October 2014 Dublin, Ireland
After reveling in another Dublin hotel that had the cool factor my subsequent three night stay at the Maldron Hotel Smithfield was cool more in terms of temperature than relative hipness.
My big attraction to this moderate three-star accommodation is the combination of outstanding value in a fairly central location and in those respects the hotel lives up to its billing as it’s within metres of local landmark the Old Jameson Distillery across the rectangular but barren Smithfield Square and can be reserved for as little as EUR67 per room per night.
Room #111 is a Standard Room occupying a first floor corner of the hotel and includes a small balcony overlooking the square though the October weather proved a little too uncooperative to spend any time out on it. A large double bed, table and chairs in an alcove beside the balcony, desk with an older and smaller 20 inch colour TV and bank of closets directly inside the door was the room’s furnishings and all worked well despite not being this year’s models or design.
A newer bathroom with tub & “power” shower and enough vanity space rounded out a room which while functional and comfortable is a little Spartan and lacking a few features which are missed when not available namely an in-room safe, mini-fridge and temperature control. The first two I would’ve gladly traded for the last were I offered a choice as over my short stay the temperature as shown on my trusty LL Bean travel alarm clock with both time and temperature display rarely broke 67F which after coming in from a cool, rainy day is several degrees cooler than I would’ve liked. I understand these creature comforts would be almost impossible to include at this price point so when convenience is subordinate to cost compromises are made.
The rate I reserved included buffet breakfast and there is a good selection of hot and cold items available in the restaurant just off the lobby and so offered a solid start to the day. It’s not cooked-to-order morning cuisine with an overwhelming array of options but for as little as EUR5 above the room-only cost including the breakfast is something I’d recommend for those cost conscious travellers like myself.
In the lobby itself there a PC for public use with a coin operated pay system so it only cost a Euro or two to log on for 5 – 10 minutes to check flight status or send a quick email.
The 747 Airlink bus service is within a minute or two walk of the Maldron opposite the River Liffey and for EUR6 one way per person offers exceptional value with frequent service. Note the journey time given in the Airlink brochure hotel staff can provide as it can be up to 55 minutes with stops so budget your time accordingly.
One notable local site I would recommend visiting is called Crossroads and it’s directly across the street from the hotel and is the type of pub locals gather to listen to Celtic music and visit with friends & family. It wasn’t the more trendy tourist pubs of Temple Bar and for that reason was grateful and returned several times during my three night stay.
A few doors down there is a grocery store plus a decent selection of location restaurants but I usually walked across the Liffey to the South Side of Dublin, a walk that takes about 15 – 20 minutes depending upon where you’re going.
Overall while I would’ve liked a few more in-room conveniences you get what you pay for at the Maldon Hotel Smithfield and as the U.K. saying goes it does exactly what it says on the tin.