A great Hotel in the West End of Dublin
Best Western Ashling Hotel (Dublin)
Member Name: Matheson80
Best Western Ashling Hotel (Dublin)
Advantages: Decent priced rooms, well equipped, clean, modern
Disadvantages: Some poor service, food can be expensive.
The Ashling is a four star hotel in Dublin, situated at the west end of the city on Parkgate street. This is about a 5 min walk from Heuston Station, and the Luas tram line runs right by it, with a stop just a few minutes down the road. If you are flying into Dublin, the 'Airlink' bus service stops at Heuston station. Simply head north from the station stop, crossing a small bridge over the River Liffey and you are there.
It has a 100 space multi-story secure car park which costs extra per night, but since we didn't use this facility, I can't really comment on it.
Location for tourists:
Although the hotel is in the west-end of the city, is not hard to get into the centre, since the trams are very frequent and reliable (they can be a bit packed at times though). It's about a 10-15min ride into town from the nearest stop.
In the surrounding area there are quite a few tourist attractions within walking distance. Not five minutes away, there is the Collins Barracks National Decorative Arts & History Museum. It's also close to Phoenix park, and the Zoo within it. Plus, the Guinness factory & the IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art are also near-by. All are definitely worth a visit.
Inside the hotel:
The front foyer of the Ashling is fairly impressive. It is big and spacious, with high ceilings, and a large front desk, and lots of black sparkly tiles on the floor. To your left is the Chesterfields Brassiere, their restaurant, which also doubles up as their breakfast area, and to your right is the Iveagh Bar. There are quite a few sofas and arm chairs to sit at, and all the décor is stylish and modern. There is often a doorman during the day to open the front door for you.
Our check-in was fairly quick, and we were given two key-cards for our room, though we weren't offered assistance with our bags. The double room we were given was clean, and attractive, with a large floor to ceiling window taking up one wall. For a 'superior' room we thought it was a bit on the small side, with the large king-size bed taking up most of the floor space (it was very comfy). Otherwise the room was well equipped, all the furniture was modern, and styled in a dark wood finish. There was a decent sized desk area, with a large well illuminated mirror behind it, with plenty of plugs in the area. The TV was an approx. 32" flat screen, with a selection of Irish and BBC Northern Irish channels, alongside the normal news channels. Watch some Gaelic football or hurling on the TV some time...its mental! Under the TV was a stand with a kettle, and a selection of tea/coffee/milk/sugar etc. plus some biscuits, and a small safe underneath all that.
The room was warm, and heating was provided by manual controlled air conditioning. Our unit was pretty noisy, and had a funny squeak, but we didn't do anything about it. There is free WIFI available, which was slow compared to what I have at home, but it was fine for checking emails and browsing website on our laptop. If you ever have problems connecting to it, check to see if the password has changed since you got one, as they update it every few days it seems.
The bathroom was nice and clean, with a modern wall hung toilet and basin, some toiletries, a decent size bath with a powerful shower, and a rather large clunky wall mounted hair dryer, which kind of resembled a cyberman.
Our room was serviced daily, and towels were also replaced daily, also the toiletries were replaced if they were starting to run out. Also provided, were menus for the bar & restaurant, as well as the room service menu. If you were looking for some tourist info, there was a folder with various tourist attractions, along with useful numbers you may need.
Eating at the hotel:
We never actually got a chance to dine at the Chesterfield restaurant, given that there are so many placse to eat in Dublin. The menu there looked good, but it was fairly expensive. Most main courses varied from Euro18-30, but then in Dublin, eating out is rarely cheap.
We did dine at the Bar a couple of nights, and the food here was a bit more reasonable @ Euro10-20 per main course. The food provided here was of good quality, I had a really nice steak & ale pie on my first night. However the service within the bar area was not as good as I was hoping: the staff seemed at times inattentive, and food was pretty slow to come. I think they forgot our order one time, and just made a few excuses as to why it was delayed, but of course, I can't prove that! To be fair, it was always very busy, but I wasn't impressed.
If the service at the bar was disappointing, the breakfast service more than made up for it. The breakfast times were pretty long, starting from before seven if I remember (I was never up that early!) to eleven am. There was a choice of a cold or hot breakfast. The cooked breakfast was Euro12 per person, which is pretty expensive, but by this point you just have to accept this in Dublin. Apart from the price, the food in the mornings was very good. There was an impressive array of popular cooked items to suit any fry-up combination you wanted, along with cereals, cold meats, fruit, cereals, and some lovely fresh baked goods. We rarely needed to have much for lunch after filling up here in the mornings. Its funny how my regular bowl of cereal at home becomes a three course meal when its a nice buffet breakfast!
Both the restaurant, and the bar areas look very impressive, and luxurious, with glossy black tiled floors, and modern décor.
Other features on offer at the hotel included meeting rooms, which we never used, and a couple of pay per use PC's with printer access. We did use the printers as my partner was presenting at a conference, and although I cant remember how much it cost, it was pretty expensive per page.
Should you stay here?
Overall, I was pretty happy with our stay it the Ashling. Its west end location meant the traffic nearby wasn't too busy or noisy, plus were found it very easy to get to and from the airport via the Airlink bus stop nearby. In general the hotel was of high quality, looked impressive, and was well looked after. My main gripe, as I mentioned earlier was the rather poor service we got on more than one night at the bar. Other than that, I would certainly stay there again, and would recommend it to others who fancy a short stay in Dublin.
Summary: A lovely stay, with some slightly dodgy service from the bar.