For our jaunt to Dublin last weekend, my family and I decided to stay at the Westin Dublin. We scored a pretty good room rate of 165 euros (US$220), which included breakfast, so we went ahead and pulled the trigger – especially since our 3 night stay would qualify for Starwood’s current triple points promotion.
I love hotels with a bit of history, and this one is a cool example. The 19th-century building used to be the Allied Irish Bank, and is right in the heart of the historic city center, making it a great place to stay during a quick visit when you want to see the sights and get a lot done. It’s not your traditional Westin, but rooms do have signature Westin amenities like the Heavenly Bed and Bath. I also liked the fact that it was a relatively small property, with just 163 rooms, so the service and attention we got was personalized.
Thanks Hdsto my SPG Platinum status, I was upgraded to the Samuel Beckett Suite, one of the hotel’s Library Suites. It was actually a two-category upgrade, and they gave free internet to all three of our rooms, so they were pretty gracious to throw in a couple perks they didn’t have to. As I said, I paid 165 euros for a standard room including breakfast, and rates for the Library Suites start at 309 euros (US$413), so I got a benefit of at least 144 euros (US$192)—nearly doubling the value of what I paid.
My suite was a two-story room with a spiral staircase leading from the first floor to the second. Before you get the wrong idea, though the room’s layout was unique, the second floor was basically a tiny library with old books, so it didn’t add much to the overall square footage. Neither did the little balcony overlooking Temple Bar, but it was still cool to stand out there and people watch for a while!
The standard amenities included a 32-inch HD plasma TV, work desk and Heavenly Spa by Westin products in the bathroom.
The suite was spacious and the Westin Heavenly Bed was comfortable as usual, but because this is a repurposed building, the room had a few “quirks” as well, like a tiny closet that butted up against the entrance door, making the whole area feel cramped. The walls were also very thin, and I could not only hear the people in the adjoining suite, but I could even make out their entire conversation! Not great for privacy.
Cons and Pros
The internet, though free, was also glacially slow. The concierge, who was generally very helpful with travel tips and reservations did make one small error by recommending a restaurant for us on Sunday night that ended up being closed, but that wasn’t too much of a big a deal since we ended up going to an adjacent restaurant that ended up being amazing (more on that in a separate Dublin trip report).
On the positive side, the hotel has a beautiful Atrium Lounge (where I shot last week’s Sunday Reader Question Video) and the Mint Bar (in a nod to the building’s financial past) for cocktails, and the buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Exchange Restaurant that was included in our rate and would have normally cost 15 euros was a very nice option to have and made for a great start to the day.
We didn’t have time to use the small WestinWORKOUT Gym or have an in-room spa treatment, but at least the options are there if you want to take advantage of them.
The best feature of this hotel by far, however, is the location. It’s just steps from Temple Bar’s raucous and fun nightlife, the upscale department stores and boutiques of Grafton Street, and gorgeous Trinity College where you can see the famous Book of Kells.
Rates in March start at 146 euros (US$195). This is an SPG Category 4 property, so it takes 10,000 Starpoints for a free night. As of March 1, the hotel was upgraded to an SPG Category 5 property, so it will now take 12,000-16,000 Starpoints for a free night redemption. I still think it’s a pretty good value, especially if you find a low nightly rate like we did.
In my next post, I’ll be covering some of the things my family and I did in Dublin including a musical pub crawl, and a trip out to the coast to climb Kiliney Hill.
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