We stayed in the Hotel for 4 days at the end of July 2013 and the experience, to quote a UK phrase, was brilliant! The first trick on arrival is to get the glass elevator at the front, otherwise you would have to go up 3 escalators to the reception with your luggage - NOT recommended!). The rooms (and hotel) are modern with lots of glass and our room was spotless with all needed amenities. Although there is lots of cupboard space, there is wasted space for the bedside "extensions" that could have been used for drawers (small gripe only!). Plus point + the room also had a safe to store valuables and passports - USE IT - see point 3 below. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, exceptionally well trained, polite and efficient. On one occasion I was screwed over by Hertz on an automatic car rental (for a planned Belfast trip, after our Dublin trip!) that I had booked 3 months in advance, and the staff were excellent and sympathetic with helping me with my frustrations and the numerous calls I had to make to sort things out (USED Budget - SCREW Hertz!). The breakfast was 10 Euros each (you have to book it the night before) and was great value for money. As we found out, to explore Dublin (there's so, so much to see), it's best to have a really good filling breakfast, have a light lunch (on the run) and then a good evening meal. The Gibson's breakfast area was large and bright and it's a serve yourself one with virtually everything you need. Staff are very friendly and helpful and will bring coffee and anything else you need. One thing we did was to skip the main dining room in the evening and use the bar food menu which is great! I loved the red lentil soup (tried, but couldn't get the recipe - only sore point!) and the seared Ahi Tuna with wasabi cream dressing was superb, with a nice glass of red Chilean wine! The hotel is right beside the LUAS system (opposite the O2 Centre) and the LUAS is very cheap and fairly quick to get you downtown and across the city. The area is safe although it was a little depressing to see the numerous offices and buildings that had not been rented (some are 100% empty and some are shells) on the way to the hotel but this does NOT detract anything at all from the Gibson.
3 Hints for your trip to Dublin:
1. You will likely need to get a taxi from Dublin airport to the Gibson, if you are not renting a car. The cost should be around 20-22 Euros. ALWAYS ASK the cabbie the price first and if it's higher move on. I did not do this and was conned into 35 Euros by what was supposedly a "certified" taxi company at the airport!
2. One fantastic way to see Dublin was the "Hop-On, Hop-Off" Bus tour service (run by Dublin Bus) which uses double-decker buses which are about 70% open at the top level (get better views/photos). The ticket covers two days and comes with a map that shows the route and every major attraction in the city. You can get off at every attraction (no limits to this) and the next bus is usually only 10-12 (15 max.) after the one you got off so you can see a huge amount of Dublin quickly, cheaply and efficiently.
3. Leave what you don't need (passports, money, phones) in your hotel safe. Due to an EU influx, from certain ex-communist-bloc countries, there is a lot more pick pocketing in Dublin these days. Use a money belt, keep you bags in front, closed/zippered at all times be aware and smart. We did this and things were fine but fore-warned is fore-armed!
So that's it from me but huge kudos to the Gibson Hotel for a great experience!!!
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