A sleek, modern hotel that gets rave reviews for comfort, the professionalism of its staff, and the reliably quiet, relaxed stays guests enjoy - all write-ups we are happy to back. It's always a good sign when you see the flight crews staying somewhere, and a bevy checked in just as we sat in the swanky, low-rise lobby. The hotel is right opposite the Croke Park stadium, the home of Gaelic games in Ireland, which means it's a little out of the center in the Drumcondra neighborhood, but easily reached by public transport. There's a car park too.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The location of the hotel has surprised some guests (despite the clue in the, ahem, hotel name): it is a bit of a hop from the center of town but it's perfect for gigs, matches or conferences at the stadium.
The all mod-cons feel continues in the rooms, with large flatscreen TVs, iPhone/iPod docks and air-conditioning, setting the hotel apart from many in Dublin which battle with their ancient plumbing and heating systems. Rooms are spacious and the king-size beds are very comfortable, with duck down duvets. The light contemporary decor is perhaps a little lacking in personality, though.
Bathrooms are also large, with White Company toiletries. Almost all have a good shower over a bath.
The modern lobby has scented candles, a nice touch, but is otherwise a fairly unexceptional modern space. The staff behind the desk, though, go the extra mile for guests, including offering a warm towel on arrival to freshen up.
There's a small gym for guests.
The hotel's Sidelines (geddit) Bistro and Bar is a pleasant enough space serving European-style food in a cozy atmosphere, full of grown-up leather seats and glass panels. It can get very busy before matches. The hotel breakfast is a tasty and comprehensive spread.
In summer, there are BBQs on the outdoor terrace, lit by fairy lights.
The hotel is easily reached from the airport bus as it's on the right side of the city. It's also a simple trip into the center by public transport, or a short drive - and it's only about 30 minutes to walk, too.
For nearby fine dining in the Dublin Writers Museum, you can't beat Chapter On (13-minute walk). Or while you're walking by the River Liffey, try the reliably good The Winding Stair (27-minute walk or bus).
Hit up one of Temple Bar's legendary pubs, handily named The Temple Bar (29-minute walk or bus). Or closer to the hotel try The Hogan Stand (4-minute walk), a jolly local that comes alive for matches.
WHY WE LIKE IT
In a city packed to the gills with historic guesthouses that have charm but sometimes lack a little on the comfort, the Croke Park is a different offer entirely: a classy modern affair that puts guest comfort at the top of its to-do list. It isn't in Dublin's loveliest neighborhood, but it's great for anything at the stadium it is named after, and the attractions of the city center aren't too far.