After cycling 55 km from Trim in the summer of 2013's unprecedented heat wave, we experienced the elation that Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion must have felt as they were about to enter the gates to the Emerald City of Oz. We opened Knockmaroon Gates's large ornate iron doors, peered in at the lush greenery, and began the pleasant pedal through Phoenix Park, Europe's largest enclosed urban park, to our trip's final destination--Dublin's internationally recognized four-star Ashling Hotel.
As we had made our approach to the capital city along R149 earlier in the day, we had spotted about half of Dublin basking on the boulders along the River Liffey; the other half were now spread out over Phoenix Park's expansive 1750 acres--picnicking, reading, relaxing, kicking soccer balls, and chasing soap bubbles blown from their bubble wands. Everyone was out to enjoy the sunshine and work on their tans. We had been told that the the U.S. Ambassador's residence, the Irish Presidential Palace (Aras an Uachtarain), and the Dublin Zoo had addresses in the park but, in our zeal to get to the Ashling, we missed them all.
We received a cordial welcome in the Ashling Hotel's reception area and then made our way to our rooms, which we found to be quite serviceable, with free wifi, and decor and furnishings that were modern, comfortable, and clean. Our children heralded their room as being air conditioned--our A/C appeared to be out of service but we were pleased to cool down with a shower in the beautiful bathroom.
That evening our bicycle group chose to walk along the Liffey and dine at Ristorante Romano, 12 Capel Street, a family-run Italian restaurant whose proprietors obviously had great admiration for one of Dublin's own--Stephen Roche. The restaurant was decorated with posters, jerseys, bikes, and memorabilia from Roche's Le Tour de France Triple Crown of victories with stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and the World road race championships (ca. 1987-1993). After having just completed a 300 kilometer tour atop bicycles exploring the historical and cultural sites north of Dublin, it was a delicious gastronomical choice and fitting atmosphere for our group's final dinner together.
In the morning we walked down to the hotel's Chesterfield Restaurant which boasted a bountiful international buffet. We were cordially welcomed by the hotel restaurant staff, shown to our table, and offered tea and coffee. After having consumed, over the past week, many variations of the Irish Ulster breakfast (beans, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, puddings, and toast), we were absolutely reveling upon seeing the diverse breakfast specialties from all over the world offered for our enjoyment--German cheese, meats, and croissants, French soft cheeses, fresh fruits, dried fruits, granolas, hot Irish porridges, nuts, a wonderful assortment of world breads, sweet rolls, and the hot Irish breakfast for those so desiring . A sumptuous and most appreciated feast.
Upon check-out, we asked the concierge if they wouldn't mind holding our bags for the day while we explored the neighborhood sites unencumbered. After they happily obliged we walked to Kilmainham Gaol and Museum (one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe and site of the incarceration of many Irishmen and women who struggled for political independence against the Crown) and the Guinness Storehouse and Brewery (home of Ireland's most famous beverage and Ireland's number one international visitor attraction--an amazing interactive tour rivaling anything Disney presents!). Also within walking distance from the hotel are the Dublin Zoo (which the hotel claims is their back garden), Collins Barracks, the National Museum of Ireland, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art housed in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.
The Ashling Hotel offers top notch hotel service, comfortable accommodations, and a most satisfying breakfast buffet; a convenient transit system with the Heuston Railway Station and Luas Tram's red line positioned literally at the hotel's doorstep; a premier and safe location for exploring the restaurants and night life along the River Liffey's pedestrian path; and comfortable walking possibilities to some of Dublin's most highly respected cultural, historical, and recreational sites. Like Dorothy and her friends who were treated royally in the Emerald City of Oz, we were more than pleased with our stay at Dublin's Ashling Hotel in the Emerald Isle.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ashling is a stunning Dublin City hotel in a great central location adjacent to Heuston Station and on the Luas red line. International Award Winning 4 Star hotel Dublin incorporating 225 bedrooms including Deluxe Rooms and Suites, 180 seater Chesterfields Restaurant, stylish Iveagh Bar and extensive meeting rooms and conference facilities catering for up to 220 delegates.On Site Carparking, special overnight / 24 hour residents rate.Excellent location in the heart of historic Dublin City, beside the Phoenix Park, Europe's largest enclosed city park. The surrounding area is home to Dublin's premier attractions - Dublin Zoo, Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, Old Jameson Distillery, the National Museum of Ireland, Temple Bar along with shopping districts Grafton ad Henry Street are only a short stroll away.Close by for sporting and concert events is the famous Croke Park, Th 02, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and the Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Dublin
- Dublin Best Western
- Ashling Hotel Dublin