Urbanites will love Cardiff’s new mammoth 170-room luxury hotel, located in the old post office. Panoramic skyline views come as standard here; the Principality Stadium is just a rugby ball’s throw away. The best place to take in the city vista? From the rooftop spa, located on the sixth floor, with its own thermal suite and Herbal Steam Temple for two. Book a range of treatments from British brand, Elemis; we love their Pro Glow Rose Facial.
- Hydrotherapy infinity pool
- Steam room
Our Spa Spy review
Part of the Celtic Collection, The Parkgate Hotel is located smack-bang in the centre of the Welsh Capital Cardiff. Panoramic skyline views come as standard here; the Principality Stadium is just a rugby ball’s throw away.
Top-hat-clad concierge will greet you at the grand hotel door of what used to be the old post office - where the double-height blue vaulted ceiling, white columns and a central statement chandelier set the scene. Inside, there’s 170 bedrooms, The Sorting Room Restaurant and, up to the sixth floor, the adult-only spa.
What's on offer?
Take the lift up to the sixth floor and you’ll find the door to The Spa at The Parkgate reception, where a calming palate of neutrals, woods and a display of Elemis products to purchase await. We were warmly welcomed and led through the pre-treatment waiting area to our designated locker in the changing rooms – where oversized marble-effect white tiles line the floor and walls.
On one wall, a bank of dark wooden code-operated lockers where flip-flops and roomy super soft robes with smart grey piping can be found. There’s a bench for changing, supplies of fresh fluffy towels, two loos and two showers with frosted-glass doors stocked with Elemis White Lotus Hair & Body Wash and Conditioner.
The vanity area – with its blue tiles, large mirrors and stools for two – has Dyson hairdryers and GHD straighteners. Complimentary amenities include Elemis Pro-Collagen Energizing Marine Cleanser, Hydrating Ginseng Toner and cotton pads.
Exit the changing rooms and take a right to find the small but perfectly-formed Thermal Suite. The white and grey tiles continue, while floor-to-ceiling windows allow for far-reaching rooftop views. Here you will find two showers, an extra-large super-hot steam room – which we had all to ourselves - and a sauna big enough for six.
In between the heat rooms you’ll find grey and white mosaic tiled bench seats with matching stools and statement artwork to chill between toasting. Help yourself to fruit water and fresh towels.
The hydrotherapy infinity pool at the end steals the show with its heated volcanic zones and two swan neck pipes to pummel tired shoulders. Bubble away while soaking up the city skyline; landmarks such as the Principality Stadium and Cardiff Castle can be spotted through the floor-to-ceiling glass.
When you’re done bubbling, order a glass or Prosecco from one of the cheerful spa hosts and lie back on one of the six white and black heated beds.
Fancy a nap? Retreat to the relaxation room with its sage green walls, soothing sounds and three comfy beds with cozy blankets and dividing curtains. Magazines and books are dotted around for your perusal; you can order a choice of herbal teas from the spa staff to sip beside a pretty feature wall.
Along with four treatment rooms, two of which can be transformed into dual rooms for couples, there’s a private Rasul where you can self-apply medicinal chakra muds before relaxing in the steam.
Want to work out? There’s also a Fitness Suite on the first floor for overnight guests, with Technogym equipment.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Elemis Couture Face & Body Experience (55 minutes, £78).
My therapist, Cerys, met me in the treatment waiting area and led me through a long corridor to one of the four treatment rooms – a large calming space with dark woods and flickering candlelight. Cerys talked me through the treatment, asking about my areas of concern, before leaving me to disrobe and lay face up on the heated bed.
Cerys commenced the treatment with a foot ritual before moving onto a deep tissue back massage using Elemis De Stress Oil. Cerys intuitively zoned into the tightness in my lower back and hips using her elbows, with firm pressure to try to release deep seated tension – checking the pressure wasn’t too much as I breathed through any areas of discomfort.
Next, Cerys moved onto the stubborn tension in my neck and shoulders before applying Warm-up Massage Balm to prevent any post-massage soreness.
Turning onto my front, the facial began with a deep cleansing ritual: a double cleanse using Superfood CICA Cleansing foam and Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter, followed by a Rehydrating Ginseng Toner. Cerys then applied Papaya Enzyme Peel which she patted into my skin to activate and sloth off dead skin cells.
Next, she applied a Herbal Lavender Repair Mask – with Kaolin, Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender – which initially tingled on the skin but quickly settled down. While the mask worked its magic, Cerys performed a scalp massage using oils; this left me feeling deeply relaxed. Removing the mask, Cerys applied a final slather of Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser and Ultra-Conditioning Lip Balm.
Post-treatment, Cerys handed me a much-needed glass of water, explained which products would be good for me to incorporate into my routine (the Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask for break outs; the Warm-Up Massage Balm for my stubborn knots) and led me back along the corridor to the relaxation room. Here, I found my spa partner looking suitably chilled under a blanket. We exchanged notes on our treatments, agreeing that the combination of deep tissue back massage and facial was a winning formula.
The Spa at The Parkgate offers a wide range of facials, massages and signature treatments from Elemis, along with private Rasul Rituals.
You’ll find the spa lounge -with its sage green walls and comfy seating - just outside the spa reception. We had pre-ordered our healthy lunch and ate in our robes. On the menu: light bites, salads and wraps, plus Prosecco, beer and fizzy drinks.
We feasted on the beautifully presented Wellness Superfood Salad with avocado, beetroot, roasted seasonal vegetables, broccoli and blueberries. Our spa partner enjoyed a Classic Chicken Caeser with maple cured bacon and marinated anchovy fillets. We paired our saintly salads with a glass of Prosecco – just to keep things balanced you understand.
If you’re staying overnight, don’t miss dinner at The Sorting Room – once one of the grand old post office spaces on the ground floor. We loved the wood-paneled walls, dark green leather banquettes and rows of long-arm gold wall lights.
Despite the two AA rosette and Michelin listing the brasserie-feel keeps things relaxed and low-key; the staff are friendly but professional. The menu gives a nod to the local Welsh produce, from the Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky Cured Salmon to the Thirty-Five Day Dry Aged Welsh Reared Beef Rump - it’s worth noting that portion sizes are extremely generous.
We tucked into Wild Mushroom Ravioli with the most delicious prosecco cream and chive sauce, followed by melt-in-the-mouth Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Crackling, toffee apple, smoked carrot puree and chorizo jam. Our spa partner enjoyed the Pan Roasted Garlic & Thyme British Chicken Breast brined in Welsh beer with crispy chicken skin and Glamorgan. ale jus. A glass of Rose D`Anjou-AOP La Jaglerie proved to be the perfect accompaniment.
Despite the temptation of Peanut Butter Parfait, we had to decline dessert for lack of space. If you want to make a night of it, check out the Sorting Room Bar’s signature cocktail menu whose mixologists regales the Parkgate’s history with delights such as the spiced rum inspired ‘Air Mail’ or ‘Post Brenhinol’ (The Royal Mail in English) with Kahlua, Creme de Cacao and Mezcal Casamigos.
We loved / we didn't love
Those city views: bubbling in the hydro pool while soaking up stadium and castle views was a little bit special.
The Elemis Couture treatment was a heavenly combo of a semi-deep tissue massage, facial and scalp massage; it left us feeling thoroughly soothed with glow-y skin. Winner.
The Welsh hospitality was second to none. Everyone we encountered was down-to-earth, friendly and professional.
We didn’t love
Like most city centre spas, there’s no onsite parking; come by train if you can. If you must drive, park at Cardiff Train Station Car Park, a 10-minute walk away.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: from the cool design and city centre locale to the dual treatment rooms and Rasul Rituals, The Parkgate Hotel is made for mini breaks.
Rugby fans: The Parkgate will be a winner come stadium days. You can spot the Principality Stadium - home of the Wales national rugby union team - from the hydro pool.
Besties: the intimate feel of the spa makes it the perfect place to catch up over a Prosecco (or two) on the heated beds.
Monday – Sunday
9am – 8pm
(last booking 7pm)
Monday – Sunday
8am – 10pm
(last booking 8pm)
Travel and Parking
The Parkgate Hotel is located in the centre of Cardiff city, therefore unable to offer on-site parking or valet parking services. Thanks to its convenient location, there are a range of public transport options, as well as public car parks, within walking distance of the hotel.
Nearest car park is:
NCP Cardiff Westgate Street (max height 1.75m)
Sat nav postcode CF10 1DZ