Cardiff's newest hotel is steeped in Welsh heritage but startlingly original.
Hey Cardiff, there’s a new cool kid in town and Hotel Indigo® is cool Cymru without the cliché; steeped in Welsh heritage but startlingly original. With 122 rooms, fully equipped fitness suite and eagerly anticipated rooftop Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill it is a welcome addition to Cardiff.
Cardiff has a great choice of hotels befitting such a thrilling, diverse and dynamic destination, boasting capital city status, Cardiff offers a dynamic culture, with cutting-edge entertainment, glorious food and hosts some major international events. However, the fastest growing major urban area in the UK it is happy to welcome more hotels, especially if they are as unique as Hotel Indigo
You enter the hotel via Dominions Arcade just off the pedestrianised Queen Street; opened in 1921 it was the last of Cardiff’s arcades to be built before the first of the modern shopping centres started to spring up in the 1980s.
Croeso / Welcome!
On entering the hotel, you immediately feel something a little special. Picture this; you are holding a house warming party for family and friends having recently moved in to your dream home, furnished exactly to your taste. You open your new front door to greet your first guests and catch a glimpse of your wonderful expression in the mirror. This is the look on the faces of the staff at the new Hotel Indigo; they are happy, enthusiastic, proud, excited and eager to show you around their new home.
Many of the 122 rooms offer wonderful views of the Cardiff skyline, all have free Wi-Fi and invigorating rainfall showers but what really sets them apart is how each room is decorated.
Zahra Reardon-Smith, Director of Sales Hotel Indigo Cardiff said:
“Each of our beautifully decorate bedrooms celebrate the history of the city of Cardiff, there are 3 themes Made in Wales, Welsh Industry and Music; the detail in these rooms tell a story and will give our curious travellers inspiration to go out and explore.”
The Made In Wales room is all about the textiles and full of beautiful furnishings with equal style and substance. Sit back and relax in the rocking chair, put your feet up on the sheepskin ‘Baa Stool’ and take in the room in all its Welsh glory. The Baa Stool is just one of the stylishly, quirky features in the room that will make you smile.
Y Gwely / The Bed
You may need to get a leg-up on to the glorious bed but once you are on it you will not want to get off, only promise of exploring the vibrant city or eating in rooftop Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill will help entice you down.
The bed is dressed with Welsh, Woolen cushions and a sumptuous grey throw that once again reminds you of the passion that makes the Welsh capital so unique.
Yr ystafell ymolchi / the bathroom
Even the bathroom is stocked with Welsh products from Myddfai, a company that specializes in luxury toiletries with a social conscience.
Y Bwyty / The Restaurant
The first thing to do when you book your stay is make a reservation at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse rooftop restaurant and bar on the hotel’s sixth floor. With 90 covers the restaurant comes with two roof top terraces with views over the city.
The menu, exclusively curated by Marco, offers British & French classics to suit all tastes. The selection of 35-day aged native breed steaks are the heroes of the menu. Marco’s ethos is all about classic dishes, simply cooked using the best locally sourced ingredients.
Locally sourced ingredients are not the only Welsh part of the kitchen; Head Chef Lee Williams is a Cardiff boy and is incredibly proud to be back working in such a fantastic restaurant in his home city. After 20 years in the industry Williams is looking forward to producing some of Marco’s signature dishes but is equally keen to add his own flavour and flair.
Head Chef Lee Williams said:
“Marco Pierre White is an inspiration so becoming Head Chef here is an honour. Our focus here is all about classic dishes, simply cooked using the best locally sourced ingredients and I’m sure both visitors to the hotel and Cardiff residents will enjoy a dining experience like no other.”
Enjoy a drink in the bar before dinner and whether you fancy a Gin, specialty cocktail or traditional Welsh pint of bitter, the friendly bar staff will help advise you on this most difficult of decisions.
With 17 types of Gin on offer, I may be here some time.
With all this going on you could be forgiven for thinking that eating here may be exorbitant, if this is your initial reaction you will be very pleasantly surprised. The prices are comparable to some other city center restaurants that are simply not half as good.
TEMPURA OF CALAMARI & SHRIMP with Sauce tartare and fresh lemon.
It is easy to get calamari wrong but the obvious freshness, quality and precise cooking time meant that the texture was spot on. Encased in the lightest of batters all this needed was a zing of lemon however as it is served with such an inviting tartare sauce it would have been rude not to dip each one in.
This is a generous portion so if you are planning to follow it with a big steak, this is a great starter to share and MPW’s is relaxed enough for this not to be frowned upon.
FILLET 8oz with pommes frites, Peppercorn sauce with a side of Creamed leaf spinach with horseradish (v).
The steak was cooked medium rare to absolute perfection. It melted in the mouth and in hindsight was so delicious did not really need the Peppercorn Sauce, although this did not deter from it all being devoured.
The service throughout the dining experience was bang on. Timing and tactful observance is so important when getting this right. Here we were given just enough time to ruminate over the menu, to finishing each course before clearing, between starter & main, between being served and asking if everything is ok with the meal. You have to have great peripheral vision and be an expert in body language to get this right, which the MPW team did to their absolute credit. #TeamMPW
And for Dessert
I could not possibly manage a dessert after all that but then our server eagerly recommended the Classic Dark Chocolate Mousse. Having been given the exact amount of time between courses, the promise of a lighter than air mousse to sweeten the palate was too much to resist. A mousse this light cannot possibly have many calories in it can it?
Experienced restaurant manager Pasquale Manganiello helped us choose the wine and after taking the time to find out what we liked, was happy for us to ‘try before you buy’! Eventually settling for the Jean-Luc Colombo Marco Pierre White Rouge at £30 per bottle, a rich Syrah with a spicy tang, perfect to enjoy with the steak.
Fillet steak 8oz with pommes frites – £29.50
Peppercorn sauce – £3.50
Creamed leaf spinach with horseradish (v) – £3.50
Classic Dark Chocolate Mousse – £5.95
Jean-Luc Colombo Marco Pierre White Roug – £30.00
Espresso Martini – £8.50
The Night Cap
Having retired to the bar the relaxed, friendly feel continued so an Espresso Martini was next to sample, although you will not need caffeine to keep you alert in this buzzing atmosphere. Cardiff has a vibrant and diverse nightlife with a number of cocktail bars seeking to stand out and become the next big thing. The cocktail menu, rooftop terrace, unpretentious vibe and live music every Friday is a great offer for residents and will soon attract the Cardiff in-crowd!
You can tell a lot about the quality and standard of a restaurant by the restroom experience. The attention to detail even in the loo shows that they have thought about the entire customer experience.
After such a lovely night, a strong coffee is much needed, it arrives with a timer to ensure your coffee is brewed to perfection, simple. Now why didn’t I think of that?
Why not order….
The Favourite – Wye valley smoked salmon, crushed avocado, poached egg on sourdough.
This is called ‘The Favourite’ for a reason. The trend to smash avocados has not been lost on MPW but the resulting texture of this ripe fruit mixed with just the right amount of seasoning and chilli flakes works perfectly with the crisp sourdough. Although this is bang on-trend, it is a welcome relief to have it served on an actual plate rather than an old spade, slab of slate or deconstructed in an upside-down masonry jar.
Breakfast at Hotel Indigo Cardiff
Served from 6.30am until 10.30am at the Marco Pierre White restaurant situated on the sixth floor at the cost of £15.95.
Now that you have been suitably fed and watered, it is time to explore Cardiff. There is a handy pocket guide in each room to inspire you or you can check out www.visitcardiff.com the official tourism website for the city that includes helpful itineraries for 1,2 and 3 day stays.
Just a short walk from the hotel…
Everything is just a short walk from the hotel as Cardiff has such a compact city centre, so put some comfortable shoes on and get exploring.
To get the best ideas just ask a local, Zahra Reardon-Smith, Director of Sales Hotel Indigo Cardiff suggests the following:
“We have the beautiful Bute Park on our doorstep, located just beyond the Castle, it’s a lovely spot to go and wonder along the River Taff and you feel like you are in the heart of the countryside. I also highly recommend exploring our Victorian and Edwardian Arcades, there is something for everyone, be it coffee culture, vintage shopping or homemade Welsh Cakes.”
Hotel Indigo Cardiff Restaurant General Manager Pasquale Manganiello is originally from Venezuela and has been in Cardiff for a year. When asked what his favourite thing about the Capital City of Wales is he hesitated but only because he already loves so much about it.
“Cardiff is a great city, you can walk anywhere it has a bit of everything you need! The events that are hosted here amazing, how many other cities the size of Cardiff can say that they have hosted the UEFA champions League final? These events are great for the city.”
Just moments from the hotel’s front door is the home of the Welsh Rugby Union Principality Stadium, book a tour in advance and experience the inner workings of the 74,000 seater stadium and see where the Welsh Rugby Team battle against opponents from across the globe and where the football titans of Europe fought for the 2017 Champions League Trophy.
Explore the historic Cardiff Castle once a Roman fort, an impressive castle and an extraordinary Victorian Gothic fantasy palace, created for one of the world’s richest men.
Piece together 2,000 years of history on your visit and discover the remains of a Roman wall, climb to the top of the medieval Keep, explore the atmospheric Wartime Shelters and be overwhelmed by the extraordinary decoration in the Castle Apartments. In the nineteenth century, art- architect William Burges created a medieval dream – world for the 3rd Marquess of Bute; the results are simply breath-taking with opulent interiors rich with gilding, elaborate wood carving, murals and stained glass.
Cardiff is approximately 2 hours away from London by road or train. The journey time from London Paddington to Cardiff is just over 2 hours and leaves every 30 minutes.
Residents of Hotel Indigo may park in the NCP car park, Greyfriar’s Rd, approximately 100 metres from the hotel. This can be discounted and validated at the hotel reception.
Daily Parking Charge: 22 GBP
Monochrome Musings, Foyer Hotel Indigo Cardiff.
Before you leave you must get a picture of you in the same pose as Marco Pierre White, it’s the law!
@VisitCardiff #CardiffIs #HotelIndigoCardiff