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“Marketing Sham!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Clarence

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The Clarence
Ranked #43 of 153 Hotels in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
Los Gatos
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Marketing Sham!”
Reviewed April 1, 2008

Our room was tiny, unlike the spacious photos on their website. Every nuance from the street could be heard from the single-pain and in-operable window. The View? Nothing like the image from their website atop the building w/ outdoor chairs and tables for "afternoon tea"...
Good luck regulating the room temperature. There is no thermostat so be prepared to wake up intermittently to adjust a temperamental valve on the floor for the radiator. Our refrigerator didn’t work at all- so nothing to sooth my sore throat (due to the heat) at 3:00am. The T.V. was an old computer monitor – maybe a 13” that got 2 or 3 channels clearly- the others were “snow”.
Get ready to pay for everything including valet parking each night (there is no other way to park your rental car) and internet access. Valet = 25 Euros/ night, internet = 20 Euros/day.
This was our first stop on our honeymoon. Luckily we only had to stay there for 2 days. Our total for those 2 days was 719 Euros ($1,131 US). After we complained they “comped” our incidentals like the internet and valet parking (whoopee!!!) They refused to refund us for the misery we incurred while [not] sleeping there. Instead, they waited for us to leave the country 8 days later before they offered us a “complementary 2 day stay” in another one of their “luxurious” rooms.
Sure! Right after I poke my eyes out!
Perhaps my “complementary stay” is transferable? If so, anyone can claim them for free! A penny more than that and your getting ripped off – just like we did!

  • Liked — location next to Temple Bar
  • Disliked — noisy room, poor value, complete misrepresentation of their product and service
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank seanry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2008

We'll admit the deciding factor in our choosing The Clarence over many other hotels with fine reputations in the center of Dublin was the fact it is owned by U2.

Having said that, we expected a bit more elegant and modern facility than what we actually experienced this week. Our idea of elegance is very simple and of the highest quality, with space, form, and function well thought out. There is an elegant simplicity to The Clarence. And space is used well. However, the quality of materials seems only above average . Much of the medium to light wood trim in the public areas and hotel rooms is in need of either replacement or refinishing, more than one marble tile was significantly loose in the lobby and on the elevator, and the furnishings in the room simply have seen a better day. Our room was on the fourth floor, with a balcony overlooking the Temple Bar. The balcony is a very nice touch, and the leaded glass swinging door and swing-out windows leading to the small balcony gave the room some of the uniqueness needed to make it seem special, as did the uniquely formed cove over the head of the bed. But the dark blue carpeting had nylon threads exposed along the edges, the light wood cabinetry, paneling and trim prominently featured in the room was worn and uneven in appearance. The wood trim in the bathroom (including wooden toilet seats - ugh) was the same. Having said all this, they do achieve a unique contemporary Irish country feel to the hotel - it's just showing it's age a bit too much to consider it a five star facility (more of a 3+ or 4 star, IMO).

Getting the negatives out of the way, upon which I've dwelt too much, the positives are significant. Hotel service was top notch, at the five star level you should expect from any highly regarded boutique hotel. I can't remember a single encounter where the concierge, front desk personnel, or our housekeeper failed to speak to us in an engaging but not intrusive manner and always using our names (I'm always impressed by this - there is most definitely a elsewhere-little-employed and highly valuable skill being imparted to staff here). Even the evening bar tenders in the Octagon Bar (on-site bar) called us by name once we introduced ourselves to them. The concierge service was as good as it gets, although our meals at the two restaurants recommended by our concierge were awful (Boxty's on the Temple Bar - classic grossly overpriced, low quality tourist-oriented slop, VERY disappointing) and mildly disappointing (La Mere Zou - clumsy service and disappointing food for what was touted as a very good French restaurant - e.g. the braised pork belly, which should be tender and jumping with flavor from the nearly rendered fat was simply thick and relatively tough bacon).

That brings me to the Octagon Bar - we'd expected more in terms of an elegant decor here (maybe a lighted leaded glass ceiling to the small octagon shaped room). Much as with the rest of the hotel, the excellence comes through the service. The drinks were fabulous, we had a nice long discussion regarding what makes a particular Irish Whiskey to be of high quality or not - along with a little sampling to put a point on their educational efforts (thanks, gentlemen!). They even came up with some delicious dessert drinks - initially I was a bit fearful asking proper Irishmen for dessert drinks, little did I know they relished their preparation and produced two of the most rich & flavorful dessert drinks we've had - including an original creation called "The Cheeky Monkey" (a complex enough chocolate affair with a hint of banana). As is usual in Ireland, the conversation in the bar was free flowing and highly enjoyable.

The hotel is situated smack between the River Liffey and the Temple Bar. As a result, it's smack in the middle of a high concentration of historic sights, cultural centers, and other places of interest in Dublin. Also as a result, the noise from the street (the Temple Bar - the prime tourist party area - also known as Temple Barf) is significant and will keep light sleepers awake well into the night. As it happened, we were there over the St. Patrick's Day holiday. WHAT A PARTY! We're WAY too old to party the way the very international and very young crowd were clearly intent to party on St. Patrick's Day, but we thrilled at the energy coming from the streets throughout the day and into the next morning. And all we had to do when the throng became too thick and boisterous for our taste was to step up the entrance to The Clarence and it's relative calm & welcoming interior. To other people's point regarding the noise from the Temple Bar - it was SIGNIFICANT - but was so continuous it became almost a soothing background noise against which we found it easy to get to sleep. I did wake up at 4a to hear the steady hum of soccer chants and other pulses of revelry still going on - I don't think we EVER were able to party like that ...

After sharing some of this feedback with a gentleman at the front desk - particularly regarding the perception of the hotel being a bit worn in appearance - he indicated there was a major overhaul in the works that would completely refurbish all floors over the coming year or two.

We'll be back to see both Dublin (a favorite city now) and the transformation that this otherwise outstanding hotel is able to make to it's physical facility.

  • Liked — High levels of service throughout the hotel & great location.
  • Disliked — Dated interiors.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Dave_in_Indy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2008

Stayed for two nights dinner B & B. The Tea room is without doubt one of the best food experiences in Dublin, very highly recommended. However, our bedroom overlooked the street to the rear. Noise from a nightclub at the rear was unbelivable. Staff did offer us a new room and gave us complimentary champagne however if we were to stay here again, we would make sure we asked specifically for a room not at the rear. Overall The Clarence is a very good hotel but it is just beginning to need upgrading.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
Thank camper1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2008

Six of us travelled to Dublin for a friend's birthday and we had a great weekend. We wanted to treat ourselves and stay at The Clarence. We arrived before check in time so our rooms were not ready but our bags were taken and labelled ready for our return after we'd been out exploring.

We requested river view rooms and they were very nice, although they did vary in size rather substantially! Our room was small but perfectly adequate and there is a nice 'entrance' room with a long mirror where I could do my hair and make up without disturbing the other half watching tv!

Our friends were in the room next door but this was much bigger and had a living room also! This was for the same price as ours.

The hotel was aware of our friends birthday and left a bottle of champagne and glasses in his room one night as a surprise which was lovely.

All in all it was a nice hotel and I would go back. We didn't eat in the hotel but we did sample the cocktails which were gorgeous!

  • Liked — The enormous and very comfortable beds!
  • Disliked — Room size (of our's anyway!)
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Len78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eire
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2008

I have stayed in many of Dublins finest hotels and I have to say that this was not one of them. The only thing that saves this hotel is the location, friendly staff and fine food we ate in the restaurant downstairs. The bar down stairs was also nice and relaxed. The room was small but well laid out. Fresh, modern decor, lovely bed linen and clean bathroom.

No tea making facilities in the room either, I cannot understand this in such an expensive hotel. Also practically every item in the hotel was listed to purchase if you liked. Decor in main areas needs to be painted, looked unkempt during my visit there.

  • Liked — nice bed linen etc
  • Disliked — small room, overpriced
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank eime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2008

We stayed for my partner's birthday during the Rubgy 6 Nations last weekend. The person who showed us to the room was very polite but had a problem with b.o. Our room was nice (we paid extra for a delux room), but the window was broken and it couldn't be shut properly. This made the room quite cold and the air con could not be turned up. The corridor outside our room smelt of ciggarette smoke every morning, and we could only think the staff were smoking in one of the nearby stairwells. When we arrived we requested the address for a restaurant we had booked (hands up - we had left it at home!), the receptionist did not know the address but promised to find out in time for our reservation the next night. When we returned the next night, she hadn't and again the reception could not help us. As every restaurant was booked solid due to the Rugby, we had no alternative but to wander the streets for over half an hour before we found the place (NB if you want a fabulous meal and an extensive wine list we can highly recommend Harry's Cafe - a lovely French Bistro www.harryscaf.ie) . The breakfast was nice, but way to formal - we weren't allowed to help ourselves to anything - it was all silve service which was OTT considering the setting. Overall, nice hotel, nice bar, but the staff, service and general atmosphere of the hotel lacking. I wouldn't run away screaming from the place, but for a 5star, it was disappointing and I'd look for another hotel in Dublin before staying here again.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — smell and staff
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HonestJoManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest Lake, Minnesota
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2008

My sister-in-law and I stayed here on our once in a lifetime trip to Ireland. While outside of her budget, I picked up the tab so we could say we stayed at Bono's place.
The location was great. The staff was great, service provided was beyond exceptional. BUT, we found the services lacking quite a bit. The elevator was down for 2 days, so we walked up to fourth floor. The Internet was the most high priced we paid on our entire trip and very spotty, often we couldn't even access it.
Overall, very pricey, we could have had equally luxurious rooms a few blocks away for less money.
We heard from many people that they stayed for the Bono/U2 thing but would not choose the hotel again.
Now we can say we've been there, done that. I have no regrets but unless the prices come down, next time I'll go somewhere else.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
Thank GrammaOnTheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Clarence

Property: The Clarence
Address: 6-8 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Dublin > Dublin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#31 Luxury Hotel in Dublin
#50 Romantic Hotel in Dublin
#53 Business Hotel in Dublin
#56 Family Hotel in Dublin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Clarence 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Clarence boasts fifty bedrooms and suites, along with our world famous Penthouse Suite. Our rooms range from Classic through Deluxe and on to our River View and Garden Terrace Suites. Our furnishings are simple: classic Shaker oak, beds dressed in cool white linen, sitting elegantly in contrast to a palate of vibrant cardinal colours, rich drapes and luxe carpets. We aim to provide all the simple needs of our guests and we offer 'round the clock room service and all rooms have complimentary WiFi as standard. Our city centre location means car space is at a premium, but we do have a small underground car park that can be reserved for a small nightly supplement. It is also worth noting that our location does mean that the area can be lively at night, especially at the weekends and while we have taken every effort to reduce noise, it is not possible to block it all out. Please do consider this before booking. Within the hotel complex there are many drinking and dining experiences, from the chilled out bliss of The Study to the super stylish Octagon Bar, the perfect spot for an afternoon cocktail or a laid back nightcap. We also have Michelin star chef Oliver Dunne's Cleaver East restaurant within our walls and we are very proud that Oliver and his team provide all catering at the hotel, so whether it's a late night bite in your room or a Full Irish breakfast the next morning, you know your food will be of the highest standard, made from the freshest produce, closely cared for by Michelin starred hands. In the bowels of our building you will find the luxurious cocktail and food bar The Liquor Rooms, home to Dublin's arts set and the first ROI bar ever to be nominated in the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. On our first floor, overlooking the River Liffey lies The Cleaver East Suite at The Clarence, which can be reserved for special occasions, from large weddings to intimate business meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Clarence Hotel Dublin
Clarence Hotel Dublin
Clarence Dublin

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