I wasn't really sure how to write my review, or if I should. My experience wasn't great, but it also wasn't terrible. I went back and forth as to if I should write an 'average' review, as really, Sleeperz personifies 'fine'.
I had an early morning train at 5 am, and needed somewhere close by to crash for a cheap price. Sleeperz emerged as the best option - the Clayton next door was nearly double the price when I booked, and even the Travelodge, which is 30 seconds up the road, was £20-30 more. At just £60, Sleeperz seemed like a cheap and cheerful option - you'd get what you need and what you pay for, nothing more. And all I really needed was a bed for the night.
The issue is, 'cheap and cheerful' and 'does what it says on the tin' are meant to be positives. They're meant to be things which say, "okay, this room is furnished and has the things you need, but isn't luxurious". That's absolutely fine. Travelodge does this incredibly well. Premier Inn too. The issue with Sleeperz is that it's cheap, but certainly not cheerful.
My room had the things I needed. It had a TV, small double bed and shower en-suite. The issue is, everything in the room was incredibly worn. The room was battered - it was showing its age, despite the hotel itself not being that old. There wasn't a surface that wasn't torn, scuffed up, ripped or battered. The room wasn't dirty, but it was certainly in need of a lot of love and TLC.
Even small things, which just make a hotel room feel special, were lacking. The tea and coffee sachets were just thrown loose in a janky drawer, along with the spoons. They weren't in any kind of container, or arranged nicely. It just screamed of a lack of care. A hotel can be budget, but still a nice and relaxing experience for your guests. A fun night away from home. Sleeperz hasn't nailed that yet.
It wasn't what I expected for a hotel that seemingly prides itself on style.
I've seen a lot of reviews complaining about room size. I think this is unfair, and seems to show that a lot of people book based on price, and don't read into details or check the website. I was on my own in a compact double with one large suitcase, and couldn't really move around that much. I'd make of that what you will.
My two main issues were structural more than anything. Firstly, as the windows don't open, but are well insulated due to its train track-adjacent and city centre location, the rooms can get hot. I was incredibly stuffy for a cold, rainy November night. Fortunately, the rooms do have air con that you can personally control. Unfortunately, these are loud, distracting, and emit a flashing light which keeps you up more than the heat probably would.
Secondly, in my ensuite, the floors were weirdly slanted and bouncy. It just gave the whole thing a really cheap feeling, which along with the battered door, only contributed to the feeling that the rooms just aren't looked after that well.
A big gripe I had about my stay was that I requested two wake-up calls. Neither of these materialised, despite them being re-confirmed by the reception staff when I checked in. Luckily, I was woken up by my phone alarm, which I'd set for shortly after my planned wake-up call. It was frustrating nonetheless, as I had a really important train to catch, and really needed to be 100% sure that I'd be woken up.
It's a difficult one. Would I stay at Sleeperz again? The answer is mixed. Yes, for the right price, if it was very cheap. It's a 30 second walk from the station, which was absolutely perfect for me. The location is brilliant. However, I wouldn't pay anymore than £40-50 at the most.
If you want a typical hotel experience, with things like breakfast, a bath, and a decent sized room, pay that little bit extra and go to the Clayton next door or the Travelodge on St Mary's Street. It probably won't even be that much extra if you book in decent time. With somewhere like Travelodge, it'd probably be cheaper.
If you don't care about those things, and really just need somewhere to crash for one night at the most, go for Sleeperz. But as I mentioned, I'd never pay more than £40-50 for it. I only paid £60 this time as a family member helped me out.
Overall, here's my thoughts.
Stay here if;
- You need to get to the train station early in the morning.
- You're in Cardiff for one night, for a stag/hen, concert, gig, etc.
- You really just need somewhere to crash and shower.
- Travelodge and Clayton are too expensive.
- You're travelling solo (in a double bed room).
Don't stay here if;
- You're staying for more than one night.
- You value the refined things in hotels, and nice little touches.
- You want to have a bath.
- You're travelling with people or have multiple bags.
- You can get Clayton/Travelodge for a decent price. Even paying £20-30 more for one of those places is worth it over Sleeperz.
I appreciate the mission statement of Sleeperz, in providing compact, stylish rooms in the city centre, at seemingly affordable prices. That's a great idea on paper. The trick is in the execution, which Sleeperz doesn't really seem to have a handle on. I really fear, however, that the extent to which the rooms need to be renovated and done up is too great, and with cheap alternatives like Travelodge within a couple of minutes walking distance, and the luxury Clayton for similar prices literally next door - Sleeperz might not be able to compete.
'Cheap and cheerful' is no excuse for low-quality, especially when the 'cheap' aspect is highly questionable.
Treat yourself. Go to Clayton, or at least go somewhere more reliable like Travelodge, where you can at least guarantee yourself a bath and some space to move around.