Grand Canal Hotel-Dublin, Ireland
Date of stay: August 2009
When D and I visited Ireland, we stayed here as part of our air and hotel package through Expedia. We had gotten quite the deal, so the fact that it was slightly removed from the city center didn’t seem like that big of a negative.
The hotel is located in Ballsbridge, a suburb of the city and home to the majority of Ireland’s embassies and diplomatic residences. We took public transportation in from the airport and were pleased to discover that the generic Ballsbridge drop off point was only a couple of blocks from the hotel. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the city center, although you can also take the public bus or DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit, the city’s train line). We always opted to walk, since the weather was pleasant and the surface flat.
The lobby of the hotel resembled your standard two-star European hotel. Check-in was smooth and prompt and we were even given the option of being able to check-in to a room immediately. (It was a disability accessible room and the only items to call to your attention were a flat shower floor area and handle bars on either side of the toilet.) Feeling tired and grungy from a trans-Atlantic flight, we certainly weren’t opposed to this.
The room itself was decent enough-two double beds, a small television, and a table and chairs. Our only negative critique of the room was the lack of ventilation. One doesn’t normally pair “hot” with Ireland but we were there in August, typically one of its warmest months. There was no air-conditioning, which is certainly not uncommon for Europe, and although the windows did open, the hotel was located near a residential area which was somewhat noisy at times. On our third night there, we contacted the front desk asking for a fan, and while it was only a small desk-top size one (most likely from someone’s office quarters), it did offer some white noise. We were greatly appreciative of the hotel staff’s willingness to accommodate us.
The hotel did have an on-site restaurant where we dined at two times for breakfast. We found that the full Irish breakfast was definitely worth the money, for in addition to your plate of eggs, tomatoes, toast and meats, you could also partake in the continental breakfast buffet offerings, all for 11.50 euros. One day we had just the continental breakfast and at only 2 euros less than the full Irish breakfast, it seemed somewhat of a rip off.
Were I to return to Dublin in the future I probably wouldn’t select the Grand Canal Hotel again, simply preferring to stay closer to the sights in the city center. However, considering the incredible rate we secured by booking the air and hotel together, I really can’t complain.
Grand Canal Hotel
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4