“ Bute Terrace / Cardiff / CF10 2FE / Tel : +44 (0)29 2063 6363 / Fax : +44 (0)29 2063 6364. „
I spent two nights here in January for my birthday night out in Cardiff, The price for a double room for me and my boyfriend was just £60, which means we weren't expecting much and just a simple no-frills bed to sleep on.
The Big sleep is located a five minute walk from Cardiff Central train station, ten minutes from Queen street station and is located in very convenient location, You can simply cross the road and enter the new St Davids arcade food court which includes Hooters, YOSushi! and Nandos among other great restaurants, from here you can enter the rest of the St Davids where all the high street stores are and can easily walk too all the bars - Anywhere you want to go in the town centre is at most a twenty minute or less walk away and it's defiantly placed in a good place.
Like I said before £60 for two nights including breakfast makes it one of the cheapest in the town centre.
*Booking and Checking in*
Booking online was really easy, just following the online booking, picking the nights and choosing the rooms was simple, paying by card was simple and I had a message back quickly letting me know it was confirmed. Checking in to the hotel was easy, but finding the entrance was not! The entrance signposted was not in use and we had to make the walk up the car park which was quite dark at this time but when we were in everything was dealt with quickly and we were taken up to the room.
*The Hotel and rooms*
Like you can see by the adverts and websites the hotel has its own unique look, Blue and white and very simplistic and modern, the theme was consistent everywhere, When we went into the hotel we were greeted with a bar along with some fridges full of sandwiches, the bar was empty and didn't seem to liven up at any point and although the hotel didn't provide any food, we had a handful of menus for takeaways and we ordered food which arrived quickly that night. The room was very spacious, It had a good sized bed, it wasn't the comfiest but it would do, there was also a desk with a TV with free-view installed so we could chill out. The room was nicely decorated and I wouldn't say it was dirty, in some places it was a bit scruffy and dusty but that was okay with me, the only other problem was the room was very very cold and the heater wasn't of much use!
The bathroom has a toilet, shower, sink and a bath which is everything you would need, the taps are very temperamental and sometimes the tap wouldn't turn on. The bath was quite hard to figure out at first but the water was very hot when we worked it out and it was a comfy bath, the bathroom has a good amount of toilet roll, shampoo, soap at the ready and the bathroom although small was a really nice surprise and very homely.
The breakfast only ran until a certain time and on the first morning I missed it in favour for a lie in but the next day I went down and was really presently surprised, The breakfast hall was a bit like a canteen but the design was still very cool, the breakfast had a nice selection, coffee, tea, fruit juices, cereal, fruit and toast among some other things, It wasn't a full cooked breakfast but it was a nice selection of light breakfast and I really enjoyed it!
The hotel is a cheap no-frills hotel with a few little surprises. The design is great and the staff are really friendly and helpful, If your looking for a bit more of a pamper I wouldn't stay here but it is the perfect place to crash after a night out or just somewhere to stay if you want to visit Cardiff that I would really recommend!
The Big Sleep Hotel is a city centre hotel in Cardiff, South Wales. They also have hotels in Cheltenham and Eastbourne. My daughter and I stayed here for two nights in August 2008, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
* Booking *
I booked by phone, after finding an offer on their website - one night for £50, two nights for £98 or three for £144. We choose the two night option. Booking was easy enough, although I had a bit of trouble getting a confirmation of my booking, but this was sorted eventually.
* Arrival *
We left Cardiff Central Station and followed a map printed from the hotels' website. The Big Sleep was easy to spot among the other hotels, a big blue and white office block tower.
One think that attracted me to this hotel was its funky looking interior décor, and I was not disappointed. The blue and white theme continued inside, and gave everything a bright and cheerful feel.
Check in was fine, no queue and didn't take long at all. The staff were polite and friendly.
* The Room *
Our room was nearly at the top, but luckily there was a lift. My first impression was that the room was really big and airy - infact, one of the biggest hotel rooms I've ever had. It contained two twin beds (which were very comfortable), a desk with a TV, no actual wardrobe but just a rail to hang clothes, usual biscuits and coffee sachets. We also had these unusual rug-like fleece curtains. The best thing was the amazing views; we were on a corner so had two massive windows - one looking over Cardiff Bay, and the other over the city.
The bathroom was nice (toilet, sink and shower) - but it was here we came across a problem. Our water didn't work. Nothing came out of the taps, and the toilet wouldn't flush. So I went straight down to reception to report it. They were very nice and sent someone up to have a look. However, it couldn't be sorted straight away. They did give us two posh glass bottles of water, but this wasn't any good for flushing the loo. Luckily the water was fixed later on in the evening.
* Breakfast *
Each day we went down for a continental breakfast, which was included in the price. There was a wide variety of food to choose from (toast, crumpets, croissants, yoghurt, fruit, cereal, ect) and it was all delicious.
* Location *
The hotel was near to a large Cineworld and the Millennium Stadium, and a short walk from a bus stop which could take you to the Bay or city centre shopping area.
* Recommended? *
Absolutely! A really nice hotel. Planning to come to Cardiff again soon and will definitely stay here.
Bute Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 2FE
The reason i decided to book a room at the Big Sleep Hotel in Cardiff was that my boyfriend and i had tickets to see the Sterophonics in the CIA and this hotel was located opposite the building. I'd heard this hotel to be innovative and very trendy whilst being very cheap. So i booked.
I Booked online at http://www.thebigsleephotel.com.
The booking form was very easy to use and it took no time to book myself in.
We drove to the hotel which is quite difficult to find if you do not know the area very well. cardiff is notoriously difficult to dive around due to its many one-way streets. But we found it eventually, (the website contains a print out map to help you find it). It may be useful to note that the hotel is only a minute walk from the train station and only 13miles from the airport.
The hotel claims to have carparking but in fact its car park can only hold up to twenty cars, which was dissapointing. However the hotel suggests you park in the multi-storey car park around the corner and they will refund you for any costs you incurr which was a relief as it is quite expensive to park in cardiff city center. However they will only do this witha particular car park and so you will have to wait for a space on busy days. also its a bit of a pain to have to pay to park then drive back to the hotel to be refunded. When i check out of a hotel i dont usually intend to go back straighaway.
Situated on a busy road but has plenty of light crossings. This hotel is very close to the Millenium Stadium, CIA and Cineworld and Vue cinemas. This hotel is also very close to the main shopping area situatated around Queen street and all the clubs, pubs and wine bars around Mary Street.
*Outside: The hotel looks pretty standard from the outside, i understand that it used to be a block of offices, but the Big Sleep sign is clearly visable.
*Inside: The bright use of colours will dazzle you but - in a good way this hotel looks very trendy and attention to detail is paramount, for example orchids on side table and beautiful paintings in the hallways.
*Room: Okay i booked a standard room but i was quite dissapointed. the room did not reflect the innovative design and style of the lobby and hallways. The room had a suspended ceiling and strip flourescent lighting which made me feel as though i was just sleeping in an office room with a bed. The decor was plain and the furniture was really cheap looking double bed, wardrobe, desk and tv- thats it. The bathroom was pretty standard the bath was too small to lie down in though. All in all i was let down by the room but it was clean and fresh- i suppose you get what you pay for. The one thing i loved about my room was the huge officestyle window which provided fabulous views over Cardiff.
My package included bed and breakfast (which ended at 8am, far too early). The resturant consited of a small room which plastic colourful furniture. The breakfast was below standard; just cereals (not branded) and toast with Jam. All in all it was okay and an added bonus fr the price.
The hotel included a small bar on the ground floor which was okay, more of a lounge area with a small bar it closed at 11pm.
Budget Rooms range from £45 and Family Budget from £50 per night which is an excellent rate for a hotel located in the center of city. This hotel also has Executive and penthouse suites in which prices start from £99 per night which is still pretty good.
Check the website for daily offers which include exursion packages, discounted rate room and meal options.
*The Big Sleep Hotel was voted 1 of 25 coolest hotels in the World! by Conde Nast Traveller magazine - May 2001, the other 24 winners were 4-5 Star Hotels in locations such as Marrakech, Rome, Udaipur and St Tropez.
*The Big Sleep Hotel was also 1 of only 3 British hotels featured in Herbert Ypma's book, Hip Hotel - Budget.
*The Which? Hotel Guide, 2003 Edition - one of 30 favourite places to stay, special feature.
This was a funky yet cheap hotel that was good for a stay over. It isn't the highest quality but it serves as a good, fun hotel. I'd reccomend this hotel to thses looking for a cheap hotel to stay at in central Cardiff, however if your used to chocolates on your pillow and complimentry toiletries then this is not for you.
I first came across this hotel in a travel magazine that advertised the hotel as The UKs first design hotel for budget travellers. The Big Sleep, in Cardiff City centre is a former British Gas office building that has been converted into hotel rooms, with an emphasis on retrospective styling. As you first enter the hotel stairwell, you are greeted by an enormous framed photograph of the actor John Malkovich I later discovered that The Big Sleep is actually owned by the Hollywood star.
The Big Sleep can be found on Bute Terrace, a fairly busy road in the centre of Cardiff, which is shared with a number of other large hotels including the Marriott and Jurys. From Cardiff Central train station, the hotel is a short walk, or an even shorter taxi ride. For travellers arriving by car, Cardiff is easily reached from the M4, with the city well sign-posted from all motorway junctions. Cardiff City centre is relatively compact, so most attractions are close to the hotel, including all the main bars, shops and restaurants. The Millennium Stadium is also within easy walking distance, as is Cardiff Castle. At night, the immediate location around the hotel is relatively quiet and secluded, and I would not recommend that female guests walk around unaccompanied.
ARRIVAL AT THE BIG SLEEP
There are two entrances to the hotel. For guests arriving on foot, there is a pedestrian entrance at street level. The door is relatively innocuous, and you will need to buzz reception and announce your name before you will be allowed to enter the building. When you do enter the hotel in this way, you will be assaulted by the retro décor, with bright orange walls, wild lighting and a distinctly 1960s black marble staircase groovy baby! Finding the reception desk is relatively easy, although all the orange corridors quickly start to look the same. For guests arriving by car there is a second entrance to the hotel, directly from the car park into the main hotel reception.
The reception area, or lobby, is equally stylish, with a light airy colour scheme, and plenty of comfortable sofas if you need to wait. I checked in without any issues and a couple of minutes later I was settling into my room.
There are four different standards of room available for guests in The Big Sleep, as follows:
STANDARD (on the lower floors)
NEW ON NINTH (ninth floor only)
Prices vary according to the room type, but the most expensive rooms will only cost £99. I stayed in one of the standard rooms, as (at the time of booking) I wasnt aware there were different rooms available.
My first impressions of the room were satisfactory the room was bright, clean and looked relatively comfortable although, if Im honest, I was expecting something a little more interesting. The room retained many of the former offices features and I could still easily imagine a couple of desks, a pot plant and a photocopier in the corner. The room was furnished to a comparatively basic standard, and contained only a bed, clothes rail, and fitted unit, which acted as a desk and a table for the TV. The ceiling was suspended, like an office building, with polystyrene tiles separated by bare metal frames and the room was quite cold. You are given two room keys, as you need one to activate the electricity, via a unit on the wall.
One of the most impressive features of the room was the expanse of windows. My room was on the seventh floor and as such, benefited from impressive views across Cardiff. I couldnt help but feel overlooked though, and despite my relative elevation, I still had the curtains drawn. The décor was all relatively subtle, with a simple pastel blue and white colour scheme I think I was expecting something a bit funkier, as per the lobby and stairs but it was nice enough.
The bathroom was not the most luxurious I have used, and was generally cold and harsh. The bath was a fair size, but the water pressure was poor, and running a bath took the best part of 20 minutes. There were some of those cheap, nasty smelling free toiletries, but at least there were plenty of towels a rarity in modern hotels!
All of the rooms have their own television with pay per view movies. These are considerably cheaper than most hotels you pay £4 per day, for access to all the movies playing, which is not bad when you consider a video or DVD rental costs £3 - £4. Unfortunately, the televisions themselves are only small portables, so you perhaps wont appreciate the film as much as you might on a decent TV. Apart from the pay channels, there are 14 standard TV channels to choose from, as well as the popular radio stations.
The rooms do not have air conditioning, and can only be heated by one small wall heater. This wasnt working in my room hence the cold but I wasnt too bothered as I was going out in the evening. I would be more concerned about the temperature of the room in summer all those windows would create a bit of a greenhouse, and due to Health and Safety you cannot open any of the panes to let some fresh air in. Another thing to be mindful of is the soundproofing. I was able to hear the TV of the room next door relatively clearly and the hotel is right next to a train line, which is also rather noisy.
The rooms on the ninth floor are slightly more expensive because they are fitted to a slightly better standard. I dont think there are any more facilities in these rooms, but the décor and fittings are groovier and more comfortable. The bed in the penthouse is mounted on a raised platform, which is then covered in a large sheepskin effect carpet it looks like a real shag parlour! The most impressive room is the Executive Suite, which has a separate lounge area, ensuite Jacuzzi bathroom and its own small kitchen.
DINING AND OTHER FACILITIES
In order to be able to offer cheaper hotel accommodation, The Big Sleep has a relatively restricted range of services. This isnt a problem for me, providing I have easy access to plenty of bars and restaurants, and this is certainly the case for this hotel. There is a bar on the ground floor, but this is relatively small, and only opens until 11 p.m. There is no on site restaurant, and the only breakfast available is a continental style menu (which can be served in the breakfast room, or your bedroom). Breakfast is included in the room rates though.
There is obviously no room service in the hotel, but some basic services are available, such as laundry, breakfast delivery and newspapers. Its worth bearing in mind that this is a no-frills hotel but the prices charged do reflect this.
The demands of residents in a hotel like this are not as great as a conventional hotel chances are that once you are in your room you will probably not want any more staff contact. When I arrive at the hotel, the reception staff was polite and courteous, but seemed poorly trained and unable to answer a number of questions. When I had checked into my room, I was unable to dial up my laptop connection there was no dial tone. When I phoned down to reception, the girl that answered my call said that she couldnt help it must be a problem with my laptop. It took a further 20 minutes and about 10 calls before I could persuade her that it was actually her problem it transpired that she had not properly activated the line in my room. There was no apology for the inconvenience, and I wasnt terribly impressed.
Similarly, when I checked out in the morning, I had been charged a different rate to that originally quoted. The mistake was quickly rectified but again there was no apology. The no-frills theme obviously extends to the staff, as well as the rooms.
STANDARD - £50/£58 (according to time of week)
FAMILY - £62/£69
NEW ON NINTH - £62/£69
EXECUTIVE SUITE - £99
PENTHOUSE - £99
The standard rooms are fitted to the same sort of quality as one of the new Travel Inn Metro rooms, which are also £50 a night, so prices are on a par with their equivalents. I was quite impressed with the price of the executive suite and penthouse if I return, I may just treat myself.
Phone 029 20636363
The site also has a page at laterooms.com, with some last minute deals that are worth investigating.
I would almost certainly return here. When Im on business, I dont mind staying in budget hotels as long as they are clean, comfortable and close to bars and restaurants, which The Big Sleep certainly is. The hotel is good value for money, and certainly more interesting than a conventional Travel Inn or Travelodge.
The Big Sleep Hotel is built from a 1960's office block and has possibly the coolest reputation in Cardiff. The rooms are light and airy with great views across the city. The furniture is modern and minimalistic and will appeal to any style-conscious traveller.