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North Star Hotel Good value for Dublin shopping and shows at the O2
North Star Hotel (Dublin)
Member Name: duchy
North Star Hotel (Dublin)
Advantages: Location, Cost, Great staff
Disadvantages: None really
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.
Summary: A great choice for a short break in Dublin at a reasonable price.