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Waterloo House 3.5

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Dublin

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Charming boutique guesthouse in a Georgian townhouse setting
  • Pleasant suburban neighborhood with good bus connections
  • Rooms have large, comfy beds and high-definition TVs
  • Pretty Victorian period decor in public spaces and bedrooms
  • Free full Irish and continental breakfast with homemade bread
  • Friendly, hands-on owner, helpful with local recommendations
  • Cozy lounge with computer and free newspapers
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free (but limited) on-site parking 

Cons

  • In a Dublin suburb, a bit far from city center
  • Shower/tub combos have dated fixed showerheads
  • Rooms lack fridges and safes
  • Some rooms are small

Bottom Line

Waterloo House is an upper-middle-range boutique hotel located in a quiet residential area that’s about a 10-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride into Dublin's city center. With just 19 rooms set across two beautiful Georgian townhouses, the property has an intimate, guesthouse-like vibe and charming Victorian period decor throughout. Though some rooms are small, they are tastefully decorated and have large, comfortable beds and high-definition TVs, but lack fridges and safes; shower/tub combos also come with dated showerheads. The free breakfast is a highlight, plus the hotel offers free Wi-Fi and limited on-site parking. But travelers might want to compare rates with the nearby Butlers Townhouse, which has equally chic Victorian-style furnishings and more modern bathroom fixtures, but breakfast isn't included in all rates.

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Scene

Charming and atmospheric period property with an intimate guesthouse vibe

Waterloo House is a low-key hotel in a charming period setting, with a hands-on owner who gives the place an inviting, guesthouse feel. It’s as popular with weekend tourists as it is with business travelers, who are the main weekday clientele. The two gorgeous Georgian townhouses have a double-fronted entrance, with a beautifully aged brickwork facade and striking purple doors. The interior feels smart and well cared for throughout; atmospheric hallways have cream walls and a mix of modern and more traditional framed paintings by Irish artists, and the front desk is tucked away in a quiet, intimate side room. The cozy lounge features period decor, including busy patterns on the wallpaper, carpeting, curtains, and sofas, as well as original sash windows, an elegant chandelier, and a fireplace. The dining room is awash in red hues, including cherry-colored walls and a patterned carpet contrasted by crisp white tablecloths. There’s plenty of natural light from the adjoining conservatory, which has dated brown flooring and overlooks the attractive gardens.

Location

In a largely residential suburb, a half-hour bus ride to the city center

This small hotel is set back from a busy tree-lined street in the largely residential inner Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge, also a popular location for embassies and diplomats. The hotel is a five-minute walk from Baggot Street, famous for its Irish pubs, and nearby Herbert Park is a 14-minute walk away. The nearest DART train station is at Lansdowne, a 15-minute walk away, which is far enough to make other means of transport, like buses, more convenient. Buses to the city center take just under a half-hour; alternatively, it’s a 10-minute drive. It’s a four-minute drive to the Aviva Stadium; the drive to the RDS Arena is the same, but by bus it takes around 15 minutes. The National Gallery, National Museum, and Grand Canal are all within a five-minute drive or 15-minute bus ride, while St. Stephen’s Green and the popular shopping area of Grafton Street are both a seven-minute drive or around 15 minutes away by bus. Other attractions like Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and Dublin’s nightlife district of Temple Bar are a 10-minute drive or 20- to 25-minute bus ride, while the Guinness Storehouse is about a 15-minute drive or 40 minutes by bus. Heuston train station can be reached in about 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus, while Dublin Airport is a 20- to 30-minute drive or 45 minutes by bus.

Rooms

Ornate rooms with tasteful period decor and comfy beds, but some are small and have dated showerheads

The hotel’s ornate Victorian-themed decor continues into its 19 cozy bedrooms; many are spacious, and pricier rooms come with fireplaces, but some are quite small. Traditional, dark wooden furniture includes desks, wardrobes, nightstands, and headboards; the furnishings pair well with beige walls and cream-colored carpets. Big, comfortable beds are topped with white linens and beige throws. Large windows are framed with floor-length maroon curtains and overlook the street or garden. Homey but stylish bathrooms have cream walls with white tiling and black checked detailing. Some have shower/tub combos with dated showerheads, while others have slightly more modern power showerheads.

All the individually heated rooms have phones, large flat-screen HD TVs with cable, free Wi-Fi, irons and ironing boards, and trouser presses, as well as individual toiletries in the bathrooms. There are also coffee- and tea-making facilities, plus free drinking water in eco-friendly refillable glass bottles -- but no fridges or safes. Rooms are quiet and, despite the age of the building, there is an elevator to all floors.

Features

No gym, but fantastic free breakfast, cozy lounge, and free parking and Wi-Fi

The hotel has limited facilities on offer -- there's no fitness center, for instance (though there’s an off-site gym within walking distance). Breakfast gets top marks, however, and it’s included in rates -- the full Irish and extensive continental buffet selection includes homemade Irish soda bread and muesli. The cozy lounge has a pleasant atmosphere in the evening in particular; there are free newspapers here, as well as a computer and an old-fashioned tube TV. There’s limited on-site parking available free to guests, or the hotel can arrange an alternative spot nearby. The staff at the 24/7 front desk also offer great local recommendations, and there’s free Wi-Fi throughout.

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Address

Waterloo House 8-10 Waterloo Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Province of Leinster DO4T651, Ireland

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