Where is it?
The Radisson Blu hotel in Cardiff is located right in the city centre, within walking distance to most sights of interesting, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Both the main bus station at Canal Street and the Cardiff Central railway station are located very close to the hotel, making it a very convenient choice for those arriving by bus, train or airplane.
The arrival experience
I arrived in Cardiff by plane and took the airport bus T9 from Cardiff airport to downtown Cardiff. The main bus station in downtown Cardiff at Canal Street is about a minute walk from the hotel. It is really close. I could even see the top floors of the hotel building when getting off the bus.
The main entrance was being renovated so there was a temporary entrance to get to the lobby, but it worked just fine. I was immediately checked in when I arrived just before 8 pm. The service was friendly and since this was my first visit to Cardiff I was also given a city map.
There are 215 rooms in the hotel and I was assigned a room on one of the top floors, the 17th floor (there are 21 floors in total) and thanks to my Radisson Rewards gold card I had been given an upgrade from the standard room I had booked to a business class room.
The room measured 28 sqm and according to the information on the hotel webpage it was exactly the same size as the standard rooms and the superior rooms. The main difference between the room categories is not the size but rather the view and the extra amenities you get.
The room seemed to have been recently refurbished and was in a good condition with nothing missing but still lacked some charm. It felt clean and functional but was not really memorable.
The room had a comfortable king-sized bed, a work desk, TV, closet, a safe and a minibar.
The bathroom was also in a good condition and seemed fairly new. It had a bathtub rather than a shower, a toilet, a wash basin and the standard Radisson Blu toiletries.
However the best part of the room was easily the view overlooking parts of the city centre, the railway station and even parts of the coastline and the beautiful Welsh countryside. Watching the sunset from the room was definitely a highlight during the stay.
An extra amenity of staying in a business class room is that you also get a Nespresso machine. And on top of that, as a Radisson Rewards Gold cardholder, there was a small gift waiting on the desk. A personal welcome letter from the General Manager and some pancakes with jam.
Food and drinks
The hotel has a restaurant called Collage Restaurant located on the first floor.
There is also a bar called Collage Bar & Lounge which is actually divided into two floors. The main bar is on the first floor, next to the restaurant, but there is also a smaller bar named “The Bar” located on the ground floor next to the lobby.
There is a conference area with six meeting rooms, including a ballroom which can be used for events and receptions. The hotel also has a fitness centre and on-site parking.
The service was friendly and attentive throughout the hotel with swift service but upon check-in and check-out. Nothing to complain about.
Breakfast seemed to be included in most rates and was served in the Collage Restaurant on the first floor. The breakfast restaurant was packed in the morning and it was almost hard to find an empty table, although the staff eventually sorted everything out.
The buffet-style breakfast had most things you would expect from a Radisson Blu breakfast including both a Full English and various cold items. However although there was nothing missing the breakfast spread did not stand out in any way.
Excellent location and a great view from the top floors overlooking the city centre and the coastline. The hotel itself is not exceptional and does not stand out, but it does its job. Overall there was nothing to complain about, I was happy with the upgrade and the weekend rate I booked was very affordable.