European Trip Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin

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European trip to London and Dublin: Planning

US Airways Envoy Suites to London

Getting To and From London Airports

Sheraton Heathrow

Aer Lingus to Dublin

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin (this post)

We decided to spend our first two nights in Dublin at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin because the price was right, the hotel looked nice, and the location was walkable to many of the spots within Dublin that we wanted to visit. Basically there was no good reason not to stay there!

Location:

The hotel’s website describes the location as being “a five minute walk from Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green and Temple Bar. Located just off South St. Georges Street the hotel has instant access to the city’s most stylish bars and well known restaurants. Located on the doorstep of Dublin Castle, the hotel is surrounded by a wide range of tourist attractions including St. Patricks Cathedral and Trinity College as well as Dublin’s most famous theatres, The Gaiety and The Olympia.” There are some hotels that are a couple of blocks closer to the action of the Temple Bar area of town, but this hotel really was pretty central to several different popular attractions.

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Lobby and Check-in:

The lobby was open and modern and within a minute or two I was convinced we had picked a good hotel for the first part of our Ireland trip. The hotel was decorated in the minimalistic but modern style that I like and the service was friendly and attentive. At check-in we were told that our e-standby upgrade option for a Business Class room had been approved – I have a tendency to put in requests for discounted space-available upgrades on special trips. I believe the upgrade surcharge was around 30 €, which was a little pricey, but since it included a slightly larger room, free breakfast for two, and in-room movies (no, not that kind of movie…I don’t think), we really got our money’s worth.

Room:

We were on what seemed to be a Business Class floor, and we hardly ever ran into anyone else in the hallway or elevator and certainly never heard any noise. The room continued in the style of that lobby – modern, clean, and simple. I thought it was great. There was an extra sitting area that was next to the large window. They had some US-friendly electrical outlets in case you forgot to bring your adapter.

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The bed was a tad hard for my tastes, but this was a constant at almost all of our European hotel stops.

There were both a shower and a tub to choose from, though I remember the shower not getting as hot as I would have liked. The flushing button on the toilet also fell off (into the toilet – yuck) when we pushed it to flush. Maintenance did come up promptly to fix it, but it never felt truly fixed.

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For those who are interested in staying here with their children, it seems the max occupancy when you search on the website is two adults and one child in a standard room.  However, the hotel website also says this ” Children under 17 years old stay free when sharing existing bedding with parents. Extra beds are subject to availability, at a cost of 45 EUR for adults or children.”  So, they seem to have a pretty friendly attitude toward children in the room.

Overall I found the room a comfortable place to relax after our long days of sightseeing!

Restaurant and Breakfast:

As part of our Business Class Room, buffet breakfast for both of us was included. They also said we could have ordered our breakfast via room service, but we never got around to trying that option. The buffet breakfast included pastries, cereals, smoothies, fruit, meats/cheeses, and many hot options. I heard them telling another guest that if you wanted something that was not on the buffet to let them know and they will make it. We very much enjoyed the breakfast selections, and it could easily serve as both breakfast and lunch if you time it correctly. I remember really loving the pastries, while my husband favored some of the traditional Irish breakfast selections.

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We also had a tea and desserts in the restaurant one night, and while they were good, we liked the breakfast foods a little better. However, having a decent restaurant in the hotel was a godsend for us as we were sometimes too tired to want to search around for a snack (though we did also visit several very good restaurants around Dublin – stay tuned for a future post on those).

You Can Do it Too:

We booked two nights at this hotel using a cash and points rate of 10,000 Club Carlson Gold Points + about €90 per night. This was roughly a €50-€60 savings per night over the going rate just by using 10K points per night. I could have used 44,000 points per night to stay purely on points, but cash and points seemed like the better deal to me. However, if I had the Club Carlson card that gave me the second award night free then I absolutely would have booked one night at 44K points and gotten the second for free. I have that card now, but didn’t at the time of this trip.

Overall Impressions:

I thought this hotel was a very good deal for what we paid. It was a good location, a modern look, and good service at a very reasonable price. I would not hesitate to stay here again on a future trip to Dublin – especially now that I have the awesome “last award night free” benefit with the Club Carlson card!

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Comments

  1. Thinking about staying there for two nights with my 4yo son on my way back to the US. What is there to do in Dublin with a young child?

  2. Do you think this hotel would be ok with kids too? We have 2 kids and are planning a trip for next summer. Hoping to use all miles & points, but I’ve read that it’s harder to find a room for 4 people in Europe. Thanks!

  3. I just got the CC credit card and was curious if breakfast was included at any of the Carlson hotels with the Gold status that the CC affords.

  4. Actually, if you have the Club Carlson card, you could have stayed here for 44K points for TWO nights or 66K for TWO nights in a business class room. The cash and points is still a good deal, but the free night benefit makes it worthwhile to just use points at some of the more expensive European hotels.

    @Ken – my experience with European Carlson-Rezidor hotels is that breakfast seems to be tied to room types/rates rather than status. It might be different for others.

    • @MSP Traveler, absolutely. I have that card now, but didn’t then. Would have totally gone that route if I had it then!

  5. Was it €30 per night for the upgrade or the whole stay? And the website says that the business rooms come with a Nespresso machine, did yours have one? That might make it worth it, but otherwise $20 per person for a hotel buffet breakfast seems high.

  6. @Ken, Yes, as gold biz class and breakfast were complimentary. I actually turned down the biz class room to get an Eiffel tower view as they are only far corner rooms which are smaller, but I was solo on this trip. I have a full review on my blog. This was a paid stay, 197Euro for two nights in July using the gold weekend extend rate…a great value IMO. I wouldn’t recommend the Blu-Bologne on points, but for paid it was a steal.

  7. We stayed at the Radisson Blu’s in Galway and Letterkenney on cash & points. Breakfast was included in our room nights as that was a feature of the standard rooms. In Letterkenney, I was upgraded to a business class room for my Gold status. The rooms were the same, but they gave me robes for the room and 2 small bottles of wine. My BIL was happy with the wine, as I don’t drink.

    In Galway, they just gave us a better view. They did give my sister a family room, so all of her kids stayed with her instead of spread around with the grandparents and aunt.

    The Super Buffet Breakfast was a hit with the whole family – I think it was their favorite part of Ireland!

    When you go to book the hotel, read the description of the room and it will tell you if breakfast is included or not.

  8. I really think you would have enjoyed and experienced Dublin much more if you’d gone with a bed and breakfast/type or home stay. Would’ve cost about the same and not had to use any points to boot. And with a much better likelihood of getting to make some great Irish friends and get a lot of free inside travel advice from actual Dubliners over that breakfast. Not a Rick Steves fan but I do agree with him wholeheartedly about avoiding the Radisson Blues/Hiltons/Marriott chain-type places of the travel world and not missing one of the best ways to experience the place you are traveling to: stay in a local’s actual home! Personally, I save my hotel points for the bigger American cities where I’m already pretty familiar with the culture but can’t usually afford to pay the cash prices.
    But each to his own…

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