A stone's throw from the famous shopping street that gave it its name, this Victorian Gothic–style building has been tastefully transformed into one of central Dublin's best bargains. Rooms are stylish, service is warm and friendly, and the location is hard to beat. For some it might be a bit too buzzy and loud, but then staying at the heart of Dublin's cultural and going out quarter, close to Temple Bar, was never going to be about relaxing seclusion, was it?
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel is clear on its website, but it's worth noting that under-18s are not allowed to stay here - nor are pets. There's no lift or air-conditioning either. It's also upfront about noise, which is fair enough, as its location means it can get pretty loud.
The guest rooms are a little cramped, but they're brightly decorated with red rugs, striking wallpaper, and cheerful pine furnishings. There are some cool original touches too, like exposed beams and brickwork, or the beautiful windows of the striking old building housing the guesthouse.
The rooms vary in size, but not price, so be bold and ask for a bigger one.
The bathrooms are lookers: in light green brick-like tiling with white facilities and towels, some have the original windows too.
Reception is open 24/7, and staff are welcoming and kind to weary travellers.
The hotel only provides a continental breakfast, but it is large and good. A cooked breakfast is available at an extra cost at l’Geueleton restaurant nearby, as with the hotel's sister property, Kelly's, which is pretty much next door.
There's no on-site bar but you are spoilt for choice otherwise. See below for some of the hotel's top recommendations - and bear in mind that the Grafton's sister property, Kelly's, has the trendy no-name bar basically in its living room.
The hotel is super central for nightlife and for the sights, all of which are within easy walking distance.
The restaurant offer is pretty hot around here. For something a bit unusual, Dada (3-minute walk) is a Moorish-inspired cozy dining room serving great Moroccan food. Or get your burger fix at Jo'Burger (1-minute walk).
The streets surrounding the hotel are jam-packed with some of Dublin's finest drinking establishments, too, from pubby Hogans to the beautiful The Long Hall, hip The Bar With No Name to stylish cocktail bar, The Chelsea Drugstore (all within 1-2 minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Right in the center of things, and a bargain to boot, the Grafton Guesthouse is more of a looker than its price tag would lead you to believe. It's not exactly luxurious, but that's not the point: it's more about being a cool spot to lay your head after a hectic day (and particularly, night) of enjoying the best of Dublin.