Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa Review

Having lived in Cardiff for the majority of my life, I’ve never booked a hotel room in the city before. But when I was invited along to the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa on Newport Road, Cardiff to sample Urban Bar and Kitchen restaurant’s new Spring menu, I was more than happy to take up the offer of a complimentary overnight stay – I mean, it was that or waddle home like a pregnant duck in my heels after stuffing my face with food. 

Owned by the Accor Hotels group, the 4-star Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel is one of over 700 hotels belonging to the Mercure brand worldwide. With 165 bedrooms and 15 meeting rooms spread across 15 floors, the hotel offers unrivalled views of Cardiff city centre. In addition, guests can enjoy a work-out in a fully equipped gym, or spend the day relaxing in the spa. Having recently undergone a complete revamp, the hotel’s classy new interiors have a nautical theme inspired by Cardiff’s rich docklands history. 

Decor at Mercure Cardiff Holland House

Our spacious L-shaped bedroom had pictures of Cardiff Bay landmarks next to our comfy twin beds and the tall, wide windows meant that the room was flooded with natural light. There was a wall-mounted TV, a large wooden desk which could come in handy if you needed to get some work done or double up as a dressing table if (like me) you have a tendency to travel with so many products, they won’t all fit in the bathroom, and a seating area complete with a visitor’s guide to Cardiff.

Mercure Holland House Cardiff hotel room

In addition, our room included a classy en-suite bathroom with both a bath and a shower, a large wash basin accompanied by fresh flannels and a selection of toiletries including shower gel, shampoo and soap, sitting on traditional Welsh slate. 

Bathroom in Mercure Cardiff Holland House

After checking out our room, we headed downstairs to the bar for a wine tasting session featuring a variety of wines from Mercure’s Flavours of the Cellar range. 

Wine tasting at Mercure Cardiff Holland House hotel

As we sipped on the different wines, we nibbled on samples of the starters or ‘small plates’ from the menu. These included dukkha spiced goats cheese, soup of the day, tempura battered monkfish, lamb spring rolls and ham hock, honey and mustard terrine and my personal favourites; hot, juicy braised pork belly, and Scottish oak-smoked salmon roulade filled with herby crème fraîche, rye toast, micro fennel, lemon and shallot oil.

Starters at Urban Bar and Kitchen, Mercure Holland House Cardiff

For our main course, we moved into the Urban Bar and Kitchen restaurant (pictured below in daylight) and sat at a table with the rest of our group, which included fellow bloggers and media professionals.

Mercure Cardiff Hotel restaurant

Considering the size of our party (there must have been at least 20 of us), the service was pretty efficient and all of our orders were served as requested. I opted for the poached and roasted chicken supreme; a succulent chicken breast stuffed with aromatic sun-dried tomato and mozzarella, accompanied by a chicken lollipop in crispy breadcrumbs and a smoked aubergine and potato croquette. I really enjoyed the spectrum of flavours in this dish and although it was presented in the style of fine dining it had a real ‘comfort food’ feel to it; the potato croquette evoked memories of dinner at my Nan’s house and school dinners served on plastic trays. 

Chicken supreme

My guest ordered the braised and pressed Blyth Burgh Farm pork belly, served on a bed of roasted Granny Smith apple and spring onion mash, accompanied by braised savoy cabbage,  Chantenay carrots, celeriac purée and gravy, topped with a crispy bacon rasher. This looked irresistible and if the pork belly we tried for starters was anything to go by, I’m sure this tasted divine. 

Pork belly

For dessert, we tried miniature versions of the dishes available on the menu including lemon and thyme panna cotta, baked vanilla cheesecake and a cheese board complete with grapes, celery, quince jelly and spiced apple chutney. I was particularly fond of the cheesecake, topped with topped with a thick trail of caramel and served with fresh strawberries and meringue.

Dessert at Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff

After retiring to our room to go to sleep after enjoying one too many drinks in the bar, we woke up feeling slightly worse for wear the following morning. Breakfast in Urban Bar and Kitchen was the perfect hangover cure. We could choose from a full English breakfast, freshly baked pastries, fresh meats and cheeses or cereals, as well as the option of dishes cooked to order, like Eggs Benedict. I couldn’t make up my mind so I went for a pain au chocolat, a croissant, a slice of Gouda cheese and cooked ham, followed by a full cooked breakfast (all that was missing was the black pudding)! Okay, so that was just slightly over-indulgent of me, but when in Rome   the Mercure Holland House Hotel…

Breakfast at Mercure Holland House, Cardiff

After breakfast, we returned to our room and changed into our swimming costumes and the white robes and towelling slippers provided by the hotel, before heading down to the spa on the ground floor. We had a swim in the pool and I tried out the sauna and the steam rooms, but had to get out after about five minutes as I tend to get a headache if I stay in them for too long. We were looking forward to relaxing in the jacuzzi, but unfortunately it was out of use at the time of our visit. 

Pool at Mercure Cardiff Holland House

We spent a blissful hour or so relaxing on the beds next to the pool, before heading back to our room and packing up our belongings in time for our check-out at 12pm. It was difficult to fault our stay at the Mercure Holland House Hotel and I would definitely consider staying here if I needed to book a hotel near Cardiff city centre in future. I’m also going to sign up as a gym member, which means I will be able to use the swimming pool and spa as well; after all, I need to burn off that big breakfast I demolished – and I am yet to test out that jacuzzi for myself!

To book a stay at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa, please click here.

Have you ever visited Cardiff? What did you think of the city and where did you stay?

Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa
24-26 Newport Road
CF24 0DD
(029) 2043 5000

I was invited to the Mercure Holland House Hotel Cardiff as a guest and we received complimentary food, drinks and an overnight stay. However, I was not obliged to write a positive review of our experience.

This post contains an affiliate link and if you place a booking through this link, I will receive a small commission fee.


  1. Jessica McDonnell
    May 29, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    It looks like you had a wonderful time and that cheeseboard looks AMAZING! I really need to visit Cardiff one day.

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:21 pm

      Definitely! The food alone is enough to visit for, as we have some really fantastic restaurants here, but there is a lot to see and do as well.

  2. May 29, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Ive stayed in this hotel and it was amazing! The beds were huge and I actually went in search of a lush so i could have a bath hehe

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:20 pm

      Ooh, that’s a great idea. A Lush bathbomb and that bath tub would be a match made in heaven!

  3. hannah
    May 29, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    This looks like a really good hotel, I’ve been past there many times, but never gone inside x

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:35 pm

      I definitely recommend it 🙂 I’ve also been to a corporate event here previously, and it was a great evening.

  4. May 29, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    The dukha goats cheese sounds delicious and I love the miniature deserts. So nice of them to offer you a complimentary stay as well.

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:20 pm

      Yes, it’s nice to have smaller dishes sometimes, as then you get to try a little taster of everything on offer 🙂 I was very lucky indeed!

  5. May 29, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    I’ve stayed here before and loved it! The breakfast looks out of this world and it’s made me want to head back to Cardiff asap! xx

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:19 pm

      The breakfast was flawless, we really did enjoy it. I would go back there just for breakfast 🙂

  6. Mary - A Mary Road
    May 30, 2016 / 8:29 am

    I love how elegant the design is! Everytime I look into place to stay especially luxury hotels, I always want it to be simple but elegant. The food looks great too!

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:19 pm

      The decor looks great after the revamp. It was still nice before, but now it’s gorgeous 🙂 And the food was probably one of my favourite things about my visit!

  7. May 30, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    That looks absolutely amazing. Lovely hotel, scrumptious food and a spa. What could be nicer?

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:18 pm

      Hehe, exactly 🙂 It was a great experience, I felt lucky to be involved.

  8. Fatima
    May 30, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Sounds like an amazing experience. I have not been to Cardiff yet but I have to visit soon to meet someone from my family who has been insisting to visit her. I have stayed at the Mercure hotel in the UAE and my stay was awesome! Would love to experience the one in Cardiff too. 165 rooms! That means the hotel is huge!

    Fatima |

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:18 pm

      It was a lovely hotel, our room was particularly stunning – I couldn’t get over how big it was!

  9. May 30, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    What an amazing experience! I would love to visit Cardiff. I’ve been ones but not long enough to properly explore and stay over. It is on my list and I will visit for longer soon.

    • May 30, 2016 / 11:17 pm

      It’s definitely worth a longer stay, there is a lot to see and do here. If you ever visit, let me know and I would be happy to recommend places for you to visit and/or restaurants to eat out at.

  10. June 2, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    Unfortunately I have never been to Cardiff properly, I think we drove through it once. I live up north, a good 5/6 hour car drive away so considering the distance, I think a nice relaxing day and night at the spa would be lovely, I will definitely look in to this place if I come down to Cardiff! 🙂

    • June 8, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      I love Cardiff, it’s such a lovely city! We have great shops, restaurants, attractions and night life and the majority of people here are very friendly. The spa is really nice, they do some really luxurious treatments!

  11. June 3, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    Wow what a stylish spot right in the heart of the city – how amazing does that food look!!

    Laura x

    • June 8, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Thanks Laura, the breakfast was my favourite by far!

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