The Westbury Hotel is an excellent luxury hotel with a lot of little touches that add up to an excellent experience. Our recent stay there highlighted the good news/bad news relating to its much-touted location in bustling downtown Dublin. The hotel is one half block off of Grafton Street, which is a pedestrian only avenue devoted to shopping and usually jammed with people during the day. Grafton ends to the north at Trinity College, one of the tourist highlights of Dublin, and most of what is interesting in Dublin is also within reasonable walking distance. That's the good news. The bad news comes into play if you are driving to the hotel. We had spent the week down in Southwest Ireland and innocently made plans to just drive on into Dublin and get out at the hotel and park the car there. Well, having driven extensively in New York City, Washington, DC, Phiadelphia, Los Angeles, etc. in the states, I can tell you that driving in Dublin is triple the challenge. And just using a map to get to the Westbury will get you to the general vicinity, but no where near the front door. The streets are so convoluted, and there are so many one-ways, that without planning akin to what preceeded the invasion of Normandy on D-Day or the launch of Apollo 11 to the moon, you are going to end up going around in circles, desparately trying to get to the hotel. We ended up just parking in a commerical car park some blocks from the hotel, getting out and walking and then getting directions from the concierge on how to go back to the car and then drive the car park to the hotel. It turns out that even with the precise directions we had to make concentric circles around the whole of downtown Dublin to finally end up going the right way on some small streets to finally be able to turn down the even narrower little street that takes you to the hotel front door.
So, the moral of this story is don't plan on driving to the Westbury unless you are a Dublin native or spend hours pouring over maps, briefing a trusted navigator, gearing up your nerves and then -- if possible -- drive in at about 400 am in the morning before the mad bus drivers of Dublin get to work.
But, as has been noted in these reviews, the hotel is splendid in general, the rooms very well appointed, and the services and "little things" done up very well. The Westbury's lobby is on the second floor, and when we finally got there we found the delightful spectacle of a room full of upscale, prosperous looking people having elegant high tea. No charge for internet is a decided plus. Of course, keep in mind that The Westbury is a luxury hotel, so expect to pay room rates accordingly.
The only other downer had to do with bell staff. We left early on Sunday morning, and when we called for our car the apparently only individual behind the desk indicated that the (only one on duty?) bell staff was helping a group check out and it would be a while to get our car. I began to agitate due the high anxiety inculcated by the experience of our initial attempts to navigate Dublin traffice and get to the hotel and visions of getting hopelessly adrift again upon leaving and missing our flight. The man behind the desk did his best to handle the situation, ultimatley calling the bell staff guy over and getting him to abandon the other bags in order to get our car -- and dropping the parking charge from our bill. Presumably early Sunday morning is not normally a highly busy time for the Westbury, but i would say they were understaffed on this particular Sunday. (And with detailed directions, we made it to the airport with minimal trouble).
In general, the Westbury is an excellent upscale place to stay in Dublin once you get there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of The Leading Hotels of the World and rejuvenated by a multi-million euro refurbishment, The Westbury is an urban retreat with Dublin city on its doorstep. Located just off Grafton Street, in the heart of Dublin, this stylish 5-star hotel provides easy access to the city's best entertainment and business districts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westbury Hotel Dublin
- Westbury Dublin
- Hotel Westbury