I was in Dublin for a course and conference which would keep me through Shabbat, so I decided to take a room for the whole week at Abrae Court Guesthouse. During the week it meant at least a half hour bus ride downtown, and many times another 20 minute walk from Eden Quay to North Wall Quay to the CCD. However, having a real, normal Shabbat with community made up for it.
You can call and book your dates and reserve a mini fridge use for ease of keeping kosher. About a block and a half away is a Quinn Supermarket. Get the kosher list and keep your food expenses to a minimum. I was out most of the day at the Convention Center, so I didn't take advantage of the microwave use they offered me. I also didn't have time in the morning to have breakfast down stairs in the dining room (an additional 6 euro), so I made my coffee in my room (brought a dark roast with me), and had cheese, crackers, fruits and vegetables, my preferred breakfast.
Since I had long days at the conference, I ordered some packed kosher sandwiches from Kosher Ireland. They are very, very expensive, but my per diem was enough to cover it with room for my groceries for evening and morning. On Thursday I walked the 10-15 minute walk to the synagogue to pay my bill for the sandwiches. They really came in handy at the conference and made my life easier.
Nina and Monika were very helpful and welcoming. The room was clean, as was the bathroom. My room had only a shower,no bath tub, but that was fine with me.
A few caveats: Stairs, skeleton keys, no safe in room. There are stairs from the parking area to the front door, and stairs to most of the rooms. I was on the main floor, but there were stairs down and up on that landing alone. Heavy suitcase owners should beware.
The skeleton key for your room feels less secure than a card-lock or door specific key. I suppose it's not really any less secure. There is no ensuite safe. I brought a lock for my netbook and kept valuables with me most of the time.
The guesthouse is not a fancy hotel, but it is a cozy place to stay. I particularly enjoyed the neighborhood. There is plenty of public transport. I even took the 16a Dublin Bus from the airport to the stop right in front of the synagogue. It was a bit further of a walk than I had anticipated from there to the guesthouse with suitcases, though. Better would be to take the AirLink into city center and transfer to the 74a which drops you off about a block from the guesthouse. Even the 14 would drop you close.
There was also free wireless, daily room cleaning, and a coffee corner. I liked it.
The important bit for me was that on Shabbat there were other Shabbat observers, it was a close walk to the synagogue, and all in all pleasant. I will definitely consider returning anytime I am in Dublin.
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