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Dublin Hotel City Center. Hilton Garden Inn Review

The Hiton Garden Inn Dublin is a smart and modern hotel. It’s a Dublin city center hotel. Right on the River Liffey.

I enjoyed my stay. I was upgraded to a room on the top floor. With lovely water view. The only negative thing about the hotel was that the rooms were small.

Hilton Garden Inn is one of Hilton’s ‘Select Service’ Brands. These hotels are a budget option. Inferior to full-service hotels. My personal experiences are different however.

‘Select Service’ hotels often impress, as they’re newly built. The Hilton Garden Inn Dublin definitely impressed! I’d describe it as a 4* business hotel, rather than a budget hotel.

I stayed for two nights with my family. I arrived in Dublin on Wednesday Evening and flew to Miami on Friday morning. I only had one full day in Dublin, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

I paid €260 for my two nights in a family room. To be honest, I wasn’t happy to spend that much. I couldn’t find anything cheaper. I didn’t get a deal either. This is unusual for me! I looked for offers with hotel points, but nothing was good.

I needn’t have worried. I got a better deal than I thought! I checked the prices one week before I arrived. The rack rate had gone up to €520 for the two-night stay. Yikes!

My review has full details of what to expect when you visit the hotel. I took lots of photos. Each photo can be clicked, to open the full slideshow.

What I Liked

  • Dublin city center hotel
  • Good upgrade as a Hilton Gold
  • Varied breakfast spread
  • Lovely water view from my room
  • Decent price paid
  • Friendly service

What Could Be Improved

  • Room was small

The Hotel

The Hilton Garden Inn has a terrific location. A Dublin city center hotel. It’s right on the River Liffey, in the center of town. You’re 15 minutes walk from Temple Bar. Which is the busiest part of the city.

The hotel has the following features:

  • City Center Location
  • Fitness centre
  • 24 hour shop on ground floor
  • Small business centre
  • Ground Floor Restaurant

Hilton Garden Inn is a ‘select service’ brand. However in my view, the hotel could describe itself as full service. They offer breakfast and have a bar/restaurant open throughout the day.

The restaurant is on the ground floor. This is the only restaurant at the hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here. I had a beautiful pint of Guinness on the 2nd evening.

The décor of the building was modern and simple. All of the furniture was in good condition.

There’s a small shop on the ground floor. Selling potato chips and other snacks. It’s open 24 hours, which is a great concept. I didn’t buy anything from there, so I don’t know if it’s good value.

There’s also a small gym on the ground floor.

There’s a ‘business centre’ on the ground floor too. I think the term ‘business centre’ is a bit optimistic! It’s just two old computers with a printer. I went down to print my Air France boarding passes. But there was an issue with Air France’s systems. So I couldn’t check in.

I was quietly impressed with the service. I’m a Hilton Gold. I got an email the day before I arrived. It said that I had been upgraded and that I could check in. I arrived at the hotel at 11pm. The agent at the front desk recognised my Gold Status and was very friendly.

Ultimately, the hotel is very much a ‘business hotel’ and not a ‘destination hotel’. It’s a place to stay in an excellent location. It won’t be the most luxurious hotel you ever stay at!

The Room

I booked a family room, as I was travelling with my kids. We were upgraded to a room on the top floor (7th). The room was the same size as the room I’d booked. However, it was high up and had a lovely water view. I took a photo of the view in the above slideshow. Unfortunately, the view was blocked by metal bars.

The room had two queen beds, a small cupboard and a small desk. The room was small, and it was a tight squeeze for my family! For two nights, it was fine for us. Any longer, and it would have been a problem.

I travel a lot with my family, and we always manage to squeeze in! In fairness, I don’t expect space at a Hilton Garden Inn. Budget brands like Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn Express often have small rooms. It’s how they can offer lower prices in good locations.

The bathroom was small too. It had a shower, rather than a bath.

The décor of the room was functional and modern. Everything was in good condition. However, the furniture certainly wasn’t luxury.

There was a small kettle, with instant coffee and Irish breakfast tea bags. There were two biscuits, which my daughter made quick work of!

Two bottles of water were provided on the 1st day. However, these weren’t replenished by housekeeping on the 2nd day.

A note on my room upgrade

As I mentioned above, I got a room upgrade to the top floor. The room was small, but had a good view.

I’ve been into the travel hacking game for a few years now. When it comes to room upgrades, it’s a case of ‘Your Mileage May Vary’. When I 1st got into hotel status, I got some amazing upgrades at the Hilton Tokyo and Conrad Maldives.

My mind was blown! I then started to expect upgrades. I would book one category lower than the room I wanted. Often, I would end up disappointed, and without an upgrade.

These days, I book the room that I want, and any upgrade is a bonus. The upgrade at the Hilton Garden Inn was better than most.

The Breakfast

I had breakfast at the ground floor restaurant each day. The spread was pretty good. The following was available.

  • Bacon
  • Fried Eggs
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cook to order eggs
  • Sausages
  • Cooked tomatoes
  • Baked Beans
  • Black Pudding
  • Cooked mushrooms
  • Hash Browns
  • Waffle Maker
  • Porridge (oatmeal)
  • Cold Cuts
  • Pastries
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Fruit
  • Juices (not fresh)
  • Tea and Coffee Selection

The selection was really good. The quality was varied. Some of it was ok. Some of it was really nice!

The cook to order eggs were a nice touch. As I’m (nearly) vegan, I don’t eat eggs. However, the omelettes looked well made.

I tried the porridge, waffles, mushrooms and hash browns. The waffles were self-made in the waffle iron. The hotel provided the batter, and you poured the mixture into the iron. I really enjoyed my waffle. I had it with flaked almonds and maple syrup.

The porridge was ok – not the best. It just tasted weird. I don’t know why! I can make better porridge in the microwave..

The hash browns were the ones you buy from the frozen aisle at the grocery store. You then re-heat them in the oven.

The cooked mushrooms were undercooked and tasteless. This is often the case when people make mushrooms.

FYI: If you cook ever mushrooms, make sure to cook them for longer! Mushrooms have a high water content. As you cook, the water gets released. That water is full of flavour. So you want to cook the mushrooms in the water, until the water is gone.

The Fitness Centre

There’s a fitness center on the ground floor. It’s open 24 hours and can be accessed with your room key. I went down and took a couple of photos. It looked pretty good. There were a decent range of dumbells. Also a machine with cables. You could get a decent workout here.

I don’t use hotel gyms when I’m traveling with my family. I simply don’t find the time. My wife already gets annoyed when I’m taking photos for reviews. If I then have an hour long workout, she won’t appreciate it!

When I’m traveling alone, I’m pretty good at using hotel gyms. I’ve become more disciplined! As I get older, it’s more difficult to find time to exercise. I need to utilise each opportunity that I get.


The Hilton Garden Inn is an excellent Dublin city center hotel. It has a great location, right on the River Liffey.

The hotel décor is modern and the breakfast spread was varied. I had an excellent stay. If you’re visiting Dublin and want to save a little money. Then the hotel could fit the bill.

If you are travelling through Dublin Airport, you can choose to access their lounges. I reviewed the Lounge in Terminal 1. They had a manned bar, barista made coffee and high quality tea. Sadly the Guinness was served from a bottle!

I’ve also reviewed the Lounge in Terminal 2. That lounge was less impressive. The lounge was small and busy. The food and alcohol selection was also limited. That being said. There was lots of natural light and my green tea was excellent.

If you have a trip to London planned and are on a budget, then I’ve got the article for you! 17 of the cheapest hotels in Central London. Some of the hotels are pretty terrific!


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