The Royal Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Cardiff
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How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Wheelchair accessibility
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Royal Hotel Cardiff
No complaints about the Royal
The Royal is ideally located for train or bus travellers, just a short walk from the station. Car parking facilities are in the NCP carpark nearby.
There are two entrances to the hotel but both lead to the same lift up to Reception. The lift isn't huge and the route to reception could be more clearly signed. Reception itself is fairly spacious with a few seats and tables around. The main bar/breakfast room is off the main reception. Both these areas are a bit clinical but nicely decorated. Lifts to rooms are located down the corridor from reception.
Room numbers are clearly signed and they have a key system that you wave a card at so there is no struggling to fit a card in a slot with your hands full.
The room I was in was smaller than I expected but beautifully furnished with masses of cupboard and drawer space and a compact but beautiful bathroom. Secondary glazing cuts out most of the traffic noise. The flat screen tv and dvd player was well positioned and made a huge difference to my stay. The beds are really comfortable and the bedding is top quality. It's a shame to have to go out with beds like these! The wooden floor is a bit cool to the feet but the room was at a comfortable temperature.
The only thing that let the hotel down for me is the breakfast. Continental breakfast only with a fairly limited range of cereals, breads and pastries and some ham and cheese. The breakfast room is quite small and tables are close together. A large wide screen television dominates the room but most people were in and out within minutes. There's no leisurely breakfast here! There is no option of an alternative cooked breakfast so you'll struggle if you are a coeliac or wheat intolerant.
The hotel is located in a lively part of town so it's handy if you are there for a night out. You'll be inundated with flyers for a variety of clubs, some more family friendly than others whilst walking back after dark. It's well located for the main shopping areas too.
Staff are friendly and helpful. Any problem I had was sorted out immediately and any queries answered straight away.
I had the opportunity of seeing a few other central Cardiff hotels while I was there and I'm glad I was in the Royal.
We like the Royal but they need to sort out breakfast
We have stayed at the Royal twice. I don't see the quirky entrance arrangements as a problem. The hotel is on St Mary's Street the main street for pubs and clubs and it buzzes with revellers at weekends. I find it comforting that the Royal has its ground floor as a buffer and the hotel itself is remarkably quiet given its city centre location.
The lifts have also come in for some stick, but I don't think they are any better or worse than in most hotels.
The hotel is nicely furnished and the rooms have a classy boutique feel to them. The room on our second visit was smaller than on the first stay. We had a nice big bed, but that meant we could not fully open the wardrobe doors. On balance, we were happy to put up with this rather than having a smaller bed.
We like the hotel because the staff are very friendly and helpful. The attitude on reception ranks amongst the best I have ever encountered in hotels around the world.
The only gripe we have is the breakfast arrangements. If these could be sorted, the Royal would be a "must stay". The quality of the continental breakfast is fine but the choice is not huge and the layout is a bit quirky. On our second stay, breakfast was served in a big function room that had about a dozen large tables - this meant we had to share with other guests, which may not be to everyone's taste.
In summary the Royal is a nice place to stay. We got an Internet rate of about £115 and we were happy. I would not pay the rack rate of £200 plus mentioned by some people here
The room we stayed in was very attractively furnished with a comfortable bed. Reception was fast and helpful. Breakfast was a bit of a scrum and continental only. The bar was souless and not manned a lot of the time. The entry from the street is off putting and the foyer cold and unwelcoming. Lift up from the reception very slow. We had a discounted rate which made the hotel very reasonable but at full price i think I would have felt a bit cheated.
We stayed there on a Saturday night before the Wales/Scotland rugby game. The hotel entrance is particularly badly designed - you have to be buzzed in by reception every time you want to enter the hotel. When you do go in, you have to go down some stairs, wait for a slow moving lift and then get that up two floors to reception. There are stairs, but there is no sign-post pointing them out. When we did arrive, reception was manned by only one member of staff and we had to wait over ten minutes to check in. We then had to get another slow lift up to our rooms as the lift to reception goes no higher. The lift to the rooms is also slow and there is only one for the entire hotel. The room we had booked was a 'junior suite', or 'quite large room' as it's more commonly known. It was perfectly adequate, although the television was too small, tucked in the corner and had a poor choice of channels. The beds were large and comfortable and the bathrooms high in size and quality. There is no mini-bar.
We ordered room service for supper before going out and had to wait over an hour for it to arrive. When it did, the food was really unpleasant, having clearly been re-heated in a microwave whilst on the plate and the wine (£24.50) virtually undrinkable.
The breakfast the following morning was also extremely disappointing - no hot food whatsoever for example. When we were asked the 'tea or coffee' question, we asked if they had hot chocolate. When we were told that they did, we said we'd have that. When it arrived, we were presented with a bill of £3.50 for each of the hot chocolates - both a bit steep and rather irritating as we hadn't been informed of the cost. On a minor point, the paper which we had ordered on check-in had also not been delivered.
Overall, it was a disappointing experience and I wouldn't recommend this hotel to other travellers. Its location is excellent, but the combination of poor planning around the entrance, understaffing, truly terrible food, a bar (which doubles as the breakfast room) lacking any appreciable atmosphere make it too bland and mediocre to justify the 'boutique hotel' tag.
Last time we stayed in Cardiff it was at the Rocco Forte hotel in Cardiff bay. That was superb and cost £250. This time our room at the Royal cost £275. The choice I leave to you..............
Thoroughly Modern Millie..But Room for Improvement
It's a lovely hotel but could do better.
Rooms are very modern, though mine was in what was once a loft(top floor), so restricted space. But the rooms do contain luxury. From the towels to the beds and linen to the shower.
But the hotel was cold even though the heating was on full blast.
Staff are all excellent.
Parking is not great as have to use multi-storey across the road(ish). When carrying luggage, not that short a walk.
Food and bar - This really needs some work. It's cold and impersonal and reminded me of an internet cafe or a student bar. Blank walls, ergonomic seats and laminated tables.
Location - Out in Cardiff for the night? Ideal. On business, maybe not.
This hotel is beaten on so many levels by the Park Plaza, but on each level? Well not by that much.
Best in town!
Hotel has a great location in the middle of town, all amenities right on the doorstep. Warm and friendly welcome by staff, modern and funky style throughout hotel including the bedrooms, I loved the slate bathroom and huge comfy beds.
Brilliant value for money, I highly recommend this brand new hotel.
Glorified Travel Lodge
Hotel entrance bit of a nightmare, up steps, down steps, up in lift, check-in, then up in different lift to rooms. Rooms nicely furnished, black & red high gloss furniture (made a change from usual wood) Bathrobes and toiletries included. Shower leaked. TV balancing on unit in corner of room, poor picture and not very good choice of channels. Continental breakfast was ok. Having the entrance off St Marys Street not ideal, as doorway was being frequented by roudy drinkers on our return at 12.15am and you then have to contact reception using an intercom system to be let in to Hotel.
However, having visited Park Plaza Hotel for lunch during our visit, it made The Royal Hotel look like a glorified Travel Lodge. Guess where we will be staying during our next visit to Cardiff!!!
Luxury hotel, friendly staff, great location, but...
I stayed in this hotel for two nights while travelling on business. The fabulous king size bed with down duvet deserves a mention right away, as do the tasteful and modern decor, cleanliness of the hotel and friendliness of the staff. I did have a few minor problems though. First I was put in a small but luxurious room without a bath, but when I asked they moved me to a room with a bath, which was much better and far more spacious in general (so there's a tip for you). In this room, however, like the previous reviewer said, the TV was too far away from the bed. My dvd player didn't work (or am I just a bit of a klutz with technology?) but it didn't bother me too much. No satellite TV which was a bit disappointing. Lastly, a well-known football team were staying in the hotel, which, coupled with a broken lift for a few hours, must have been a nightmare for the staff and meant that they couldn't pay their other customers enough attention as a result. These are unusual circumstances though so I heartily recommend this hotel for business travellers in particular.
Clean, Spacious, Upper class Hotel
First time we stayed in The Royal Hotel, Cardiff. We have stayed in all the city centre hotels in the past due to business commitments with the Millennium Stadium. You cant get a better positioned hotel for access to the Mill Stad, train station and bars/nightlife - its all on the doorstep. Staff were very friendly. Only found minor faults; the lift up to reception(1st floor) took ages to open. Once inside the lift, you have a choice of pressing G or 2, the screen outside when waiting for the lift says floor 1 not 2 like inside. The airconditioning was effective but went off after 10 minutes and came on half an hour later-all the time.Im in paradise when sleeping in a cool breezy room. To flush the chain you have to pull the toilet seat down which is annoying when a male is doing a wee! But overall, very good. The beds were very comfy and high. The bathroom was spacious but the TV was too far away from the beds so you struggled to read teletext(and i have very good eyesight). I will stay with them again, im sure all these problems will be sorted in due course. It competes with the Marriott and Park Plaza so a pat on the back to everyone who works at The Royal Hotel Cardiff.
we were privileged to stay in this hotel on its opening night (13 aug 2005).the staff were absolutely fantastic and nothing was to much bother.the room we stayed in was amazing overlooking st mary street but dont worry about the noise there isnt any! the bed was perfect as was the continental (posh stuff!) breakfast.
brilliant hotel very close to the millenium stadium, will deffinetly be staying here again!