Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dublin: Where to Stay

Yeah! I am finally getting around to doing my 1st post about our trip. I am going to start with Dublin, because that is where we started. I am going to break down Dublin into 3 parts. Where to Stay, Where to Eat, and What to Do. I will by no means have all the answers to any of these, but will share with you our experience. As with most places, you can't really see it all and do it all in one trip. I already have a list of things I want to do on my next Dublin visit!

So Where to Stay:

This is where we stayed: The Arlington Hotel

I guess I should probably preface this post and all posts about the vacation a bit by saying that we traveled as a group of 15 the entire 3 weeks. In order to coordinate this madness, my mother-in-law booked all hotels. This was a task that I was very glad to relinquish to her, however, in hindsight, I would have probably made slightly different choices in some cases. Dublin, however, was not really one of those. I feel she did a good job of getting us a nice place to stay, at a good, reasonable rate, great location to the heart of the city, and an overall good choice.

Pros to the Arlington Hotel:
1. Clean and Comfortable (You will see from the photos that our room was quite spacious. We had a corner room with a king sized bed and 2 twins. Aside from the girls having separate rooms, this was quite a nice arrangement.)

2. Staff was very friendly at front desk and breakfast. The breakfast was very nice with lots of options and it was included in the price of the room.

3. The location of the hotel was ideal for walking in Dublin. We were right on the River Liffey next to the O'Connell Bridge. Trinity College, Grafton Street, great restaurants, and a train station were all just short walks from our hotel.

4. There was a pub located within the hotel, so it was easy and convenient to grab a drink before dinner or before heading in for the night. They also advertised Irish Dancing every night (however, to our & Sarah's disappointment, we never actually saw it).

5. The price. Being that we would be traveling for 3.5 weeks, we needed to stay within a certain budget. There would be no Four Seasons every night so to speak. On average, I would say our hotel rooms cost about $100-$120 euros a night. Keep in mind we usually had the bigger rooms b/c we had the kids and sometimes the nanny. Several hotels we stayed at were under 80 Euros, so we did well on the cost for decent places.

6. It had Internet. Period.

Cons to the Arlington Hotel:
1. There is a pub downstairs. This makes for quite a lot of noise at night when you are trying to go to sleep. Especially on the weekends. We had mild weather while we were in Dublin and had the windows open at night (there is no air conditioning) so the music and conversation could be heard into the wee hours of the morning.

2. The bathrooms were tiny. Not always are hotel bathrooms big, but these were pretty small. Also, aside from our corner room, the standard guest rooms were a little on the small side, as well.

3. It did not have very many amenities. If you are like me and are more of a luxury hotel goer, it was lacking in some areas. However...only in big cities would you find a lot luxury in Ireland and there was the budget thing. Still, there was no air conditioning, small elevators, sparse decor, ...well...now that I am naming all the things I think I missed out on, I really didn't need them. It was just an overall feeling of luxury, I guess, that I missed.

So you see...all in all...this was a good place. I would recommend it to friends and family and you get your money's worth.

However...the next time I go...this may be the place I want to stay....The Shelbourne

A family friend was actually in Dublin on business a couple of weeks afterward and this is where he stayed. Now again, I realize that this was on his company's dime, but if you compare the 2 websites, you will be able to see the difference. (Not to mention my friend said that Bono was seen in the lobby on multiple occasions while he was staying there!!!) Now that is my kind of place!

So, I am sure there are tons of great places to stay in Dublin and I have not done a ton of research on this topic. Dublin is a great city and I recommend it highly and both the places I mention above.

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