“ Address: Hemingway Road / Cardiff / CF10 4AU / Tel: +44 (0)845 094 5487 „
I stayed at the Future Hotel with my girlfriend at the end of March and it has to be said that this is one of the best value, modern hotels I've stayed in in quite some time.
Firstly let's look at it's location. Situated in the fashionable Cardiff Bay, the hotel is a couple of minutes walk from the bustling Mermaid Quay where you will be spoilt for choice for independent or chain bars and restaurants.
The rail link into Cardiff City centre is also very close to the hotel and situated inside the "Red Dragon Centre" where the hotel itself is located is a nightclub, casino, bowling alley and some more chain bar and restaurants amongst other things.
Back to the hotel itself and as you would expect from a hotel so new everything is in pristine condition. The main lobby and adjacent bar and restaurant are warm, inviting and comfortable.
But where the future hotel really shines is its rooms. We booked a standard room, including breakfast for both of us for £85 and we certainly weren't disappointed (by the room at least - more about the breakfast later).
The spacious room contained an equally generous-sized double bed plus a comfy sofa-bed (at least to sit on, there was no call to make it into a bed!) a spotlessly clean bathroom and toilet (ingeniusouly either/or - the door swings right round so someone can be in the bath/shower while someone is in the toilet or you can have the whole place to yourself!), and an ETV.
What's an ETV I hear you ask? Well it is a TV which gives you limited internet access, plus all your normal Freeview channels. On top of that it has a radio function, and the real clincher - a jukebox. I created a playlist from the thousands of songs available and believe me there was something for everyone. It was fantastic feature I felt and one that more hotels should offer.
Also, obviously, you can have the premium movies etc that you would expect in an hotel.
Of course the room provides all the other little basics such as tea/coffe making facilities but we were also impressed by the provision of an ironing board and iron and an ice bucket with two wine glasses. Ice can be aquired, for free, from a vending mention on the first floor.
Basically, the Future hotel provides everything you would expect from a hotel of this standard, but quite often don't get, plus a few little luxuries on top.
A good indicator or what the hotel is all about is it's Businessman's Deal (or something like that!) which offers, for an extra £15 a night - a two course meal in the Thomas Restaurant and bar, plus a drink beforehand. Access to broadband and as many pay-per-view movies as you want to view. I think there may have been a couple of other bits and bobs but that was the crux of it, which is exceptional value in my eyes.
Finally on to the aforemention restaurant and bar. As the whole point of the trip was to explore the bay, we chose not to eat in the hotel and going solely by the standard of the breakfast it's sad to say it might well have been a wise choice.
Now I used to work in the catering industry and so I know how frustrating it is when a guest saunters down to breakfast with only 5 minutes of service remaining. But guests are what my partner and myself were, and so we expect to be greeted with a smile and some indication of where to sit etc.
Once we'd figured everything out by ourselves and managed to wrangle some tea out of the waitress we went to the self serve bar and came back somewhat disappointed. It could be argued that we'd left it too late to get the best food available, but that's not stopping me write a bad review now is it? The food was quite frankly of a poor standard, cold, hard and generally inedible.
Which is a shame, because everything else about the hotel is appealing and welcoming.
I stopped at Future Inn in Cardiff in April 2008 for the reasonable price of £75. I chose this hotel as I wanted one near to the Wales Millennium Centre where I was going to a concert (John Barrowman, if anyone is interested).
The hotel has a large car park for customers and it is well lit (Driving directions were given on the Reservation Confirmation).
Checking in was easy and the staff were helpful and pleasant. The member of staff who served me was also a local and was very helpful when I asked for directions to the Millennium Centre.
I'd booked a twin room and the beds were 2 queen size Canadian double beds - very comfortable and plenty of pillows! The room was spotless. We had a flat screen TV with free limited TV access (along with a WiFi and LAN connection if I wanted to pay for it). The ensuite bathroom was cosy with a bath/shower, basin, toilet and heated towel rail.
The hotel has its own restaurant - Thomas Restaurant & Bar (sample menus are available on the website). Prices are slightly high, but that's to be expected with a hotel restaurant. The staff were polite and helpful and the food was lovely. Sometime just after 11pm (after the concert) a couple came in to the restaurant and asked if they were still serving food. They weren't, but the barman said he would ask the chef (who was just finishing) if he could do something for them. They ended up with some sandwiches which looked very appetising. (How many chefs would offer to do some food when they'd cleared up and were about to go home?)
The breakfast was a buffet breakfast with plenty to choose from - a range of cereals, fruit salad, hams, cheeses, toast, eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns and lots more. All very nice!
Across the car park there's also a Pizza Hut and another restaurant, then just a short walk away there's a centre with a Chinese restaurant, burger bar, other eateries, a bowling alley and a cinema... So you don't have to stick with the hotel restaurant & bar.
When going to the Cardiff Bay area in the future I will certainly book in with the Future Inn!