Review: Hilton Dublin Airport

H aving just arrived in Ireland after a couple of days in Budapest, it was quite appropriate to hear Van Morrison “sha-la-la”-ing to Brown Eyed Girl through the speakers in the airport shuttle bus; but the lyrics of I Can See Clearly Now — the next song to play on the radio — suggesting that the rain was gone was rather ironic, as the wipers slapped out a tempo in vain to keep the windshield free of the chilly night rain.

All right, I know — Van Morrison is from Northern Ireland; but Brown Eyed Girl was the first song I heard in Ireland. I obviously had no control over what songs were playing on the radio in that shuttle bus — but perhaps a song by U2 would have better sufficed?

Anyway, Hilton Dublin Airport is located on Malahide Road in Northern Cross, which is not far from Dublin Airport; but it is not exactly close to it either.

I spent three nights at this hotel property, for which I paid 59.63 Euros per night for a total of 178.89 Euros in total — paid in advance.

My stay did not start off well: even though the airplane operated by Ryanair on which I was a passenger arrived approximately 20 minutes ahead of its original scheduled time of 23:40, I still was unable to catch the airport shuttle bus to the hotel, as the last pick-up scheduled from Zone 14 at the airport was at 23:40. The gates which serve Ryanair flights at Dublin Airport seem to be in their own county, as it felt like the walk was at least one kilometer — and then I still had to go through passport control.

There I was standing out in the cold, wet rain staring at the shuttle buses of other hotel properties still collecting and transporting their guests.

I went inside and told the person behind the information desk of my dilemma. She told me where the hotel courtesy telephones were located. When I tried to use the one for Hilton Dublin Airport, all it did was beep as though it was out of service. The person behind the information desk called the hotel property. After telling them of my situation, a special shuttle bus pick-up was scheduled — and we are now at the part of this trip at the beginning of this article where I was in that shuttle bus, thankful to be on my way to the hotel property.

When I arrived and was checked in, I was given two cold bottles of water and a coupon good for two free drinks in the bar. Because I am an elite member of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program, I also was informed that breakfast is included in the restaurant, as there is no executive lounge. The person who checked me in was apologetic and would have probably done almost anything I requested.

By this time, it was well after midnight; so I retired to my room and worked on an article for The Gate before “crashing” for the night. The Internet Wi-Fi connection — which was also included — performed well; but the connection would drop every time a device would fall into “sleep” mode. Logging onto the Wi-Fi connection only took seconds of my time; but to have to keep doing it was a minor irritation at best.

There was nothing outstanding or special in this room, as it could have passed for a typical hotel room in the United States. There were two outlets included at the desk area: one for plugs designed to be used in the United Kingdom; and one for plugs designed to be used in the United States. An adapter was not necessary for electronics meant to be used in the United States, which was nice.

The twin bed — there were two of them in the room — was rather comfortable. There was a flat-screen television on the dresser. The work area had a desk with a mirror, the aforementioned electrical outlets, a telephone, a desk lamp, cubbyholes, and a drawer. Closet space — which included a safe — was generous. The bathroom was equipped with such items as a telephone and magnifying mirror; and it featured amenities from Peter Thomas Roth, which included shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, “deluxe” shower cap, soap — and body wash filled with microbeads.

Here are the bottles of body wash by Peter Thomas Roth filled with colourful microbeads. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Here are the bottles of body wash by Peter Thomas Roth filled with colourful microbeads. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

At least the shower area had a curtain on a rod which curved outwards similar to those found in the bathrooms of hotel rooms in the United States — which meant no watery mess like those irritating partial shower partitions I kept finding in Budapest.

There was a curtain on a shower rod curved outward — no mess when showering! Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

There was a curtain on a shower rod curved outward — no mess when showering! Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The buffet breakfast in the restaurant consisted a selection of such items as poached eggs; cheese; sausage, which included blood sausage; croissants and chocolate croissants; yogurt; fruit; pastries; assorted rolls and breads; cucumbers and tomatoes; sliced processed meats; potatoes; and juices, which included orange juice that seemed to be freshly squeezed — or, it at least contained a lot of pulp. I am not much of a breakfast person — but this breakfast filled me up every morning.

I apologize for not having more photographs available; but the room was not exactly presentable by the time I was able to take pictures.

Getting to the center of Dublin was rather easy by public transportation, as there is a bus stop at the Tesco supermarket diagonally across the intersection of streets near the front of the hotel. For 2.60 Euros, the bus — all of which are double-decker — on route 15 will take you there in approximately 30 minutes. Other bus routes will take you towards the center of Dublin as well.

If you rent a car, the M1 autoroute — which you can take south towards Dublin or north towards Belfast — is several minutes away. The car park at the hotel property will cost you five Euros per day.

The views from the room will not exactly win any awards:

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

My main complaints about this hotel property is that the Wi-Fi Internet service should be more stable in terms of keeping devices logged in; and that the schedule for the shuttle service really needs to be more flexible — including adding an extra shuttle or two late at night, and perhaps increasing the frequency at some times where the shuttle service is every 45 minutes.

Also, there is a cost of two Euros for the return shuttle bus service back to the airport — even though the service from the airport to the hotel property is complimentary. I personally believe that this charge is rather petty.

I also did not appreciate a charge of one Euro for a donation to the Hilton Foundation, which was automatically added to my statement.

Otherwise, I would recommend staying at the Hilton Dublin Airport if you want a lodging option which is at a lower cost than comparable options closer to or within Dublin.

5 thoughts on “Review: Hilton Dublin Airport”

  1. Joey says:

    Ok am I odd that before I even started reading this blog post I already knew it would be a debbie downer type post? 😉 Keep being you. Your blog posts are entertaining even though I doubt I’d ever complain that much or be as critical as you. Then again, my view of hotels are different. As long as I can sleep on the bed undisturbed and as long as there is a clean bathroom with great water pressure and hot water, then I’m happy.

    1. jackal says:

      I, too, have stayed at this hotel and found my stay to be a little less satisfying than I’d have expected.

      I’m not picky at all; I regularly eschew branded properties for no-name, budget, independent places, and little things like peeling paint and lukewarm shower water rarely faze me.

      But this is a Hilton, and with that comes some expectations…and this property seems to consistently fall just short of them. I had the same buggy Internet issue, although mine was worse–there were often multiple hours each day that one of my devices simply could not log in. It was also annoying not to have any power outlets near the bed (I suppose being forced to get up and go across the room to shut your phone’s alarm off in the morning is a feature, not a bug.)

      That said, I’ve found this property a pretty decent deal for the price.

    2. Brian Cohen says:

      I thought I was being balanced in the review, Joey.

      What I try to do is relate my experiences so that those who read them have a better idea of what to expect.

      I overall liked my stay; but I felt that it was important to note the three criticisms I have of the hotel property.

      If you thought that was bad, you are not going to like the review of the next hotel property…

  2. Like you, we stayed at this property after a very late night arrival. We came in after a nightmare multi-leg, multi-airline Sochi-Moscow-Istanbul-Heathrow-Dublin day that began at 3am six timezones to the east. This included a police board upon landing at Heathrow to remove a suspicious individual who’d refused to vacate the toilet. While we did wait in the Dublin cold for the shuttle to be summoned as you did, our merry driver gave us a laugh when we questioned the distance to the hotel. He informed that although more than a couple of kilometers away, Hilton can call this an airport hotel because the plane flies over it. Unlike you, we immediately utilized the free drink coupons and found ourselves in atmospheric bliss: music and revelry (there was a wedding). The staff couldn’t have been lovelier, and we were grateful to have a comfortable room, wi-fi that worked (a mere two clicks in general settings solved the sleep mode tech issue), hot water, plentiful towels and other amenities. The breakfast was terrific – real eggs!, and afterward, when the shuttle was full of departing guests including Aer Lingus personnel who were all trying to make early flights, the hotel comped additional taxis in order to accommodate. Attitude and perspective are amazing.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The staff was indeed great, Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru.

      I am glad that despite the rough start, your stay turned out well.

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