Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The 40-room Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is a less formal, more accessible alternative to the more famous Ashford Castle to the east, offering lower rates but most of the same draws. Though prices aren't cheap, per se, we think this hotel is still a terrific value for what you get. It has a riverfront location amid the wild, unspoiled beauty of Connemara and decor that's alternately homey and elegant. It's more of a manor house than a castle, but the main structure dates to the 18th century and both the building and the estate are steeped in history. The 450-acre grounds offer a range of activities, including beautiful hikes, woodcock shooting, and fishing. Both restaurants serve terrific gourmet cuisine using fish, game, and mushrooms from the surrounding region.
O'Callaghan Davenport Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The O'Callaghan Davenport is one of the most affordable hotels near Merrion Square. The spacious 102 rooms and 12 suites are clean and quiet with classic decor, comfortable beds, and updated amenities such as flat-screen TVs and electronic safes. The President's Bar is a popular spot for after work drinks and Lanyon's Restaurant serves a hearty daily breakfast. Hotel amenities include a business center and small fitness room, but there is a pesky fee for Wi-Fi. This traditional, elegant hotel is starting to show some signs of wear and tear, but it has a convenient location within walking distance of many sights, such as Trinity College and Grafton Street.
The Morgan Rating: 4.0 Pearls
For a stylish four-pearl boutique located in Temple Bar, Dublin's most famous nightlife quarter, The Morgan's rates are a steal. he all-white rooms have comfortable beds and crisp linens, and are complete with modern bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and electric kettles. There is no gym (though the hotel does provide free passes to facilities down the street) or spa and in-room Wi-Fi comes at an additional fee, but the hotel is home to a popular neighborhood bar serving a small tapas menu and cocktails. Families might want to look beyond this hip spot as some guests complain about noise on the weekends and bathroom doors are simply frosted glass, not providing much privacy.
Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 190-room Louis Fitzgerald is a modern hotel on the outskirts of Dublin that offers a solid value. Features include the 20 meeting rooms, free underground parking, 24-hour room service, fitness center (albeit small), and a free shuttle to nearby businesses. Rooms are contemporary and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Certain categories, such as Family Rooms and Triple Rooms, can accommodate larger groups. The lobby and restaurant feel upscale, with sleek leather seats and funky paintings. The hotel has a free shuttle to the LUAS tram station, and the ride from there into Dublin takes approximately 30 minutes.
Cassidys Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Cassidys Hotel is a family-owned, mid-range hotel in three historic Georgian buildings on Parnell Square. The 113 clean, reasonably priced rooms are bright and come with free Wi-Fi. However, decor is generic and bathrooms are on the small side. Hotel amenities include a small fitness center, comfortable bistro, and bar. A continental breakfast is served daily. This hotel is a good pick for value, and its convenient location on the north side of the River Liffey is within walking distance to numerous sights.
Temple Bar Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Temple Bar Hotel is a mid-sized option in the middle of Dublin's busiest, most energetic district. The 129 rooms are a decent size with basic decor and flat-screen TVs, electric kettles, duvets, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a restaurant -- that serves a hearty Irish breakfast -- two bars, and a nightclub. A variety of pubs and clubs and are on the doorstep of this hotel, making street noise an issue. Temple Bar is well known for nightlife, but this cultural quarter of Dublin is also home to great markets, shopping, and galleries. While decor is slightly outdated, this clean, central hotel (which provides free Wi-Fi) offers good value in Dublin.
Best Western Dublin Skylon Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Best Western Skylon Hotel looks fresher and more modern than the average Best Western. Decor is pleasant -- if a bit generic; spacious, clean rooms offer warm lighting, crisp bedding, and dark red walls. Room amenities include flat-screen TVs and electric kettles. Some rooms can accommodate groups or families with multiple twin beds. Wi-Fi is free and bathrooms are surprisingly large. The common spaces are the highlight here, though: The big, modern lobby has lots of plush couches and the cozy bar/grill has a nice fireplace. This 126-room hotel is a good budget pick near the airport in Dublin.