For the last couple of months I have been enjoying staying every couple of weeks at this Express Holiday Inn for the bargain price of 44 Euro. pppn. I find it convenient sometimes to stay over in Dublin if my flights home are at unsocial hours or if I just need a day's rest after a long stint of work. The hotel is five minutes away from Dublin airport and the hotel run a regular free shuttle bus or will call a taxi for you if the shuttle bus times don't suit. The shuttle bus driver is a helpful soul and can give loads of information about the local area.
The hotel is situated alongside it's sister hotel The Crowne Plaza, which is a bit posher and has a great restaurant and coffee bar to relax in. Both front on to a lovely lake and park in Santry Demesne. Closer to the entrance of the demesne is a handy restaurant called Mandalay. I think the hotel would be hard to find without the directions that are given when booking online and a sign near the entrance to the Demesne would make life a bit easier for 'weary travellers'.
Next to the hotel is a high rise car park for residents of both hotels. I think it cost seven euros per night, payable in reception. It's certainly a convenient place to leave your car and is well lit. The car park has good wheelchair access, as does the hotel.
Entering the hotel the reception desk is on the left. First impressions of the entrance lobby are of an airy uncluttered space. The reception clerks here are unfailingly courteous and helpful. Check in takes about two minutes and room access is by key cards. Last time I was there I asked how much extra it would be to check out at 2pm instead of the required 12noon. I was delighted to be told that there would be no extra charge, which meant I could relax in my room instead of finding ways of wasting ime at the airport! They even checked with me that I had remembered to book in online for my flight the next day!
It is possible to book a smoking room if there are any available. All the public areas in the hotel are non smoking. (There is a sheltered area outside if you want to have a smoke.)
The reception clerks are happy to answer details about the area, will check flight times etc. They also double up as bar staff on the pleasant little bar that adjoins the end of the reception desk.
The bar lounge is a quiet, comfy area to meet with coleagues or friends, perhaps to have a pre dinner drink. The decor is nothing striking but it is all clean and well kept.
The area to the back of the lounge is the breakfast room. This is quite a long area with the tables fairly close together. Again, this area is well lit and welcoming.
To the right of the entrance are some comfortable chairs and sofas to read or wait on. There is a small area furnished with a long desk and two computers for free internet access. The access is fast and painless. On one occasion I stood to quickly check an eMail and one of the staff immediately and unasked whisked up with a chair for me. I like the fact that the staff were paying attention to my comfort, I find these small attentions consistent throughout my stays here, no matter who is on duty! It is one of the reasons I go back. Twice now I have forgotten to pack small toiletry items and have been provided with toothbrush and paste and once a comb, free, by the obliging reception staff.
A Room with a view.
The accomodation floors are accessed by lifts in the centre of the lobby. Or stairs to the right if you feel the need of exercise.
I have stayed in a few of the rooms over time and have found them to be spacious and very clean. No dust lingers around the edges of the carpet or on the furniture. The beds are large and extremely comfortable. Extra bedding is stored in the wardrobe should you need it. There is no trouser press but an iron and board can be provided if you want one. (The service is fast if you ask for anything like this.) Storage is ample with decent sized open type wardrobes. Plenty of 'built in' hangers are provided. There wasn't a large enough space to place my case on for unpacking so I had to make do with lugging it on and off the bed. There was a raised platform next to the wardrobe but my large case wouldn't fit on it. I suspect most cases would. A couple of times I have had a room with a lovely view over the park lake and woodland. Occasionally I've been able to view the less inspiring car park and roads etc. (Nothing ugly in the area to overlook though, it's a pleasant place.)
The rooms are bright with abstract art on the walls. At one end of the room is a desk and TV. the position of the tv is movable if you want to watch it when you're in bed. The remote is kept in a little rack nearby which also contains menus and information, etc. The Televsion had numerous free channels and some 'payed for' movie channels. It wasn't a large flat screen tv but it was adequate for my needs. (I tend to lie on the bed like a zombie and watch 'Police, Camera, Action.' type rubbish, till all hours!) It is possible to get internet connection over your tv and there is a keyboard provided on the desk. I have not used this facility.
The TV remote control is easy to use and didn't have me wanting to hurl it out of the window in frustration with it's space age technology! More to the point though, it was actually there! I've lost count of the amount of times I have sorted myself out and got ready to relax and watch a bit of telly only to discover that there was no remote because some fool had pinched it! (Whoever you are, Blooming well stop pinching them! They are no use to you anyway!)
There is a hair dryer attached to the side of the wardrobe. It works by trigger pressure which is a bit tiresome but it prevents people from wasting electricity or burning the hotel down. (I'll vote for that!)
The room key card needs to be slotted into a holder at the side of the door to activate any electrical fittings. This saves a lot of electricity too and sensibly prevents us from leaving all the lights on when we leave the room. I like that.
The windows at the far end of the room are spotless and will open for fresh air if you want some ventilation. It is also possible to adjust the heating/air conditioning by using the little control box just outside the bathroom door.
A room with a loo!
All the rooms at the Holiday Inn Express are En-Suite. The bathroom is compact with one of those doors that does dual purpose as the loo door too. Clever bit of space saving that! The sink is of a reasonable height with room at the side for your toiletries. (If, unlike me, you have remembered them!) A dispenser to the side of the basin and one in the shower, provides Dove cream soap/shampoo. Along with numerous, but not overlarge towels, a face cloth is provided too.
No other toiletries are provided, so you can't amuse yourself trying all the various creams and potions because there aren't any except the Dove! (So hard luck to those naughty ones amongst us who like to pinch the unused ones!)
The shower is easily adjustable to whatever temperature you need and the water pressure is good. It doesn't strip your skin off like some high powered showers do, but it's certainly strong enough to wake you up!
Like many hotels nowadays, little cards in the bathroom beg you to consider the amount of energy wasted washing towels that don't need to be replaced every day. I am fine about using my towel for a couple of days but part of me wants the hotel chains to be honest and say "Apart from the ecological arguments it saves us loads of money too!" (The cynic in me thinks hotels are more concerned with that than saving the planet).
Breakfast is included with the cost of the room. It is served from 6.30 until 11am and is quite adequate. There is usually a choice of scrambled egg with bacon or sausage. Different cereals, fresh fruit and yoghurts, bread rolls and pastries, Edam or Gouda prepackaged cheese (not good!) Juices or cordials, I am not sure which, and tea or coffee. The coffee tastes a bit overbrewed to me so I stick to the tea. Breakfast is all help yourself, including one of those rolling toasters! (Don't get me started about these toasters! If you put your bread into them about fifteen minutes before you actually want to eat it, you should be okay!) Joking aside, the toaster here works (after a fashion) and you only have to put your bread through it twice. (which is possibly some kind of record!)
The breakfast is fairly good here and the staff work hard to keep the tables clean and tidy and make sure you have everything you need. Proper linen is used on the tables which is pleasant and they are set for you, which means that your breakfast doesn't go cold whilst you search for cutlery. (which in some hotels is mysteriously placed as far as possible away from the food as they can get it, without taking a bus!)
I haven't eaten an evening meal either here or in the lovely looking restaurant in the Crowne Plaza next door, so I can't help with any informatin about the quality and price of the meals. They look good to me but usually I just have a sandwich in my room and watch the telly.
Inn my opinion
Staying at the Express by Holiday Inn, Dublin, is a very pleasant experience.
The hotel is modern and welcoming. The rooms are spacious, the beds are very comfortable. I have never been disturbed by noise at night, the staff go out of their way to make sure you are well looked after. Room prices are very reasonable at the moment. It is very convenient for the airport and it is possible to get a bus or taxi into Dublin City easily. It is situated in a park which is lovely to stroll in and the breakfast staff will even give you leftover bits of bread to feed the ducks and swans with. Perfect! When I have been there I haven't been aware of any families staying so I can't say whether or not it's 'Family Friendly', it's certainly 'Human Being friendly' so I can't see why it wouldn't be.
Additional services include... Business Centre, Dry Cleaning, Internet Services, Currency Exchange, Fax/Photocopying, Wi-Fi/Wireless LAN, Free Wi-Fi Internet Access
Summary: A very useful and convenient place to stay near the airport.