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Isaacs Hostel 2.0

Dublin, Ireland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Central Dublin location, close to public transportation and tourist attractions
  • Simple and clean private and shared dorm-style rooms
  • Free continental breakfast, plus free coffee and tea available all day
  • Communal kitchen, sauna, and game rooms with table tennis and pool table
  • Free Wi-Fi, computers available for guests' use, and loaner electrical adaptors 
  • Highly social atmosphere with free weekly pizza nights
  • Bicycles for rent and laundry machines for a fee
  • 24-hour reception with key card entry and safety deposit box
  • Hairdryers, hair straighteners, and digital luggage scales available for a fee
  • Currency exchange, fax, and postal services, plus luggage storage

Cons

  • Noise issues due to proximity to railway and boisterous guests
  • Rooms lack lockers, bedside electrical outlets, and reading lamps
  • No en-suite bathrooms, only shared ones on every floor
  • Spotty Wi-Fi service

Bottom Line

Isaacs Hostel is a two-pearl property housed in a converted 19th-century wine vault that's within walking distance of many popular Dublin sites and is well serviced by public transportation. Its stripped-down, dormitory-style private and shared rooms offer little beyond a bed, but they are clean and fairly spacious. Rooms lack lockers, however, and noise can be an issue. The lobby is lively with guests using free computers, listening to music, or playing pool or table tennis. A free breakfast is provided, and there is a modern, communal kitchen to store and prepare food. Other extras here include a sauna, free pizza nights, and bicycles available for rent. Generator Hostel is another option that's popular with backpackers and has hip interiors, but breakfast isn't included.

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Scene

Lively, sociable hostel mainly attracts young backpackers

Budget-minded twenty-somethings with wanderlust are the most frequent guests at Isaacs Hostel. Interspersed among these international travelers are a few families and senior hostel travel devotees. Since it's within walking distance of the Temple Bar area and lacks a curfew, the lobby and other common areas can be fairly noisy. The hostel itself is in a charming, pennant-bedecked, red brick building with boxes of flowers and greens beneath its red casement windows. The lobby is plastered with flyers and photographs. Guests peck away on the row of computers, and others sprawl at communal tables pushed up against railings of red bicycles that are available for rent. Around the corner are the former brick wine vaults, now home to a ping-pong table and pool table, while inexpensive leather sofas provide seating in a basement common room where guests can borrow books or watch a big-screen TV. The communal kitchen has glossy, maroon cabinetry and uncluttered black granite counters as well as rows of old pine tables and half timber benches. There's also a small, cobblestone courtyard with red umbrellas and tables. With its scuffed ping-pong table and vending machines, tacked over flyers, and widespread computer use, Isaacs Hostel resembles a college dorm that has been around a while: comfortable and worn.

Location

On Dublin's north side, close to several attractions and well serviced by public transportation

Guests at the Isaacs Hostel have the option of walking two minutes to the Busaras bus station, six minutes to Tara Street railway station, and 12 minutes to Dublin Connolly railway station. The tram line and bus to Dublin Airport are at the end of the street, a two-minute walk away. Henry Street, a major shopping hub, and Trinity College are a 12-minute walk away, while the Temple Bar area can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. Both the Dublin Castle and the National Library of Ireland with its first editions by Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett, are a 10-minute drive, 15-minute bus ride, or 20-minute walk. The Guinness Storehouse as well as St. Patrick's Cathedral can be reached in about 20 minutes by car or 25 minutes by public transportation. The Dublin Airport is a 15- to 30-minute drive, depending on traffic, or about 30 minutes on public transportation.

Rooms

Tidy and spare private and shared rooms with shared bathrooms

Isaacs Hostel offers private and shared dorm-style rooms that sleep between two and 16 people (single rooms are also available). Rooms are basic but clean, sparsely furnished with blue metal frame beds or bunkbeds and small cubbies to store belongings in, but no lockers. The rooms have light wood floors in good condition, bare white walls, and windows with draw drapes that overlook the street or a small courtyard. Each guest receives white linens and a duvet with a duvet cover, but towels must be rented.

None of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms, but shared bathrooms are located on every floor. They are clean but institutional in appearance, with monotonous beige tile and paint, faux paneled fiberboard doors on toilet stalls, and showers with curtains or glass doors.  

Guests should note that complaints about noise -- from the nearby train, creaking wood floors, or other guests -- are common enough that the hostel provides ear plugs. There have also been complaints of spotty Wi-Fi. There are no beside electrical outlets or reading lamps, while storage is provided, for a fee, off the lobby.

Features

Communal kitchen, game room, sauna, and freebies including breakfast, Wi-Fi, and weekly pizza nights

The hostel offers a free breakfast that includes toast, jam, cereal, and juice, plus there's free coffee and tea in the lobby throughout the day. Free pizza nights are hosted weekly. There's a communal kitchen where guests can store and prepare food. Wi-Fi is free throughout, and computers are available for use in the lobby. Other perks include an on-site sauna, a game room with table tennis, pool, PlayStation, and foosball, and free morning walking tours (entry fees to attractions are not included), plus a basement common room with a big-screen TV. In addition to the many dining areas and mismatched sofas and chairs throughout the hostel's common spaces, there is an outdoor cobblestone courtyard with red umbrellas and tables.

The front desk is open 24/7 and includes a currency exchange, fax, and postal service. Adaptors, books, DVDs, and board games are free to borrow, and the hostel provides a digital scale to weigh luggage. Luggage storage is available for a fee, and there's also a safety deposit box.

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Address

2 - 5 Frenchman's Lane, Dublin, Province of Leinster 1, Ireland

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