55 Aungier St, Dublin 2, Ireland. Ph: 353-1-4750001. Fax:353-1-4750303
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. „
After my horror of Swiss hostels earlier in the week, I was naturally apprehensive about staying in another one whilst on my week long travels around Europe. As many of my friends had booked to stay in Avalon House which is located in Aungier St Dublin, and as it was close to the venue we needed to be at for the show, I decided to book a room here.
It was a little frustrating that the only room I could book was a double room instead of a single room, as this meant I would be paying for two people. However as it is a hostel, this is still relatively cheap compared to a hotel and a 2 night stay ended up costing me £90. If I had managed to book a single room it would have come to £45. As I was close to where I needed to be and with many friends, I wasn't too bothered about this price difference.
This was to be my first time in Ireland, and so I was apprehensive about how to find the location of the hostel from the airport. Avalon have their own YouTube channel with video instructions comprising of a guy in a banana suit navigating the Irish bus system. "It's as easy as a banana!" they say in the video, and I have to say it did help us all out as we ended up on the right bus and found the hostel with ease.
When you walk into Avalon House, you instantly are relaxed as the main reception is a bright, homely area with benches to sit down on, information leaflets, free internet access and of course a huge open reception desk. The staff behind the desk seemed friendly enough, perhaps not the most talkative of people but they were just doing their job. When my swipe card for my room didn't work one night, they sorted it out for me no problem so no complaints there.
Given the horror of Zurich, I was worried about what the room would be like, but as I was staying in a room by myself which had its own bathroom, I was optimistic. I wasn't disappointed!
The rooms contain bunk-beds, which I kinda expected and since it was just me, I slept in the bottom bunk which happened to be a double bed, and a welcome comfort after all that travelling. I think it would have been better if they used plain bedding instead of patterned bedding, as it was a little like sleeping round at Grandma's or something - a little strange and too personal.
The Bathroom reminded me alot of my student accommodation, and wasn't bad at all considering it was a hostel we were staying in not a plush hotel. Although it was small, it did have a really nice fitted shower which looked as if it had only been recently installed. Slightly annoying that the water went off every minute or so, but I am guessing this is for environmental purposes, which in turn means no waste so it's not such a bad thing.
I would say that as the floors throughout are vinyl it means it can be hazardous as I certainly nearly slipped especially as the shower water can sometimes hit the floor, and there is nothing in the bathroom to really stop you slipping over!
Avalon House does offer free breakfast, however I didn't get to try this out myself as I was out very early in the mornings. But I think this has to be a great thing for people travelling to make sure they are full up in the mornings before they go out.
What I did warm to was how friendly people seemed. For young travellers in particular, the ambiance created is very warming and inviting which is ideal for those who may have not travelled much or left home before.
There is luggage storage and clothes washing facilities, and there is also a games room meaning you are never stuck for things to do here. There is also a lift as well as stairs, both of which are nice and I noticed on the stairs everyone opened the doors for each other, which was very polite.
I have also done a little research prior and since staying at Avalon, on what people on the whole have said about their stay here. I struggle to find anyone who rates this place below 4 stars, which is a fantastic credit to the Avalon chain, considering many hotels out there who charge astronomical rates can easily be rated poorly, when they are actual hotels.
My whole experience of Avalon House has totally changed my view on hostels. Although I would always prefer to stay in a hotel, in terms of value for money and ideal for large groups of travellers, this has to be one of my best experiences, as I struggle to fault this place.
This was the first ever hostel I stayed at in Dublin, and I have to be honest, my inital impression was not a fantastic one. However, having experienced more hostels in Dublin, in hindsight I would say Avalon is a good bet for a comfortable stay. The staff are a mixture, we found some coldness witht he receptionists, though it was no where as bad as in some other hostels (see Litton Lane). There were some other friendly members of staff though, notably the cleaners and chef who were very helpful. We also found the friendliest people staying here, and also the widest mix, from small children, to older, mature visitors. The area made for people to "mix" was only a small area with a few chairs but as it was near the reception area, everyone had a chance to chat to each other. The hostel did make an effort to put us with people of a similar age. The rooms at Avalon house are bigger than most, and although there are some unforgivable features, most notably the mould on the celings and a creaking window, the room is sectioned off so that you do have more of a personal space. The bathrooms are situated at the end of each floor, there are a lot of showers and toilets, so there is very little queuing but males and females do share the same space. There are lockers which cost a few punts to hire, which is not bad, and you can basically use the locker room whenever you wish. There is also food vending machines in the reception area, which believe it or not, is not always avalible in all hostels. The internet is also avalible in the hostel though like in most hostels it is expensive, approximately a pound for a hour. The location is fairly good, depending which side of the Liffey you want to spend most of your time on. Avalon is on the south side of Dublin, nearest to Grafton Street. Most of the hostels tend to be on the north side, slightly away from the bridge, Avalon is singled out in it's location. Still
it is close enough to walk around to all the key areas of Dublin, and it is also very close to Harcourt street, where a lot of the good clubbing and bar locations, away from Temple Bar can be found (and the better going out spots if the truth be said.) Avalon is affordable too, and it is comfortable in general. The worst thing is the general state of the room, such as the mouldy celings whch really make this place seem worse than it is. The best feature is the location, the price and the friendly and interesting people you meet here. All in all a good hostel.