The Best Affordable Hotels in Dublin

Wed, 29 January 2020
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If the best things in life are free, the second best are cripplingly expensive. This rings true in Dublin, where peak season (read: St Patrick’s Day) means sky-high prices and low room availability. Nevertheless, visiting the Emerald Isle doesn’t mean you have to drop the cash equivalent of rare gems at check-in. We’ve sidestepped grand country houses and grubby hostels, and found the sweet spot between blowout and budget to curate this round-up of stylish yet monetarily savvy hotels near Dublin’s most popular attractions.

Budget-friendly hotels in Ireland’s capital

The Devlin

Since opening in 2018 in trendy Ranelagh, The Devlin has caused a buzz among the beau monde. Its fashion-forward disposition manifests in herringbone floors and wooden ceilings that flank walls speckled with (mostly Irish) artwork. Small but perfectly formed is the vibe here. What rooms lack in size, they make up for with sleek design, smart gadgets – Dyson hairdryers, Smeg fridges, Marshall speakers – and locally sourced toiletries and nibbles. Price points suit a range of budgets, with room options including Super Double, Family and Bunk. Nab a booth in Layla’s, the all-day, glass-box rooftop restaurant, or enjoy cocktails from a crack team of Ireland’s most forward-thinking mixologists at Americana bar. We especially love the 50s-style subterranean Stella Cinema, which serves up fresh popcorn and a showreel of Hollywood classics and arthouse favourites.

The Dean

“I fell in love here,” reads Tracey Emin’s neon artwork above The Dean’s check-in desk – and indeed, party-loving travellers are guaranteed to topple head over heels for this urban bolthole. Like The Devlin, it’s owned by Press Up, and shares much of its sibling’s modern-retro aesthetic – smooth concrete and metal offset by warm woods and colour-pop furnishings – along with the penchant for big-brand gadgets. Rooms are on the small side but so are the prices; this is a place for socialising not holing up in your hotel room (unless you’re staying in the supersized Penthouse which has a kitchen, freestanding bath and poker table). Shops and bars may populate the surrounding streets, but The Dean is a destination in its own right, thanks to Sophie’s (a lively rooftop bar) and a lobby that hosts DJs.

The Alex

Having recently undergone renovation and rebranding, The Alex mingles with The Dean and The Devlin as part of Dublin’s bona-fide cool crowd. Resting on the foundations of a former train station, it injects a quiet roar of the 1920s into the 2020s with its pared-back art-deco aesthetic and Edison bulbs. Windows are double-glazed, so rooms are flooded with natural light but not the traffic noise – perfect for when it comes to hunkering down in the super-king bed. Communal areas are the lifeblood here: visitors savour international fare from plush green banquets, avail of the high-spec gym or co-working space, and sip coffee from espresso bar Steam. A slew of Dublin’s main attractions are close by, including the National Gallery and Merrion Square – have a wander before returning to the hotel bar, which spotlights Irish-brewed beers and spirits.

Generator Dublin

We promised to skip the “grubby hostels” and indeed, despite being a hostel, Generator is far from grubby. Smithfield is Dublin’s hipster district and Generator – hailed as Dublin’s best hostel – reflects its neighbourhood, with a sprawling bar illuminated by whiskey-bottle chandeliers, vibrant murals, an in-house cinema and rooms that nod to an industrial aesthetic. Private, en-suite accommodation benefits from free towels and toiletries. Guests here are guaranteed a pocket-friendly taste of Ireland – quite literally, the hostel has a self-service Guinness stand as well as deals with the neighbouring Jameson Distillery. If the pennies are really pinching (or even if they’re not), it’s worth checking out Generator’s roster of events, which include karaoke nights, movie clubs and live performances.

Kellys Hotel Dublin

Amid the thrum of the creative quarter, this adults-only bolthole is a springboard into the cafés, bars and restaurants (try Fade Street Social) where Dubliners like to put their knees up – though for this convenience, you’ll sacrifice a completely silent night’s slumber. Light sleepers: you have been warned. Set above Hogan’s Bar in a building that dates back to the 1870s, Kelly’s 16 moderately priced rooms pack a hefty amount of style into a small space, marrying original features – exposed brick, Victorian window frames – with a clean palette and Anglepoise lamps. While breakfast in French brasserie l’Gueuleton is great, Kelly’s stand-out feature is its bridge which leads to The Bar With No Name – one of the hottest watering holes in a city that loves a tipple.

  • +353 1 648 0010
  • Go to Website
  • 36 South Great George's Street
    D02 T328

Pembroke Townhouse

Georgian sophistication meets a modern, homely sensibility in this charming townhouse set in leafy Ballsbridge, making it ideal for those who want respite from Dublin’s frenetic centre. The stately 18th-century exterior gives way to a more relaxed atmosphere – pitch up by the hearth of the communal drawing room, coffee (or pinot) in hand. The 49 rooms are an understatedly elegant affair. Those in the modern extension are on the small side; if your budget can stretch, check in to one of the original rooms with high ceilings and sash windows. There’s no restaurant here (staff have plenty of local recommendations), but the full Irish breakfast is very good. Plus there’s a well-stocked larder free for guests to raid 24/7 – house-baked biscuits are a favourite.

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