Newest Review: ... the two of us for a week’s stay in a basic B&B room. Here we would be getting a complete apartment with 2 bedrooms. Even at the full ... more
Luxury and space at affordable prices
Shandon Hall Apartments (Dublin)
Member Name: jammaker49
Shandon Hall Apartments (Dublin)
Date: 03/07/03, updated on 03/07/03 (195 review reads)
Advantages: Spacious, clean and comfortable, Affordable
Disadvantages: About half an hour from Dublin centre if it's the night life you are after
I asked Google to find me some accommodation in the Dun Laoghaire area, and then duly sent off a dozen or more emails to likely looking places, including one or two self-catering establishments. Several replied, some unable to offer us accommodation for the dates we required, some which could offer us B&B terms, plus this one which really caught my eye.
Mr. Michael Walsh, the owner of several self-catering apartments, emailed me back, saying that he did not have a one bedroomed apartment available for the dates we requested, but could offer us a two bedroomed one for the cost of a one bedroomed flat! There was also a web site which I could visit, and he gave me his office phone number, and his mobile number.
Obviously the next thing was to check out the website!
INFORMATION FROM THE WEB SITE
First of all the site was very clear, and easy to follow, with all the information you would need to make a quick decision. It gave the locations of the various establishments where properties were available for rent, of which there were several, all in the general Dun-Laoghaire vicinity. The one we had been offered was at Shandon Hall, Monkstown, so obviously that was the one I was most interested in, although I did take a peek at the others too.
Maps were included on the site, which anyone unfamiliar with the area would definitely need. We have been in the area before, so had a good general idea where to find the block we were being offered.
There were photographs included of both interi
or and exteriors of all the different apartments, although personally I don’t think the photographs did the place we finally stayed in justice.
Also included was a whole host of facts about the facilities provided at each location, including local shops, facilities within each apartment, secure booking and many more.
Finally came the price list for the various apartments which I reproduce in full from the site itself.
Apartment Weekly Rate Per Extra Night
S4 € 580 € 83
S5 € 480 € 69
S6 € 580 € 83
M18 € 580 € 83
M1 € 450 € 65
H12 € 580 € 83
B37 € 580 € 83
C26 € 580 € 83
We were being offered the S6 apartment at the S5 rate, which worked out at approximately £360 for the week. We could easily pay that for B&B for the two of us for a week’s stay in a basic B&B room. Here we would be getting a complete apartment with 2 bedrooms. Even at the full rate of 580 Euros, for a family of 4 it would still be pretty good value.
My husband and I discussed at length whether or not to do the self-catering bit rather than our usual B&B, and finally decided to go for it. I telephoned Mr. Walsh at about 9.00 p.m. one night, and within a few minutes the apartment was booked. We were given a reference number to quote on the secure deposit booking site, and ten minutes later I had submitted the 100 Euros deposit required. The following day an email was received, including a receipt for the amount deposited, and detailed explanations of where to pi
ck up the keys.
Now all that remained to do was book the flights with Ryanair, reserve a hire car with Hertz, and we were all set.
One week before going, I emailed the flight details and probable time of arrival, and received a reply giving us detailed information of the route to the apartments. In the event, we used our own tried and trusted route, avoiding the centre of Dublin, and a very detailed road map of Dun Laoghaire which we had picked up on a previous visit.
Let me begin with our journey. We took the train for once to Gatwick, and our flight was only 5 minutes late. Wonders will never cease, especially as this was a Bank Holiday Saturday! We arrived in Dublin in the rain (nothing new there) and went straight to the Hertz Car Hire place, to pick up our car. Hubby was delighted to find it was a Rover MG, with only 8 miles on the clock!
Once the luggage was stowed away we set off, out of the airport, on to the M1, to pick up the M50. This is the Dublin equivalent of the M25 around London. Mileage wise, it is further than driving straight through Dublin, but time wise, most definitely quicker! If you have ever tried negotiating the roads through the centre of Dublin, you will completely understand that last comment! How the Mad Cabbie can stand driving there beats me! (Sorry Ken! )
One thing about taking this route, is to be sure to have 1 Euro 30 cents handy for the toll across the river Liffey. They aren’t too keen on sorting out change for the Euro notes which most of us arrive there with!
At the end of the M50, which is scheduled to go right round Dublin to meet up with the N11, but as yet is unfinished, we picked up the R113 which took us almost to the end of Monkstown Road. If you miss the R113 (which it is easy to do as the road signs are not always where you think they should be), you can make for Stillorgan and then Blackrock, and pick up the N11 there.
n Monkstown Road, Shandon Park was the second turning on the right, and Shandon Hall was there in front of us. There was more than ample parking in the grounds, and parking in the road outside the residence was no problem if the grounds became full.
We entered the premises, climbed the one flight of stairs and entered our home for the next week.
WHAT WAS THE APARTMENT LIKE?
The first word that came to mind when we entered was SPACE! Being used to having one room in a B&B, we had so much space here! The first stop for us was the kitchen to get the kettle on, so I’ll start my tour of the apartment there.
In the kitchen, there was a full sized electric cooker and hob with a fan hood to remove the steam. A fridge freezer stood in one corner, whilst a washing machine/tumble dryer nestled underneath the work surface. There was a microwave, electric kettle and toaster, all the pots and pans you could possibly need, good quality crockery and cutlery and more than ample glasses of various sizes. In one of the drawers I found boxes of cling film and aluminium foil, and a roll of small bags which could be used in the small rubbish bins that were found in each room, or as sandwich bags. Underneath the sink was a full box of washing powder, washing up liquid, floor cleaner etc., and washing up sponges and brushes were in a box behind the sink. There was a round table in one corner, and four chairs to go round it. The swing bin already had a black bin liner in it. In fact, apart from a few groceries, everything was provided, including various staple items, like salt, pepper, sugar and Ketchup.
On then to the lounge. We had a comfortable settee, which could seat 3 with relative ease, plus a matching armchair. A coffee table sat in the centre of the room, and there was a television with cable channels, and a video machine. Both of these worked perfectly. Centre stage was a beautiful Conemara Marble fireplace with polished wood s
urround. Leading out from the lounge was a balcony containing a small table and 4 garden chairs. The sun was full on this in the mornings, (yes, even in Ireland!) and we sat out there in privacy to drink our breakfast cuppas to soak up the sunshine. The balcony was not overlooked, and faced out onto a very nice garden. There was also a telephone, which could be used, attached to a meter, which showed the cost of each call made.
As previously stated, we had 2 bedrooms. One of these had twin beds and an en-suite toilet and shower. The other contained a double bed. In both bedrooms there was more than enough storage space, and I have to say that all the beds were very comfortable: a necessity in my view! Both bedrooms looked out to the front of the building, but the noise of the passing traffic along Monkstown Road was far enough away so as to be unintrusive.
As well as the en-suite shower room, we also had another bathroom with toilet and bath, with a shower over the bath. Obviously, with only the 2 of us, this was luxury indeed! Nobody knocking on the door just as you get in the bath, asking to use the loo! As it happens, I prefer a bath and hubby prefers a shower, so we had one each!
In the airing cupboard, there were 4 bath towels and 4 hand towels, all beautifully clean. The water heater utilised night heating, and there was a 2 hour booster button if you needed extra hot water during the day.
There was also a cupboard containing a vacuum cleaner, ironing board and iron, brooms, buckets and mops, an airer, dustpan and brush, (apart from a quick dive round with the vacuum cleaner we didn’t utilise most of these!) and a couple of extra chairs should they be needed.
Throughout the apartment there were many radiators and night storage heaters, so the place would not be cold even if you were to stay there in the dead of winter. We had no use of them thankfully!
Above the door of the bathroom was an electric me
ter, which clearly showed the amount of electricity you had used, and also the cost, both of daytime and night-time electricity used.
SO DID WE ENJOY OUR STAY?
Emphatically YES. Mr. Walsh phoned us on the Monday morning to see if we had settled in, and to see if there was anything else we needed. His office was just down the road at another apartment complex, and if we had needed anything, such as replacement black bags, we could pop in at any time and get them. He also had a library of books and videos should we have wanted them.
Most of the time we either ate out, or went round to our friends’ house, although I did cook one dinner during our stay. If I’m on holiday I don’t intend cooking and washing up!
Just down the road there was a convenient Spar shop for any essentials, (although we did our one shop of the week at the main shopping complex in Dun-Laoghaire) and a video hire shop, as well as numerous restaurants of all persuasions in Monkstown Village itself, which was a delightful little place. Just 200 yards away was the seafront and Seaport DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) station, but I can’t say I ever heard the trains from where we were.
On the final morning, Mr. Walsh asked us what time we would be leaving, and arrived shortly before 11 a.m. to read the meters. We paid 15 Euros for the week’s electricity and phone usage.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
I suppose the best recommendation is to ask the question would I go back there. In this case, I would most certainly go back to Shandon Hall. It worked out no more expensive than B&B for the 2 of us for a week’s stay, and just having the amount of space we had would persuade me to go back. The proprietor was friendly, courteous, and nothing was too much trouble. It is far enough outside Dublin for those who don’t particularly want to party day and night, yet near enough to be easily accessible. And it was a gr
eat base from which to explore the wonderful countryside in that part of the world.
I do know that the next time we go to the Dublin area, Shandon Hall would be my first choice of accommodation. I was only sorry we had to come home!
Contact: Michael J. Walsh, 6 Lower Mounttown Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin,
Telephone: + 353 (1) 280 7797
Mobile: + 353 (87) 270 76 78
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