Dublin is a fun city, and I really enjoyed my recent trip there. I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House. Here are my thoughts on the hotel.
Check-in was easy and pleasant, thanks to friendly staff. The agent explained the hotel’s amenities, thanked me for being Hilton Gold, and told me to help myself to some bottled water.
The hotel itself is undergoing an extensive expansion and renovation to add an additional 85 guest rooms, as well as install air conditioning throughout the hotel. So for the duration of the trip, the outside of the hotel had lots of scaffolding, and construction workers were everywhere. In my room, however, I didn’t hear any construction noise at all, and there wasn’t evidence of construction going on in the common areas.
The Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House is on the north bank of the River Liffey, in the Docklands part of town. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Connolly Station, one of Dublin’s major intercity train stations. It’s also about 15 minutes by foot from Temple Bar, the touristy nightlife and restaurant area. O’Connell Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, is a 10-minute walk away. It is, however, right next to the Irish Emigration Museum, which looked really interesting (though I didn’t get a chance to really explore it).
So it’s not exactly in the center of all the action, but it’s close enough. (Dublin also isn’t particularly sprawling, so you can walk to many of the hot spots.) The main reason I stayed at this property was because I was traveling with my mom, and it’s one of the closest hotels to the 3Arena, where we were seeing a Neil Diamond concert (my mom is a really, really big fan).
Also, the bus to/from the airport (route 747, adorably enough) drops off and picks up right in front of the hotel, and leaves about every 15 minutes. That was super convenient.
We were assigned to room 330. The room itself was pretty much what you’d find if you looked up “mid-range European hotel” in the encyclopedia. Everything was clean and in good condition, and the bedding was comfortable. But it was small.
We had a nice view of the river, and you can see how much construction is happening in Dublin.
The bathroom was pretty basic and small, but not small enough to give claustrophobics a panic attack.
Although the beds and bedding were comfortable, the room was quite warm. There was a desk fan in the closet, and with that turned on and the window open, it was reasonably comfortable at night. It was around 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside during the night, but I couldn’t seem to get the room to cool down below around 73 or so (which is fine for most people – I just happen to prefer sub-arctic temperatures when I sleep).
However, they’re installing air conditioning throughout the property, so this won’t be an issue for much longer.
Breakfast is free for Hilton Gold guests at Oly’s, the hotel’s restaurant. It wasn’t exactly a royal feast, but it was adequate.
There was an omelet station, which I appreciated. They also had your typical breakfast stuff: fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs, bacon, a few pastries, and some cold cuts (which I know is popular for breakfast in Europe, but no thank you).
I didn’t eat any other meals at the hotel, but in the evenings they had delicious mini brownie things at the front desk. I took two for myself, two for my mom, and two for each of the people traveling with us (they were staying in a separate room).
And then I ate them all myself. They were good! But I should probably work on my sharing skills.
Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House Bottom line
Assuming you’re not looking to be super close to anything in particular, this is a good budget option, especially for Hilton loyalists (I have Gold status through The Platinum Card® from American Express).
You won’t be wowed by luxurious amenities, but you’ll get a good night’s sleep and some little brownies at night. And really – isn’t that what matters?