Blue Bell Hotel, Neath

The location

We arrived on a very hot July afternoon in the little town of Neath, which seemed quite empty on a Sunday. We were lucky enough to get a space at the hotel’s underground car park, for it would be a real challenge to squeeze more than two cars in there. Luckily for us, the hotel was quite empty, perhaps due to its odd location. I would however recommend trying to get into the car park (more of which later).

The room

We were quite suprised by the quality feel of our spacious room, which was all nicely set up with a sitting area and a desk, as well as a large bathroom. Wifi is also available for free. All pointed towards a comfortable night, were it not for the fact that the window had been left open (due to a complex system I only noticed the next morning), despite the room being air-conditioned, which allowed us to ‘enjoy’ the active Neath nightlife fully. We had felt when we arrived in town that it was quite impoverished. This feeling was even reinforced at night thanks to the arguments of some of the local population. With the central government in London bent on cutting even deeper into public services, you wonder what communities like this one are going to become.

The evening meal

We dined in the large brasserie downstairs, “La Mancha”. The food was not exceptional, but decent enough and provided in large quantities. The espresso was also good.

The breakfast

An excellent cooked breakfast is on offer. On top of the bacon, eggs, mushrooms, black pudding and other delicacies, I had cockles and loved them. Do not attend if you are into continental breakfasts though.

The price

Accommodation for one night, a meal for two and two breakfasts came to a total of £120 (€143). This is exceptional value for money, so despite the hotel’s slightly odd location, I would heartily recommend it, for it can be a nice starting point to enjoy Wales’ natural beauty.

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