#st davids hotel cardiff
The St David s Hotel Spa
In the regenerated Cardiff Bay area, St David’s Hotel Spa is a 10-minute taxi ride from Cardiff Central station, and a 20-minute walk from the city centre. It is next to the shops, bars and attractions of the Cardiff Bay area, including the Doctor Who Experience and the Welsh Assembly building. However, the great views across Cardiff Bay from balconies (not a feature of all rooms) are rather spoiled by traffic noise from the nearby A4232.
An enormous white and glass building, St David’s has an impressive uninterrupted ground floor to roof atrium. Although the view from each floor’s corridor is not, therefore, for those with vertigo, this design allows for a pleasant feel of light and space. On the other hand, the large panes of glass and clean white walls occasionally mean that the design slips into “office” territory. Indeed, the property has to tread a fine line between business and leisure hotel, accommodating both types of customer, as well as many wedding parties. Although it mostly succeeds, the very prominent “business suite” made things feel slightly corporate. The Marine spa has excellent facilities in the shape of a swimming pool, sauna, hydrotherapy spa pool, gym, and ESPA treatments. The waiting area has a good range of teas, coffees and juices, magazines, and a collection of books including Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. The floor to ceiling windows allow for lovely views over the bay, complete, perhaps, with bobbing swans. A nice touch is the private lift for spa access, so guests can get ready in their rooms and then go straight to the spa without traipsing through the main hotel reception.
Staff were friendly and efficient – perhaps overly so at breakfast, when plates were whipped away before I had finished my last bite of food. This may make guests feel as if staff members want to “clean up around them”. But they were also knowledgeable: I took a recommendation about boarding a water taxi from the Bay to the city centre and found it a pleasant way to get to Cardiff’s main park and castle. Staff in the hotel spa were obviously well-trained, and the therapist who gave me a back massage was attentive to the pressure she applied.
My deluxe twin room was well equipped, with all the accoutrements of a business hotel, including shoe horns, Molton Brown toiletries and a flat screen television. However, the room lacked the character one might expect from a property that also markets itself to leisure travellers, who could want more than service- lead accommodation. The bland pale wood fittings and generic leather chair meant the room did not have “stay factor”, and the scuffed furniture felt less than five-star. There was also audible noise from other rooms during the night. My room did not have a mini bar, although 24-hour room service is available.
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