Convenient accommodations in Dublin are scattered throughout the heart of the city, but to find that perfect location that is also easy on the wallet, well, not so easy. Your Irish luck is about to change with a stay at the historic O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel in the heart of Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin was our first stop on our travel bucket list vacation to Ireland. It had been years since I visited, and my hubby and the couple we traveled with had never been. I wanted to make it as memorable as my first visit, so of course, Dublin, its history, and its pubs were all on our must-do list. We choose two-nights at the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel in the heart of the city.
After we landed in Ireland and passed through customs, our chauffeur greeted us — and so did the rain (no surprise there, right?). But we were thrilled to be on land after hours in the air on our red-eye flight. While our driver dodged the morning rush hour traffic, we eyed the wet landscape.
Arrival at Davenport Hotel
Dating back to to the early 17th century, you can’t miss the Davenport Hotel, with its neo-classical facade with columns and cornice covings. Formerly known as Merrion Hall, the building was once a prayer hall accommodating up to 2,000 worshippers. Although a fire destroyed most of its interior in 1990, the facade of the building and the impressive lobby were not damaged. The building opened as a four-star hotel in 1990 and sits on a busy corner of Dubin, surrounded by restaurants, pubs, and shops.
We arrived at the hotel well before check-in time at 9 am on a Monday. We stepped in out of the rain to discover a lobby decor with acres of dark wood and leather stretching into their bar and restaurant, that somehow worked to be warm and welcoming. The friendly receptionist checked us in and gave us the good news. Our room would actually be ready in about an hour!
Apparently, our timing was spot on, as about 5 minutes later, a coach arrived with a full load of hotel guests ready to check in.
Location of the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel
For travelers wanting to explore Dublin, this four-star hotel seriously boasts an amazing location right next to Merrion Park. Put on your walking shoes and you can reach many of Dublin’s key attractions including Trinity College, Merrion Square, and government buildings within a five-minute walk. The main shopping area, Grafton Street, is within an easy 10-minute walk, and the National Gallery of Ireland is around the corner.
For those that prefer public transport, you’ll find that too just around the corner. For sightseeing, we wanted to make the most of our two days in Dublin, so we booked the touristy double-decker buses, and literally, one of the stops was a block away.
The Davenport Hotel offers spacious rooms (European standards), and surprisingly, for being located on a busy city-center traffic street, the rooms are thankfully quiet. (Ask for an upper room to take in the city views.) The beds are firm, ever so slightly too firm for my liking, but still comfortable. And seriously, after the red-eye flight, we barely noticed the firmness.
The decor is classic shades of burgundy with another dose of the dark mahogany. Our room featured two double beds, but our view was a boring parking lot.
Guests can choose from other room configurations — and another surprise, even king rooms are available. For families, interconnecting rooms are also offered.
Where to Eat
Since we arrived early, we stored our luggage and entered the President’s Bar, reminiscent of a hunting lodge again with its crooks and crannies decorated with dark wood tables and leather chairs.
And this is where we enjoyed our first Irish beer, as even though it was mid-morning, the bartender accommodated our request. (Hey, it was a long flight and isn’t it always 5 o’clock somewhere?) We also ordered a pastry, and this was the first of many delightful slices of bread and pastries we enjoyed in Ireland — way too many and way too often. Also served here are traditional Irish dishes including Afternoon tea.
A full Irish breakfast buffet (included in our package) is served every morning at Lanyon’s restaurant, with again dark wooden interior and friendly staff.
And as mentioned above, this neighborhood has multiple bars and restaurants surrounding the hotel.
Follow along on my Ireland vacation –other hotel stays included Europa Belfast Hotel, Harvey’s Point Hotel, Donegal, Radisson Blue Hotel &Spa, Galway (review coming soon), Dromoland Castle (amazing review by Nancy Brown), and Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow (review coming soon).