Best Western Academy Plaza, Dublin, Ireland

For a recent stay in Dublin, I needed somewhere close to the main shopping areas but affordable and offering a safe and quiet location to stay with my younger sister. After some research I decided upon the Best Western Academy Plaza located just off Upper O’Connell Street. As we had an early flight, I wanted to ensure that we had somewhere to store our luggage allowing us to get stuck into our sightseeing. Following an email and a ‘Tweet’ courtesy of Twitter, this was arranged as a much welcomed add-on for our stay.

Due to it’s central location, the stops for the Dublin Bus (number 747) and also the Hop on/off buses are directly outside of the hotel reception,literally a two minute walk at the most. This was a nice surprise given our early flight when we desperately wanted to relax for a few minutes upon arrival.

The hotel has a sizeable 285 en-suite rooms across 7 floors. There is also a lower ground floor where there is a gym and spa service available. Free WiFi is available across the hotel with excellent service provided on each floor (we were on the sixth and had no problem connecting from three different devices simultaneously) with no password required.

Upon check-in, we were presented with our room keys and directed to the lift to the 6th floor where our room (603) was located. I was pleased to note that the hotel seemed to have addressed security concerns that guests may have with a central location as the lift and all rooms are only accessible with the provided room key. This included areas such as the luggage room and the gym which was reassuring to guests like myself.

I had booked a twin room which met my expectations and more. Due to it being a centralised hotel, I had expected a smaller room as is often typical of choosing location over facilities. However, our room was spacious, clean and equipped with a kettle, tea and coffee, an ironing board and iron as well as freshly laid bedding on the very comfortable single beds.

The room was at a comfortable temperature yet had adjustable air conditioning controls and a flat screen TV which we could operate from the remote control or the wireless keyboard – a certain novelty for my sister! In addition to this, the bathroom was spotlessly clean, offering full sized bath and shower, toilet and face basin, all of which looked quite new although I believe that the hotel has recently undergone a refurbishment.

After departing from our room, the reception team were able to help me locate our position on the map and the key shopping areas within walking distance. On each occasion, I found the staff to be very helpful and keen to ensure that we were equipped with a map and clear directions for returning to the hotel. Not only this but when I needed access to the gym and later access to the luggage room on the day of our check-out, the staff again guaranteed service with a smile.

The gym was small but suitable for any gym user providing a combination of weight and cardio machines. On the one occasion that I used it, there was myself and one other hotel guest allowing plenty of chance to use the machine of choice. There is also a water machine just outside of the room although towels or wipes for the machines are not provided. There is also a T.V. and radio function in the room allowing you to work out in comfort most suited to you.

We both enjoyed a fantastic stay at the hotel which provided certain 4-star quality in a excellent location. Although we hadn’t booked breakfast, we had an excellent selection of nearby cafes to choose from (we settled upon O’Brien’s on two occasions). I would certainly be happy to recommend this hotel to anybody staying in Dublin, particularly if they are limited for time in the city. For an affordable, short stay in Dublin, this hotel would be my first choice.

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