Hotel Review: Radisson Blu St. Helen’s, Dublin

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Ireland was my last hurrah with the Club Carlson program, which is now dead to me.

After leaving the Radisson Blu in Limerick and kissing the Blarney Stone, we drove into the city of Cork, and then looped back up to Dublin to stay our final night at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s in Dublin.

Arrival and check-in

The hotel is located in an area that is rez. ee. dent. shul. OK?

That means that traffic is terrible at rush hours, because people are going to or from work.

It’s about 3 miles (~Whatever kilometers) from Dublin proper, but there is free parking in a huge lot right in front of the hotel. For late night escapades, you can easily get a taxi to the city center and back.

The reason I chose this location was because:

  • It was a new property for me
  • It was near the M1 which goes right to the airport
  • The property looked gorgeous

Because I had an early-ish flight back to Boston on Aer Lingus, I wanted to hop right on the highway and get outta there.

I knew the traffic would be bad, and I budgeted time for that, but wow. It was really bad. We were stuck on the same 3-block stretch for over 20 minutes.

Anyway, arrival and check-in.

We parked in the rain after a lovely day in Cork, and walked in.

You’re instantly transported to some other era, where opulent mansions still exist.

Upon opening the door to the Radisson Blu St. Helen's

Upon opening the door to the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s

Indeed, this property is a 1700s estate converted into a hotel. And it is lovely.

The desk agents checked us in within a few minutes and told us how to climb through a maze and get to our room.

Hallways of the Radisson Blu St. Helen's

Hallways of the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s

Again, no upgrade to a business class room, but we figured we’d eat in the lounge at DUB and then again on the flight over. So whatever. Ireland was 50/50 with the upgrades for Gold status elites in the Club Carlson program (through the US Bank Club Carlson Visa Signature which is now deep in a sock drawer and will never be used again).

The room

We were assigned to room 333.

Door to Room 333

Door to Room 333

The property was kept up well, as were the rooms. Nothing huge, but definitely a nice place to spend a night or two.

View upon walking in

View upon walking in

Unlike the Radisson Blu Limerick, the decor really matched the overall feel of the hotel. Still felt like an old estate in a lot of ways, which was really fun.

The bed

The bed

Desk

Desk

Coffee area

Coffee area

Closet

Closet

Seating area

Seating area

View of the room, from the window

View of the room, from the window

Closet

Robes, safe, ironing board, hangers, extra pillows

Bathroom

Bathroom

This Works toiletries

This Works toiletries

Our room overlooked the parking lot and faced south. The reason these pics are blurry/dark is because we checked in after a full day in Cork, which was such a fun city.

And the next morning, as we drove to the Dublin airport, we did so in a torrential downpour, so we never got to see the room in the daylight. I bet it’s a beautiful sight, though!

Wifi was fast, staff were courteous.

Oh and I got chocolates and fresh fruit as a welcome amenity.

Fruit

Fruit

Chocolates on the bedside table

Chocolate on the bedside table

But what really struck me was…

The property

Man, this hotel is beautiful.

We went down and had dinner in the Italian restaurant in the hotel. The service was impeccable and the food (and drink!) was delicious.

Ambiance of the restaurant

Ambiance of the restaurant

Our meal. The picture doesn't do it justice

Our meal. The picture doesn’t do it justice

Afterward, we explored the property a little more.

Huge marble staircases

Huge marble staircases

The check-in desk

The check-in desk

Each floor had large open seating areas beyond the elevators

Each floor had large open seating areas beyond the elevators

More lounge seating

More lounge seating

Then we went to grab a drink from the bar and drank it in the lobby.

The bar in the lobby

The bar in the lobby

Bar seating

Bar seating

The lobby with its chandelier and box seating

The lobby with its chandelier, box seating, marble columns, and beautiful details

I had a blast just sitting in the lobby and having a beer. The property is simply gorgeous.

I really wish I’d had time to explore the grounds, but was only there for one night. And we had to jet (literally) so didn’t get to have breakfast, which I bet is lovely.

If you’re into the dimly lit estate feel… this is it.

Bottom line

The only downside is the distance into “the city” (AKA touristy stuff). This hotel is located in a residential neighborhood. The streets are a bit hard to navigate and you may prefer to taxi into town and back, which wouldn’t cost much.

If you want touristy Dublin, this is not it. But if you want a beautiful hotel for a night or two, man, this was a really lovely hotel.

It’s often a little less expensive than the Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin, too.

This property was also my goodbye to Club Carlson.

I’m still salty about the way they gutted their program and co-branded credit card.

They’re trying to be Hilton but they’re just… not. They’re a little hotel chain with a few good properties. Hyatt is a little hotel chain with a lot of good properties.

So… there ya have it.

Oddly enough, Ireland is Radisson-rich. So I had a great time burning through my Club Carlson points here.

RIP, Club Carlson. Hotels like the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s are the ones that’ll make be miss the program.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

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