We stayed here for two nights. We arrived at 1pm on Saturday and we were politely told that our room was not ready. Alan directed us to a very average and expensive pub, by no means the nearest, in which he obviously has some kind of side-interest. Alan lays on the charm with a trowel but by the end of your stay you are likely to see through it. We had agreed a rate of 99 euros per night - hardly cheap - and paid a 99 euro deposit several weeks in advance of arrival. Alarm bells began to ring shortly after arrival when Alan casually raised the suggestion that he had no record of the deposit payment, asking if we had used a different card. I thought it odd that he would not have contacted us before now if there had been any issue with the deposit. I said I was sure the payment had indeed been made and that I would check my online banking and show him if necessary. The subject was not raised again.
The important thing to know about Almara is that words you might think you understood quite well have a very different meaning in "Alanspeak". For example, 'High speed internet" means a one-bar signal that just about functions depending on where in the building you are. "4 star", as other reviewers have noted, means tiny, noisy, hot (in July), slightly grubby rooms with incredibly dated furnishings. "Cot" means filthy "travel cot" into which you would not dream of depositing someone else's child, much less your own.
The Alanspeak description of the "full Irish breakfast" raised my hopes quite high. The reality was an unpleasant circle of black fatty stuff, an equally unappetising piece of white fatty stuff, two cheap cocktail-type sausages and some very average bacon. I regret that I did not photograph how pitiful it looked on something not much bigger than a side-plate. A further indication of the owners' meanness may be gathered from the fact that they have not invested £20 in a high chair. Our one-year old had to eat breakfast from his buggy, no doubt to the irritation of the other guests in the cramped breakfast room. We were also told 'if you're giving milk to the baby, use that jug, not this one, as that jug's a bit fresher.' I can only deduce from this that adult guests should not expect fresh breakfast. Blessed is he who expecteth little for he shall not be disappointed...
All of this we might've overlooked, but what guaranteed that we will never return was a further highly dubious money incident. Alan kept urging us to pay him in cash and said that if we did not, the cost of the room would go up to 103 euros. Since my bank would charge me for withdrawing the cash in any case, I paid by card and, grudgingly, Alan's penalty charge. This, along with the other reviews and our own experience, convince me that this is not a place to recommend on any level; the "friendliness" you will encounter seems to me designed to lower your guard, something you'd be very ill-advised to do at Almara.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly located halfway between Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre (8 minutes by taxi from both) Almara is an award winning Irish Tourist Board and Dublin Tourism approved 3 star B&B. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Almara Bed And Breakfast
- Almara Hotel Dublin