Believe it or not, Dublin was not a high priority on my places to visit in Ireland. It was the Place Everyone Visited and therefore I wanted to go in a different direction. However, the one stipulation of Steffie’s agreement in tromping around Ireland with me was that we go to Dublin for tours at the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery. So I had to figure out our route and the best place to stick a visit to Dublin was in the days after our arrival but before our trip up to Clones. Now, we could have just landed in Dublin, but since I wanted home base to be in Cork that is where we flew into and spent one night at the Bru Bar Hostel. So I had to figure out how to purchase train tickets from Cork to Dublin and find a place centrally located to crash for two nights during our Dublin stay. Since we were going to be in a hostel our first night, a tent during Clones, and an apartment during Cork I figured to have a truly well-rounded experience we may as well stay in a Bed & Breakfast/Guest House.
After scouring the internet for various B&B’s, I finally came across the simple but straightforward website for Gate Lodge. Not only was “the world famous Guinness brewery and the Irish whiskey corner are within strolling distance” but Gate Lodge was located just around the bend from Hueston Station, the train depot we would be arriving into from Cork.
We arrived Wednesday, June 2nd (2010) just after noon and made our way to Gate Lodge. It is a tall, late Georgian style brick house dating from 1838 now owned and operated by the Sheehan family.
I couldn’t tell you how many levels this house possesses, but I’m figuring five including the ground level. These sort of homes have a kind split-level thing going on with half a flight to the next level, then a full flight. There are seven rooms available to board, plus the rooms the family uses so you can imagine the level of awesomeness this house has.
We were given Room 1, which is the first room, directly on the right-hand side of the above photo. At first we were nervous that it would be too noisy or bright since this room faced the street. I took the bed closer to the window, which may have been larger but definitely would take more noise as the wall Steffie’s bed was pushed up against was only shared with our en suite bathroom. The room came with an overhead TV and an electric kettle with tea, coffee, sugar and cream. As nothing was caffeine free, I knew I’d be making a stop at a convenience store to grab me some decaf Lyons tea bags.
I really did not have much to worry about, though, because as soon as I pulled the shutters and drapes across the windows our room descended into peace, quiet and darkness. We rarely heard a peep from the outside world. They surely do not make these kind of quality houses here in the States anymore! It should be noted that everything was clean and comfortable. I slept very soundly in that bed.
In the morning we were treated to a full Irish breakfast. Though I knew what to expect, I can’t say that I wasn’t a little more than frightened. Fried egg, beans, tomato, mushroom, sausage, white pudding and rasher to start the day off with. It was tasty, and served in a realistic portion. We had to go for it, of course, just at least once. OK, maybe twice since we were there for two mornings.
The dining room was down a flight or so of stairs, adjacent to the kitchen and a closet-turned office where I was able to access the internet and email my mom to alert her that I was not dead. I really adored the dining room. It was large, with country carved furniture, a Grandfather clock in one corner and a massive fireplace on one end.
It was in the dining room where Steffie and I chatted with Edmond Sheehan the most. He’s a warm, welcoming fellow who made us feel like we were more like visiting relatives than patrons at a business. He told us about the Luas, the Dublin light rail. AMAZING transportation system. Most of his other guests at that time were Irish businessmen living there for conferences or their work week, although there was a group of teenagers he gently scolded for not telling him they would be late to breakfast.
Best of all, Gate Lodge Guest House has a mascot:
Gate Lodge Guest House Pros:
- Located near major Dublin attractions, shopping centers, parks and museums.
- Short walking distance to the Luas light rail and the Hueston train station.
- Friendly, inviting atmosphere
- Clean, private and quiet facilities.
- Breakfast included with cold/hot and vegetarian options.
- Internet access available, but don’t go bananas because it is the home computer.
- Spacious rooms with comfortable bedding.
- Hot shower with toiletries if you forgot yours.
- Secure front door (you have to be buzzed in or have a key) and your own room key.
- Great neighborhood filled with delicious pubs and restaurants for any price range. Including Juno’s Cafe
- Mid-week special rates and discounts for kids up to age 16.
Gate Lodge Guest House Cons:
- If I were being really picky, I’d say that not having access to a mini refrigerator was bummer because Steffie and I like to buy food on the cheap from markets rather than eating out all of the time. Since we were only there for a couple of days, however, this was not really a problem. Plus, I bet if one asked nicely, The Sheehan’s wouldn’t mind storing one or two small items for ye.
Would I stay at Gate Lodge Guest House again? Absolutely! I wouldn’t even look anywhere else unless I needed a refrigerator. I really believe that it is the personal touches made by the Sheehan family that make places like Gate Lodge a home away from home.
Would I recommend Gate Lodge Guest House? I’d insist!
Gate Lodge Guest House
3 Conyngham Road,
+353 (01) 6771685/ 6771735
+353 (01) 6771736
What did you think of this review?