Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Dublin

2 Apr 2009 by Sara Turner

WHAT'S IT LIKE? The Radisson SAS Royal Hotel is a stylish seven-floor property in an excellent location in Dublin’s city centre. Opened in August 2007, it is one of the new breed of Radisson SAS hotels, though has yet to receive the Radisson Blu rebranding on the cards for all the hotels in the portfolio (see online news February 2).

Enter through revolving doors and you’ll find yourself in a bright, airy, double-height lobby with floor to ceiling windows, a white marble floor, dark marble walls, sparkly pillars and low-hanging light fittings. Reception is to your left, with the hotel’s restaurant behind it and the bar to the right. Leading up to the first floor is a striking staircase made of Connemara marble and featuring a glass wall with the text of the Irish Declaration of Independence etched into it.

WHERE IS IT? The hotel is on Golden Lane, a few minutes’ walk from many of Dublin’s major attractions including St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College and main shopping thoroughfare Grafton Street. While right in the city, it manages to feel tucked away from the bustle of town. Dublin airport is 12km away, about 30-45 minutes’ drive depending on traffic.

ROOM FACILITIES There are 150 rooms and suites, a combination of Standard and Business Class rooms, Junior and One Bedroom suites and a Presidential suite, with rooms located on floors one to five and suites on the sixth. The colour schemes are either masculine – taupes and chocolate browns with dark-wood furniture – or feminine – lighter wood with taupe, fuchsia pink and lime green shades.

My room was a 28 sqm Standard room on the fifth floor decorated in masculine style. The bed was firm and very comfortable and was dressed in white linen with a chocolate-brown velvet throw. A flatscreen TV was attached to the wall opposite and played a selection of UK and Irish channels, radio stations and paid-for movies. There was also a dark-wood workdesk with a grey fabric chair, an armchair in the same fabric and a taupe leather coffee table. The lines of the furniture were square and sleek. The view from the window was of an apartment block opposite, with the Dublin mountains in the distance.

Features in the room included free wired and wireless internet access, tea and coffee-making facilities (higher category rooms have Nespresso machines), a laptop safe, a couple of local magazines, UK, European and US plug sockets, a hairdryer, and an iron and ironing board. The minibar had a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks, nuts and chocolates, with a bottle of mineral water costing €3.20. The good-sized bathroom, also decorated in brown shades, had a separate bath and rainshower, chrome fittings, Anne Sémonin toiletries and a speaker system so you can listen to the TV while in the bathroom.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Brasserie de Verres en Vers is a French-style restaurant and like elsewhere in the hotel it’s a stylish room with dark-brown furniture and sleek lines. It’s here that the hotel’s excellent breakfast is served – a delicious cooked Irish breakfast with a wide selection of fruit, yogurt, pastries and cereals. It’s open from 6.30-10.30am Monday to Friday (7-11am on weekends), with a grab-and-run option available from 5-7am; for lunch from 12.30-2.30pm and for dinner from 6-10pm, with Sunday brunch available from 1-4pm.

Sure bar is a funky space decorated in warm reds and browns with slouchy dark leather seating and floor to ceiling windows. It has an all-day food menu, cocktail specials and a DJ on Thursdays and Fridays, and is open from 10am-11pm. There’s also the Vintage room, a private area where fine whiskeys and wines can be served.

MEETING AND BUSINESS FACILITIES A dedicated meetings area on the first floor comprises six rooms holding up to 80 people as well as a video-conferencing room. All have natural daylight and state-of-the-art technology. Also on the first level is a rooftop landscaped garden that can take up to 200 people for outdoor events. A ballroom on the ground floor is divisible into three and can accommodate up to 400 people theatre-style, while on the seventh floor is the Sky suite, which has fantastic 360-degree views of the city and mountains. It can hold events for up to 80 people and has its own bar, an outdoor smoking area and a private entrance. There is also a business centre on the first floor – it has a computer with a printer and is open 24 hours.

LEISURE FACILITIES There are no gym facilities on-site but guests can use the Iveagh Fitness Club, five minutes’ walk away, for free. It has a gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and plunge pool.

VERDICT A sleek yet warm hotel in an excellent location for business or leisure. Don’t miss the great breakfast.

Factfile

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 150 rooms and suites, a combination of Standard and Business Class rooms, Junior and One Bedroom suites and a Presidential suite.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The comfortable bed, free wifi and in-bedroom speaker system.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in March started from €160 for a Standard room.

CONTACT Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Golden Lane; tel +353 1898 2900; royal.dublin.radissonsas.com

Michelle Mannion

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