Dublin is a city full of character, and so are its hotels. Hidden among the historic cobblestones are the best cheap hotels in the city – unique and eccentric finds that cater to a range of budgets without compromising on style and substance.
Budget Hotel, Hotel
Every room at the Castle Hotel has an en-suite bathroom | Courtesy of The Castle Hotel / Hotels.com
The Castle Hotel is a perfect choice for travellers who want to experience historic Dublin at great value for money. Its Georgian building retains its original staircases, antique mirrors and marble fireplaces to give you a sense of time gone by, and the paintings lining the walls complete the mood. While the lounge retains a Georgian character, the rooms are modern and comfortable. The real gem, however, is the underground Castle Vaults Restaurant, set in an original 19th-century wine cellar with stone walls, dim lighting and vaulted ceiling; it’s ideal for a romantic dinner. On the entertainment side, The Castle Vaults Bar keeps things old-school with live trad sessions so visitors can experience a taste of authentic Irish music.
Named after Leopold Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysses, this hotel has some serious character. Its inviting exterior showcases a colourful Art Nouveau fresco depicting a bustling growth of wildflowers, drawing to mind the sprawling nature of the literary work which inspired the name. For guests seeking to experience the best of Dublin’s nightlife, Blooms Hotel is a perfect introduction. In addition to whiskey tastings at The VAT House Bar next door, the hotel’s Club M Nightclub offers late-night dancing and cocktail classes. Located right in the heart of Temple Bar and with reasonably priced rooms even in summer, Blooms Hotel offers serious bang for your buck.
Situated next to the 3Arena concert hall, The Gibson Hotel is a great budget option for music lovers in Dublin who don’t want to compromise on comfort or style. Chic, stylish and modern, this hotel represents urban Dublin at its finest, with its sleek glass exterior matching the vibe inside. The rooms have been designed with relaxation in mind, with calming colours and beautiful views onto the terrace and courtyard. If you step outside, you’ll find several places to eat and relax. The Gibson also has the Luas on its doorstep, which connects guests with the city centre and other unique pockets of Dublin.
Seaside views can be found just 30 minutes from the centre of Dublin, and The Martello Hotel in Bray offers them at a price affordable for any budget. Right on the doorstep of the Bray seafront, this hotel, and its bright and airy rooms, offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea and plenty of opportunities for water sports, nature walks and tranquillity. There is also an array of restaurants at the harbour offering up dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Moreover, the DART is a mere five-minute walk away, which will connect visitors with other coastal towns, such as Greystones and Dún Laoghaire, in addition to Dublin city centre.
Situated in the historic village of Sandymount, this hotel has a fascinating lineage that can still be felt inside its walls. The hotel sits on the site of a former distillery that operated from 1789 until 1860. In 1866, eight Victorian houses for Dublin’s aristocracy were built using the bricks of the old distillery. Refurbished and renovated, these houses make up the hotel today. Founded by the Loughran family in 1995, it is currently the largest family-run hotel in Dublin, complete with all the charm and friendliness of a local family business. Its classic and comfortable rooms feature designer bed throws and contemporary artwork. Within easy walking distance of Sandymount Strand, the reasonably priced hotel lies next to the Aviva Stadium.
Brimming with style and substance, this hotel combines innovative design with a relaxed ambience. With an earthy colour scheme that mixes mint green with comforting browns, low ceilings and brick walls, the interior of this budget-friendly hotel exudes a sense of calmness, despite being located in the bustling Temple Bar neighbourhood. The hotel’s sculptures and paintings, on the other hand, give it a contemporary flair. Decked out in a pea-green palette, the rooms maximise space and offer everything needed for a comfortable stay right in the heart of the city centre.
Harcourt Hotel comprises eight original Georgian buildings, one of which was the birthplace of famed Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. Upon entering, guests will be greeted by a classically styled reception that features a fireplace, large windows, dark wood accents and cushy armchairs. The hotel has 100-plus rooms, including some family rooms, that will suit the needs of many travellers. It’s home to the ever-popular Dtwo bar and nightclub, too. There’s also a range of bars and lounges on Harcourt Street for those who wish to venture further afield, with a particular highlight being The Black Door, a red-lit basement venue fitted with a piano, cocktails and live entertainment. Elegant yet affordable and situated right on the Luas line, this budget hotel is a great spot to experience a taste of classic Dublin.
In a red-brick building dating from 1887, The Central Hotel is, indeed, centrally located. Mere minutes away from Dublin’s Creative Quarter, this hotel showcases a classic ’40s style throughout. It is also home to the Library Bar, an elegant café and bar fitted with vintage mahogany furniture and walls lined with old volumes; though it is open to the public, it remains a little-known secret largely left for hotel guests to enjoy. The rooms in The Central Hotel feature pops of colour and classic furniture throughout. Between the decor, budget-friendly price and central location, the hotel is a great option.
Stay in the centre of the beautiful Trinity College campus, Ireland’s oldest university, with this budget campus accommodation. Available during the summer months, the ‘heritage’ en-suite apartments lie within the historic areas of the campus while rooms in Goldsmith Hall are directly adjacent. Staying in this extremely affordable, and unusual, accommodation option provides the historic college with revenue for its upkeep. As the rooms are styled for student living, it is ideal for those who want an inside peek to this tourist landmark as well as a prime central Dublin location without the expensive price tag.