So I’ve been back from Dublin (and Scotland for that matter) for a while now, and it’s about time for another one of my expert hostel reviews. I stayed in The Kinlay House Dublin, and while it’s not up to the level of Wombat’s (the standard by which I will forever judge every other hostel), it was definitely up there.
One of the best things about Kinlay House is its location. It’s literally 20 feet from Christ Church Cathedral, 2 blocks from St. Patrick’s, and a 10 minute walk from the all important Guinness Storehouse.
Take the Airlink 747 from the airport towards Christchurch Cathedral. The journey should only take about a half hour and Kinlay is a 2 minute walk from the stop, 3 if you’re elderly or walk at a snail’s pace. For 6 euro (10 euro return), you can’t beat it.
The staff’s pretty above average. They don’t have any intention of being your Dublin tour guide, but they’ve got about a million maps at the front desk and they won’t hesitate to set you up with one (for free). They’re friendly and are good about getting you set up in your room, and they’re available 24/7 so no curfew.
As far as the rooms are concerned, they’re pretty much what you’d expect. I stayed in a 6 man, so there were three metal bunk beds. Not exactly the most stable structures. If you’ve got a playboy for a roommate it could be a squeaky night, but I was never worried about it collapsing. There was only one storage shelf for the six people in the room, but you probably won’t be carrying more than a backpack so it’s not like you need a walk-in closet anyway. Plenty of space to spread out.
I was lucky enough to have a bathroom connected to my bedroom. It took about ten minutes for the water in the shower to warm up, but fear not, there is warm water. I made it to the community bathroom down the hall a few times and it was just as nice, so if it’s cheaper to get a room without a bathroom, go for it.
Possibly the best thing about Kinlay is the free internet access. They have 5 computers with internet and there was never a line, so if you’re itching to email your mother or you’re a Facebook junkie it’s no problem. Just to reiterate, it’s free.
There’s always going to be some negatives that’s just the way it is, but luckily for Kinlay their negatives are pretty minuscule.
For starters, they don’t have lockers in the room – you have to rent out lockers and safes. With the cost of the key deposit and nightly fee, it can put a pretty big dent in your wallet (for me it was going to be 15 euro total). I opted to
trust my roommates not to steal anything and just kept my passport with me at all times. It stayed in my right pocket all day and my pillow case at night and I was good to go.
On their site, they advertise a “breakfast”. If you want anything close to a hearty breakfast you’ll have to walk to the café across the street. By breakfast, Kinlay means coffee, juice, and white toast – that’s it. And while I filled up on toast because I was too cheap to buy breakfast, it might be worth it to eat out in the morning. (For you late risers, sorry, breakfast is only served until 9:30.)
Now here’s a positive and a negative. Right behind Kinlay is Darkey Kelly’s, my favorite bar in all of Dublin. Obviously I was pumped because I only had to walk around the corner for my night time festivities, but on the flip side, they have an outdoor section which is louder than a Harley on steroids, and stays that loud until 2 am. I guess it’s just one of those times you take the good with the bad.
So that’s Kinlay for you. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d give it a 4. My experience probably would’ve been better without the naked Frenchmen, but oh well. If you’re looking at other hostels, check out the Four Courts Hostel, Globetrotters/The Townhouse, and The Times Hostel. And if you want to get a bit fancier, there are plenty of cheap hotels in Dublin.
P.S. Linen and soft towel included.