Travel Advice

A Stay At The Heritage Park Hotel In The Rhondda Valley

The Heritage Park Hotel in the Rhondda Valley

The Rhondda Valley was once one of the world’s most important coal mining region. 53 collieries dotted the blackened industrial landscape of the Rhondda valleys but post-war decline ensued and the last Rhondda coal mine, Maerdy colliery, closed in 1990.

As we drive through these green valleys on a sunny July afternoon, it seems an eternity since those heavy industrial days although occasionally you get a glimpse of a rusty old pithead building through the trees. One of these old mines, the Lewis Merthyr colliery has been preserved and turned into the Rhondda Heritage Park, acting as a testament to the coal mining history of the Rhondda Valleys.

Rhondda Heritage Park

The Rhondda Heritage Park

Taking the name from its neighbour, we stayed at the Heritage Park Hotel. The recently refurbished hotel is only a couple of minutes walk from the Rhondda Heritage Park and less than a 20-minute drive from the M4 motorway.

Arrival & Check-In

If you are arriving by car there is plenty of free onsite parking. As we pulled into the car park at the back of the hotel, despite the commemorative old coal mining wheel, the hotel’s appearance didn’t seem that inspiring. However, when we entered the hotel we were greeted with a contemporary yet welcoming reception space with a similarly stylish public lounge and bar area.

Even though the lounge was modern, they still retained a link to the areas past with old photos of miners who worked in the Lewis Merthyr colliery.

Hotel Reception

The Heritage Park reception

The check-in was quick and easy and it was good to be welcomed by the local staff. If you are not from the UK, you will love the valleys accents. Talking of locals, singer Tom Jones was born just 3 miles down the road.

The hotels bar and lounge

The hotel’s bar and lounge

The Room

The hotel’s bedrooms are either on the ground or first floor. The actual corridors leading to the rooms are nondescript, especially compared to the stylish reception and bar areas. However, when we actually entered our room (ground floor – room 113) we were met with a surprisingly large stylish space with contemporary furnishings and a hint of classic fifties modernism.

Hotel Room Lounge

The lounge area of the room

Our room could really be described as a suite as it was double the size of a standard room. It had a separate lounge and TV area, a work section with a desk and dressing table and another table which could be used for in-room dining.

As expected there was tea, coffee and bottled water in the room, as well as tasty biscuits (which you don’t always get these days).

Hotel room desk

A contemporary twist on classic 1950’s furniture

The large bedroom area had another TV and essentially for a bedroom, a big bed. There were also a decent set of blackout curtains which was good because at the moment and rather unusually, we are experiencing some actual sunshine!

Hotel Bedroom

The bedroom area

One of the best features of the room was the bathroom. It had a set of double sinks a large double ended bath and a large double shower cubicle. There was good lighting around the mirror or not so good if you didn’t want to see your wrinkles. The only minor issue, there wasn’t a shelf or anywhere to put the shampoo etc. in the shower, but there again, it was big enough for two so your partner could just hold them.

The Heritage Park Bathroom

The bathroom with double sinks and large bath

large bath

The large double ended bath

The hotel also features Pulse, a leisure and fitness club and is open from 7 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week. Instead of using the fitness centre we opted to exercise our palates and headed for the bar and restaurant.

The Hotel Gym

The hotel’s gym

Dinner In The Loft Restaurant

The Loft restaurant featured an intimate beamed design and although the hotel is a relatively new building the decor uses timber from an old warehouse from Cardiff docks, in keeping with the industrial heritage theme of this area of South Wales.

The Loft Restaurant

The Loft Restaurant

To start, I was pleasantly surprised to find onion bhaji on the menu, one of my favourite dishes. It came drizzled with chilli sauce, the batter was light, not soggy and the yoghurt raita added some nice coolness.

Mel had the mussels and enjoyed the change of a cider sauce instead of a white wine sauce.

Mussels with Leek and Cider

The mussels with leek and cider starter

Mel enjoyed the prawn linguine which had really big juicy prawns, maybe it could have done with slightly more garlic and chilli. I had the chicken in a local Caerphilly cheese and leek sauce on crushed potatoes, being in Wales we’ve got to have some leeks. This was tasty and the cheese sauce didn’t overpower the dish.

Prawn linguine

Main course prawn linguine

The desserts were good too, I don’t usually go for dessert but as it was part of the 3-course menu I chose the lemon cake which needed a bit of cream. Mel went for the coconut and ginger cheesecake which came with a raspberry sauce which added a nice tartness. Mel was very impressed with the cheesecake and thought it was excellent.

Dessert Time

It’s dessert time

Breakfast

We arrived for breakfast just after a large group of German hikers who must have been stocking up for the day and as a result, there was a lack of bread and croissants. The buffet part of the breakfast was simple, bread, croissants, cereals, pieces of fruit, watermelon slices and yoghurt.

The main hot breakfast was all cooked to order with options including a full Welsh breakfast, a vegetarian breakfast and a classic bacon butty.

I had the Eggs Benedict with my requested ‘crispy’ bacon which was good but Mel’s pancakes were a bit tasteless. Maybe the traditional Welsh breakfast would have been a better option.

Eggs Benedict

Breakfast time – Eggs Benedict

Visiting The South Wales Valleys

The Heritage Park Hotel is in a perfect location if you want to explore the South Wales valleys or as a stopover on the way to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Although this is a three-star hotel, the recent refurbishment has elevated the hotel to the top of its game. The room was exceptional for the class of hotel and the food in the restaurant was very good too. As mentioned, many of the other guests were hikers touring the beautiful countryside. Also, the hotel is only 25-minutes from Cardiff city centre so is convenient if you want to visit the Welsh capital.

So, next time you are visiting the UK don’t forget to take a trip down the M4 and discover Wales.

 

A stay at the Heritage Park Hotel in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales UK

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    That bathroom is just stunning, the bath looks amazing! I would not be willing to share it at all x

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 27, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      The bathroom was very nice, very big too.

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Oh wow I am loving how stylish this looks now! They have made some really positive improvements as we went a couple of years ago and it didn’t look like this, I’m so glad! Your room looks fantastic

    Laura x

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Yes, we hadn’t stayed here previously but it sounds very different from the way it used to be.

  • Reply
    danik
    July 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I love the fact its got an industral look on the outside but inside is so chick and stylish. I can picture myself there now laying in that bed and soaking up in the bath. One day….one day!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 28, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      The big bath was a great place to relax after a busy day travelling and sightseeing.

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    July 28, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    THE HERITAGE PARK HOTEL IN THE RHONDDA VALLEY seems like a stylish but comfortable place to be with a tinge of history!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 30, 2018 at 9:48 am

      The area has a very rich industrial history.

  • Reply
    Ann
    July 28, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    It looks like the refurb work really took this hotel from something forgettable to a really nice place to stay. I love the large room! Touring the coal region of South Wales would be most interesting — such an important part of the country’s history.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 30, 2018 at 9:49 am

      We hadn’t stayed there before but apparently, it is very different and much better than the old decor.

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 30, 2018 at 5:11 am

    I love the midcentury-modern decor of the hotel while the town seems cozy and homey. I’d love to stay here on my next trip to South Wales!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 30, 2018 at 9:50 am

      We did like the style of the room, very different from the usual boring room.

  • Reply
    Alouise
    July 30, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I haven’t been to Wales, but this looks like a beautiful hotel to stay at. That bath tub seems like it would be really inviting after a long day of sightseeing (and maybe hiking). And I’d definitely be interested in trying the mussels with the cider sauce…it sounds really intriguing.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      July 30, 2018 at 9:51 am

      You should definitely try and visit Wales if you visit the UK, this area is only 2 and a half hours from London.

  • Reply
    sherianne
    July 31, 2018 at 6:01 am

    I love the décor in the rooms, especially the double ended tub. The food looks amazing too, the Eggs Benedict made me hungry

  • Reply
    Indrani
    July 31, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Wow loving the interiors a lot! T e refurb has done magic. Love the food scene too. Great pictures.

  • Reply
    Suruchi Mittal
    July 31, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    What an amazing place it is. I liked the rooms and the way they are decorated. Washrooms too are a big plus are Heritage Park Hotel in the Rhodda valley. Restaurant and gym looks really nice and Food looks quite delicious.

  • Reply
    Carol Perehudoff
    August 1, 2018 at 1:08 am

    That bathroom! I’d love to explore Brecon Beacons National Park as I’ve heard so much about it, so this hotel would be an excellent base. It’s wonderful that they’ve turned the colliery into a heritage park and that this hotel is so conveniently nearby.

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    August 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I do like how contemporary and modern the interiors are. Also, I would love to explore the South Wales valleys so it seems like this hotel would be the perfect place to spend the night. The Loft Restaurant looks cool, the mussels are so appetizing. Good to know they also have onion bhaji in the menu, I would not have expected that!

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