I stayed at the Clarence for St. Patrick's holiday this year. Given the popular holiday, I got a good rate for the week in one of their standard king rooms with no view. The room was comfy and modern. The bathroom and shower/tub were great and well-maintained. The bed and bedding were my favorite because they were comfortable and crisp. My room didn't have a stand to put my suitcase on so it ended up on a table. I had to ask for a robe which I thought should be in the room. The staff were all extremely nice and accommodating. I dealt with Lucas, Mario and Pablo often and were always friendly, nice and helpful. The hotel location is great as you are near everything including Temple Bar, great restaurants, bars and lots of historic sights. The Cleaver East restaurant is nice, but I only had drinks there. The Octagon Bar always seemed a little quiet but also nice. The Liquor Room next door is fun and a little crazy. I will return to Ireland without a doubt and I will stay at the Clarence again. Slainte!
It's nice enough and clean. So if your not picky and not looking for a higher end hotel than this is the place for you. It's a good location, easy walking distance to most tourist and local attractions. The staff are friendly enough, they weren't super friendly but they at least said hello when they saw us. the room appeared as if it was clean. We did order drinks in the lounge area and we were only served once, no one ever came back to check on us or to even get the bill from us, we had to leave cash!
There are little weird things that I would change such as the key entry, most hotels have cards and this one you have to carry a key on a large key chain around. You have to use your key to get in the elevator or use the stairs. The hotel is worn down a bit- stains on the carpets, stains in the tub, and mattress is visibly worn (has indentations in it) and whenever you move it makes noise. The tub is narrow and the curtain blows in which makes showering interesting, you either put it outside of the tub and flood the bathroom or have it stuck to you half of the time which isn't a huge deal but I doubt that they change it between guests! The wifi was spotty. There were No robes, though I don't know if I would have used it I expected better quality accommodation; given the cost and all of the "hype" I would have thought that it would be less visibly worn. There is no AC (which we knew ahead of time) and in order to have air flow you have to leave the windows open (which we don't mind, there aren't any screens so you will get some bugs but it was a better alternative to the heat and stuffy room) which prevents you from shutting the curtains- a bit of a problem when your dealing with jet lag!!
I liked all of the wood throughout the hotel....but decor wise that would be about it. The furniture in the room was visibly worn and there wasn't any artwork other than a picture that a child drew. there is this great little bar with outdoor seating that was directly behind our room, so part of leaving the windows open for air flow meant it got louder by ten fold!! The peoples conversation carries up so that we could make out their conversations and it's as if we were seated inside a very bustling pub. Which is fine if that's the atmosphere that we were going for, but as we are trying to sleep or relax it's was a bit much. I imagine the weekends will be terrible....and at night we shut both sets of windows and you can still hear music playing and people yelling and talking at 3 am on a Tuesday morning. We stayed here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and it was VERY LOUD each night and we had to shut both sets of windows and just deal with the room being stuffy. I don't think I would return to this hotel and if I did I would certainly not stay in a room in the back. I did not complain to the staff as I felt that there wasn't anything that they could do to prevent the noise...and I didn't have a lot of faith that the front of the building was going to be that much quieter. Had we been staying longer I would have demanded another room.....
I'm not usually one to give 3 star reviews but the Clarence is, in short, merely adequate.
Major Points Consider
The staff are quite friendly.
Centrally located in Temple Bar
It's not a fleabag spot, it is well maintained.
Won't break the bank
The Liquor Rooms are (is?) quite a fine cocktail bar. in the same building as, and part of the hotel, but you can't charge to your room, which isn't bad, but a little odd.
The Less Good (Food)
The food is less than convenient. The a la carte menu is only available in the Study and Octagon from noon till five. It's the same as the room service menu.
The Cleaver East is open later I think but it's a tasting menu of somewhat dubiously small portions at 21EUR for 3 courses during lunch for reasons I cannot quite fathom before reverting to an a la carte menu for dinner.
The (Potentially) Bad
It's Temple Bar so it's boisterous in the neighborhood at night. I'm a bit dissapointed by the lack of sound insulation for the windows, especially considering that most of the bustle seems to be coming from The Liquor Rooms downstairs.
The hotel, despite being well kept, just feels sort of careworn.
The Wifi, while free, is slow and surprisingly spotty.
So in all I don't know if I see 4 stars here. Maybe 3.25?
I can only offer a review of the service and the room, as I was so busy enjoying the city I didn't use anything else at the hotel. The staff from our arrival was helpful and accommodating. We arrived in the morning and asked if we could leave our luggage until check in, which was several hours later. Instead, the staff quickly found a room and allowed us to check in early. Very appreciated after a 6.5 hour flight.
The room was nice, but did not have a '5-star' feel to it. I realize the building is European and old and that limits size, but our room wasn't overly large. Just not what I'm used to when spending that much money in the states. Small tv & old looking room heaters and fixtures didn't give the luxury appearance I expected.
Those small issues aside, the staff was very nice and you can't beat the location.
I have stayed in many fine Hotels in Dublin and I have to say that this was not one of them. The only thing that saves this hotel is the location and friendly staff.
There are better hotels to stay at that represent much better value for money.
So when we planned our big trip to Ireland, a stop at U2/Bono's hotel was a must. We were expecting a super swanky rock star hotel, and were quite shocked to find such an understated hotel. Extremely simple, almost boring!
We went straight in to the octagon bar, and we were the only people there, on a Thursday night 5 pm -- do the Irish not do happy hour? Ok so we reviewed menu and I opted for a specialty martini. I forget the name, but it had rum and champagne - my 2 favorites- and some passion fruit or something!! When the drink got there I didn't even want to try it bc it looked so gross. Everyone in my group stared at me until I worked up the courage to take a sip. Wow super unexpected, looks are deceiving, it was delicious. No one wanted to try it; they decided to take my word for it! :)
I definitely recommended passing by just to say you went to Bono's hotel, but be warned you may be disappointed.
O Clarence hotel how you've disappointed me. What a nightmare no ac and noisy. The fitness center was shut down no robes in the room. Really overpriced for what it is.
Yes, this is the famed Clarence Hotel that is owned by Bono & The Edge of the band U2.
Located by the River Liffey, you will find this beautiful, simple yet elegant hotel.
The staff is very pleasant and the location is just great.
Even if you aren't staying here, it's worth a visit to to say you were there and have a pint at the Octagon Bar.
Ridiculously expensive, I had a cheap soup there as a curiousity as to the good life we provided for Bono's band.
He is paying us back in kind with an overpriced menu that only the very rich can afford
This hotel has the Octagon Bar (owned by Bono) and we had a wonderful time here. Nice, pricey and elegant - yet stiff - drinks.
No - we never saw Bono.
The Clarence is swanky, smart and famously owned by Bono (and the Edge). The hotel sells itself on exclusivity and its association U2. Many people go there just to say they've been there.
Speaking of which, I attended a wedding in an upstairs room here (haha)! It was naturally a classy affair and the room offered beautiful views over the Liffey. I also ventured into the Octagon Bar for a drink prior to a certain university ball where I was asked to produce a certain university ID. This made me wonder, if I didn't attend this certain university, would I have been denied access?
Snobbery comes hand in hand with such exclusivity and apart from that, the simple fact is: for most of us, the Clarence is just uncomfortably expensive.
What a study in contrasts. The area and location of the hotel are first rate, world class. But the hotel itself needs a serious overhaul. The rooms are dated and worn and dark. It's not an exaggeration to say that every fixture and finish material needs to be removed, refinished or cleaned. They need to realize that guests will not be so seduced by the celebrity of the owners to overlook a truly crummy hotel.
There is noise from the local bars but that is somewhat to be expected given the location, I can overlook that. What seems sad and unreasonable is any spin on this place describing it as elegant or above average. It's a sad place in a masquerade.
On the upside, the hotel staff was very accommodating and helpful.
Except............., I forgot the absolutely ridiculous service in the Cleaver East restaurant at breakfast. Despite being only among 2-4 guests in the entire restaurant both mornings, the two young guys "working" there couldn't seem to remember that there were customers sitting first without menus, then without ordered coffee, generally ignored while they yucked it up with each other. It was like having three year olds for waiters. Neither of them had pens to take orders and borrowed the one we offered from my husband's shirt pocket. They seemed, what's the word? immature? hungover? still drunk? Who knows.
Not a great value considering how little one can enjoy staying there.
Huge U2 fan..Huge Bono and Edge Fan...so we had to stay here of course!
Service here is really great! The rooms are cozy, quite simple actually but very cozy. The staff is great. It does get a bit loud at night being in the Temple bar area...didn't care for the restaurant downstairs (The tea room)...it was really really pricey!
Octagon bar however was awesome to check out...The location of this hotel is PERFECT! If you can afford to just stay here a night or two, do it!! (and yes it is a pretty penny for just one night)
This is the famous hotel owned by Bono and The Edge of Irish band U2. This world famous hotel in based in tourist mecca Temple Bar and over looks the scummy River Liffey.
There is a really lovely Tea Room Restaurant with a reasonable price lunch menu for such posh surroundings. 27euro for two sumptuous courses!
They also have a very cool, trendy but too small Octagon bar, named after the shape of the bar, which serves, in my humble opinion, the best Cosmopolitan cocktail in Dublin.
The rooms are individually designed and have Shaker style furniture and are painted lovely colours of crimson, royal blue, amethyst, gold and chocolate. The penthouse has its own outdoor hot tube on the terrace with great views of Dublin city and the Liffey by night! How do I know? Because I was in there with some very well known rock and roll stars, so yes there is another tip for you, if you are into celeb spotting, lots and lots of bands stay here!
There are 49 rooms here, so it is not a very big hotel but it is pricey, so if you can't slip in with the band, start saving!
On arrival at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin you are presented with a fairly unassuming but classic hotel which sits on the river Liffey near Temple Bar. The Clarence is a former run down hotel which was bought by Ireland's most famous export - U2. They renovated the hotel and it is now one of Dublins premier boutique hotels.
On entry to the hotel the concierge showed us to the restaurant which sits at the back of the hotel. We later realised there is a back entrance which leads directly to the resturant and to the bars and clubs of Temple Bar. After being greeted and having our coats, scarves, unbrellas and various other layers removed (it was raining and cold!) we were shown to our table.
The dining room is a large long room with fairly sparse decor. The theme is a shaker-style with oak flooring, bannisters and a mezzanine level. Table clothes are white and the glasses are blue giving a lovely simple effect.
On being seated the waiter explained the various menus - the a la carte menu and the 'Market Menu' which is three starters, mains and desserts which are priced at 26 euros for two courses or 34 euros for 3 courses. As we had booked through toptable.co.uk we were also offered a special offer with a free glass of champagne (19.50 on the menu!) and 2 for 1 on main courses from the a la carte menu provided we ordered three courses each. After some deliberation we decided to go for the a la carte menu (the champagne swung it!) and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvingon at 26 euro -the cheapest on the menu.
The bread which was provided as we waited for our starters was utterly delicious. A selection of mini homemade breads, with Irish butter and a pot of the most wonderful pesto I have ever tasted, more than satisfied our rumbling tummies as we waited. The champagne was fantastic -excellent quality and all in all an excellent start to the meal. As we had ordered from the a la carte menu we were also presented with small 'amuse bouche' (I think that's how you spell it!) which are tiny little examples of the chef's skill. We had tiny shot glasses of warm asparagus soup and a wonderful tomato creme brulee - which sounds vile but was out of this world.
For starters we chose tempura oysters with parma ham, and crab ravioli with fennel salad. Both wonderful. After a short wait our mains arrived -monkfish on a bed of crushed potatoes for both of us. The monkfish was cooked to perfection, meaty and firm and the crushed potatoes were peppered with crab and flavoured with a fantastic grain mustard.
After mains we decided to get one dessert to share and a cheese board. The dessert was 'Crunch and Roses' - a crunchy praline biscuit with golf leaf, rose ice cream and praline cube. It was overly sweet for us but very interesting flavours. The cheese was 5 types of cheese (not sure what they were as we asked and the waiter did not know!) served with homemade crackers and chutney. All absolutely wonderful.
The bill (including wine, water and a supplement for cheese) came to 117 Euro - thanks to the current exchange rate - just over £100. This is a lot of cash for most of us I realise and this is certainly not something we would do all the time but - wow, The Tea Room at the Clarence was well worth it.
To me £100 is a fair price for a three course meal with wine, not to mention the champagne and extras we received. The service was friendly -not necessarily perfect, it would have been nice to know what cheeses were served and my wine was splashed a few times, but the staff were attentive and polite. The dining room was stylish with tables nicely spaced for privacy. Food was excellent and with the exception of the dessert some of the best meals I have ever tasted. We were made to feel special, we were at no point pressured to leave the table and the central location was perfect for out night out in Temple Bar.
I strongly recommend on any tip to Dublin you try out the Clarence, I can't imagine our holiday would have been so good without it!Thanks Bono!
The Clarence was where myself and my partner went to stay a year ago. The staff were very helpful, personable, and nice. I had come down with a fever on the day we left for Ireland, and the staff made sure I had everything needed to make me feel better (extra pillows, directions to the nearest pharmacy, etc.). The massage that was part of our package definitely helped, too!
We especially loved our room's view of the Temple Bar area. Even though the room itself was rather small, the balcony overlooking Temple Bar more than made up for it.
The food we dined on was some of the best we've ever had, and The Octagon Bar made especially good martini's.
All in all, we had a wonderful time at The Clarence, and have recommended it to anyone we know travelling to Dublin. Even though it's a little pricey, you get your money's worth in service, charm, and general atmosphere.
Worn carpet in so many places. The main front desk staff is helpful.
Terrific central location for the Temple Bar scene. We walked to quite a few terrific restaurants. Just not at the Clarence.
A very disappointing breakfast in the Study Cafe. The croissant I had was chewy, almost soggy. I had to scrape off 10% of my smoked salmon because i dont want to eat that grey fatty goo next to the skin. Uggh. But no extra charge for the fish scale I had to spit out. The waiters brought the food but were hard to flag down as my water glass ran dry 3 times while I waited and waited for some more. Only one other table was occupied. I expect far better quality and service when the full English breakfast is 18.75 pounds.
A very worn & tired place.
My recommendation is to walk through or have a single drink if you really need to see it. Then go elsewhere for everything.
So I have a weekend to spare on a working trip to Ireland, and I decide to visit Dublin. I book at The Clarence because it is owned by Bono & The Edge. The hotel is perfectly situated for a tourist weekend. The rooms are charming and comfortable, the staff are wonderfully cheerful and obliging. The full Irish breakfast (included with the room) is delicious but the culinary equivalent of climbing Everest. I did not make it to the summit but I did achieved the higher elevations. (I should have brought my dog called Tensing.) Tomorrow I will go for the yogurt and the wheat germ.
The Clarence is over-priced for what you get. I was expecting posh rather than charming. But - as I am somewhat an expert on value-based pricing - I recognize the value of celebrity. If I come to Dublin again, I will certainly stay here. Great place. Great people. In the right place.
Owned by Bono and The Edge of a little unknown band called U2, it's a little bit on the pricey side- probably because of the names attached to it. Good location for those visiting Dublin- if you are looking to spend a pretty penny. Octagon Bar is cool! Stop at the bar if you don't stay.
I haven't been here in several years (and this place always seems to be undergoing renovations so I've no idea if the current incarnation in any way resembles the one I visited) but I enjoyed the food and the drink was pretty decent too. The place sticks in my mind, however, because when he reviewed it Will Self suggested that the talents of the owners were really as restaurateurs!
A little pricey for the accommodations, but still a nice place to stay. The room, on first glance was decked out, but on closer inspection, you see that the carpets are thread-bare, and the some things are not as classy as they seem. That's ok though, I wasn't staying in Temple Bar for the room. From here, we walked to the Guiness Storehouse, The Brazen Head, Bakers pub, and Darky Kellys. Nice location right on the Liffey.
Don't book a room here if you actually plan to sleep. We called the front desk at 9:30 p.m. asking about the thumping bass, and were told the neighboring bars could make as much noise as they wanted until 2:30 a.m. If you don't care about sleeping, the staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, but the furnishings are getting a bit worn. At this price, I recommend looking elsewhere.
I attended a group brunch thing here a while back and it was beyond fab. Champers, tea, coffee and OJ were in free flow, as were vast quantities of breads and pastries. Then came the main course that was like a buffet on a plate - boiled egg, smoked salmon and cream cheese and a pancake. And if that wasn't enough, a massive platter of cheese and meats followed suit for anyone that was still feeling a bit peckish. Service was wonderful too.
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