Stars have different meanings in different countries. Before you book a room in Dublin based on star ratings, take a moment to learn what the stars mean in Ireland. When you know what to expect, you won’t be disappointed when you put the key in the door.
Dublin is unusual in comparison to other European capitals in that location is not the only factor when it comes to price. In fact, there are several very central (and affordable) options. Value does not necessarily increase with distance from the city center in Dublin.
Here is a quick overview of the cost of hotels in Dublin.
The one-star Hazlebrook House
Getting to Know Your Choices
Dublin may be a compact city, but there is a wide range of hotel rooms. The local cheapo accommodation scene is made up of hostels (some where private rooms and bathrooms are available), independently owned inns/bed and breakfasts/or guesthouses, and larger hotels. Depending on the season, your priorities, and even the weekend, there are deals to be found across all categories.
Dublin is split in two by the River Liffey, offering hotels on both the north side of the river and the south side. There are affordable options on both sides.
When it comes to freebies, be sure to confirm on the website and call or ask. Most prices include free Wi-Fi and breakfast, but there are exceptions across all categories.
Doubles about €50-€75
Many family-run, independent bed and breakfasts fall into the one star category. While there are definitely upscale bed and breakfasts in town, there are also simple places that offer a comfortable, clean place to sleep and (often) free amenities like Wi-Fi and breakfast. Be sure to read the fine print: Some bed and breakfasts offer a simple continental breakfast, while others offer a hearty full Irish that will set you up for the whole day.
Recommendations: The Townhouse, Hazelbrook House
The two-star Harding Hotel
Doubles about €60-€90
Small hotels fall into the two-star category. While these properties usually lack style or exceptional service, they do offer clean rooms and a few amenities such as TVs in the room and breakfast included in the rate. Not all offer Wi-Fi, but some do have surprising features such as nice views and in-house bars for the rainy nights when you might not want to venture far for a pint. At these properties, expect cleanliness and value. For a touch of style, upgrade to a three-star property.
Recommendations: Dergvale Hotel, Harding Hotel
The Mespil is a three-star hotel.
From €80-€150, and up
Three-star properties in Dublin offer incredible value in that you get a lot for your money. These hotels, many of which are independently run, offer stylish details and extra comfort, along with signature Irish hospitality. Many are tucked into the best neighborhoods of Dublin, offering a local experience without a big price tag. Be sure to book these properties in advance, as they are often the first to sell out during weekends where a concert or sports match is coming to town.
Recommendations: Mespil Hotel, Hotel St. George
Doubles from €200, and up
Travelers looking for a special hotel stay might want to consider the four-star category. At this price point, expect extras like breakfast made to order, a lovingly restored bed and breakfast full of charm, and upscale bathroom products. There are hotels in this category, but for a real Irish experience, choose one of the four-star bed and breakfasts often housed in former Georgian mansions in Dublin’s best neighborhoods.
Recommendations: The Schoolhouse Hotel, Waterloo House
Other Accommodation Choices
During the summer months, another affordable option is the dorm rooms at central Trinity College Dublin. Cheapos looking for a kitchen to help ease the cost of a trip to Ireland should focus on apartment rentals (there is a surplus of apartments in Dublin city center).
When to Go to Dublin
The prices for hotels across all categories fluctuate with the season, holidays, and special events. Some of them you might expect—prices jump for St. Patrick’s Day, for example—but others are unexpected such as big concerts, rugby games, or a conference in town for the weekend. The best way to find deals is to book in advance when inventory for rooms is still wide open.
Generally, prices are higher during the summer when many people visit Dublin from abroad. Prices drop significantly during the winter, and although temperatures can be chilly, Dublin has very mild weather and rarely ever experiences snow. The shoulder season is in spring and fall, but beware of Six Nations weekends (the rugby tournament) in the spring when hotels can be booked solid.
About the author: Jessica Colley writes about Dublin for EuroCheapo. Read her posts in our Dublin blog.