Ariel House - Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Competing with cut price hotels is no joke for the owners of guesthouses and B&Bs and, with its high profile ‘temporary’ hotels offering below-cost accommodation, Ballsbridge must be just about the worst place to be located if you need to charge a fair price to maintain standards.
But, amazingly, some outstanding guesthouses are managing to do just that, and the reason has to be that discerning guests value the hands-on personal management and superior service that they offer: Afternoon Tea (and an ‘honesty bar’) and the daily newspapers beside the fire in the elegant Residents’ Drawing Room; antique furnishings combined with modern comforts in the rooms; immaculate housekeeping.
Operated under the joint direction of managers, Jennie McKeown (a daughter of the house) and Deirdre McDonald (who both are professionally trained young hoteliers - and it shows), Ariel House
is a well-run establishment that's effectively a small hotel and it is a lovely place to stay - offering a very different experience to the cut-price hotels nearby.