I would not normally have chosen to stay in the Ballymun Plaza; but a combination of a conference at Dublin Airport and a weekend break deal from Supervalu swayed me in the direction of this hotel.
Initial impressions were far from encouraging; the ground floor retail units weren’t completed giving the hotel a half finished look; but these were not as discouraging as the completely run down surroundings the hotel has been built in. Ballymun was renowned for its poor social housing and whilst the tower blocks have been demolished the hotel is surrounded by large tenement blocks, some of which are still occupied and some boarded up; and the whole area speaks of decline and deprivation.
Having seen the area then only thing that persuaded me not to look for somewhere else was the provision of a secure underground car park.
Check in was very slow, despite having emailed the hotel a few weeks before to ensure we’d have a family room we still had to wait in reception while the house keeper searched empty rooms for one with a single and double bed. The room itself was clean; but very basic. There were complimentary tea / coffee facilities in the room; but the kettle was mounted half way up a wall in a very inconvenient position to use. The furnishings in the room had to have been the most basic of any hotel I’ve been in.
We’d booked a table for dinner when we checked in; but when we went down to the restaurant we were asked to take dinner in the bar – something that I refused to do as I didn’t want my seven year old daughter in the bar that that hour of the evening. Having insisted on a table in the restaurant we were shown to a table for two (there’s three of us in case you’d forgotten), perhaps the waiter couldn’t count. Anyway there were plenty of tables for four available so I selected one and we sat down to eat.
The food was quite reasonable, and if anything this was the one redeeming feature of the hotel. Nothing exciting, I ordered Chicken Supreme and got Chicken Kiev; but it was well cooked and nicely presented. The breakfasts too where very tasty.
Noise at night was also a problem. Being a hotel I always expect some noise with guests coming and going. However both nights we stayed were punctuated by both guests and staff yelling up and down the corridors and guests repeatedly slamming doors. Desperate.
One final thing; I wondered why the fire alarm sensor in our room was covered in a plastic bag thus rendering it useless.