Katie Hamer concludes her A–Z series of Cardiff with the letter Z. Here’s what she discovered when investigating this most illusive of letters…
So this is my final article for this series! I can’t believe I’ve reached this point after all these months of exploring our very special capital city. But here we are…
What have I chosen to investigate for this concluding part? You’ve probably already partly guessed from the title that it has something to do with sleep. And you’d be right, because I’ve decided to explore places to stay in Cardiff.
Cardiff isn’t renowned for its plentiful supply of hotels, unfortunately, as visitors may discover when attending a major sporting event or festival. It does have its fair share of corporate chains, but I’ve decided not to focus on these. After all, I’m going to concentrate on what makes Cardiff special, and therefore different from other major cities.
With my focus on more unusual places, I have decided to cover hostels on the back-packing map of Cardiff. Why my interest in these, you may ask? Well, it was while I was investigating ‘T is for the Taff Trail’ that I first discovered the NosDa Hostel and this is my first topic for this article.
You can find NosDa, which means good night in Welsh, on the banks of the Taff, in close proximity to the Millennium Stadium and Bute Park. You couldn’t think of a more perfect location to explore the city centre and all the various activities it has to offer. Known for being Cardiff’s original independent hostel, it has recently been refurbished in a modern style that still manages to compliment the Victorian style of its architecture. As their website states, they are:
“Proud to be one of Europe’s Famous Hostels we ensure our service is second to none, standards are high and our hostel is impeccably clean.”
Certainly, their tripadvisor reviews back this claim up. So I decided to pay them a visit, just to make enquiries. I certainly learned a lot from visiting them.
They are a very modern and professional set-up, with a 24-hour reception, free WiFi, Key Card Access and free city maps, among other things. They also have a bar with a pool table and a lounge in which to relax. More surprisingly, perhaps, they also have an art gallery, which displays a fresh collection every three months.
Furthermore, they have an intimate ‘Underground Sound Lounge’, the Hafod, which is available for private hire. Perhaps less surprisingly, they also have a Tours Desk from which it is possible to enquire about options to explore Cardiff and the surrounding countryside by bus, by bike and on foot.
As fascinating as this residence is, its not the only option for backpackers on the Taff Trail. And so I now turn my attentions to the The River House.
Situated within close proximity to the NosDa, The River House describes itself as ‘a smaller, family-run boutique style backpackers hostel’. They have been repeatedly voted one of the best places to stay in Cardiff if you’re looking for both great service and value for money. So, apart from that, what makes them special?
Well, for a start, they’re more of a B&B than a hostel. They put on a fabulous breakfast for guests by all accounts. Also, they cater for people of all ages, whether they happen to be into backpacking or not. And when I paid them a visit, they also enthused about sights to visit and places to eat. I felt welcomed, and I would indeed be tempted to stay there.
There are of course, other great places to visit in Cardiff, but I feel I’ve covered enough in this article to at least give you a taster. You can find further information on either place here:
The River House
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed my A–Z series of Cardiff! Sincerely, Katie Hamer.