My husband and myself stayed in the Strand Hotel in October 2013. We were attending a wedding in the nearby Ballyliffen Lodge and Spa Hotel and the Lodge was booked up.
Location wise, the Strand couldn't be closer. It is literally at the bottom of the driveway to the Lodge and it was very easy to find.
Upon checking in, we were given our room key. It was a literal key on a MASSIVE keyring which barely fitted into my handbag. We only got the one key between me and my husband which was a bit annoying.
We stayed in room 50 at the very end of a corridor. The lights at the end of the corridor were not working so it was pretty dark and a pain trying to get the key in the lock.
The room was very basic. I don't mind basic but it wasn't very clean. A bobbly, threadbare throw on the bed hid a brown scratchy thin prison blanket and a 'white' sheet. The sheet on the bed was stained with orange. They smelt clean however they were obviously long past their prime.
The carpet was quite grubby and badly marked. Cobwebs around the ceiling and large dead flies stuck in them.
The bathroom was pretty much the same. Cleanish but dated.
We didn't have a great nights sleep for a few reasons. The bed was rock solid, the blankets were paper thin and any time someone on the same floor as us opened and closed their door, the banging and noise easily woke us. It was a nightmare and went on half the night. There seemed to be no sound proofing at all in the hotel.
We missed breakfast, trying to catch up a little missed sleep but were horrified to find out that on a Sunday, checkout was 11:30am. I thought this was a little early, especially since check in isn't until 3pm and the hotel only has 50 rooms. 11:30am is the absolute latest you can check out which was less than ideal but that could just be me.
We didn't really spend enough time in the hotel to deal with any staff for any period of time.
The reception area and bar area seem very nice but this is obviously where the money had been spent in the hotel.
I have another two weddings next year in the Lodge and there's no way I'll be back in the Strand. I'll be booking early to make sure I secure a room in the Lodge!
Terrible nights sleep, grubby, dated rooms and noisy!
The reception and bar areas are warm and inviting though.