The hostel itself is looking tired and its location isn't particularly convenient, being some way outside the city centre. Buses back to the hostel in the evening run once an hour so you might want to consider taxis. Parking is tight, with limited spaces, after that it's roadside parking opposite. We were sleeping in a 14-bedded dormitory, didn't realise the YHA still has such large dormitories! Kitchen facilities are adequate. Nearby Roath Park is lovely and well worth a stroll. However.......
The old YHA concept of "front door locked, lights out and silence at 11pm" has long gone - but people returning late to the hostel are still expected to show some consideration for fellow hostellers who may have gone to bed earlier. Not so on our weekend at Cardiff YHA. Three large groups of people (the hen/stag variety) were booked in who were clearly out for a good time and didn't care who they inconvenienced. They returned, in their separate groups, at various times in the early hours, making a huge racket, banging doors, shouting etc. The warden was contacted by one hosteller but didn't want to do anything about it.
Next morning, we found leaflets strewn around the corridors (which we picked up), fast food and its packaging spread around the common room and a particularly unpleasant mess in one of the communal toilets. I spoke to the warden, whose attitude was one of "Well, what can you do?" It seems that the hostel makes very little money during the week and they're happy to accept anyone they can get at the weekends, just to bring in some revenue. The hostel has a table licence, so you're not allowed to bring in your own alcohol but judging by the number of bottles (different brands to that sold in the hostel) lined up along the window sills, this is another thing that the warden is prepared to overlook. Strangely, although it has a table licence, there are no evening meals.
If you bring young children here over a weekend (or if you just want an undisturbed night's sleep) you may be lucky and not have any "party" groups booked in - but you may not. Obviously a city hostel is going to be different from a country hostel - people aren't going to be "healthily tired" from day yomping on the hills and want an early night - but if the warden isn't prepared to step in and sort out rowdiness, then you're stuffed.
For this reason, I would not recommend that families stay here at weekends. Leave it to be the "party central" that the YHA obviously wants it to be.
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- Also Known As:
- International Youth Hostel Cardiff, Wales