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Central Hotel (Dublin)

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  • the noise
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      08.01.2002 21:43
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      • "the noise"

      As hard as I tried I couldn’t ignore it any longer, that unmistakable sweet siren voice hailing me from across the sea, she sang to me: “Oh Davey Boy, The Pints, the pints, are calling you” The Green Goddess of the Emerald Isles was calling me, beckoning me to return to her bosom, to return to my spiritual home. And so it was because of this, plus the fact that we got a fantastic deal on Go direct flights from Edinburgh that we found ourselves in the latter part of 2001 being dropped off outside the 3 star Central Hotel, Dublin by our cabbie (alas not dooyoo's very own mad cabbie, Ken) for a 3 night stay. By the way before we kick off, as I said this trip was in 2001 when Ireland was still using the punt and so all prices are quoted in punts. At the time 1 punt = 75p-80p (approxiametly). On January 1 2002, Ireland adopted the Euro. At the time of writing 1 Euro = 65p (approxiametly) The hotel, as the name suggests, is in a central location on the corner of South Great Georges Street and Exchequer Street, with the entrance itself on Exchequer Street. This places it less than a 5 minute walk from the pedestrianised shops on Grafton Street and even closer to the bars and restaurants of Temple Bar which is a short hop over Dame Street. There has been a hotel as this location since 1887. The hotel is part of the Best Western chain now, and first impressions were very favourable. The front desk area was very bright, airy and clean and the desk staff were very efficient and helpful, altho, and this was to become a theme of the holiday, not Irish. The concierge chappy, who was Irish, was incredibly helpful and was on hand with free maps, advise on the best places to eat and drink etc. Accommodation is spread over the 1st, 2nd & 3rd floors, which can be accessed by using either the lift or the rather grand staircase. Exterior rooms look out onto Exchequer Street, South G reat George’s Street and a small side street leading off Exchequer Street . The interior rooms look out onto each other and the ground floor skylights. Remember this as it becomes important later in the op. Our room, looking onto the little side street, was a twin and altho not massive it was large enough for two people to rattle around in. It had all the usual hotel room furniture and accessories including tea/coffee facilities hairdryer and a TV with 13 channels including BBC1/2, ITV1 and C4 plus some satellite channels such as MTV. The bathroom was shower only but had plenty of space. The room was serviced every day altho towels are only changed if you indicate you want fresh ones by leaving your soiled ones on the bathroom floor. Included in the price was breakfast, which is served between 7am and 10.30am, weekends, and until 10am weekdays. There was a help yourself buffet for fruit juice (apple, grapefruit and orange), fruit (grapefruit, pears and prunes) and cereal (cornflakes, muesli, All-Bran and Special K) and yoghurt (which was fudge flavoured, fudge flavoured yoghurt for breakfast? Were they expecting Homer Simpson?). Tea, coffee and toast was delivered to the table by the waiting staff who also organised the main part of your breakfast. You could have either a Full Irish, Veggie Irish or something called the Bread Basket, don’t ask what that consisted of, as I never got further than the full Irish which was bacon, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomato (sometimes cooked, sometimes not ) and eggs done however you wanted them. After eating that I was ready for anything and everything that Dublin had to throw at me. If none of that takes your fancy, the breakfast menu promised that the hotel would attempt to cater for anything you may want, you only had to ask. Breakfast in your room was also available for an extra IR£3. The hotel restaurant served evenings meal and whilst we where there they had an early bird special of 2 course for around IR£12. This seemed quite good value altho we never tried it. The hotel bar, called the Library Bar, was very pleasant and comfortable, lots of comfy sofa and wing backed chairs. A pianist provided gentle background music of light classics and show tunes. The bar staff, altho rushed of their feet most of the night were quite friendly. The bar was very popular with non-residents and was fairly busy most of the weekend, especially on the Friday when it was almost completely packed out. The cost? Well that’s a bit complicated. We had booked the hotel thru ebookers.com and were charged £112 sterling each for the 3 nights, paid at the time of booking. However when we came to check-out the hotel could find no record of having received payment from ebookers.com! There followed an anxious ½ hour before the hotel finally acknowledged that they received the money from ebookers. However whilst all this was going on I noticed that the hotel were going to charge us IR£76 per night per room which works out about £95 sterling each for the 3 nights. The hotels own published tariff stated that rooms started from IR£110 per night. So if you ask me how much it’ll cost you to stay in the Central Hotel, Dublin I’d honestly say, I don’t know! Now up to this point, not discounting this minor irritation when we checked out, I would have had no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone; central location, helpful staff, clean rooms, good food, reasonable (if slightly ambiguous) prices. But, and I’m afraid it is a big but, the noise outside the hotel at night was unbelievable. I missed the racket on the Friday night as I had consumed an entire weeks drinking allowance in one day, so could have sleep thru WWIII, and if the stories of my companions on Saturday morning were anything to go, it would appear I did. I couldn’t miss the racket on the Saturday and Sunday nights tho. There is a bar underneath the hotel on the corner of Exchequer Street and that little side street (yup you'll have guessed by now that I can't remember what it was called). The music from the disco was unbelievably loud, 2 floors up with the windows shut, we could still hear every word of every song, to the extent that it was even drowning out the TV in our room. When the pub shut, a club started up next door, and of course once that shut down at 4am there was the noise of dozens of p*ss*d up people making their very noisy way very slowly home. Someone was even letting off fireworks at 4am on the Monday morning. It was like being in Benidorm. Funnily enough we never thought to ask to be moved to a quieter room, but if I was ever to stay there again I definitely be specifying one of the internal rooms. There wont be any view, and I’d imagine the room would be pretty dark but at least I’d get a decent nights sleep. That aside it may have put me off staying at this hotel again but it didn't put me of Dublin, I'll be back again. website: www.bestcentral.com

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