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Road Warrior Tested: Conrad Dublin Hotel

Wednesday, 6 Jun 2012 | 11:59 AM ET

My travels took me to Ireland in May and while in Dublin, I stayed at the Conrad Dublin Hotel, part of the Hilton brand of properties.

The Conrad Dublin Hotel
Photo by Darren Booth for CNBC.com
The Conrad Dublin Hotel

It's location is ideal in the city. It's across from the National Concert Hall and one block away from St. Stephen's Green. The hotel offers 191 guest rooms and suites and caters to the business traveler. Check-in isn't until 3:00 p.m., but after only an hour wait in the lobby at 8:30 a.m., my room was ready.

Room: I booked a "Classic Twin" room as I was traveling with a companion and redeemed Hilton HHonors points for my stay, though noticed at booking the room went for 299 Euro per night.

As with most European hotels, the room was small, but well appointed with two beds — more full size than twin — a work desk complete with universal power ports, flat screen television, minibar, clock radio with MP3 connection, closet, safe and an iron and ironing board. The bed was very comfortable with high quality sheets and an extra thick duvet. My view looked across to an adjacent building and one level of the roof, so it wasn't anything special. Wi-Fi is available for 5 Euro per 24 hours, though I had free access as a top-tier Diamond member of Hilton's loyalty program.

Bathroom: I was expecting an equally small bathroom as the main living area, but was pleasantly surprised at the spaciousness it provided. While the marble sink area was small, there was another table on which to place your necessities. I'm 6'1" and often find the shower heads in hotels to be far too low, but this one was at an ideal height. Toiletries included a selection of Acca Kappa bath and skin care products. Heavy cotton bathrobes and slippers were available in the closet.

The Conrad Dublin Hotel
Photo by Darren Booth for CNBC.com
The Conrad Dublin Hotel

Amenities: The hotel offers a fitness center, though I never checked it out. A small business center with computers and work desks was also available to guests, as well as meeting rooms. The lobby area offers a very large lounge complete with piano and free Wi-Fi. The Alex Restaurant is filled with natural light thanks to the large windows facing a business courtyard and was open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Concierge services are also available in the lobby.

Breakfast: As a Diamond member, I received complimentary breakfast each morning of my stay. While menu items were available for an additional charge, I stuck with the buffet that included a wide selection of hot and cold items (scrambled eggs, Irish bacon, sausages, potatoes, fruit, cereal, pastries, bread, jams, yogurts and more). All items were excellent and quickly restocked when running low.

Service: From the moment I walked through the door, I was greeted with warm smiles and incredibly helpful staff. At check-in, the agent even noted I tweeted about my upcoming stay, much to the appreciation of the sales manager. When I needed advice about the city, the concierge was very helpful, providing a map and accurate directions. Restaurant service was equally pleasant.

Bottom Line: It's a heavily business-oriented hotel and ideal for such a stay in Dublin, but also provided a comfortable leisure experience. I've stayed at far more luxurious Conrads and feel this property is more akin to a very nice Hilton property. I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually rebrands as such.

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