Looking back, I didn’t have the highest hopes for Cardiff. A combination of rain, a touch of flu and previous bad experiences in Wales had me in quite a sour mood as I boarded the train at Paddington. Two hours later, I disembarked in soggy Wales.
Once at St. David’s Hotel & Spa in Cardiff Bay, the impressiveness of the futuristic hotel and it’s extraordinary white balconies that encircle the reception all the way up to the glass ceiling hit, and memories of my less than 5* stays in hostels in Wales were all but erased. A word to those of you for whom heights hold terror – book a room of the first floor – my sister was quite perturbed by the towering heights of the top floor and was therefore pleased we’d been appointed a room on the first floor minus the vertiginous views.
Our room was pleasing, if a little on the business end of the hotel decor scale, and offered a promising view of the bay despite our relative lowness. I nestled in for the night, cracked open the mini Molton Brown bottles in the bathroom and had myself a whale of a time splashing around in the bath.
The next morning, after an adequate breakfast, I took the private lift from our corridor into the spa. Now, the hotel may be geared towards to the corporate guest, but the spa is for one and all.
The treatment menu is well thought-out, and you’d be hard pressed to not find something that appeals. I opted for an organic Thalgo Terre and Mer facial lasting a mere 25 minutes to put the spa through its paces. The treatment rose to the challenge and gave my skin that sparkling spa finish in record time.
Afterwards, I reclined in the relaxation room and wondered which treatments my celebrity predecessors had indulged in – yes, when the A-list pamper in Cardiff, this is where they do it. Jamie Foxx, Pink, the mighty Hoff and Lady Gaga have all visited and waded through the jet jacuzzis (cellulite aquiver as mine was, I hope) of this spa.
If you are stuck in Cardiff, there are many worse ways to spend your time. This is the right place if you are of Londonite persuasions, but don’t rely on it for cosiness too much – this hotel is all about the spa.