Stayed here in 2011 for a long weekend.
We had a King Club Suite with a balcony, floor to ceiling windows, marble floors, massive bed and was extremely affordable. We found no faults with the room at all. The balcony allowed you a brilliant view of Dublin. Trains do pass very frequently but this never bothered us at all, whether you get used to it or they're just not that loud I don't know.
The hotel is located less than a ten minute walk from all the shopping and drinking areas of the city centre, if getting a taxi (there is a rank directly opposite) you will pay around 3 euros.
The spar shop on the corner is handy when you run out of things and not overly expensive.
Food in the hotels pub is nice, cheap and cheerful grub and did us fine. Smoking area is really nice, spacious and you almost forget you're outside - had our trip not been in November we definitely wouldn't have been so reminded we were outside (Dublin is COLD!!!!).
There's a few odd characters in close proximity, but this is expected everywhere and we weren't bothered by anyone.
Would stay here again without question.
After a couple of nights visiting Belfast our trip was finishing with a visit to Dublin. I wanted something central, non rowdy and reasonably priced.........a combination that can be a tall order for Dublin.
Our plans included sightseeing and tickets for a show at Dublin's O2 arena .
My eye was caught by the North Star hotel - Right opposite Conneley Station - so ideal as we were travelling down by train from Belfast and they even ran shuttle buses to the O2 .
Prices looked fine - not too expensive - until I found a special offer with hotels.com - I have no idea if it was a mistake or not but we grabbed the 35 euro rate for our standard room - and the rate was honoured.
We arrived and were delighted that we could actually see the hotel as soon as we stepped out of the railway station. No hunting for the hotel required. We entered the hotel and stepped into a reception area with a separate check in, concierge desk and some comfy chairs. So far so good....then we tried to check in ! We were informed we had only paid for one night and still needed to pay for the second. The receptionist was a bit abrupt and we were in a hurry so I told them I'd sort it out with them later (I knew we'd paid for both nights) as we had an appointment. This was the only encounter with a member of staff I found to be unsatisfactory -every other encounter was great and all the other staff were very helpful and friendly.
Our room was fine - clean - two comfortable beds (a double and a single although we had booked a twin room)-a decent if small bathroom , a small tv -really all you'd expect for a three star hotel in the city centre.
I went back to reception a couple of hours later and spoke to a different (and I think more experienced ) receptionist who told me the room was indeed prepaid for the two nights and she couldn't understand why the other girl had thought otherwise and apologized.
The hotel's location is about ten minute's walk from O'Connell Street and I'd describe the area as a bit run down but even when I popped out to the late night Spar shop nearby late at night I didn't feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way.
We were able to book the shuttle to the O2 for our concert at the desk and it made the night very easy. It was fun travelling with others going to the show and chat about it on the way back afterwards. From memory it was about 7 euros -not expensive for Dublin.
Broadband was available by the hour or day -and there was a PC available to use in the resident's lounge for those who needed a PC to connect. When my plans changed at the very last moment and I needed to print a new boarding card at 2am for an early morning flight the reception desk gave me a free ticket for the broadband so I could do on-line check in and print out the pass.
Breakfast (included only in some rates) was served in the basement-which sounds awful -but was actually a nice well appointed room -it's a flat rate buffet for around 10 euro and was excellent-lots of choice both full Irish and continental- and the most delicious soda bread. We ate towards the end of breakfast service and when I commented to the waitress that one of my favourite things about breakfast in Dublin was good soda bread -she came back five minutes later with more bread (and butter and jam packages) wrapped in foil me "As you'll be needing a snack later".
We had stayed in the fabulous Malmaison in Belfast before coming to Dublin but my companion commented that of the two she preferred the North Star as it was so friendly and homely.
The hotel has an airport service for 5 euros - the first service is very early -early enough to get me to Dublin airport in time for coffee and a roll at the airport before my 7 am flight so no expensive taxi required.
It's not a fabulous or swish hotel but it is a nice, clean, friendly and centrally situated hotel -ideal for shopping and sightseeing and just far enough away from Temple Bar that it doesn't attract the stag and hen parties.
I'd definitely consider staying here again.
While some women can't resist a pair of gorgeous heels, I am unable to ignore an email from a budget airline. I just have to have a little look to see whether there are any bargains to be had. The latest one to jump off my screen was a return flight from my local airport to Dublin for just £12.00. As usual, I reached for the debit card and turned my mind to the accommodation question later. I've visited Dublin before, about ten years ago now, so I knew that there is plenty of accommodation in the city. What I didn't know, however, was the in the intervening decade, Dublin has become horribly expensive (at least for Brits, Swedes probably think it's a real bargain!). I visited Cork a couple of years back and found eating out quite pricey but I was not prepared at all for the fierce Dublin prices. Even a double room in a hostel was on the steep side, assuming you could find one in a hostel that didn't advertise itself as being a great place to party. I also dismissed hotels that prided themselves on being in the thick of things in Temple Bar; handy yes, but also likely to be full of stag and hen parties and therefore noisy. A search through lastminute.com threw up the North Star Hotel, billed as a three star hotel and situated close to the city's main coach station and opposite Connolly train station. We were able to secure a price of £107 for a standard double room for two nights which was a decent saving on the hotel website's full price of approximately £126 .
I need to mention now that the hotel has several grades of accommodation and we chose the most basic. Next up the scale is "Executive" and after that "Premier Club". We were fully aware that although the hotel was billed as a three star, this could be as a result of consideration of all the grades of accommodation and the public areas and services, not just of the room we had chosen.
As we had booked through lastminute.com we didn't have any initial contact with the hotel but at the last minute I panicked and e-mailed the hotel to make sure they had details of our reservation. This was the evening before we were arriving which was quite late in the scheme of things but I was disappointed not to receive a reply. I would have thought that a hotel of this size would be able to respond to out of hours e-mails through
My first impression of the North Star was very favourable although I was secretly on the lookout for tell-tale signs that the hotel was "all fur coat and no knickers". I had already made up my mind that the hotel must be like that London budget hotel the "Regent Palace" which has a rather showy reception area but fades as soon as you get onto the staircases and plummets once you get into the rooms.
The hotel is typically Irish in appearance, looking like a large public house from the exterior. The hotel website says that the hotel was immortalised in James Joyce's "Ulysses" - I have to admit that I didn't read more than 20 pages of "Ulysses" so I'll have to believe them..
The concierge is based on street level, reception is on the floor above. In the street level lobby there were some rather nicely upholstered wing back chairs and a highly polished black wooden floor which gave the impression of some style and opulence.
Upstairs at reception the lighting was very dim (far too dim if truth be told) but I could make out some rococo style chairs upholstered with Dolly Mixture-coloured stripes and silver side tables. The carpet was an elegant grey colour with a swirly pattern, it was rather thick and squishy adding to the initial impression of comfort and style. Some other guests had just arrived and were told that they could check in after 2.00pm (it was just after 9.30) but were invited to leave their bags at the hotel in the meantime. They walked away from the desk and started to remove whatever they needed from their luggage at which point the receptionist looked at me and I said we had a reservation. "I am dealing with these people, please wait" she snapped at me. Clearly, I had misread her expectant look.
We returned at just after three to check in. As we were filling out the necessary paperwork (very little apart from our address, in fact) the floor began to shake and there was a sound not unlike a long, low roll of thunder - it was the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport - an overland train service) which passes right behind the hotel (if you have ever seen the animated film Belleville Rendezvous, that's how close the DART passes the building. It was like Arnold Ridley's "The Ghost Train"). The receptionist assured me it did not operate through the night. The porter brought our bags from storage and we were directed to our room on the second floor. Security at the hotel appears to be good. You can only enter the stairways to the floors with a keycard so you aren't going to get non-guests wandering the corridors. Our room was small - very small but it at least it was designed so that there was a small divide between the sleeping area and the door, which would reduce corridor noise. We had a small en suite bathroom with shower. We were very fortunate to be on the side of the hotel away from the DART, the room opposite us on our corridor was not so lucky.
It may have been small but we were staying for only two nights and didn't intend to spend much time in the room. We were pleased to see that there were loads of tea and instant coffee (less so when we realised the coffee was Maxwell House) and that there were more than enough little containers of milk and coffee creamer. While I would prefer a decent coffee, the abundance of packets in the room did mean we saved a bit of money.
Although I had nothing to put in them, I opened the drawers of the desk/dressing table at the end of the bed. There seemed to be a knack to closing them because once opened I couldn't get them to all be closed at the same time and at least one would stick out over the others. As I sat back to survey the nightmare I had unwittingly caused, I realised that the floor was not even and the wardrobe appeared to be tumbling towards me; thankfully it never did. It was then that I noticed the horrible splatter stain - possibly a cup of spilled tea or coffee - on the carpet. This set me on an inspection to ascertain how clean the room was. Lifting the toilet seat revealed a "little black hair"; running my finger along the window sill produced a black finger tip; a glance out of the window to check out the view alerted me to the fact that the calling card of several (perhaps one busy one) birds had been ignored when it could easily have been cleaned. Although the details were small, the sum total indicated that the rooms were not being cleaned to a high enough level.
Before going out I wanted to wash my face and hands. There was soap, shower gel and shampoo but not a single towel. After a quick call to reception there was a knock at the door and a male member of staff told me the towels would be a few minutes as they weren't ready yet. Five minutes later we were given two hand towels and two bath mats. The bath towels would be another five minutes. Although I didn't want a bath towel just then I waited because I was curious to see whether they would be delivered in five minutes as promised. They were. The problem was dealt with to my satisfaction but I do think we shouldn't have had to ask; when a room is promised for 2.00pm, I think it's not acceptable to be waiting for things like towels at 3.00pm.
A tiny colour television was perched on a bracket above the desk. My OH, who doesn't have the best eyesight, couldn't see it properly and moved to sit at the end of the bed nearer the TV which caused the bed to dip down precariously at that end. A larger bed wouldn't have fitted in the room, but the small double was really too small for two adults, especially one of them six feet two tall. (With a super-king size bed at home hotel beds usually feel small for us).
We did find the bed comfortable for sleeping, however, and the room temperature was fine at night. Although the windows were double glazed they still let a lot of traffic noise in. The traffic went on into the early hours and started up again quite early in the morning and while it didn't keep us awake, it might be a problem for light sleepers. The other issue was with noise coming from inside the hotel. There wasn't a great deal of it but it could have been reduced if the door closers were more effective and if the actual doors to the bedrooms did not need to be pulled hard to be closed.
We didn't have breakfast at the hotel; it was a buffet breakfast advertised at just a shade under Euro10. Another guest told me it was a good breakfast but we found a decent breakfast for half the price (admittedly without the choice and the option of going back for more) at a café nearby. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, neither of which we tried but, again, they appear to be standard for mid-range Irish hotels with a good number of non-residents visiting the bar in particular in the evening for the nightly entertainment.
The hotel also has meeting rooms and a gym and sauna; the latter are free to residents but must be booked in advance. Those people lucky enough to be staying in a Premier Club room also get to use the 7th Floor lounge which the hotel website says offers great views of the Dublin skyline - I can only dream...
Residents parking is at the rear of the hotel and seemed secure.
The hotel is about ten minutes walk from the heart of Dublin and five minutes walk from the Air Coach bus stop on O'Connell Street. Although the hotel did have some faults I thought it was worth the price we paid but wouldn't have wanted to pay much more for the grade of room we chose. We could have stayed nearer to the centre for around the same price but would likely have been staying somewhere less comfortable and much noisier. For no frills budget accommodation, the North Star is absolutely fine. I think they could up the attention to detail in the cleaning but other than that we had no major issues with the accommodation or the service.
I would expect that the higher graded rooms offer more space but possibly little more other than a better finish. For a short stay the cheaper rooms are perfectly adequate and I would recommend the North Star with the proviso that you should take pains to ensure you get a room away from that DART train!
My rating is based on a combination of quality, cost and location of the standard room only.
+353 1 836 3136