Last week, Luke and I went away on a little city break to Dublin...which you may know if you're already following me on Snapchat and Twitter. If you're not, WTF are you doing and go follow me pronto! All of my social media links are at the bottom of this page.
Through a special with Hotwire, we stayed at the Croke Park Hotel in Dublin, next to the Gaelic Games Stadium (which includes Gaelic football and hurling), Croke Park. It is located just north of the city centre in the suburb of Drumcondra--though the city centre is within a 20-minute walk and is a part of the prestigious Doyle Collection.
The hotel itself was gorgeous.
When you walk in, you're immediately taken into a whole other place--mainly because the area around the hotel isn't very nice (but I'll get to that in a moment). You feel quite relaxed the moment you step in and are even offered hot towels upon arrival.
Behind the little partitions is a clean and comfortable little sitting area (pardon how weird my make-up looks in this light):
And just behind that is the restaurant. Although we didn't actually physically eat in the restaurant, we did order room service our first night and the food was excellent and reasonably priced (aside from the €5 tray charge, but split between us, that's not so bad).
Our room, a standard for a couple, was fantastic and pretty huge for a European hotel room. If you're an American reading this and aren't aware, in Europe, generally hotel rooms are a lot smaller than those in the US. However, this one was almost as big as a standard hotel room in the USA. And the bathroom was huge.
Excuse the tiny mess by the bed and our things in the bathroom.
Included were coffee and tea making facilities with tons of sugar, tea choices and even some hot cocoa mix. I enjoyed some tea in the bath on my third night, though I have neglected to include photographic evidence of this for obvious reasons.
All in all, our stay there was incredibly pleasant. Would I recommend Croke Park Hotel to anyone visiting Dublin? Well, unfortunately I have to be a bit honest when I say that the locale is the only thing that would put me off from recommending it full force. The area around Croke Park is quite rough and not always very populated. To get to the hotel from the city centre at night, you have to walk by a Mountjoy Square, which doesn't really have much lighting and isn't in the best neighborhood. You'll also have to walk down Parnell Street, which is evidently the second roughest street in all of Ireland (Irish readers please correct me if I'm wrong!).
There really aren't many restaurants or pubs around and you have to get on your hiking boots for 15-20 minute walk to O'Connell Street or Drumcondra Road for anything that isn't located within the hotel itself. If you're touring Dublin and want a cheaper luxury hotel, then yes, I would recommend it as there are buses going into the city frequently (allowing you to skip the walk) and the hotel also provides a free shuttle bus into the city centre (though it is only at certain appointed times early in the morning). For a woman on her own looking to see the sights, I might recommend skipping it just because of the area surrounding it.
But if you're just looking for a romantic getaway and want to remain on the premises (or have a party on site) it is a good bet. Also, if you're there for any kind of Gaelic Games event, it is definitely highly recommended, though the prices will likely increase on those days.
Though, be warned that the view isn't very nice. We were so excited to check into our room and found it so beautiful, only to be disappointed by the fact that outside our window is a wall of graffiti, train tracks, and a river where several people were day drinking (and the falling asleep).
THE CROKE PARK HOTEL
Phone: +353 1 871 4444