Lucky Charms Ireland: Four Seasons Dublin

Introduction
W Boston
Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge Boston & Air France Business Class Lounge Boston
Aer Lingus Business Class Boston to Dublin
Four Seasons Dublin
Exploring Dublin
Ritz Carlton Powerscourt
Hilton Dublin Airport
Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge Dublin
Aer Lingus Business Class Dublin to Boston
InterContinental Boston


As I had outlined in this post, I decided to book the Four Seasons for our three night stay in Dublin, frankly because it was more or less the cheapest option available. I booked through Virtuoso, which had a third night free offer. Our rate was 210 Euros per night (with the third night free), and for all three nights we got free breakfast, a room upgrade, and an 85 Euros hotel credit we could use anytime during the stay. So if you were to (theoretically) value the 85 Euros food and beverage credit at face value, we were paying just over 100 Euros per night. Given that the Westin was more than double that, it seemed like a no brainer. In the back of my mind I still questioned whether the hotel was any good since I’m at least to some extent a believer in the “you get what you pay for” theory, and obviously in this case we weren’t paying a whole lot.

We took a taxi from the airport, which took around 30 minutes and cost ~35 Euros, arriving around 6:30AM. The hotel was nice enough to confirm in advance that we would be able to check-in early, which I found generous.

As we pulled up to the hotel I was really impressed by the beautiful classic exterior.


Four Seasons Dublin entrance


Four Seasons Dublin entrance


Four Seasons Dublin entrance


Four Seasons Dublin driveway

As soon as we pulled up we were approached by a bellman who offered to help us with our bags, though there was no need since we just had carry-on bags. He instead gave us two cold bottles of water, which was much appreciated.

Once in the lobby we turned right towards reception, where we were immediately helped.


Lobby


Lobby bar


Reception

The front desk associate was friendly and efficient, and went over all the benefits we would be receiving for our stay courtesy of Virtuoso. He offered an upgrade to a junior suite for 50 Euros per night (we would have otherwise been upgraded to a deluxe room), which I accepted, though later regretted. Exhaustion does crazy things to you!

We were quickly on our way to the 3rd floor, where our room (319) was located on the right side towards the end of the hallway.


Hallway

The junior suite was around 600 square feet so very large, though it felt like there was a lot of “empty” space. At the entrance was a small foyer which led to the rest of the room.


Foyer


Minibar in foyer

Closest to the entrance was a desk with two chairs, and then a couch and lounge chair with ottoman.


Living room


Desk

The bed was located on the other end of the room and was quite comfortable.


Bed

Next to the bed was the hallway to the closet and bathroom.


Hallway

The closet was huge — as large as some Japanese hotel rooms I’ve stayed in!


Closet

The bathroom featured a nice tub, shower, and toilet in a separate room.


Bathroom


Tub


Toilet

Toiletry snobs will be happy to hear that the hotel stocks L’Occitane toiletries.


Toiletries

Since this is a Four Seasons the hotel does charge for wifi at the rate of 25 Euros per 24 hours. The good news is that this cost covered connectivity on up to four devices, and the charge was based on 24 hours of use (as opposed to a 24 hour period), so it lasted us throughout the stay. Not half bad!

When I first posted a picture of the room on my Facebook the comments included the following:

  • “The furnishings look like something you’d expect from a Holiday Inn.”
  • “looks like my grandmothers living room”
  • “Yuck”
  • “I thought it was a Country Inn & Suites. lol”
  • “Good thing JRL isn’t traveling with you, otherwise you would never heard the end of it for damaging his rep.”
  • “What a dump!”
  • “thats 4 seasons? well…”

There’s a fine line between a room being charming and a room being outdated, and chances are the hotel now fits into the latter category. That being said, I was perfectly pleased with the room, because it’s exactly what I was expecting. I didn’t honestly think I’d be paying about $150 per night in the peak of summer for a room at the most modern, recently renovated Four Seasons, but this certainly did the job!

The hotel does have very nice public facilities, including a nice gym with modern equipment and a reasonably nice pool.


Gym


Gym


Pool

The hotel also has a very nice garden.


Garden

Our rate included breakfast, which was served daily between 7AM and 11AM at the hotel’s restaurant, Seasons. Our rate included the full buffet, which offered a nice spread. It was by no means a buffet like you’d see in Asia (the St. Regis and Le Meridien Bangkok come to mind), though by European standards it was great. All the food was fresh and high quality as well.


Seasons Restaurant


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet

While the property might not be the most physically stunning there is, I have to say the employees were phenomenally polished, professional, and attentive, and I have nothing but positive things to say about them.

The guests, however, were a different story. I’ve never been to a hotel with such “uppity” guests, that almost made me feel uncomfortable. The dining room was filled mostly with couples that wore suits to breakfast and potential cast members of “The Real Housewives of Dublin.” It’s just one of those hotels where you really don’t feel comfortable walking around the lobby in shorts, not because of the employees, but because of the other guests.

The other thing worth noting is that the hotel isn’t exactly in the city, though is about a 5-10 minute drive away. The good news is that the Four Seasons offers a complimentary BMW 7-Series car service into and out of the city during business hours, so that was awesome. The hotel’s driver also happened to be incredibly helpful, so the drive to/from the city center proved to be quite fun and insightful.

On the whole the hotel was exactly what I had expected — Four Seasons service, an older property, and not the most convenient location for sightseeing. But I certainly feel we got a good value for what we paid.

Next time I go to Dublin I’d probably stay in the city at the Westin, assuming the rate is reasonable. But I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Four Seasons on a good rate, assuming you’re not expecting the world’s most modern property.

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Comments

  1. I’m really conflicted on this one … how weird that the grounds and exterior look awesome, but the room is definitely screams yuck.

    I think I would steal the L’Occitane toiletries, dine-and-dash at the breakfast buffet, and then would have gotten the hell outta there in the Mercedes S-Class.

    Really. How did you and your friend survive this one?!?

  2. “it was more or less the cheapest option available.”

    Ben, you don’t actually believe that do you? Even if you take the f&b credit at face value (which you shouldn’t) there are still hundreds of cheaper options in Dublin. This may have been the cheapest 5 star option, but there are still plenty of perfectly nice independent properties (remember, you weren’t earning points/stays anyway) cheaper than this with better locations. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done the same in your situation, but it’s something to think about.

  3. @ BrewerSEA — Sorry, that statement wasn’t completely accurate. Factoring in the hotel credit we were spending ~112 Euros per night, which was substantially cheaper than any other 3.5+ star option I could find, including the Crowne Plazas, Hiltons, etc., in town. So I should have said of the hotels I searched it was the cheapest option available.

  4. I agree BrewerSEA. When I was in Dublin earlier this year, I stayed at a non-chain hotel that was centrally located, had amazing staff, gorgeous brand new rooms, and free wifi and breakfast. I paid 75 euros

  5. Hey Lucky,

    Enjoying the Dublin report so far! I just got back from Dublin last week (on your Avios miles Biz Class recommendation of course!) We stayed at the Westin (paid stay) – 3 nights get 4th night free. It was awesome! Terrific location, exceptional service, rooms were amazing… I can’t wait to go back and already planning another trip for next month (and back to the Westin!).

    Looking forward to reading the rest of your report….

  6. To be honest, I read this blog for the chain hotels…the opportunity to earn and burn points, and ways people can leverage Virtuoso and FHR bookings. I appreciate Lucky’s consistency.

  7. At this rate you will just be allowed a guide visit at the four seasons london or paris but as you said,you get what you paid for,there most be a renovated wing in this hotel and an outdated section for cheap promotions.

  8. Just checked out from the same hotel yesterday. I booked through FHR (no 85 Euro credit though). Got an upgrade to a deluxe room- 409. The room was cozy enough for me and didn’t find it particularly bad. The highlight was most definitely the service. Alternatively to paid wireless internet, you may head to the Business Center (more of a booth rather than a center) where there are 3 HPs and a color multifunction printer.
    Lucky Coins (has a ring to it), I’m at the Ritz now. Do you have one place that one MUST absolutely check out? ESPA perhaps? 🙂

  9. @ mohamed b — No, none of the hotel is renovated. And it’s not like I was on some cheap promo rate, that was the prevailing rate. If anything Virtuoso guests get better rooms due to the travel agencies they’re affiliated with.

    @ halfRoss — Now I haven’t revealed this yet, but since you’re there, I LOVED the Ritz. One of my favorite hotels ever. Highlight of the facilities had to be the pool. Have fun!

  10. Thanks Ben. Pool is defo one of the best indoor pools. It’s like taking a dip in the night sky.
    Regarding your top 4 fave places, I must say I’m a bit ashamed that I’m Asian and never been to HK or Bali. I must correct this immediately. 😉

  11. “The guests, however, were a different story. I’ve never been to a hotel with such “uppity” guests, that almost made me feel uncomfortable. The dining room was filled mostly with couples that wore suits to breakfast and potential cast members of “The Real Housewives of Dublin.””

    Wait, they were “uppity” just because they dressed up? That’s all you are judging them on? Maybe some people just like dressing up…

    “It’s just one of those hotels where you really don’t feel comfortable walking around the lobby in shorts, not because of the employees, but because of the other guests.”

    Well, furniture style and quality aside, it is a Four Seasons property, not Howard Johnsons. Occasionally the clientele will be a little dressed up…

  12. @ jim a — Sorry, where who stayed?

    @ wwk5d — No, it wasn’t just how they dressed, but also how they acted.

  13. I hear what your saying about the other guests, I visit this hotel frequently and breakfast always seems to have an akward atmosphere. Great pics btw

  14. I have only been to Dublin once, but I stayed at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, and I was extremely satisfied. Both with the hotel property itself, the service and breakfast (best buffet I’ve had in ages) as well as the location. 10 minutes walk from Temple Bar – what more do you need in Dublin? 😉

  15. Check out the Gibson Hotel next time you’re in Dublin, it’s very modern, only a few years old and has some great restaurants/food and you can get great deals in it. It’s not right in the centre – it’s down towards the docks (don’t let that scare you – they’re not ‘scary’ docks) but there is a tram stop right outside the hotel door that will take you in to the centre in 5 minutes.

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