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Cardiff’s popularity as a destination for visitors is relatively new, and there’s a nice buzz on a busy weekend - especially when the rugby is on - with the shopping districts doing a lively trade and the pubs, clubs and restaurants enjoying the same crowds in the evenings. The best places to stay in Cardiff reflect the city’s appreciation of its past and its embrace of its 21st Century popularity, so there are some modern luxury hotels and a couple of old charmers.
Cardiff is overlooked by its ancient castle fort, and, in turn overlooks the modernised waterfront and the bay. Which is a pretty good analogy for the city itself, a good mix of recent innovative architecture which still preserves the city’s heritage.
Cardiff has only been the Welsh capital since 1955, and it only became a city in 1905, after it had become an important coal port. So it’s not just Cardiff’s popularity with visitors that’s recent.
But people have lived in this area for a long time and there are several significant local burial grounds, some of them dating from around 6,000 years ago, around 1,500 years before Stonehenge was built. The Romans are known to have built a fort here in 75 AD, and a castle has occupied the same position since 1081 - which is today one of the city’s top visitor attractions, with its Norman motte-and-bailey centre, medieval keep and rather extravagant, Victorian mock-Gothic additions. The castle is also surrounded by lovely Bute Park.
These days some of the city’s other, non-sport related attractions, include the National Museum of Cardiff, the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex, The National History Museum at St. Fagans - which is a vast outdoor museum, the Doctor Who Experience and Castell Coch.
If you want to appreciate more of modern Cardiff then the Docklands' regeneration is for you. There’s really a lot to see and do here. Even when the sport isn’t on.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Cardiff range from a cliff side stunner to a budget B&B in the city centre.
For stunning views
- Holm House occupies a tranquil spot on top of the Penarth Cliffs, overlooking the stunning Welsh coastline, so you’ll feel a bit seaside-y on your city break. As well as 12 individually designed and decorated rooms, Holm House has a luxurious spa and a fine dining restaurant.
For great value
- The Hotel One Hundred is a seven room B&B right in the heart of the city centre. Each of the room has a full ensuite and there’s a continental breakfast on offer each morning. Great value and just a short stroll from most of the major attractions.
For a city break
- St David's Hotel & Spa is a large hotel right on Cardiff Bay, with a wonderful waterside restaurant, a luxurious spa and stylish decor throughout.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Cardiff, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively you can expand your search and look at all our hotel recommendations in South and Mid Wales.
Best Hotels in Cardiff
Hotel One Hundred 7 rooms from $63Cardiff
Hotel One Hundred is a family owned and managed bed and breakfast in Cardiff City Centre. The hotel has seven clean, simple, fully en-suite bedrooms and offer a continental breakfast each morning. Great value just a short walk from all of the shops and attractions of Cardiff city centre.Learning - Ideal for guests visiting Cardiff University, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Cardiff School of Engineering.Sights nearby - The Millennium Stadium, The National Museum Of WalesClose to nightlife - In close proximity to Cardiff city centreOther Activities - Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle
Holm House 12 rooms from $143Cardiff (Penarth)
Located in a tranquil setting on the Penarth cliff tops, with stunning views of the Welsh coastline, Holm House Hotel is the perfect seaside escape. The hotel boasts a luxury spa, fine dining and lavishly decorated, individually designed bedrooms. A contemporary hotel with a warm heart.Learning - Visit the local Turner House Art GalleryOther Activities - Visit nearby Cosmeston Medieval VillageWildlife Area - Explore Cosmeston Lakes Country ParkGolf - The Glamorganshire Golf Club
St David's Hotel & Spa 142 rooms from $373Cardiff
St. David's is set in an iconic, modern building with stunning views across Cardiff Bay. The Hotel features a restaurant with waterside terrace, a luxury spa and stylish bedrooms. Just 2 miles from the city centre the hotel is perfectly suited for short breaks, conferences, or weddings.Sights nearby - Explore Exquisite Architecture at Cathays ParkDesigner Shopping - Visit St. David’s or Capitol Shopping CentreGreat walks - Take a Stroll Along the Beautiful Cardiff BayOther Activities - Enjoy a Performance at the New Theatre