Our plan for our final night in Dublin was to stay at the Holiday Inn Express near to the airport, which I booked a few days before. I then had a slight suspicion that the hotel was shut, something which transpired to be the case when I e-mailed the hotel to confirm. However, they had a plan and it was a plan that I thought was a first rate one (indeed, a cunning plan), namely that they’d just transfer our booking to the Crowne Plaza hotel next door. This is a far better hotel in the IHG hierarchy and they pledged to match the rate. The hotels are owned by the same operator, so it likely made sense to get as many bookings as possible and just put them in the better of the two locations.
It took us about one hour and forty minutes to get to the hotel from the city centre, not including the meal at McDonald’s en route. We decided to walk the five or so miles as the bus situation was just all too complex.
The check-in process was all efficient and well managed, with the staff member mentioning that we’d get free breakfast, something which I had suspected wouldn’t be offered as it isn’t usually in the room rate. However, without my needing to argue, the hotel had honoured the free inclusive breakfast that was offered by Holiday Inn Express, so all was well.
The entrance to our floor from the lifts, all very decadent.
Modern and comfortable, the bathroom also had a separate shower and bath, which isn’t a usual set-up. The room was also spotlessly clean and I could find nothing to complain about (not that I was particularly looking for things to be grumpy about). There were bottles of sparkling and still water available, and Liam cracked open the lemonade he had been traipsing about all weekend (I have no idea why he had been saving that as if it was a fine craft beer).
I always like a hotel that has my name on the television screen. I accept that I need to get out more though….. The hotel was also deadly quiet which is really quite lovely before a flight, with no internal or external noise. There was also air conditioning which was effective at keeping the room cool, with the windows opening as well so that it didn’t feel too sterile.
The breakfast room in the morning, all quite grand. For those used to luxury hotels, such as my friend Richard, this is nothing special, but it’s a considerable improvement to what I usually have…..
The breakfast options, the hot food on the right and the cold options at the back and on the left. There were plenty of hot food options, with the bacon being suitably crispy which is ideal for me. There was a chef behind the counter as well if any guest wanted an omelette or something.
The cold meats and cheeses, always my favourite section of a breakfast set-up.
I’ve never seen honey like this at a breakfast buffet, which is more testament to my predilection for budget hotels I think….
There is much more choice than in the Holiday Inn Express that we had booked, so I felt that this was a very handy little upgrade.
The breakfast I went for, with the presence of one of my favourites, white pudding. The only slight issue here is that the tables were quite cluttered, but that was mainly because I kept getting more plates and drinks.
The photo doesn’t really show, but the muffins are also somewhat better than I’m used to. I’m easily pleased.
The reviews for the hotel are pretty good, although not as high as I would have expected. This is part of one of my favourite reviews:
“So in the space of 24 hours two security guards and and a cleaner were in the room without notice. We spent the rest of our stay waiting for the alarm to go off again or Basil Fawlty to come in to check the walls.”
Some reviews complain of grumpy and indifferent staff, but I thought that the service was friendly and engaging throughout.
Fortunately, as we didn’t fancy a forty minute walk to the airport in the morning before our flight, there was a free hotel shuttle service operated by the hotel. I had worried, as I am wont to do, that it would be full, until seeing that the hotel owns a coach rather than a minibus. The service goes nearly every half hour, from as early as three in the morning.
And here we are on board, ready for the ten-minute shuttle trip back to Dublin Airport, marking the end of a really rather lovely weekend break.
As a hotel stay, this was a marvellous way to end the trip and I consider that we were very fortunate to be switched from Holiday Inn Express to Crowne Plaza. Absolutely no problems, and I’d happily stay here again if the opportunity arose.