Opening on Monday 27 June is Parador 44, a new boutique hotel inspired by Spain in the heart of Cardiff – and the first of its kind in the UK. As its name implies, Parador 44 will offer an authentic taste of Iberia for the discerning visitor and is set to be the first food-focused luxury hotel in the Welsh capital.
The full-service hotel, owned and run by three siblings from South Wales, all Hispanophiles, will incorporate Asador 44, their northern Spanish Grill restaurant which serves up some of the finest Spanish food in the country.
With nine en suite rooms, each individually designed, Parador 44 is tucked away from the urban hubbub and offers an Andalucian outdoor terraza, a residents’ lounge with an honesty bar full of Spanish drinks and snacks, and gorgeous light-flooded suites.
The hotel features authentic Spanish touches throughout, with a light and natural Andalucian feel. The historic wooden floorboards throughout the building have been reclaimed and rehoused within the beams, sills, headboards and shelving features. Spanish doors and shutters have been self-sourced and reused as headboards. Rooms are individually named around the subject of Sherry, one of the family’s loves and obsessions, with the names and illustrations etched into Welsh slate next to each door. Inside the guest lounge, there are many joys to be had including the family’s own Manzanilla bottling and its own Galician white wine which is a blend of five native white grapes.
Parador 44 is the latest opening from Grupo 44, a family-run restaurant and hospitality group based in South Wales. Owner-managed by siblings Tom Morgan, Owen Morgan (himself a certified Sherry educator) and Natalie Isaac, the group opened its first tapas bar, Bar 44, 20 years ago in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Since then, there have been a further three Bar 44 sites (Penarth, Cardiff and Bristol), a Northern Spain inspired restaurant, Asador 44 in Cardiff, and Mercado 44, an artisan Spanish online market. Earlier this year, there was also a book, This is Our Spain – Tapas y Copas, with food recipes, drinks pairings and stories of their travels.
Commenting on the new hotel, Tom Morgan who travels to Spain to source produce some 10 – 12 times per year, said, “The opening of Parador 44, our first hotel, is the culmination of many years of dreaming and we think it offers visitors to Cardiff something very different and exciting. It has been inspired by our lifetime of family visits to the Iberian Peninsula and, as with Spanish paradors, our emphasis is as much on excellent food as it is providing an historic and beautifully converted place to stay.”
The new hotel sits above the Group’s Asador 44, a restaurant and wine house influenced particularly by the grills and ingredients of the Basque Country, Asturias, Galicia and Castilla that has won acclaim nationally. The restaurant will be pivoting to operate as a full hotel restaurant with Spanish breakfasts being offered daily to all guests. This will sit alongside the restaurant’s a la carte menu that features dishes such as ex-dairy beef tartare, coal roast celeriac in a Sherry sauce, and a chocolate and hazelnut tart with beef fat caramel.
Parador 44’s location on Quay Street could not be more central, with it being opposite the Principality Stadium and only 500 metres from the Central Square development, which houses the central train station, and Cardiff Castle. For guests who want to sample more Spanish treats, a Bar 44 tapas bar is just around the corner.
The exciting new £1.178 million transformational development has been made possible by Cardiff Council funding, with the assistance of £770,000 through the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Loan funding, which can be used for interventions including the refurbishment and repurposing of empty and derelict buildings.
Wales’ Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “We’re committed to making our towns and cities even better places to live, work and visit, and this is another excellent example of our Transforming Towns funding being well spent. Repurposing previously empty office space in the city centre into a luxury hotel is exactly the kind of transformative change needed to drive back footfall.”