“There is nothing great about the Great Southern Dublin Airport Hotel”

Guest Post by Courtney.

This is a phrase that I coined early on in our trip when we really discovered how wonderful our hotel in Ireland was….

Granted, any hotel with a name like The Great Southern Dublin AIRPORT Hotel, is not going to be the most expensive or best accommodation. In fact, it was the cheapest to be found rated at three and a half stars, so we took our chances….

First, we get to the Dublin airport and find that while the hotel is on the grounds of the airport, you must take one of the hotel’s free mini shuttle buses from the front of the airport. Okay, that sounded reasonable. The same was true of the Clarion hotel located on the grounds of the airport, just across the street from our hotel.

Here begins our tale of why our hotel stay was not great:

1. We get to the little waiting area the hotels share in common for their shuttles to pick up passengers…Yet, our shuttle says “CG Hotel” on the side, with small letters underneath reading: “Formerly, the Great Southern Dublin Airport Hotel.”

—Okay, so while the website and information inside the airport says differently, the Hotel has changed its name?

2. We get to the hotel only to find that the building also still reads “The Great Southern Dublin Hotel,” along with all of the papers and things inside.

—Hmm, strange, very strange. We never got an explanation on what the actual name of our hotel was.

3. The lobby was nice, with lots of pictures of their upscale restaurant, conference room, and people enjoying these aspects of the hotel.

—Well, just walk into the hallway on the second floor to find stained carpet that was either very poorly installed or is very old, coming off the floor in corners and creating little mounds here and there.

4. We wanted to have an extra bed in our room, but accidentally ordered a cot, which in Ireland means a baby crib. So, upon discovering this mix up, the hotel said they would bring up an extra bed.

—Yeah, that happened when we called the front desk and reminded them the next day that we needed one (having stayed at my friends the night before anyways). Plus, they still charged us for having the extra bed the night that we didn’t actually posses it.

5. The room itself was not great, what I expected for the price, but not so wonderful to look out the huge glass window in the room to see a parking lot and industrial buildings for the airport.

—At night you could hear announcements from the airport, garbled enough by distance to be unintelligible, but just loud enough to keep you up.

6. What they don’t tell you before you book this hotel as travelers wanting to see more of Ireland than this international airport, is that the sojourn from the hotel to downtown Dublin is a half hour on the Airlink bus that goes directly from the airport to downtown. It is 45 minutes or longer on the city buses which make a lot of local stops.

—Now, a half hour is the shortest time it will take you to get downtown when the airport’s free shuttle actually comes every 15 minutes like it says. Which, well, it doesn’t.

7. We noticed a few nights into our stay that when we returned to the room and it had been cleaned that our hotel’s cleaning staff had a very interesting idea of what a clean bathroom should be.

—Not only did they fail to properly display the tag that informed us we should use our towels more than one day and leave dirty ones in the tub to be cleaned (I found it buried under our extra roll of toilet paper and just on top of a stack of sanitary disposal bags right before we checked out yesterday) but they left us four body washes. Two of one color, and two of another. Not shampoo or conditioner, but two different kinds of body wash?

—The most intersting element, instead of just folding the first facial tissue in the box to have a point easy to grab, they took out 4 to 6 tissues, and then shoved them precariosly back into the box. Was this supposed to be decorative? What I found was that it made it incredibly difficult to get only one tissue. You grab the one you think is on top of the shoved in pile, and you get at least three. Plus, all I could think was that someone else had already handled these tissues.

8. Having this wonderful restaurant in the hotel should be wonderful…except the prices. The cheapest breakfast was 15 Euro, and a full Irish Breakfast cost 19 Euro. Meals that cost 5 to 10 Euro at normal restaurants.

—Not to mention the restaurant isn’t open on Sundays or Mondays. Guess they just want to promote their over priced room service.

9. Internet. The hotel advertises that it has internet access that you can use on your laptop or tv.

—Yep, failed to mention it costs 8 Euro an hour, or 20 Euro a day. The city is populated with internet cafes that do much better on prices, but they have you because your computer is still sitting at the hotel, and the buses stop running to the airport at a certain time every night.

10. Travel. The buses stop running to the airport at around 10:20 to 10:50 at night. So, does that mean the every 15 minute shuttle, explained as a 24 hour-a-day service, should not run as much either?

—Apparently the answer is yes. The shuttles at night came almost every half hour. One night, the shuttle dropped someone off, on the fly, and was just going to keep on going back to the hotel. It was good that we were able to flag it down, or we would have had to wait another half hour. The next night, the shuttle took the longest it ever had. We were waiting out in the wet cold, where it was cold enough to see your breath. When the driver finally came, he said “Sure is cold out.” All I could think was: yeah, sure is….especially while waiting for you!

So, basically, don’t stay at CG/The Great Southern Dublin Airport Hotel unless you are just going to be in the area of the airport. It takes too much time to get to and from the hotel to make it practical to travel to Dublin every day. While I did enjoy my stay in Ireland, I would do it differently next time.

Just spend the extra money, you will thank yourself later.

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