Thursday 17th August, 2017

Jurys Inn Christchurch

Driving around Dublin I came across an imposing building with the masthead, Jurys Inn Christchurch. I was looking to do a review of a Jurys hotel, because the chain is famous in Ireland, having since spread it's wings to the UK, and Washington DC and Boston in the U.S. I parked in front and went into reception and enquired about a room for the night. I was offered a rate of 103 euro, which I later found was the hotel's rack rate. It seemed reasonable so I made the booking. I then asked about car parking, and was told the hotel had no parking, but it was adjacent to an independently operated car park, named Christchurch Car Park. I was told there was a preferential rate for hotel guests, which equated to about 11 euro a day. Before parking the car I elected to take my luggage up to the room. There were two elevators and one was oiut of order, with a sign saying engineers were working on it. The elevator was out of order for my stay overnight, the only thing changing was the notice the next morning was changed to say the lift was undergoing maintenance. I chatted with the housekeeper about it, she said it was working fine until the regular maintenance check, and it hadn't worked since. By about 11 o'clock though the next morning I noticed both lifts were back in service. In any event, after check-in I took the other lift up to the fourth floor, and to Room 416. The lift was quite slow, aside from being the only one working, and as the hotel has 182 rooms. On entering I was greeted with what looked like a recently refurbished room, with a plain colour red carpet, matching red and gold patterned drapes and bedspreads, and light colour timber furnishings. The room looked, and smelt, as though it had been freshly painted. There was a feature tan wall and the others in a light beige. The ceiling was white .There was a double bed and a single bed in the room, separated by a very small shelf, on which there was a phone, and a bible on the one level below. The phone had a data port, and I was able to access the Internet. There were three bedside control switches to control the lighting in the room, which normally would be quite good, but one of the main lights blew as I switched it on. There was a long dresser table, with a reasonable sized mirror, a lamp, two drawers (one containing a hairdryer), and a chair. There was a TV on top, not overly large in screen terms, but quite ok. The TV had local channels, Euro News, Nickelodeon, BBC, Sky News, Discovery ChannelCNBC, and radio channels as well. There was a lugge rack next to the table, and a two-door width open wardrobe, which also contained two large shelves, one including Dublin telephone books. There was a shelf attached to the side of the robe, which contained tea and coffee making facilities. There was also an occasional tabel in the corner of the room, which featured menus from the hotel restaurant. There was a radiator on the wall below the windows, which seemed to work quite well. The windows overlooked a square with the hotel buildings being the main surroundings. Essentially the view was of a loading dock and service area, and held no attraction. The room was a reasoanble size, had two modern prints, and a package containing spare blankets and pillows. The bathroom door had a full size mirror, and inside the space was ok. The combined full size bath and shower were serviced by a full-on flow of water, which was too strong, and was inconsistent. The gushing water from the shower, or the bath taps, seemed to change gear every 30 seconds or so and emit extremely hot water, to be followed by a flow of lukj warm water, and then returning to the temperature set. It was quite annoying, disconcerting when it first happens, because you fear getting burnt. Once used to it you get by, but most people would be uncomfortable with it. The toilet too was difficult to flush, and after doing so a gush of water would fill the tank, but emptying at the same time, so it seemed to go on forever. There was a quite small vanity, and bench space was virtually non-existant. The heavy bathroom door could not be propped open, it automatically closed, so the room steamed up while taking a shower. There were two small capsules of shampoo/bath gel which were barely adequate if there had been two people sharing the room. Each one contained enough for one person so to take a night and morning shower, they wouldn't have been sufficient. There were three small packs of soap. To top things off one of the three bulbs had blown, although the remaining two shed sufficient light. The hotel accommodation was a good 3 star standard, but the plumbing and the electrical wiring of the hotel obviously need an overhaul.

After settling in I went to park the car. The hotel parking was located on the fourth floor of the independently-operated car park, and there was a walk-way through to the ground floor of the hotel, whcih was quite handy. One downside though was that you could only exit the car park once, you could not come and go on the one daily charge.

The next morning I sampled the breakfast, served from 7:30am to 10:00am. Continental breakfast was 7 euro, and the full English breakfast 9.50. The continental fare consisted of a choice of cereals, yoghurts (four), prunes and grapefruit, juices, and of course tea, coffee and toast. The full breakfast had the add-on choice of hot dishes, which included eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, hash browns and so on.

I didn't get a chance to try the ground floor bar and (Arches) restaurant (other than for breakfast), however I took a look at the menu. Starters included golden fried mini-spring rolls (6.35 euro), chicken caesar salad (6.15), deep fried brie cheese with cranberry sauce (5.55), baby back ribs with mustard sauce (5.55), breaded mushrooms with smoked salmon and cream cheese (6.60), and soup of the day (3.80). Main courses included 10oz fillet steak with market fresh vegeatbles and fries or baked potato (24.65), traditional fish & chips (12.60), cannelloni (12.15), surf & turf (18.60) chicken or vegetable fajitas (11.55) and chicken or vegetable curry (11.55). Side orders of french fries, saute onions, seasonal salad, spicy potato wedges and others were 2.50 euros. Desserts included fresh fruit salad, profiteroles, ice cream sundaes, lemon meringue pie, black forest gateau, fruit meringue roulade, tiramsui, and strawberry gateau, all at 4.75 euro.

The hotel measured up as a reasonable 3 star property, with issues in terms of the bathroom plumbing, overall electrical wiring, and lift servicing. Otherwise the amenities, and guest service provided by the hotel staff met expectations.

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