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Isaacs Hostel (Dublin)

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    8 Reviews
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      22.01.2005 13:40
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      I was searching through and was delighted to see that Isaac’s Hostel in Dublin City had it’s place here. However, I guess I have had a much better stay than some. I simply cannot fault one thing about Isaac’s, I have recommended it to many, and choose it for a lot of my stays when I do stop over in the city centre.

      Isaac’s is what only can be described as an old feel type of place. It is a renovated wine warehouse, with stone work outside, and old oak benches and tables inside in the reception/dining/meeting area. I have stayed here at least 10 times in the past 5 years, always renting out a twin or triple private room, so this is my point of view on the establishment.

      The hostel is defiantly my favourite, cheap and cheerful with plenty of entertainment from the other occupants. You will make friends, you will see a great city, and all for a great price.

      If you do stay here, there is an excellant pub just around the corner, directly across from the police station, which when you mention that you are staying at Isaac's, always have a lock in and include you in it. Their meals are also great, and staff are very, very friendly!

      *Booking*
      Isaac’s is so simple to book with. Deposits are required, and booking with a credit card is best if you don’t live near Dublin to call in yourself.

      - Website. Isaac’s have their own website, that you can use for booking as well as finding out any information that you need. This is how I usually book, and a confirmation is emailed. Alternatively, there are many Dublin tourist websites that you can book through.

      - Phone. You may book by phone, securing your room or rooms on your credit card.

      - Travellers Cheques can also be used.

      I have always found the people that deal with my booking to be very pleasant, answering any questions or queries I have quickly and efficiently. I will deal with the receptionists at a later time!

      *Price*
      All prices are in €uro, since that is Ireland’s national currency. Prices will vary, as they do in most places, depending on the time of year that you visit.

      Single – from €29.95 to €37
      Twin or Double – from €26.25 - €33
      Triple (3) – from €21.50 to €30
      Quad (4) – from €17.95 to €25
      6 – 10 bed room – from €12.75 to €20
      12 – 16 bed room - from €11.50 to €17.50

      *Bedrooms*
      Now I have seen the dorms, but never stayed in them. They are all bunk beds, with very little else in the room. As for my choice, I always book either a twin or triple room. None of the rooms have bathrooms, but when you book twin/triple, the rooms are split up. The room door is adjacent to another twin/triple, and the two rooms share a bathroom with shower. I have never had a problem with this, sometimes when we stay, there are no occupants in the other room and so we have the bathroom to ourselves.

      The rooms themselves consist of two or three single beds, kitted out with warm bedclothes for whatever the season, always very clean, and 1 or 2 pillows, with a spare in the wardrobe, which is very large – I know, because I’ve hid in them a few times, don’t ask.

      Every room that we have had is also equipped with a bedside table and litter bin, and a large window with a big window sill that you can sit on, looking out into the street, the DART line, or the alley at the front of the building.

      The beds are comfy, and I have never had any complaints really. The rooms are bright and airy, and nicely decorated.

      *Bathrooms*
      For the private rooms, as I have mentioned, there is one bathroom for every two or maybe three of the private rooms. This is a separate door located just beside the room, consisting of a toilet, washbasin and shower, with plenty of soap for washing your hands, and also a small tower for hand drying. You are advised to bring your own towels, although I think if you do forget them, you can pay a small charge and they’ll give you some.

      My friends and I, nosy as we are, had to have a look in the ‘dorm’ bathrooms. There are separate male and female on each floor, consisting of fairly standard toilet cubicles, and then shower cubicles. Hand basins were also lined against one wall. For some weird reason, there were plugs here too, so maybe if you wanted to electrocute yourself, this is where you go. Everything again looked very clean, with a cleaning rota on the wall up to date.

      *Hallways*
      I’m not sure how many floors Isaacs have, definatly 3 if not 4, as we always stay on the 2nd or 3rd. There are 58 rooms, and the hostel attracts a lot of younger people, who often get loud and rowdy as they return to the hostel after one, or ten, too many, so beware, you will hear a bit of noise if you are a light sleeper. The hall light stays on most of the night, and above most of the doors is a small window, so this again, may bother you.

      For some mad reason, some of the private rooms, about 2 or 3 on each floor, have what looks like those frosted cubey things for walls on one side, which is a bit weird really. You can make out the shapes of bodies the other side, so if you didn’t want one of those, I would mention it, although we’ve never gotten one. Also along the hallways are the stairs and male and female dorm bathrooms, and private ones.

      *Reception*
      This place always seems busy! You enter the hostel down an alley off the main road, it’s not secluded or unlit or anything, and so feels quite safe even late at night. There is a long entrance area, which is filled with long benches and tables, all dark oak on colour, with the reception desk down the end, usually manned by one or two people. After a few minutes delay until you check in, you receive your key card, and go behind the desk to the door leading to the stairs. Up goes to the bedrooms, down to the ‘cellar’ for left luggage and lockers.

      The people on reception have always been friendly towards me, and it’s handy with being open 24 hours. Sometimes you had to wait for one of them to appear, but otherwise it was good. Any queries or help that you need, you can easily ask them and they will help.

      The reception room doubles as a dining and meeting type place, there are tv’s, and at night people entertain themselves, with sing a long and music sessions often taking place nightly.

      *Kitchen*
      Isaac’s have a communal kitchen, which comprises of about 5 rows of hobs, sinks, and cupboards, and a couple of microwaves. Fridges were also on one wall, great for storing items to keep them cool. There are no ovens, much to the dismay of one German crowd, who hastily microwaved their pizza. My friends and I have often cooked here, finding that there were always plenty of utensils.

      There usually is also a great atmosphere, sharing ingredients with the various other people who are staying. Alcohol is also permitted in the dining area, which is the general seating area in reception. The kitchen must get cleaned at night too, as it’s always spick and span, although you are obviously expected to clear up your own mess.

      There is a restaurant, which according to the other guests was quite expensive, and a light breakfast is included in the price, if you get down between 8 and 10. I have never availed of this, although I hear I didn’t miss much really.

      *Check in / out *
      Check in times are from 2pm, and you are expected to check out before 12pm. For dorms, there is also a type of lock out that occurs from 11am and 2.30pm, to allow the cleaners in.

      Tough luck if you have a hangover, they will kick you out!!

      After 11pm, you are expected to show your receipt to get back in, although I will cover that in….

      *Security*
      As I just mentioned, at 11pm, the hostel places 2 very burly but lovely men on the door. To get back in, you need to show proof that you have a room, by means of a receipt that they give you. I think this is an excellent idea, and really makes you feel safe. They will also soon put you in line if you’re making a racket coming down the alley!

      Safe Deposit boxes are available for a small fee, and there is a left luggage cellar, again for a small fee – about €1 or so. For the bikers, you may also leave your bike if you wish to stroll about the City, or simply park up for the night.
      Key Cards are needed to gain entry to the rooms both behind reception and to your room, so this is also a great feature. All in all, I always feel safe here.

      *Other Facilities*
      There is a free ironing facility to iron your glad rags before you head out, and a small internet café, although just around the corner, there is a bigger, better one.

      Vending machines are available with a variety of drinks and snacks, handy for the late night munch attacks.

      Isaac’s also have regular BBQ’s during the Summer months, something definatly worth looking out for!

      *Location*
      Isaac’s is located down a side street called Frenchman’s Lane, about 2 minutes from Dublin City’s bus station, Busaras. A few minutes walk away, you will be upon the busy streets of O’Connell Street, Henry Street, and a little bit further, Grafton Street and Temple Bar for the great nightlife.

      It seems quiet, but everything is within a few minutes. Connelly Station is just up the road, and many pubs line the streets around the hostel.

      Dublin’s DART train system runs right alongside the hostel, but for me, it was as if it wasn’t there. It stops at night, so there’s no problem there, but during the day it wasn’t a problem really, even though on one trip, our window faced directly onto the bridge that takes the line beside the building.

      The Liffey River is just a minute away, and there are plenty of supermarkets close by. Busaras Station is also great for trips out of the city, as is the DART.

      *Cancellation Policy*
      For individuals, the cancellation policy is 24 hours. For groups, there is a non refundable first night payment required, and this cancellation must be made in writing 14 days before the arrival date of the group.

      *Isaac’s Group*
      This hostel is part of the Isaac’s Group, who also own Jacob’s Inn around the corner, also a great hostel.

      Isaac’s Hostel,
      2-5 Frenchman’s Lane,
      Dublin 1

      -Directions:

      From the airport, the Airlink Bus operated by Dublin Bus, will bring you to the central bus station, Busaras, and Isaac’s is just a minute away.

      The Aircoach bus service will bring you to O'Connell Street just a few minutes from the hostel.

      From Dun Laoghaire Ferryport, take the DART to Connolly Station, walk down Talbot St. and take the third turn left for Isaacs Hostel.

      Thanks so much for reading ~Maz x


      *This review also appears on Ciao, under my name Evil_Irish_Twin -Thank you!*

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      • More +
        06.04.2004 18:40
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        A cheap hostel near the centre, but lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

        Or rather, 305+ go mad there. This Saturday and Sunday ISTO 2004 took place at University College Dublin (UCD), and more than 300 trampolining university students descended on the city for a long weekend. 14 of us flew in from our uni, and though we booked well before Christmas, we had to split ourselves between two hostels, such was the demand for cheap accommodation in Dublin for those dates. I ended up in Issac's, which was my first (and probably last) experience of a youth hostel.

        Getting There

        I flew in alone from Blackpool, landing a couple of hours after the others who had all travelled together, and immediately hopped onto an airlink bus. These run at regular intervals and cost ?5.50, but I had a multi-day rambler ticket, so was able to use this instead. There are various drop off points in town, the nearest of which is the bus station when staying at Issac's. The hostel is a mere 2 minutes walk away, and easy to find down a little alley parallel to the river.

        Reception

        I was not impressed with the reception staff for the most part. Whenever I needed to speak to them, I had to wait for quite a while, and at times when I reached the front of the queue, they would disappear off for up to 5 minutes into the back office away from view. One girl working there was great - efficient, friendly and accurate in her information. Unfortunately, the guy there most of the time was not - he was slow, spoke quite bad English and never quite seemed to understand what we were saying. Reception is manned 22 1/2 hours a day, with half hour breaks at 7am, 1pm and 6pm, or thereabouts, for staff changeovers.

        The night staff were better, but prone to chatting to each other at 2am (how rude!), and because there was no doorbell this left us prancing around outside the panel windows next to the huge oak door, trying to get their attention so they would come and let us in.

        Rooms

        On out first night the eight of us were split into 2 rooms - one for 4 people, and one for 14, with the remaining beds taken by other people. The next day we moved to our own room, where we took up 8 of the 10 beds, and we stayed here until we left. Several other groups had to move rooms during their stay too, which seemed very unorganised to us. The rooms were bare, with literally nothing but bunk-beds and a bin. We had one plug socket in ours which caused some panic thanks to the 6 pairs of ceramic straighteners and 7 phone chargers that all needed power time each day. For the record I took neither of these with me, and still managed to survive for our 5 days. Funny, that. None of the rooms were ensuite - instead each of the 3 inhabited floors of dorms had communal facilities - namely 6 showers and 6 loos, split into male and female bathrooms. These were not the most pleasant places on earth and though cleaned daily, were in almost constant use thanks to the number of guests. The showers varied from semi-ok pressure to a tiny trickle, and in temperature from tepid to freezing, as they lost 'hot' water for 2 days of our stay. For somewhere that sells its rooms based on "a bed and hot showers" I'm sure there could have been a case for demanding half our money back for those nights... The corridors had a rather rank smell to them most of the time, and it seemed more down to lack of ventilation than sub-standard cleaning. Our room had one tiny window we had to leave shut when we went out as we were on a low floor, meaning that our room wasn't any way near aired enough most of the time given the 10 people sleeping in it.

        On each floor there were two rooms with patterned glass panelling instead of solid walls, which allowed almost complete views in when the lights were switched on. I don't suppose the people in them got a say in the matter, but I certainly would not have chosen to sleep in them. All rooms had ceilings that were lower than normal - and rather dangerous given the height of the top bunks. Thank goodness I'm an 'ickle un.

        The rooms were noisy thanks to a distinct lack of carpeting on the floors - all were wooden, meaning you not only heard people walk about in your dorm, but also in the rooms above you. For one night we had a group of 12 year old boys who seemed to think it fun to jump off the bunks for hours on end, and it sounded as if they would fall through the ceiling at any moment. We went to complain the next morning, to be told they had already be reprimanded, and were moving out that day anyway. We also complained after an obnoxious 20 year old from Essex who was either extremely mentally subnormal or extremely stoned played with himself in the girls loos for quarter of an hour and later came to annoy us for ages while we were in there straightening hair (the only other place in the hostel with available plugs - and not very safe ones at that, since the single plug socket had a multi-socket expander dangling from it, moments away from the showers).

        The doors opened with keycards that had to be reprogrammed by reception every day. There was a lockout from 11am - 2.30pm for dorm cleaning, but though this bothered some people who hadn't intended getting up that early, I wasn't around the hostel at those hours anyway. There was no curfew, but after 11pm entry to the hostel was limited to guests who could provide their receipt (a scrappy little paper ID thing they provided).

        Meals & Facilities

        'Breakfast' was provided, but it was hardly a substantial meal - the same every day, it included tea or coffee in a polystyrene cup, and a 'muffin' (actually a muffin sized plain sponge cake). For other meals, a kitchen was available, but it was usually crowded and a hassle to use as crockery and cutlery had to be hired from reception. Fridges were provided but these were usually full, and though there were hobs and microwaves, I never found any ovens.
        Reception doubled as a meeting / eating area, complete with long wooden benches and tables. There was a TV on here most of the day, and travellers would congregate in an effort to meet people, though usually not getting very far since most of the guests knew each other through bouncing - none bouncers didn't have a chance.

        Drinks vending machines were available, as was an "internet café" (3 slow PCs that allowed 15 minutes access for ?1). Luggage storage lockers cost ?1 / day for padlock hire (compulsory as you were not allowed to use your own). This was annoying since we had to leave our bags there on the first day after being shifted from one room to another. From then on we left our stuff in our rooms since we trusted the only 2 people with access to it who were not with our party. It just seemed cheeky that they made us pay to store luggage we would not have needed to, had they not moved us from one room to another during our stay.

        Nearby

        Issac's is nicely located, in a quiet enough area, close to the centre of town. Supermarkets (Dunnes, Spar and Aldi) are all nearby, as are numerous shops and cafes. The river is minutes away, and Temple Bar is walkable in less than half an hour, even in heels. The bus station next door is handy for coach tours of the city and beyond, and the airport links.

        Prices

        The hostel has rooms that cater for between 1 and 16 people, and you can choose to book the entire room or just a bed or too. While we were there they were booked solid every night (Bath, Leeds, Bristol, Middlesex and several other unis all had bouncers staying there), so booking in advance is recommended. Prices start at €11 / night up to €32 / night and depend on room size and time of year.

        Verdict

        I wasn't impressed with the hostel, but I suppose there's not much more you could expect for that price. It was safe enough and clean enough without being extremely safe or clean, and for 4 nights we coped, though as luck would have it, I'm off in 2 hours for a week of well-deserved recovery in a 4* AI hotel. A budget hotel would feel good after the last few days, so I'm expecting this one to feel truly luxurious. I didn't like it, but I'd still recommend it if you need a cheap place to stay, because to be honest I don't think I'd like any hostel...



        Issac's Hostel
        Frenchman's Lane
        Dublin 1

        tel: (01) 855 6215

        fax: (01) 855 6574

        www.isaacs.ie/isaacshosteldublin/index.htm

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        • More +
          16.01.2004 02:58

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          Good value hostel - Advantages: cheap rates, central location, helpful staff - Disadvantages: shared toilets & showers

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          03.12.2002 20:08

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          • "Leaking Toilet"

          Disgraceful Treatment - Advantages: None - Disadvantages: Incompetent Staff, Unhelpful, Leaking Toilet

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          18.06.2001 02:32
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          After spending a fortnight travelling around Ireland when ended up back where we started… in Dublin. On our first visit we stayed in perhaps the most well known hostel, Isaacs, and for the life of me I couldn’t see why the place was always packed out. I found the staff abrasive and unhelpful, the rooms dirty and mouldy, and no sense of atmosphere. We had reserved dorm beds for the last three nights of our stay however the first two of those nights we decided to stay at the Dublin City Hostel. However, when we arrived wearing big backpacks they kept us waiting for more than fifteen minutes whilst the staff made and drank cups of coffee… both my wife and I were getting a bad feeling and really fed up so we decided to go back to Isaacs. The bad news was they were full up. Since we did the only decent thing and cancelling our reservations we were now left with nowhere to stay. This is where is starts getting good… :) There was a flyer for their sister Hostel – Jacobs Inn – which was only IR£1.50 a night more and was just round the corner. So without a lot of options we trundled off over there and I found the best hostel I have ever stayed in! The entire place had a very new and modern feel and I instantly felt relaxed and at home… although that may have had something to do with ‘Yes we have room’ after worrying about what we were going to do that night! :) The building cnetrally located and only about three minutes walk from the bus and train stations. Everything is key card operated allowing for total security and there is even a lift to all floors! With all this and the lobby type construct of the entrance hall it felt a lot more like a hotel than a youth hostel! The rooms are spacious, comfortable and en-suite! The bathrooms are the nicest and cleanest I have encountered and the shower was the biggest I have ever had the pleasure of be
          ing in… and as most of you know after a few days on the road a hot comfortable shower is one of the best things on this find planet… :) The Kitchen is spacious and easy to use although there were no sharp knives or chopping boards and only one or two saucepans and frying pans around. This was pretty inconvenient – especially when trying to chop garlic on a dinner plate using a butter knife! :) The cookers were pretty good although three quarters of them seemed to have the knobs missing which made life just that bit more challenging! :) There is a restaurant and pretty funky café on site and complete with a common room featuring video games, a pool table and a TV, you may never actually need to leave the hostel! The hostel is open 24 hours although there is a room lock out between 11am and 3pm. There are safes available in the room for a charge and you can even leave your baggage for free in a room round the back if you want to do some exploring after you’ve checked out! The only downside is that it’s only open every half hour on the half hour so if you miss the time slot you’ve got a while to wait! All in all I’d recommend this hostel to anybody… young or old… single or partnered… the only really bad thing I will say about the place is that they also let Americans stay… but hey no where is perfect… :P Okay I’m sorry, that’s unfair… we just had a run in with a couple of really loud ones who wouldn’t consider the fact that there were other people in the room! Anyway the dorms start at IR£9.95 / £8 off season and IR£11.95 / £9.50 peak season going up to twins and doubles at IR£22.00 / £17.50 per person and IR24.00 / £19 per person peak season with about a IR£1 supplement for weekends. They also offer breakfast! For further information check out http://www.isaacs.ie/jacobsinn/ Dublin is a pretty c
          ool place to visit and I’m sure I’ll go back again one day… and when I do… I know *exactly* where I’m staying! :) The two stars mentioned are for Isaacs itself... Jacobs Inn gets the full five!

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            15.06.2001 06:41
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            I've just come back from Ireland where I stayed at this hostel for 6 days with three friends. All in all it was okay but not amazing. I'll mention the main good points first: It was relatively cheap - cost £9 a night for a shared bedroom with two other people. It had good reception area with many other friendly young people. Also had free internet access which I found amazingly useful and would have cost me a few punts a day at least in an internet cafe. The cafe does good a good full Irish breakfast although prices aren't great. Close to o'connell street and about 10/15 minutes walk from temple bar area of ireland. Good on security - had to show slips to staff on way in after 11pm. A problem if you lose the slip though!! Bad points: A ridiculous room curfew - needing to be out by 11am and couldn't go back in till 3pm. My friend was reprimanded for drinking a bottle of alcohol in the corridor - okay it was their policy but in small print on a tiny poster on the wall. The room didn't smell too good and was quite small.

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            29.01.2001 03:38
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            I've been to Dublin three times and stayed at three different hostels, Avalon House, Litton Lane and most recently Issacs. Issacs in not the most centrally loacted of the hostels, it does take a bit of a walk into the town centre, Grafton street etc. but it is not too far. Issacs is one of the friendliest hostels I have been to so far. The staff I met were certainly the most polite and helpful. There are a lot of younger people too, something there was a lack of in other hostels making is a slightly better enviroment if your young yourself. The rooms, if your sharing are resonably sized, and clean. The beds are promptly cleaned ever morning too, soemthing some other hostels seem to forget about if your staying for more than one night. The beds are comfortable, and the bathrooms and showers are slightly small but still fine. One thing I didn't like was the fact that we had to check out between 11am and 3 pm in order to let the cleaners clean the room. This is bad if you have had a long night and all you want to do is sleep it off, and 11-3 is a long time to be doing nothing if you haven't planned anything. There is a comfortable meeting area too, where people can chat comfortably, and a handy cafe. They are also very high on security, and if you come in after 11pm, you have to show a recipt to security. All in all, I would say that Isaccs is a great place to stay since it is cheap and comfortable. The location is not the best but the staff are firendly and you are likely to meet many other friendly like minded people.

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            17.08.2000 17:01
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            This is one of the dirtiest hostels I have ever stayed in. When I woke up from my first night to discover that the beds were bug-infested, no-one was willing to do anything. The staff were unfriendly, and unhelpful. They basically switched my room, and gave my infested bed to a new traveller - without changing the sheets, I hasten to add. The adjoining cafe is reasonable, and it's well placed, with internet access and tourist information leaflets aplenty. However the long breakfast tables are dirty, and the place generally has a dingy feel to it. When you first arrive in Dublin, this is the very place that will give you the worst impression, which is a shame, as there are plenty of good, clean places to stay in the City. The hostel has many beds, so you're almost guaranteed a place, which is good at peak tourist times, but I recommend that you book ahead and get yourself a place somewhere else. If you find yourself standing outside the Isaac hostel, and happen to recall that a dooyooer with three ls in her name had a bad experience, then don't panic! You're about three metres away from an excellent (if a little overpriced) hostel across the road, called Globbetrotters - this place I can thoroughly recommend! If you can possibly help it, don't stay at the Isaac hostel. You can do a whole lot better.

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