Let's start with a positive: the staff at this hotel are lovely. From the woman I spoke to on the phone before my arrival to the front desk staff to the man at the security desk -- they were all very friendly, pleasant and helpful.
The problem is that I feel sorry for them that they have to work at the Ripley Court, because no matter how nice they are, the Ripley Court is a dark, run-down property well passed its prime. Its glossy website is borderline misleading, as it bears no relation to the hotel in reality. The public areas on the ground floor -- 'security desk' (the first sign of trouble...), front desk, lobby, etc. are all as dark as a dungeon, as they've no windows/natural light. The luggage room, as another reviewer mentioned, is a room you access with a key yourself: no tags, no one checking that you're only taking your own bags. The elevator is old and creaky, with things trapped between the cover and the light bulbs on its ceiling. I checked in around 4pm, and was met with bags and bags of dirty laundry right outside the lift on the 2nd floor. The room itself, had it been clean, would've been adequate but unimpressive. It was a little bare (not one piece of guest information, about the hotel or the city) and very outdated (the bathroom and the iron/ironing board need immediately replacing), but the bed was very comfortable and I got a good night's sleep.The shower was also very powerful.
However there was a stain of indeterminable origin on the bedspread and the remote control -- tied to the nightstand with a cord -- was held together at one end with duct tape, complete with other people's hair stuck to an exposed piece of stickiness.The grouting between the tiles in the bathroom was black, and there were cracked tiles close to the floor. The walls were extremely thin, so much so that you can hear everything from the hall and the room next door (I knew exactly what my neighbours were talking about AND what they were watching on TV).
Going back to the website, I notice that in the photo of the rooms, the remote control is not tied in any way to the nightstand and there is what looks to be a leather-covered guest directory on the desktop. Hmm...
The street this hotel is on is the real problem though. It's Talbot Street, which connects Connolly train station to O'Connell Street. I was a woman travelling alone and I didn't feel safe walking down it late Friday afternoon; I made sure not to have walk down it at night. It's the type of street that boasts 'We Buy Your Gold' pawn-style shops, discount stores, seedy arcades, boarded-up empty storefronts and intimidating drunks/drug users waiting in doorways, asking you if you have a lighter or fifty cents to spare. It's another world from the shopping mecca of Henry Street, which is its opposite on the other side of O'Connell St. In short, it's disgusting. I will never walk down this street again, let alone book myself into a hotel at the far end of it.
For visitors to Ireland (I'm Irish), I would hate to think that this is the street you would stay on in Dublin and take home with you as an impression of our country or of Dublin itself. My advice would be never to book accommodation in Ireland because it's near a train station -- that's actually a reason NOT to book, because in Dublin and Cork (and possibly, in other Irish cities as well) the areas around train stations are known to be a bit on the seedy side, and not somewhere you'd walk alone at night.
In Dublin, the LUAS (tram) connects Connolly Station to Heuston Station with plenty of stops in between, the AirCoach takes you directly from Dublin Airport to a number of hotels (and Westmoreland Street, by O'Connell Bridge) and then there's the AirLink Express, a bus service with stops all over the city and connects you to the airport and the major bus and train stations for a €6 ticket one-way. My point is: there is no NEED to stay near any station just because you're catching a bus or train.
By all means, if you just need a bed and this is the only hotel that's in your budget, stay at the Ripley Court. It is relatively cheap. But if this is your dream Ireland vacation or supposed to be a relaxing weekend break away, avoid it at all costs. As a woman travelling alone, I would advise you to stay well away from this area and, so, this hotel.
I hate to be so negative but this is the point of TripAdvisor: to advise other travellers what they might be letting themselves in for.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 3 Star Hotel located in the heart of Dublin city ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ripley Court Dublin
- Hotel Ripley Court
- Ripley Court Hotel Dublin