We booked for three nights at the 3-star O’Callaghan Mont Clare in Merrion Street, Dublin. Arriving by Aircoach from Dublin Airport to the very convenient stop on Merrion Square North just two minutes from the hotel entrance, we were faced by blank stares from the reception staff. “We have no booking for you on our system – and our hotel is full”. Fortunately, I had brought with me a print-out of the booking from lastminute.com, plus a pre-payment receipt. Without these handy pieces of paper, we would have been turned away onto the street. The staff looked hard to try to find some mistake in what we had. So, BEWARE – the O’Callaghan booking system is faulty. Eventually, after a long wait, no apology and much mumbling from the staff, our patience – possibly they thought we were stubborn but we were very controlled - was rewarded and we were directed across the road to the O’Callaghan Davenport. This was not the perfect start to our Dublin stay. First impressions colour one’s judgement – and this first impression was very poor.
The Davenport claims four stars. Reception staff were efficient but there was no assistance with luggage and no welcoming smiles. The décor of the Davenport is dominated by dark wood panelling, cold marble and heavy furniture. This certainly matched our feelings of being unloved and unappreciated. After that, things got better. Our room looking over adjacent roofs was quiet, reasonably comfortable with large double bed (two singles put together), desk, small table and one easy chair. The bathroom was reasonably well appointed. The water pressure was huge and showers in the bath were invigorating. The fitted hair dryer was not functioning but we found a portable one on a high shelf. Again, it is debateable whether four stars are justified as the bathroom amenities such as shower gel and shampoo were either missing or poor. There was a cheap plastic mini-kettle for tea and coffee and a small saucer of a few tea bags and coffee sachets. It all seemed rather sparing and reluctant. The same feeling predominated at breakfast, charged separately at Euro11.95, with mini bowls of fruit and yoghurt on the buffet, and the need to chase a waiter to order anything that was not in the rather dried-out offerings of scrambled egg and bacon. Our ordered poached eggs turned into a boiled egg. The waitress disclaimed all responsibility and it was only a waiter much later who sorted the mistake. No apologies again – just a grudging hunch of the shoulders.
On the plus side, the O’Callaghan Davenport is superbly located, as others have noted on TripAdvisor. One tip: if you are there for a Saturday, you can get free tickets at 10.30 a.m.at the National Gallery across the road from the hotel for a guided tour around the Taoiseach’s (Prime Minister’s) Office. Tours are only on Saturdays and are very instructive – we could get right into Enda Kenny’s (the current Taoiseach) office and cabinet rooms, see all his personal artefacts including presents from other heads of state, and even the photos of his children on the window sill. You couldn’t do that in Downing Street or Pennsylvania Avenue.
To conclude, the O’Callaghan Davenport is reasonably comfortable but nothing special – and you might have similar frustrations to ours. If we had paid the full rate, we would have been extremely disgruntled; but we didn’t and we were modestly happy with our stay. We would have been rather more happy if someone – a smiling manager, perhaps – had apologised for making a total mess of our booking.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on a quiet corner in the heart of Dublin City, only moments away from the buzz of city life, the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel Dublin is where history and modernity unite. A fusion of old and new is a distinctive feature of this traditional, elegant Dublin City centre hotel. Imaginatively decorated in warm, vibrant colours, the 4-star Davenport Hotel Dublin has been designed with style and comfort in mind. Upon arrival at the Davenport Luxury hotel Dublin City you will be greeted by the hotel’s striking facade, distinguishing it from any other. It is all that remains of the landmark building, Merrion Hall Just off Merrion Square Dublin City, designed by Alfred G Jones in 1863, after a fire engulfed the building in 1990. The interior refurbishment and exterior restoration has been sensitive to the historic nature of the building. There are a host of facilities available for the business or leisure guest at the O’Callaghan Davenport Luxury Hotel Dublin. Rich dark woods engulf President’s Bar, creating an inviting, clubhouse ambience, where residents and locals stop to unwind and enjoy a drink, coffee, or light lunch. Lanyon’s Restaurant is famed for its relaxed atmosphere and tasty European fare. If fitness is your relaxant, there is a 24-hour gymnasium for exclusive use of hotel residents at Dublins Davenport Hotel. The discerning business guest is certain to feel at home in O’Callaghan Davenport Luxury Hotel. There is a wide range of facilities at your disposal in the business centre, open 24-hours, while wireless broadband is available in the lobby. As flexibility and choice is a core value of O’Callaghan Hotels, guests can use the facilities and services of any Dublin City O’Callaghan Hotel and have the account conveniently billed back to your room. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Davenport Hotel Dublin