I’ve often passed by this place, wondering first if it was a merely a bar or in fact a small hotel. It’s the latter and apparently quite difficult to get a room in. I’m going to put that down to the reason that there are few rooms however.
Greeting & Check-in
I can understand why the process is dealt with in a ‘quick as possible’ fashion here, it appears that whoever is covering the front desk is also either in the kitchen or serving in the bar. They have no need for a permenant front desk staff member. Maybe. Nothing stood out.
Appearance & Location
Follow the grand canal and you can’t miss this place. It’s in Castleknock (just down from the DART station). I always referred to Castleknock as “that place just outside Blanchardstown”. I realise now that the residents would likely see me hung, drawn and quartered for such a flagrant disregard for their suburb. The Twelfth Lock, as I was getting to, is on the grand canal (in all it’s glorious rubbish filled stinkiness). Grand canal eh? Isn’t that a bit dodgy? Well yes, it seems to be. When I made a voyage out to my car one night while staying here I did notice some (as Mr. Kipling might put it) some exceeding dodgy characters. It seems a small enough building, which makes you wonder how they crammed so much in. The secret is to put all the bedrooms below ground level, thereby denying them any view to the outside world (and presumably effective means of escape in the event of a natural disaster of some sort). My room was not unlike what you’d expect to find at any budget hotel. Small TV, basic tea/coffee service, not hugely comfortable bed, small ill-equipt bathroom. Ohh, except this isn’t a budget hotel. Oh dear!
Staff & Service
I found most of the staff to be friendly and helpful. The member of staff working in the restaurant on the night of my stay wasn’t all too pleased to see me when I strode in around 8pm for my dinner. I should have made a reservation, despite the fact that there was only one table out of easily two dozen in use. That brush off suited fine and I returned to the bar where there was at least some signs of life. Once in the bar, I noted that the service was good and quite efficient.
I ordered something fairly basic from the bar menu which arrived in a timely manner and was quite tasty. Special mention has to be paid to the large selection of beers available. No different than any other run of the mill ‘trendy’ pub these days I’m sure.
The bane of my existance while in this ‘hotel’. They claim to have WiFi coverage of the lobby and all the guest rooms. Not so. While I successfully picked up a signal on my laptop, it dropped after approx. 6 minutes and required me to reset the WiFi on my laptop and manually re-connect. Eventually I just gave up. Completely unusable. Perhaps broadband was an afterthought here? I couldn’t help but think that they could have used existing cat5 infrastructure in the room to deliver a wired network instead of their yo-yo WiFi.
By no means cheap and certainly more expensive than other hotels I’ve stayed in with far more prestigious names. Radisson for one. Also hotels ending in “& Country Club”. Definately not value for money. Also, before I end this thrilling chapter of yet another experience in our nations capital I’d like to say my room in The Twelfth Lock smelled of sewage for the entire night. I can assure you it wasn’t my dodgy plumbing that was causing the funk either. Every time I opened my room door to enter it hit me in the face like a brick wall. A wall whos bricks had first been marinated in stinking sewage that is. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to put a ‘hotel’ next to the grand canal after all?
For any adventurous types out there, The Twelfth Lock can be had here – http://www.twelfthlock.com/