Cayo Arms, Cardiff

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Cayo Arms, Cardiff

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Review of "Cayo Arms, Cardiff"

published 07/03/2016 | ravingreviewer
Member since : 28/03/2014
Reviews : 351
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About me :
Ciao police (AKA other members) are now policing even my about me!
Pro Good breakfast.
Cons Not always clean.

"Cayo Arms Cardiff"

Having just spent another weekend in Cardiff in another hotel to one that I stayed in last time, I felt that I would just like to write a review on the hotel that I have now stayed in this time round. The name of the hotel is The Cayo Hotel Cardiff, and is situated in the Cathedral Road area of the city - some ten minutes or so away walking from the Millenium Stadium and the main city centre.

The hotel is run by Marstons, who are a company who run a large number of pubs and small hotels across the country, with pretty much all of their hotels being within the same or an adjacent building to a public house. Not that I have anything against this, but this was in fact the cheapest deal that could be gotten for the time when I and my parents were needing to go to Cardiff - the deal was found through the Trivago website.

On arriving in Cardiff, we found our way to Cathedral Road and located the hotel - we have stayed on Cathedral Road many times in various different hotels in the past, but yet none of us had ever really noticed this one until now! The hotel is not a very assuming place as it is sandwiched in the middle of an Edwardian or Victorian terrace of houses, with hotels dotted about the road and other such businesses as care homes and office spaces - and so if you don’t really know that it is there, then you can easily miss it.

It is a double fronted property with a large tree or two situated close by on the main pavement, and there is a fairly large courtyard in the front of the property. There is a sign saying the name of the establishment, and various other signs depicting the various offers they have on at that time - drinks offers on preprinted signs, and the more basic handwritten ones showing the various sports matches or food offers that they have going (including the fact that there is also accommodation on site too).

We were informed that there was parking on site, however this was we eventually found down a side road (which was in fact a private road) and to the back of the property. To save us walking all the way round to the front of the hotel again, we could just walk through the rear entrance of the bar to get to our intended destination.

Check in to the hotel side was from three o’clock in the afternoon, and although it was a fairly nice Saturday afternoon the pub was not too busy - they also allowed dogs in during these times, but not when the pub was in busier times. We just had to go to one end of the bar, and the member of the staff who was there took us up to our rooms - I had a single ensuite that cost just shy of £55, and my parents a double ensuite that cost them just shy of £65 both of which included breakfast (which will be talked about later!).

To get to the hotel part of the pub (which in fact only hosted five rooms in total!), there was a staircase leading up from the middle of the pub. This in turn lead to a half landing on which was their ‘Conference Room’, which is where we were to have breakfast the following morning. From here lead up to another landing a smaller staircase, with the hotel rooms situated off from this - five in total, one family room that was occupied; and the rest made up of either two doubles and two singles or three doubles and one single. The family room I think faced out to the rear of the property, with two of the doubles and my single facing the front (the main road) and the remaining bedroom facing the rear again but on the other side of the building to the family room. All of the rooms are accessible only by the flights of stairs and there are no lifts or other such facilities, meaning that this hotel is not good for those who cannot make the stairs.

The first impressions of the rooms that we had were not the best of first impressions I have to say, as they were not very clean looking and felt rather over used and tired. Both rooms had of course their respective beds in with a small dressing table and chair to one side; my parents had bedside tables too whereas I didn’t, and there was a wardrobe.

There was one small facial towel and a larger towel provided per person, along with one shower mat to put in the bath and one to stand on outside. And yes you have guessed it, there was a bath with a shower unit attached over - but you had to get in the bath pretty much to turn it on, and then get soaked in the process before you were even ready to get wet. My shower curtain was all mouldy on the bottom, and my parents changed colour from magnolia to a pinky red at the bottom of theirs also! The bath is also one that you have to step in to in order to get in to it, and so you have to be fairly flexible to get in to it.

There was a television in the room, but this was only Freeview and so there were not as many television channels as we are used to at home! The television was also stuck right up high on the wall, and so the only way to watch it was to lie on your bed and crane your neck in to a rather strange position - meaning that if you didn’t have a stiff neck beforehand, then you would do afterwards!

Looking forward to having a cup of tea or coffee after having driven from Plymouth to Cardiff, I was rather upset to find two small sachets of Nescafe coffee and three PG Tips teabags along with a handful of those UHT milk cartons and more sugar than I could shake a Welsh leek at. Not that I am a self obsessed hot drinks fan, I was staying there overnight and so I would have wanted just a little bit more to help me out. But thankfully there was a small Tesco just down the road, and so I went in there and splashed out on a few more essentials to keep me going.

The rest of the room did nothing really to inspire me, apart from the stained glass windows that were in the rooms. However if I wanted to open one then I had to have a fight with the inner single glazed windows first; open up one of the stained glass windows, and then put the inner window down as far as I wanted it to go. There was Dove body wash and shampoo in the bathroom too - one dispenser over the bath that was nearly empty, and one over the sink that was completely empty. The door in to the bathroom was rather hampered in terms of opening, as there was a radiator right behind it - the sink was right in front of the door with a mirror and a ledge over (including a charger shaving point) and toilet rolls were just left open on the top of the toilet if I needed to make use of any more during the course of my stay there.

In terms of the actual bed in itself, this was one of those nicely framed antique looking beds with a plain white duvet cover on it - there were also two pillows on the bed, with a third kept in the wardrobe along with a hairdryer. But the mattress was rather hard and lumpy, and I didn’t really sleep all that well on it.

However this wasn’t helped by the fact that almost right opposite my room in the aforementioned ‘Conference Room’ was an eighteenth birthday going on, and a rather busy night in the pub downstairs too. I realise that I knew that on booking this particular room that I may be disturbed a little bit, but not until about one o’clock in the morning or more with the sound of someone being sick. However this didn’t totally put me off, as we shall soon see in a little while.

But after a rather sleepless night, I was ready for something to eat at breakfast time. And judging by looking through the menu that was in the room for what was on offer in the pub during the day, it looked as if the hotel side was going to actually in fact redeem itself a little bit - and how right I was!

Apart from there being a television on the wall blaring out the latest news from the BBC channel, the room was rather well turned out. There were four or five tables laid out across the room, all with glasses and cutlery laid out ready for the hunger masses to come along. To the rear of the room and immediately beneath the television was a table with cereals and milk laid out on it, and a jug of orange juice too. Also on this table as on those tables where we sat to eat, were plates with various small portions of jams and marmalades on too.

We could help ourselves to cereal if we wanted to have it, and the chef who I think was also the pub manager gave us a menu of cooked breakfast items. After having taken our hot drink orders, my parents and I were then able to look through what we wanted to eat for breakfast after we had our cereal. We weren’t expected to have anything at all from this list, but it would have been rude not to have done so - and particularly as there was so much on offer.

This ranged from a full English cooked breakfast (with there also being a vegetarian option on offer); through various items on toast or in a breakfast muffin, to just plain toast. Those items on toast included beans; sausages; bacon, and eggs - and no matter where the eggs came on the menu, they were done according to how you wanted them doing (fried/ poached/ scrambled). And although the menu was laid out with the usual items as you would expect to find in any such establishment as this, they also allowed you to add or take away any items should you have the desire to do so.

Breakfast was only served between eight and nine fifteen in the morning though, as they of course had to clear the kitchens ready again for the pub to open up to the main paying public a little bit later on. However this suited us fine, as checkout was by ten o’clock in the morning anyway. This only left us to go and pack up the rest of our things; give our keys in (we had already paid for the rooms when we arrived the day before), and the cleaner then let us out on our way.

All in all, this hotel to me is one that got rather much more better as time went on. However I have to say that I wouldn’t really stay there for more than one night though, as to me it seems to be the sort of hotel that is used more by business people or workmen on short contracts who would stay there for a bit longer and would only really use it as a base. The staff that we came across were all reasonably friendly, perhaps a little too over friendly on occasions but none the less were pleasurable and we on the whole were made to feel welcome.

But if you want to use it as a cheap one stop shop and don’t really mind about what is going on around you, then I would recommend this to you to at least try out. However, it is not really one for the fainthearted to try out though!

Contact details for the hotel are as follows:

Cayo Arms
36 Cathedral Road
CF11 9LL
02920 232917

Thanks for reading!

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Comments on this review

  • justarube published 07/01/2017
    good review
  • jb0077 published 13/03/2016
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 09/03/2016
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Product Information : Cayo Arms, Cardiff

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country: Wales

Address: 36 Cathedral Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff CF11 9LL

Type: B&B

Rooms: 5

City: Cardiff

Continent: Europe


Listed on Ciao since: 07/03/2016