It’s a testament to just how much I love a free hotel stay that I gleefully tottered down the road to spend a night at The Address at Dublin 1. It’s a newly built add-on to the North Star Hotel, and it’s situated eight minutes’ walk away from my house. In a way, it seemed like a ridiculous invitation to say yes to – in another way, it was beyond easy to get there, I literally brought myself, my toothbrush and my PJs and, as a local, it was really lovely to see a new, high-end hotel doing business – and doing it well – right on my doorstep.
Disclaimer: I was invited, along with a few other bloggers and journalists, to stay at The Address for one night, midweek, including dinner and what seemed like unlimited drinks. (I’m not a big drinker, so I had a G&T and a glass of wine with dinner.)
I’m aware that, when you’re invited as a press guest, you get a “press guest” service – you’re never going to arrive to find that your room’s air conditioning is faulty, or that the concierge services are run off their feet. As press, you get treated like hotel royalty, so any review that comes from a free trip is never going to be 100% impartial. It can’t be. But with that in mind, I read through a whole host of reviews on TripAdvisor for The Address – and it looks like we’re not the only ones who were impressed.
The Address’s pro list
- Location, location, location Obviously, this is going to be the serious winner for The Address. It’s right across the road from Connolly station, on the DART and Luas lines, beside Busarus, next to the Convention Centre, a couple of Luas stops from 3Arena… the list goes on. There are actually not all that many genuinely lovely hotels on the Northside (the Morisson, the Gibson and the Gresham being the first three that spring to mind), so it’s good to have a new option on the table.
- It’s gorgeous The décor inside The Address is really gorgeous, and actually, I think that’s one of the things that very few hotels get right. I’m not a fan of the Morisson’s makeover, for example, and while I liked the Marker the first couple of times I was there, the lobby (designed to look like the limestone at the Burren) feels a little too cold and clinical to make it a really cosy offering. There are loads of little quirky touches in The Address, including little raffia baskets hanging over the counter in The Parlor; vintage typewriters dotted around on display tables; gorgeous leather-backed armchairs in the lobby, restaurant and in the club lounge on the seventh floor, a really gorgeous, bright rooftop space you can go, drink coffee, read the papers and enjoy the views.
- The staff The Address is connected to the North Star hotel and the majority of the staff have been with the company for years – and you can tell. I always feel like a hotel is largely the sum of its staff (Parknasilla in Sneem, Co Kerry, is one that springs to mind for being made so cosy and welcoming by the dozens of people who’ve worked there for decades), and everyone we encountered at The Address was beyond lovely. Again, of course they were; we were there as press, invited with the sole purpose of being impressed by them, but one thing I did notice was that there were quite a few Dubs in the mix – and the inner city Dublin accent is not something you usually hear in four-star establishments (hallo, Irish classism). It was really refreshing and made me feel really good about what the hotel will do for the area.
- There’s loads of choice I don’t just mean in terms of rooms (there are 80) or food (McGettigan’s Cookhouse has a massive menu, with everything from prawns pil-pil to pizza and burgers, all of which looked very good – I had fish and chips, which was excellent). There’s just loads of space in The Address, from the bar to the restaurant, the cosy lobby, the Parlor (which serves kind of healthy breakfast and smoothie options), the Club Lounge, the gym… I know that most people coming to Dublin will spend a lot of time outside of the hotel, but if you came to Dublin and had one of those lashing, cold, miserable days, you could find loads of nice ways to bide the time indoors.
And the cons
- The heat This is a problem I have with pretty much every hotel I’ve ever visited – they are always too warm. It could have been the wine (or the G&T), but when I got into my bedroom after dinner it felt like a sauna, and no matter how high I put the fan on (the highest) or how low I set the temperature (18 Celcius, the lowest possible setting), there was no cooling me down. I probably could have called down to reception to ask for help – either for someone to come and adjust the air conditioning, or for a fan, but that’s another thing about being on a press junket; I feel like a total brat if I ask for something extra. Hashtag diva.
- The noise The Address is situated amazingly when it comes to public transport, but the downside of that is that, when the DART passes by, early in the morning, it makes noise (duh!). I am a super heavy sleeper and, if it hadn’t been for the heat keeping me awake, I doubt I would have noticed – but it might be something to bear in mind if you’re someone who’s likely to be disturbed by noise outside your window. Our room was right next to the train line, but I’m sure you could ask for a quieter (or higher) room if noise is an issue for you.
- The geography I’m not talking about the location of the hotel, but the internal geography can be a teeny bit confusing – but, I guess, only when it comes to breakfast (my fave)! Breakfast is served in the North Star Hotel, so you need to toddle on down to the ground floor and walk across to the old North Star and into the breakfast room. Once you’re there, it’s all gravy; breakfast was good, the automatic toaster didn’t burn my bread (yes, I eat bread – it’s delicious and hotel breakfasts are like Vegas; what happens at the hotel breakfast…) and the black pudding was delish. Top marks!
So there you go! Like I said, don’t consider this a totally unbiased review – I was invited as a guest and treated as such and, if there are any rubbish sides to the hotel, they were well hidden away from me. I think it’s important to include the bits that we didn’t love quite so much, but overall, if I ever needed somewhere to stay in Dublin 1, The Address would be top of my list. Check out the website for more details.