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The Dawson Hotel & Spa
Ranked #104 of 150 Hotels in Dublin
Reviewed June 29, 2008

Stayed here for one night.

In favour of the hotel:
Staff - wonderful - helpful and friendly - tried v.hard.
Spa - excellent.
Bathroom products - devine.
Stairs - not a problem


Againt the hotel:
Shower flooded the bathroom.
Noise from road, i.e. drunks, fights, cars etc woke us up several times during the night.
Food - hugely overpriced.
Car park - none and Setanta car park a couple of streets away was full when we tried to use it.
Observed their Irish manager not being so nice to their foreign staff ... This was a bit of a turn-off. She seemed to even look down on her customers.


Overall this hotel is really lovely, the interior design is amazing but I wouldn't stay there again because it's too noisy, and we stayed on a week-night so I can only imagine what the weekend is like. ..

  • Stayed: June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tysonrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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641 - 647 of 735 reviews

Reviewed June 8, 2008

I booked into La Stampa for 1 night last friday. I booked some months in advance and specified that i wanted a quiet room, giving a hotel 3 months notice i thought would be enough but evidently not, the check in was smooth and painless and i though the room would be quiet as their was no view from the window , just 2 feet and then a wall.
We went out as it was my girlfriends birthday and she was going back to America early the next morning so i suprised here with tickets to go and see Billy Connolly. we normally stay down in the Dylan when we are both in ireland but unfortunately they were booked.
When we came back we were starving and decided to order room service.....big mistake. We had the chicken Korma from one of the restaurants and some drinks. not only did it take 3 goes by the non english speaking porter to get the order up to the room but the food was less than average. my girlfriend took one bite and stuck with the fruit in the room and a half eaten sandwich we had.
She went off to sleep and as i watched a bit of tv i could feel the head rest on the bed vibrating. i switched off the tv and immediately i heard the low solid thud of music. i though it was comming from the bathroom and when i went in their i realised the pipes were conducting the vibration of the music. the bar has got no sound proofing or else it is broken. ive been a venue and club manager for 10 years all over the world and dont let these people tell you their is no sound issue. i know first hand how sound travels and how sound proofing works.the dj did play a good version of Grove is in the Heart at 1.50 AM. i phoned down to reception to put in a request for the dj but nobody answered the phone any of the 3 times i phoned. Guess he was off having a boggie.

i eventually got to sleep only to wake up at 5 am with severe stomach cramps. that was the end of that night sleep. i was physically sick for the folowing few hours. i had the pleasure of waving my girlfriend off to the airport at 7am from the bathroom.
luckely a friend was working in St James hospital that day so i made phone calls and with reluctance i left the safety of the bathroom at 11.30 am. When i arrived at reception holding my stomach and looking as what was described as a nice shade of green by my docotor friend the receptionist asked 'what room'. i said 402 she said 'card or cash' i handed her my card and with one hand holding me up on the desk and the other putting my pin in she asked me how my stay was as she turned here back to me. i said it was ' less than average'. the phone rang and she decided to chat to some one looking to book rather than deal with me. at €350 for the night i was deeply upset when she hung up and handed me my receipts and and said have a good day, and WALKED AWAY from me i could have swung for her. as i nervously looked around for the public toilets i though better and got a taxi to the hospital instead.
im not saying it was the room service but i dont drink alcohol because of my job and all i had to eat prior to that was 2 apples and a cheese sandwich all day.
thankfully private healthcare and a friend in the right place gets you seen to quickly and im much better today if not a little lighter on the wallet and the belly.
i could go on and on about the floor to ceiling cracks in the bedroom walls, or the missing shower nozzle holder or the dirty towels in the room, or the bed being long enough for a 8 year old and no one else but i think ive made my point about this place..
do yourself a favour and GO ELSEWHERE.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank nothanks42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2008

This is a bad hotel not worth the money stay away from this hotel. In the rooms the bed covers are falling apart and the way they have put polly filler on the walls my 2 year old son could do better def not worth the 550 pounds i paid for a 2 night stay here. The staff were very helpfull that was the only good point of are stay

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank nellie922002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2008

This is possibly the worst hotel I have ever stayed in.
We booked in last weeked for two nights after seeing the hotel website advertising luxary rooms and spa etc. However this could not be further from the truth. A small, smelly hotel room is what we really got, with no luxary in sight. A small double bed with spare covers piled on the floor next to the wardrobe (not tidy in the wardrobe) for the full weekend. The bed wasn't even made up properly. A 17inch portable TV stuck in a press for our viewing. This is 2008 and every other hotel now has plasma screens in them. I couldn't believe it. There was no robe or slippers available. Breakfast service was unbelievably slow. Also the only way into the main part of the hotel to the rooms is through a noisy bar full of drunken punters in the evening. Definately the worst place I have ever stayed. False advertising and over priced for what you get.

Stayed: May 2008
1  Thank Bub31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lastampa, Front of House Manager at The Dawson Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2008

Dear Guests,

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your stay in our hotel. It is certainly disappointing for us as well but, after reading your review, we have decided to reply to your comments in order to rectify some facts which are not entirely accurate or true. Please understand we do not intend to contest your opinion about our hotel, we accept the fact that you did not like our hotel, and you do have the right express your opinion in public for other readers to see.
I would like to assure you that we definitely don’t do false advertising on any website especially our own. All the rooms and beds in our hotel have the right size as advertised on our website which you said you visited (room size advertised in square meters and square feet and beds as single/queen/king size plus a picture of that bedroom type). As an example the text with information about our classic rooms would look as follows:
Classic Double Room. Description: Ensuite bedroom (20sqm/215sqft) with a Queen sized bed, with double sink marble vanity suitable for single or double occupancy.
This description would be on the confirmation email for anyone who would book a classic double room through our website.
We have especially put all this information on the website in our attempt to avoid any confusion and help people to make a decision before they are reserving the room. For someone who had seen this information I think it is a bit unreasonable to say that rooms and beds are too small or expect something bigger than it is advertised. I would also like to add that the size of all our bedrooms (exclusive of private bathroom) and beds is actually above the minimum standards required for Irish 4 star hotels.
There are no spare covers in any bedroom. Those cushions and covers were folded and piled in a corner from your bed at the turndown service time. I am sure that those covers were not there when you checked in. I would like to say that our housekeeping team are servicing all our bedrooms twice a day every day – first stay over service between 11am and 3 pm and second between 5pm and 11pm with our turndown service. Should someone wish not to be disturbed at the stay over or turndown service time our house keeping staff will always ask the guest what time they would like to avail of this service and do it accordingly. These are done without fail for every room unless the Do Not Disturb sign is displayed on the door, in which case our staff does not knock at the door.
There are no portable 17inch TV’s in our hotel. Indeed, not all our bedrooms have flat screen TV’s, at the moment, but all our TV’s are normal full size with at least 20 inch screen size as required by the Irish 4 star hotels standards.
Yes, it is true you have to walk through Sam Sara Bar in order to get access to our lift for bedrooms. We are aware that this is could be inconvenient for some guests when the bar is very busy, unfortunately, despite all our efforts, it was structurally impossible to locate the lift close to hotel reception as the front part of our hotel is an older building of architectural merit. We will always offer assistance with the luggage for all our guests and there are also stairs situated at the front of the hotel.
We deeply apologize for all the inconveniences you have experienced in our Hotel and we’re sorry you didn’t appreciate anything that we had to offer.
I would like to assure all our guests of our best attention at all times and we are always available to deal with any concerns that you may have.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2008

We stayed in la stampa over the St.Patricks day weekend in 2008 for one night only. We arrived on a very wet Saturday parked in the Setanta car park as la stampa does not have one and walked to the hotel. I understand that it was not feasible to build a car park as part of the hotel as its an older building but the car park was extra on top of the room. We were shown to our room. The porter filled us in on all the facilities. I could not notice that to get to our rooms we had to go through the long bar. Beautiful decor and that but it was quiet now what was it going to be like at 11 o'clock at night when you are trying to get through a very busy and popular bar according to the porter to your room. There was not a lobby to sit in as the reception area is off the bar. So if you want a quiet drink that is not going to be possible. The room was nice fancy decor and that. Settling in I noticed a very loud hum in the room. There was a room down the end of the hallway that was obviously part of the air conditioning and a very loud humming was coming from it. The walls in the room if you place your ear to them were absorbing all this noise and that is why it was so loud in the room. Also outside our room there was a very loud fan going constantly. I likened it to being on a plane.It was extremely loud. I rang reception to their credit they sent someone straight away. He informed me they had never had any complaints before. He opened the window and told me the fan noise outside was due to another building beside the hotel and it may not be on later that night. I informed him that we could not stay in the room with all that noise it was very uncomfortable. He told us they were fully booked.I discovered then there was not a hairdryer in the room. Neither were there hand towels. We were due to have dinner in Balzac that night and when the hairdryer was brought to our room they informed us they had another room for us to view. They showed us a suite at the front of the building it was beautiful the air conditioning was on I turned it off no noise great. We had our meal which was beautiful in a beautiful dining room. Came back to our room. There was a fan outside the window for the bar very loud did not notice that earlier as it goes on and off. At 11 o'clock the music from the bar started and it was loud. This was to go on until well after 1. Then as I am not a smoker I noticed the smell of smoke. Went to the door of the room opened it and realised as it was a very bad night people were either standing at the door of the hotel as there was one straight down the stairs below us and the smoke was making its way up or someone was smoking in a room nearby. The corridor outside the room had a very strong smell of cigarrette smoke. We left early next day and were not asked was everything okay. If you like late nights and are not going to your room until 2 o'clock this is the place for you. The decor is great the bar looks lovely. But for a four star hotel it does not live up to its ad in many respects. I will not be returining hear again. I had hoped for a quiet and relaxing night away for my husbands birthday but alas that did not happen and I won't be making that mistake again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Thewiseone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2008

My husband and I chose to stay at La Stampa from 26 - 29th February, for our anniversary. We were looking for a hotel with a top-notch spa within it, and ideally with a good restaurant.

From this site, it seems people either loved it, or hated it - it was eccentric-sounding enough for us, so we gave it a chance.

I was swayed ultimately by the wonderfully attentive service I had when I made our bookings by phone for accommodation, restaurants and in the highly regarded Mandala Spa (located in the hotel itself), with the help of Diana (hotel) and Kelly (Spa).

During the course of the booking, I raised the noise issues with Diana, as my husband and I were going to Dublin to celebrate our anniversary, and whilst we are fairly deep sleepers, at the same time we didn't want any unwelcome surprises.

We had decided to book a suite as it was a special occasion, and after discussion, decided that having a decent view was a good idea, so we opted for the Artemis Suite (the suite opposite, Ares, overlooks rooftops I believe).

One thing to know ... Dawson Street is one-way only, so be sure to tell your taxi driver to enter the Street via St. Stephen's Green.

We were warmly received on arrival, and then (after a labyrinthine journey up and down some stairs!), finally arrived at our suite.

Well, as the pictures hopefully show, it certainly had the "wow" factor, we were properly impressed on first viewing. And then...

But let me start with the positives:

Food - the restaurants are amazing, and the food - especially the Thai restaurant, Tiger Becs, is simply divine. If you don't stay here, at least go here for the food, you won't regret it!

Mandala Spa - excellent treatments, fair value, great service - be sure to book at least 2-3 weeks in advance to get your preferred times and treatments, then lie back and be pampered....

Staff - couldn't do enough. Pleasant, friendly, warm, helpful, and from a variety of backgrounds (most unusually, from Mauritius in some cases), and really lovely people.

So why have I marked the hotel only "Average"?

Because a hotel classed as a "Small Luxury Hotel" has to be sure everything comes up to scratch. And unfortunately it doesn't.

There have been some renovation works going on for some time, and this was still evident. Not really a problem, but just FYI.

I wonder, though, just how it is that certain things have gone unnoticed. A suite at Euro 250/nt should not have windows missing handles and cracked panes of glass, or cushions with broken threading, or badly applied polyfilla on walls, or unfinished paintwork - I could go on, but you get the gist.

I also think a modern-day hotel should have a stable shower unit; we had a gorgeous slipper bath, with a shower-tap, but you had to be very careful how you used it, otherwise there would be water everywhere...

We came away feeling a general sense of "shabby chic", which can have a unique charm to it - but still disappointing to see.

Lots of the reviews mentioned the noise from the SamSara club downstairs. Well, folks, I have to tell you we heard absolutely nothing from the club ... what DID wake us up was the noise of the traffic and - on Friday night - the heckling and shouting of people out on the street when the club closed (around 2.30am).

The stairs were also a bit odd. The hotel is much deeper on the inside than appears from outside, but also at different levels. There is a lift, but this is located (bizarrely) at the back end of the SamSara bar, by the Gents and Ladies (!!!), and there are still a number of flights of stairs to be navigated wherever you go.

All in all, we both really wanted to love this hotel, it has an eccentric flavour that we like to find when we travel, but everytime we found something to love, something else went pear-shaped.

We did have a good time, but I don't think we will be back!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank nugi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2008

On entering the La Stampa. I was impressed with the decor, I asked for a quiet room as we found out they have a club/bar downstairs but they said they were fully booked and said "your not going to bed early are you ?" I just ignored the comment. We really liked the decor in our hotel room and the bathroom was spacious but it all ended there.

On entering the room was very stuffy, we opened the window as we couldn’t work the air conditioning, both had a lovely shower and put on a vest and shorts as we were roasting & hoped the room would cool down.

We watched a movie and it ended at 11.45am and as we were both v tired we decided to go to bed. At this stage while having the television on very loud we could still hear the salsa music from the bar in our room.

When turning it off it was like a nightmare....we were extremely tired and it felt like the Salsa bar was in our hotel room. We made four phonecalls and was told latest 1am it would end. Each time I rang they said they would turn it down and said you would be fine as long as you dont want to go to bed early. I wasnt impressed, as they made no effort at all and I told them I paid enough to be provided with a good service. I was surprised by their attitude. It was 1.30am when the music eventually ended and were extremely annoyed at this stage.

We tried to go asleep but couldn’t because of the heat of the room. My boyfriend spend over an hour trying to figure out the air conditioning when he eventually made a phone call at 5am to Reception and the Manager came up to fix the air conditioning, he spent ages trying to work out, left the room to get a fuse just in case a fuse blown but it wouldn’t work and told us he was sorry that he couldn’t move us as all the rooms were fully booked and there was nothing else he could do. I was fuming as I badly needed sleep and had to ask him does he have an electric fan. He left and came back with it and it was now 6.30am. We got breakfast at 10am in our hotel room.

Would I recommend anyone to go there…NO WAY. Unless you are staying up late as they suggested, which I thought was horribly rude as some people stay in Hotels for a break/rest.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank jen006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dawson Hotel & Spa

Address: 35 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland (Formerly La Stampa Hotel)
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Dublin > Dublin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Dublin
#51 Luxury Hotel in Dublin
Price Range: $132 - $322 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Dawson Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dawson Hotel and award winning Dawson Spa are ideally located on Dawson Street in the heart of Dublin's city centre, with Trinity College at one end of the street and St. Stephen's Green at the other. Dublin's main shopping district, Grafton Street, is a short stroll around the corner from the hotel. Temple Bar is only 10 minutes’ walk away, while Dublin Castle and the Olympia Theatre are a 15 minute walk. With an elegant decor, each room includes a private bathroom with toiletries. All rooms contain an LCD TV with cable TV channels, complimentary water and free Wi-Fi access. The Dawson Spa, located to the rear of the building, features “Voya” organic seaweed beauty products made in Ireland. Also onsite, the adjoining Sam's Bar offers a glamorous vibe, fresh cocktails and music from international DJs, with a Victorian garden terrace overlooking Dublin's Mansion House. While we do not have parking onsite, we have an agreement with Setanta Q-Park, located on Molesworth Street, where our guests can benefit from discounted parking with up to 50% off per 24 hour period. Should you wish to exercise or use saunas, we also offer our guests complementary day passes to Energie Fitness Gym & Swimming Pool on Clarendon Street. Please note, the Hotel is not recommended for those with mobility issues, in particular those who require wheelchair access. In addition, the hotel does not have any adapted wheelchair accessible rooms. Please be aware that rooms listed as Vibrant Weekend rooms are those located directly above Sam’s Bar, and music will be heard until around 02:30 on a Thursday, and 03.30 on Fridays and Saturdays. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Stampa Hotel Dublin

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