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Thank JSimpson62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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