Newest Review: ... shower although looking a bit antiquated, delivered the goods! The towels were not large but were soft and plentiful. The main problem ... more
The Sky(lon)'s the limit! Skylon Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin.
Dublin Skylon Hotel (Ireland)
Member Name: GillMN
Dublin Skylon Hotel (Ireland)
Date: 24/03/09, updated on 27/06/09 (270 review reads)
Advantages: Great staff. Central. Not expensive.
Disadvantages: Some parts shabby. Not clean enough.
The desk staff were friendly and efficient and soon gave us our keys and a breakfast voucher.
I had requested a smoking room and was allotted one on the third floor.
The room keys were a plastic pass and worked perfectly first time. (Either that or I was stone cold sober enough to work out which way they went in!)
My room was a fair size with a very comfortable double bed, built in wardrobes, a desk, table and easy chair, the carpet was patterned but a bit on the dusty side.
There was a small wall mounted tv which had seen better times. It had no remote control and I was too lazy to go down to reception to ask for one. However, with a bit of fiddling and twiddling I managed to get a decent selection of channels. I frightened the life out of myself and possibly guests in adjoining rooms, when I accidentally turned the tv to full volume and couldn't seem to get it lower for ages.
My windows only opened a few inches and overlooked an uninspiring series of yards and back gardens plus the roof and pipework of some of the extended ground floor of the hotel. The positive side of this less than scenic view was the quietness it afforded. Apparently there was a lot of road noise on the other side of the hotel.
The bathroom was quite small and contained one of those funny three quarter sized baths with a shower. There was a loo and a decent sized handbasin with the obligatory toiletries and shower caps. Two sparklingly clean glasses were set at the side of the basin. No flannel was provided.
The bathroom was very clean but the doors were dusty.
The shower was powerful and hot and I really enjoyed it. There is nothing worse than finishing a day's work and getting into a shower that meanly dribbles sparse amounts of cool water over you! This shower although looking a bit antiquated, delivered the goods!
The towels were not large but were soft and plentiful.
The main problem with the bathroom was the incredible noise that the extractor fan made! It was like a steam train waiting at a station. It wasn't possible to use the light without the fan, so going to the loo late at night must have disturbed guests in the adjoining rooms. I would not have been happy if this din was happening in the room next to mine. (I wasn't too ecstatic about it going on in mine!)
The lobby of the hotel was spacious and very comfortable. There were a lot of couches and easy chairs arranged around tables. A tv was on in one corner for those who wanted to watch. The noise from it was not obtrusive if you felt like just sitting and chatting.
The tv in the adjoining hotel bar lagged five seconds behind which was strange, sitting where we were one evening you could hear everything twice!
The bar was quite large and busy. The staff were attentive and didn't keep you waiting long to be served.
There was a good range of food to be bought in there which looked appetising. I can't comment on it because we didn't eat any evening meals in. I never got round to looking at the restaurant menu.
The breakfast/dining room was spacious and airy. It had the strangest light fittings I have seen. They were chandeliers enveloped in a peach coloured cover. Very odd!
The breakfasts were large, well cooked and served quickly. There was a choice of fruit, juices and cereals to start, laid out for you to help yourself to. The coffee and tea were self serve too. The coffee was overbrewed and not pleasant but the tea was okay. There was a rotary toaster which actually worked and delivered your toast quickly and cooked properly. (Usually the damned things either incinerate your toast or deliver it uncooked after making you wait for ages as the bread is trundled around it's insides.)
The big problem for me about the dining room was the fact that the carpets still had the remnants of last night's dinners adorning them. The room was simply not hygeinic enough for a dining room! We called the attention of a waiter to a mess of chips on the floor and he apologetically and rapidly removed them. There were a lot of crumbs and food bits. To be fair, the cutlery and plates were spotless but the debris on the floor made us uneasy and we chose not to eat in the hotel except at breakfst time.
To get breakfast the second day I had to go to reception for another voucher which made me feel like I was applying for free school meals.
There was a computer and printer situated at a desk near reception. I think it cost about 10 euro per hour. There was also wifi reception in the lobby area provided free. The computer internet connection was speedy.
There were conference rooms and a fitness room available, neither of which I got a chance to use or view.
Outside there is a heated area with tables and chairs for smokers were you could sit and watch foolhardy pedestrians trying to cross the very busy Drumcondra road. (If it wasn't for the courtesy of Irish drivers that would often be an impossible road to walk across. As it was, someone always slowed to allow folk to cross in one piece!)
From what I could see, there was easy wheelchair access throughout the hotel.
On the morning of the second day I opened my window and the top metal catch fell off, bounced off my head and scratched my arm quite badly as I reflexively tried to catch it! I was less than impressed at being attacked by bits of my hotel room at 5.45 in the morning! (Sometimes I wonder, in an egocentric sort of way, if I can go anywhere without something weird happening to me?) I rubbed the lump on my head and went for a shower. The throbbing of my bonce echoed and amplified by the extractor fan!
When I told the staff about this later, (and about the big hole in the wall cause by the door stopper not stopping the door handle crashing into the wall!) again they were most apologetic!
When we went to check out of the hotel the price of our breakfasts was deducted from our bill which made me fell a bit better about the place.
The Skylon is close to Dublin City centre and a five minute bus journey will bring you to O'Connell Street for 2.20 euros. A taxi will cost about 12 euros. Or you can stroll in in about half an hour. It's a nice walk and you can admire the Georgian houses and many churches along the route.
It takes between 15- 30 minutes to the airport depending on the time of day. A taxi there cost about 16 euros. The hotel is happy to call one for you or you can get the bus there from outside.
Croke Park stadium is a ten minute walk and the screams of the crowds there are plainly audible if there is a big sporting event on. (It is quite funny to listen to, you can tell who is winning without needing to be there!)
Across the road is a selection of shops, pubs and restaurants. Our particular favourite was the Cheese Pantry which served delicious meals and had a fantastic range of cheeses and delicacies to buy from the shop at the front of the dining area. Don't miss this place. There are at least three other restaurants immediately opposite the hotel and all of them serve good food.
The seafood chowder in the pub is delicious and a bargain at 5 euro for a big bowl full.
This is a nice enough hotel which is suffering from financial cutbacks. The lack of adequate upkeep of the fabric of the hotel was obvious everywhere except for the rather nice lobby. Routine maintenance work and adequte cleaning was not being performed where needed. The rooms were showing signs of wear and tear ranging from holes in the wall to scuffed or torn wallpapaper.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. If they could help in any way they did so. They went a long way towards redeeming the hotel in my opinion. They took our complaints, observations and requests for information or help seriously. I wish all hotel staff were this good because I have found many hotel staff in Dublin to be jaded and indifferent.
It's a good location and reasonably priced. (Particularly if your employer is picking up the tab!) I wish the staff had a hotel they could be more proud of and that they deserved.
Update. 27/06/09 The Skylon has had a lot of refurbishment done and the halls and rooms are considerably smarter, new carpets in many of the rooms and very smart flat screen tv in mine. The place is looking up!
Summary: Let down by insufficient maintenance.
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