WRU lifts lid on hotel project

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has offered the first look at its new hotel that will open later this year, stating it will grant the body a “complete menu” of hospitality offerings for fans, and visitors to Cardiff.

Operated on behalf of the WRU, the Parkgate Hotel, located next to Principality Stadium, will open in time for Wales’ games in the 2021 Autumn Nations Series. The project aims to breathe new life into two of the Welsh capital’s most historic landmarks – the old Post Office and County Court properties on Westgate Street.

The new hotel had the working title of Westgate Hotel, but it has now been confirmed that it will take its name from the Parkgate building that housed the old Post Office. Dating from the turn of the 20th century, the Grade II listed buildings’ most striking period features have been brought out in a careful restoration.

The hotel includes 170 guest bedrooms and suites, a signature restaurant and bar, a tea lounge, and a rooftop spa overlooking the skyline of the Welsh capital. When Wales play at home, rugby fans will be able to enjoy pre and post-match hospitality in the hotel’s grand function suite. In weekend packages described as ‘The Perfect Match’, they will also be granted an overnight stay in the hotel.

Approved in August 2019, the Parkgate Hotel is a collaboration between the WRU, property developer Rightacres, and The Celtic Collection, the group behind Celtic Manor golf resort. WRU chief executive Steve Phillips said: “We have very much missed welcoming people to Principality Stadium and we are extremely proud to have this fantastic new hotel on show right beside the stadium when we are able to welcome them back.

“Supporters now have a complete menu of options to complete their matchday experience from our premium hospitality offerings at the new Parkgate Hotel or on site at Principality Stadium, to a full range of concessions for U17s across all ticket categories and frozen prices for this year’s Autumn Nations Series.

“The Parkgate Hotel will put guests right at the heart of the match day action and is the perfect location for exploring the city centre. It is another fantastic addition to what we are able to offer our visitors for rugby matches and other sporting fixtures, music concerts and corporate events.”

The WRU this week said it is hopeful that Principality Stadium can open at full capacity this year after the body confirmed autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia. Wales will play New Zealand at Principality Stadium on October 30 before hosting South Africa the following week. Matches against Fiji and Australia have also been pencilled in for November 14 and November 20, respectively.

Principality Stadium has a capacity of 74,500 but has not welcomed fans for over a year since the onset of the pandemic. The stadium was converted into a field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients and as a result was not used to host rugby matches for the remainder of 2020.

Principality Stadium was used during the recent Six Nations, which Wales won, but no fans were in attendance due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Commenting on the new hotel, The Celtic Collection chief executive, Ian Edwards, said: “At a time when we are beginning to reopen and bounce back in tourism and hospitality, we are delighted that the Parkgate Hotel will open this October in time for the autumn internationals.

“The Parkgate is going to be a fantastic, year-round addition to Cardiff’s hotel landscape and it will be an extra special place to be on the big match days that create such an amazing atmosphere in the city.

“In keeping with the new hotel’s stylish luxury, we will be bringing The Celtic Collection’s reputation for delivering world-class hospitality to our brilliant packages for international rugby matchdays. Combined with the thrilling action at Principality Stadium, these experiences really do complete the perfect match.”

Images: Goddard Littlefair interior design