Our original Cardiff plan was to book a city centre hotel. Rummaging around on the internet we stumbled upon a swish place overlooking the water at Cardiff Bay and that original thought was ditched. Knowing nothing about the neighbourhood (only that it was out of the centre) we went for it on the assumption a hotel with a sea view has (usually) got to be a good thing. It was. Fifteen minutes easy drive out of Cardiff and we were in Cardiff Bay.
Our hotel, the St David’s Hotel and Spa, an enormous modern glass building was right on the waterfront – full marks for location. My first thoughts on the building were “office-like.” This changed in the reception area to “car-park entrance like.” The staff were lovely though – friendly and efficient and everything went right up in my estimation when they announced we’d been upgraded to a Junior Suite.
Our room was enormous – not a lot of furniture and much empty space – I loved the floor to ceiling glass wall with views over the wetlands – shame I didn’t open the curtain for this picture. We had a balcony at the other side of the room overlooking the water – more gorgeous views. A lack of furniture on the balcony was soon rectified by dragging two chairs out and using an upturned dustbin as a table – all sorted. Husband and I could have sat on the balcony for hours in the sunshine, relaxing and soaking up the scenery. Son had other ideas, indulged us for an hour or so then our blissful sitting and relaxation had to be shelved.
The theme of the room – enormous – was adhered to by the bed, it was also super-comfy and a great night’s sleep was had by all. I totally appreciated all the other great little touches – handmade biscuits and chocolates in particular, although I did have to fight Son for them. We tried out the free WiFi briefly (super-slow), never switched on the huge television and noticed there was no mini-bar or fridge.
Just a hop and a skip from the hotel and we found ourselves right in the midst of the entertainment options Cardiff Bay had on offer. There was no shortage of those. Plenty of great bars and restaurants and a buzzing night-time atmosphere, it is hard to imagine this as the one-time biggest coal exporting port in the world. A totally superb job has been done transforming the whole area into eight miles of wonderful waterfront.
After a delicious meal in an Italian restaurant overlooking the water, we watched a stunning sunset and set off to explore some more.
So much interesting artwork and sculptures dotted around, we also found a Norwegian church doubling up as an arts centre/coffee shop and much to Son’s intrigue a lightship. We walked past the Welsh Assembly buildings and found my favourite – the Millennium Centre, all lit up in different colours – a stunner. Son’s only complaint – we arrived too late for the Dr Who centre – a peek through the doors had to suffice this visit, we vowed to return and visit properly next summer.
Next morning Husband and Son, up with the lark, tried out the hotel pool and spa. Ultra-modern, ultra-luxurious and a big thumbs up from them. A big thumbs up from me for a lie-in – not so easy to come by these days. Before we left Cardiff Bay there was just time for a stroll around the wetlands by the hotel. We found wildlife, wooden bridges and wonderful views.
Cardiff Bay we loved you – we’ll definitely be back – so much to see and do, a great atmosphere in the evening and Dr Who of course – we’re already planning our next trip!