European Trip: Westin Dublin Review

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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

Things To Do in Dublin

Get Out of Dublin for Amazing Sights

Westin Dublin

In part because I am crazy and don’t really mind hotel hopping, and in part because I really wanted to try it, we decided to try out the Westin Dublin for the last part of our stay in Dublin. Our first couple of nights were at the Radisson Blu (review linked above), but after two nights it was time to pack our bags and drag them down the street to the Westin Dublin. I’d say the two were about a 10-12 minute walk apart, so moving was really not a big deal.

Location:

The location of the Radisson was absolutely fine, but the location of the Westin really cannot be beat. It is just across a street from Trinity College and spitting distance from the Temple Bar area, Christ Church, and more. This hotel advertizes they are in the “heart of the city”, and I would say that is true. It is also worth noting that the hotel is a 19th century building that was formerly the Allied Irish Bank, so it has lots of character. In my mind, it was the perfect blend of modern and comfortable yet classic and steeped with history.

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Lobby and Check-in:

We checked into the Westin around noon since we were checking out of our other hotel. We knew a room may not be available that early, but at the very least we wanted to get our bags stored so we could continue exploring Dublin. When we arrived, everyone was very friendly and welcoming to us. We were told without any asking on our part that we had been upgraded to a suite (on our points reservation) due to my husband’s Platinum SPG status. That suite was not yet ready, but we were fine to just leave our bags and come back later. They took our phone number and called a couple of hours later when the suite was available. Everyone we interacted with was truly delightful and friendly both during the check-in process and throughout our brief stay.

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20130329-021528.jpgThe Room:

We were given the George Bernard Shaw Suite as an upgrade over our standard room, and we were a little bit excited about it (we are easily amused).

20130329-021553.jpgIt was very different than other suites I had stayed in before as the main room was basically the same size as you would expect for a standard room, but then there was this winding staircase to take you up to your own second level.  Little C was not with us on this trip, but this type of room would have been a blessing and a curse if she was.  She would have loved playing under the stairs as there was a perfect toddler sized “cove” there, but there would have been a real potential for a young kid to get hurt if they weren’t careful while going up and down the stairs.

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20130329-021616.jpgOnce you got upstairs you found your own very small library and sitting area, complete with fireplace.  We actually made pretty good use of this space during our stay.  I used it to work some at the desk in the back of the room and we loved having extra space to just relax, but it would not at all be useful if you had issues going up and down winding stairs.

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20130329-021644.jpgThe bathroom was downstairs off of the bedroom and it was a little step above many of the other European bathrooms I had seen.  The bathtub and entire space were a bit larger than some.  The sink and shower on the other hand was on the small-ish side, but that wasn’t a big deal.  I was just glad the shower had a real enclosure that didn’t leak!

20130329-021703.jpgI do think I slightly preferred the look of the Radisson bathroom, but on the other hand nothing in this bathroom broke while we were there so I will call it a tie in this regard.

20130329-021716.jpgI do want to mention that the WIFI here was terrible.  Seriously slow and terrible.  I have since read other similar stories about the WIFI here so I know it was not just a fluke, however there is a potential solution….there were two different options for WIFI for the Westin Dublin when I went to connect.  On a whim, my husband tried a different one after we were so frustrated we were about to throw our computers at the wall, and the second option we tried was a million times better.  So sorry I didn’t write the exact info down, but if you are on one connection that is horrible, look on your phone or computer to see if there is a different similar option….and take it. 

Restaurant and Breakfast:

Again thanks to my husband’s SPG Platinum status we got free continental breakfast at the restaurant within the hotel.  I believe that the hot items were not technically included with the breakfast, but my husband wasn’t aware of that since no one specifically pointed it out, and had those items anyway without incident (I think there is supposed to be a small up-charge for the hot items).  I found the cereals, smoothies, pastries, and fruit to be more than enough for my appetite that morning.

20130329-021741.jpgI found the restaurant and selection of breakfast items to be decent, but I personally enjoyed the food at the Radisson breakfast a bit more.  They had made-to-order hot items, and while I found some pastries here that I did like at the Westin’s breakfast, I might have been a little disappointed if I had paid for the buffet instead of having it included.  Still a great perk if it comes with your room rate, a package, or via status.  The coffee was pretty good!

20130329-021806.jpgYou Can Do it Too:

Rates for this property are pretty consistently over €200 per night, and I don’t usually see it included in “Beat the Timer” type SPG deals that are common for some European hotels.  Given the price, we opted to spend 12,000 SPG points for our one night stay at a Category 5 hotel.  Looking at their calendar, I don’t see a single night available via cash and points, so be ready to spend 12k points per night if you want to stay here on award.  Not a terrible rate considering the nightly rate is usually in the €200 – €250 range.

If you wanted to spend five nights at this hotel then your fifth night on points would be free, bringing your per night cost down to 9,600 points.  Or you could just do what we did and spend a couple of nights at a different Dublin hotel in order to conserve SPG points and our wallets, and then splurge some points for a night or two at this beautiful hotel.  If you need to beef up your SPG account for a stay likes this, then SPG Personal Amex and the SPG Business Amex are both great ways to do it.

Specials and Child Info:

I also wanted to point out that this hotel offers rooms for children 21 and younger at 50% off, and is offering bonus SPG points on rooms through December 31st.  Their website states that children who are 12 or younger sleep for free in the existing bedding of a room shared with a paying adult. Rollaways, child rollaways and cribs may incur extra charges.  They also tout themselves as a family-friendly website, and have a page with their family-centered services available here.

Overall Impressions:

We really enjoyed this hotel.  It was beautiful and the suite was an enjoyable upgrade.  The location is impossible to beat, and the staff was very nice.  I didn’t love the breakfast and the internet situation was pretty bad until we found a solution, but those were relatively minor issues with an otherwise fantastic stay.  I would return again, but would again consider splitting my stay with another hotel like the Radisson Blu in order to conserve cash and/or SPG points.

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve stayed at the Westin Dublin and have booked family there also, all on SPG points. You’re right about the location — it’s perfect for getting around Dublin on foot. This property has the WestinFitness rooms – guestrooms with their own fitness equipment. And their fitness center for guests is small in space though very full in equipment. Free weights, weight machines, treadmill, bike, elliptical and more. Afternoon tea reading a book in their sitting/dining area one floor above the lobby was very nice.

  2. “look on your phone or computer to see if there is a different similar option….and take it”

    Um, no. Be very careful with this, as one of the latest scams is to set up a rogue wifi without the hotel’s knowledge, often labeled “hotel wifi”, etc. What happens is you log right into the scammers system, letting them see all of your passwords, cc numbers, and other sensitive information. It’s best to ask the front desk when checking in about safe wifi connections.

    While I’m on the topic, two other scams being used now are to call the room from outside, pretend to be the front desk, and make up a reason to ask you cc number. The other is to leave a fake restaurant flier at your door. You call up for a delivery to your room, give them your cc number. The food never comes, but they get right to work buying things with your cc info.

    Thanks for the great TR, it’s really getting me excited about going to Ireland. Or should I be thinking about Japan? I wish I could keep up with you, but I can’t. 😀

  3. I remember the good ‘ol days when trip reports didn’t have CC pimping in them

    Odd that your Radisson hotel points didn’t contain any links in case “you need to beef up your Club Carlson account for a stay likes this”

  4. Carol, I love when the SPG rooms have a treadmill – makes me way more likely to use it!
    Robert, good point. Though perhaps the slow internet could also be the fake-out. Either way, if anyone does stay at this property be aware of the internet situation. Both looked “official”, but can never hurt to double check. Hope that whatever the painfully slow internet is that they rectify the situation at some point…or perhaps it is a subtle way to encourage you to get out of the room and go explore more! 😉
    Rob, I’ve been including a section on how “you can do it too” in many of my trip reports for a while. In my mind it is an attempt to make them a tad more relevant to others since it isn’t really about what I did, but rather how others can do pieces of it if they want as well. The Radisson post did talk about the Club Carlson card as well – especially as it related to a second night free. This post talks about the SPG card and 5th night free. I wish there were more inventive ways to rack up SPG points, but the cc remains the best option for most. Regardless, sorry if that section doesn’t meet your needs.

  5. @Rob This is a miles and points travel blog, not a straight travel blog. CCs are how you get those miles and points so you can afford the travel. Perhaps you have MP confused with National Geographic and Rick Steves? 😀

  6. @Robert Hanson
    Weird how she did link to all the credit cards that can rack up Carlson points when she was reviewing the Radisson. Miles and Points, right?

  7. Great review — staying there in a couple months. You mentioned that they “called you” — how did you work this out? Did you buy a sim card for your phone?

    • Michael, glad you liked the review! I bought a package of minutes via AT&T for my iphone. If I were to travel internationally more I would more seriously consider the SIM route, but for me this works out fine. Costs a bit extra on months I am out of the country, but doesn’t require much extra time or effort to select and deselect some international bundles of date and/or minutes online.

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