Wednesday, July 28, 2010


London and Belfast have one so I suppose it was only a matter of time before our beloved capital got one as well. This Saturday the Wheel of Dublin opens up at the Point Village giving visitors the chance to get a unique view of the city.

Not that we at the Grand Canal Hotel can verify but apparently The Wheel of Dublin offers unparalleled views across the city as far the Dublin Mountains and Howth Head. The capsule pods that will carry the passengers will be fitted later this we'll sneak look this weekend and confirm it for you all.

So how does our wheel compare to its more illustrious cousin in London. Well at 197 feet it is less than half the size of the 443 feet tall London Eye and can hold almost half passengers at 336 compared to the Eye's 8000 and surprisingly enough the ride time takes slightly less than half its London equivalent at 13 to 30 minutes respectively. And just to be consistent the cost is guessed it half the cost at €9 compared to £18.

We at the Grand Canal Hotel are delighted to welcome the latest edition to the Dublin skyline. The last 10 years have seen some impressive new structures added to the horizon, including Grand Canal Theatre, Aviva Stadium and the Convention Centre Dublin but it will be hard to distract from the natural beauty of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains and the Eastern Coast.

As a matter of interest...I wonder if the Wheel offers views inside the Aviva Stadium. It could come in handy for the November Rugby Series where tickets are going to be at a premium.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


In these difficult times we at the Grand Canal Hotel are always looking for new ways to try and encourage people to come and stay with us. We think we are pretty good at it actually but a hotel in Tokyo has pushed the boundaries to new levels and has created its very own special model railway room for guests to sleep in.

The new room includes a grand model of Akihabara town that comes complete with its own fully functioning railroads. Train enthusiasts can bring their own model trains or, alternatively, the hotel is more than happy to provide some, reports Rex Features.

Using the dual set of controls, guests can navigate their miniature trains round the cityscape - past highrise buildings and even through a tunnel under a mountain. The unique room costs around 23,000 yen (£170) a night and is the only one in the Akihabara Washington Hotel.

Note to all train enthusiasts out there...we won't be following their example. That said don't be too disappointed. The Grand Canal Hotel offers views of the busiest train line in Ireland from some of its bedrooms...well when we say view we mean you can sort of make out overhead wires from the Grand Canal Train Station located just across the road from the hotel.

Thanks to for the above.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hello all!!! Just thought we'd give you an update on what is going on around the country over the next couple of weeks...and it is a busy time with the opening of the Aviva Stadium being the stand out event for us at the Grand Canal Hotel.

After four years of waiting, the 31st of July sees the first game take place at the 50,000 seater stadium. A litttle bridie informed us that the Aviva Stadium is the most modern of its kind in the world. A third generation stadium we believe it is called. The opening match might only be a dry run for bigger days but for €10 it is possible to be one of the first in through the turnstiles. Ulster/Leinster play Munster/Connacht on July 31st.

It's only taken almost 4 years since Derry City beat St Patrick's Athletic in the final game played at the old stadium...and we felt every second. Rugby and Soccer left us for that period, plying their trade across the city in the impressive Croke Park. As much as we loved visiting the Croker we are delighted to see the sports return to their official home. The first games kicks off this Saturday. As we said it may only be a clash of potential young stars but at €10 entry it is well worth the visit...sure a tour of the Aviva Stadium would cost nearly the same. The game kicks off at 2.30 on Saturday July 31st. The Grand Canal Hotel are offering overnight packages with ticket, dinner and breakfast for just €89pps.

For music fans, Rod Steward returns to Dublin for the second time this year when he takes to The O2 on the 31st of July. We are a bit partial to "Wake Up Maggie" Scottish star who obviously shares our love for Dublin considering the amount of times he performs in the capital. The Grand Canal Hotel are offering pre-show meal, return O2 shuttle, night's accommodation and full Irish Breakfast for just €79pps. Rod plays The O2 this Saturday.

We have to admit that we've never been huge fans of heavy metal but we can appreciate that there is a market for it. The big indicator for us is the amount of people booked on our O2 Package for this Friday's Iron Maiden show in The O2. Forgive our ignorance on the genre but apparently these lads have sold over 12 million albums...not to be sniffed at.

We have to give a mention to legendary Dublin soccer club Shamrock Rovers who welcome the mighty Juventus to their Tallaght Stadium this Thursday for their Europa League clash. History, budgets, bookies and pundits may all point towards a handy victory for the Italian giants but we at the Grand Canal Hotel are going to take a romantic view and dream for a Rovers victory. The game has already sold out but you can see it on RTE 2, kick off 7.45pm.

Gaze - Dublin Lesbian and Gay Festival kicks off this Friday for a five day cinematic showcase of Irish and international. The Lesbian and Gay Film Festival offers an exciting programme, packed with premiers, new independent features, documentaries, shorts award winners and experimental films over the August bank holiday weekend.

It may not be kicking off for another week but the ultra popular Failte Ireland Horse Show takes place from the 4th - the 8th of August in the nearby RDS. The Dublin Horse Show is a Dublin Institution. A celebration of Ireland's affinity with the horse, from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers. It is one of Ireland's largest events, a highlight of the summer, each year welcoming close to 80,000 people from Ireland and all over the world. The Grand Canal Hotel are offering 2 day packages including dinner and breakfast from just €189pps. Check out

And finally, the Grand Canal Theatre have announced that the Westend musical Scrooge is coming to Dublin for Christmas. Now not too long ago the guys at the Theatre put a poll out to their Facebook fans wondering what show they would like to see play at the venue. Well we punted for it looks like our wish has come through. And of course we are going to be offering packages to the show. Keep an eye on for details. The show will run from December 7th - January 2nd.

So there it is. I'm sure we missed out on one or two events but this at least gives you a taster of what is going on.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well the early reviews are in and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang offers plenty of Bang Bang for the cash spent on the tickets. We canvassed a few guests on their return from the Grand Canal Theatre and to a man they were raving about the Westend spectacular.

The "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" musical landed in Dublin last night, ahead of a four week run at the Grand Canal Hotel.

With a cast and crew of over 100 (including 10 dogs), sensational sets, a full orchestra and stunning special effects this action-packed adventure is the story of the magical car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, and his two children Jemima and Jeremy alongside Truly Scrumptious and Grandpa Potts, all try and outwit the dastardly Baron and the evil Child Catcher. The production which costs €3million to bring to Dublin for the four week run is the first major show to arrive at the Grand Canal Theatre.

The huge Westend hit really gave the Theatre a chance to show its worth and nobody was disappointed. We even asked one of the children on their return what they thought and the said “the Child Catcher was cool" which suggests they need to make him little more evil because the thought of the one in the movie still scares us.

Tickets are priced from €31 - €55 and the Grand Canal Hotel are offering an overnight package with dinner, ticket and breakfast from just €109pps. Check out

It will be interesting to see the reviews from the national newspapers. But judging from our early poll they can only be positive. Congratulations to all down at the Grand Canal Theatre. We know they have put a lot of work in since the opening.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The squads for the opening game at the fantastic new Aviva Stadium between Munster-Connacht and Leinster-Ulster have been announced.

Over 40,000 tickets have already been sold for the match despite the fact that no fully-contracted players will be appearing due to the time of year. The four provences are all on a well earned break preparing for the new season.

We've been lucky enough to get a tour of the stadium and i can tell you it is worth the visit and at €10 a go for a ticket you'd be mad not to.

The Grand Canal Hotel are offering ticket, meal, accommodation and full Irish breakfast for just €89pps. If interested give us a shout on 01-6461000 or check out

Munster-Connacht: Ronan Barry (Munster), Callum Boland (Connacht), Shane Buckley (Munster), Shane Leydon (Connacht), Luke Cahill (Munster), Aaron Conneely (Connacht), Jack Costigan (Munster), Mark Dolan (Connacht), Johnny Holland (Munster), Daniel Horgan (Munster), Lucas Kunz (Munster), Tadhg Leader Connacht), Eoin McKeon (Connacht), Ian Mullarkey (Munster), Paul Mullen (Munster), Rob O'Herlihy (Munster), Danny Qualter(Connacht), Gareth Quinn-McDonogh (Munster), James Rael (Munster), Ben Sargent (Munster), Aaron Spring (Connacht), Kieran Stokes (Munster), Sean Wooton (Connacht)

Leinster- Ulster: Andrew Boyle (Leinster), Conor Carey (Ulster), Paddy Carroll (Leinster), Sam Coughlan Murray (Leinster), Peter du Toit (Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Ian Henderson (Ulster), Robert Hynes (Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Alex Kelly (Leinster), Stephen Lecky (Ulster), Paddy Marks (Ulster), Cathal Marsh (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Michael McAuley (Ulster), Mark McGroarty (Leinster), David McGuigan (Ulster), Emmet McMahon (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Jonny Murphy (Ulster), Conor Spence (Ulster), James Tracy (Leinster)


There are exciting times ahead for the beautiful Grand Canal, and by association the Grand Canal Hotel, with a new floating stage and new berths for an Amsterdam-style houseboat community all on the way...well that is if Waterways Ireland are to have their say in its future.

A study carried out by consultant firm Scott Wilson revealed a master plan for Dublin's Royal and Grand canals was launched this week at the re-opening of the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre just down the road from us.

After its modern renovation the ‘Box on the Docks’ reopens its doors. Whether you want to learn about the heritage of Irelands waterways or find out what to do on them , this is your one stop shop. This architecturally unique space is also available for meetings, launches, exhibitions and more.

For further information on the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre or the canals contact: Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2, Tel: +353(0)1 677 7510; +353 (0)1 677 7510; Mob: +353 (0)87 122 6258; +353 (0)87 122 6258; Email:

But we at the Grand Canal Hotel, while delighted about the reopening of the Visitor Centre are particularly interested in the plans for the Grand Canal. What we would give to see U2 or the Script play a floating stage on the canal.

Congratulations guys. The visitor centre looks great. You can also ask at reception at the Grand Canal Hotel for details and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Dublin is the best city in the world...and if you don't believe us just ask us. We decided to compile some interesting details on our lovely capital to show you just how...well interesting it is. Here we go:

1. Dublin has two completely different names in the Irish Language! Dubh Linn and Baile Átha Cliath. The literal meaning of Átha Cliath is "Ford of the Reed Hurdles" – and the name Dublin is derived from the Old Irish Gaelic Dubh Linn, which has its literal meaning "Black Pool". Historically the native Irish favored Áth Cliath, Dubh Linn by the settled Vikings and Anglo-Normans. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their tradeships and was connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle. The Norse settlements in Dublin were around the Christchurch and Wood Quay Areas of Dublin.

2. The First Citizen of Dublin is the Lord Mayor, who is surpassed only in authority by the President, since the first Lord Mayor Sir Daniel Bellingham was appointed in 1665. However, the title of First Citizen of the city has been in place since 1229. The Lord Mayor is elected at Dublin City Council on a yearly basis. The current Dublin Lord Mayor is Fianna Fáil Councillor Eibhlin Byrne.

3. The city of Dublin covers a land area of 115 square kilometers. The city population is just under 1 million. The average temperature in January is 5°C and the July Average is 17°C. The city has a vibrant nightlife and it is estimated that 50% of the city’s residents are under 25 years of age.

4. Arguably Ireland’s National treasure and masterpiece the Book of Kells, a sacred manuscript created by Celtic Monks featuring the Four Gospels of the New Testament and decorated with stunning artwork (created about 800 AD) is on viewing display and located at the Long Room Library in Trinity College (Just 10 minutes walk from The Grand Canal Hotel), Dublin.

5. Dublin is twinned to cities Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, Liverpool in the United Kingdom and San Jose, in California, USA.

6. Dublin's O'Connell Bridge that covers the famed River Liffey is reckoned to be the only bridge in the European continent that has the same width as its length.

7. Dublin has a renowned history in the Literary and Movie World with celebrated native names such George Bernard Shaw (dramatist, critic & Nobel Prize winner), James Joyce (writer and poet and writer of Ulysses), Oscar Wilde (playwright, poet, essayist & novelist) and Dracula creator Bram Stoker to name but a few all hailing from Dublin. Prominent Hollywood Actors hailing from the city include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne and Colin Farrell.

8. The "Oldest Pub in Ireland" is reputed to be located in Dublin; this pub is called the Brazen Head. There has been a pub on this site since 1198.

9. Handel’s classic "Messiah" was premiered for the first time in 1742 in Dublin at the New Music Hall in Fishamble Street, with 26 boys and 5 men from the St Patrick’s and Christchurch choir cathedrals taking part in the production. Find out more about the Dublin Handel Festival.

10. Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s most famous musicians, from the Dubliners and Thin Lizzy to Sinead O’Connor and U2. Many of U2’s back catalogue of albums were recorded in their home city. Windmill Lane Studios was the place where U2 recorded their early work and first three albums; subsequently much of their latest work was created and recorded at Hanover Quay Studios also in the city. The site at Windmill Lane Studios is covered in graffiti from fans who have paid pilgrimage from all over the world and is known as the "U2 Wall" (Only 5 minutes walk from Grand Canal Hotel).

11. The Grand Canal Hotel was voted the best hotel in the world ever in the largest survey ever done...ok we made this one up. But we think we're great. Come stay with us an we'll prove it. Checkout our new site Tell us what you think.

Thanks to Goireland for the above.


So any plans for the weekend or indeed next week? Well we at the Grand Canal Hotel are going to kindly help you make your mind up if you haven’t already. As always in brilliant Dublin city there is plenty going on. So here is seven things to do over the next week or so.

Cirque du Soleil - The O2 - Friday July 16 - Following the critically acclaimed tour of Qudiam , Cirque Du Soleil is to return to the UK and Ireland with an arena tour of its vibrant signature production SALTIMBANCO, created by Franco Dragone. This timeless Cirque opus hits Ireland for the first time with a series of exclusive shows in The O2. Saltimbanco is Cirque du Soleil’s longest running major touring show which has toured the world since 1992 to wide-spread acclaim and has enjoyed sell-out success across the world in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand performing to over 11 million fans. The O2 Package is available at the hotel for just €79pps which includes return transfer to The O2, Pre-show meal, night's accommodation at the Grand Canal Hotel and Full Irish Breakfast.

Ray Manzar - Grand Canal Theatre - Saturday July 17 - Ray Manzarek was the architect of The Doors intoxicating sound. His evocative keyboard playing fused rock, blues, jazz, classical and an array of other styles into something utterly, dazzlingly new and his restless artistic explorations have continued unabated ever since. His memoir ‘Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors’ was published in 1998. He has also published two novels ‘The Poet in Exile’ and ‘Snake Moon’. He also wrote and directed the 2000 thriller movie ‘Love Her Madly’. The musician joined forces with is old bandmate to form the Manzarek-Krieger Band (formerly Riders on the Storm - Fuel singer Brett Scallions replacing Cult lead singer Ian Astbury on vocals). Theater packages for just €79pps including pre-show dinner, night's accommodation and full Irish breafast.

Riverdance - Gaiety Theatre - Monday July 19 - The worldwide smash hit muscial returns to the Gaiety Theatre for an extended run. If you haven't seen it...make a night of it with out Riverdance Package which includes ticket, pre-show meal, night's accommodation at the Grand Canal Hotel and full Irish breakfast next morning from just €99pps.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Grand Canal Theatre - Wednesday July 21 - Finally it is here. After four magical years at the London Palladium, flights to Broadway and Singapore and three sensational years touring large scale venues all over the UK, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is back and coming to Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin from 21st July – 14th August for her Irish Premiere! This box office smash hit has been re-vamped, updated and technologically advanced since her London days. Directed by Adrian Noble this feel good family favourite will be a sure fire way to beat the blues. With a cast and crew of over 100 (including 10 dogs, see below), sensational sets, a full orchestra and stunning special effects this action-packed adventure is the story of the magical car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, and his two children Jemima and Jeremy alongside Truly Scrumptious and Grandpa Potts, all try and outwit the dastardly Baron and the evil Child Catcher. Packages for the show are still available from €109pps including pre-show dinner, ticket, night's accommodation and full Irish Breakfast.

So there you have it. Plenty to do over the next week. Remember if you are heading out in Dubin give us a shout and we can put something together for you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We'd like some help with a dilemma that we have at the hotel. We have just completed two new suites. One is going to be called the Lansdowne Suite and has a corporate feel to it. The other is more of a quirky leisure atmosphere.
Both offer stunning wrap around views of the stunning new Aviva Stadium. Our problem is we can't figure out what to call this suite. We're thinking that it should have a theatre feel considering our location to the Grand Canal Theatre to the Grand Canal Hotel but then again the room is overlooking the stadium...we can't decide.
We thought about "Grand Slam Suite" but that aint going to work. Someone suggested "Drico Suite" after Ireland's most famous rugby genious. "Academy Suite was another one.
Anyway, we've decided to ask for your help. Give us some suggestions and if we pick your suggestion we'll give you a night's stay in the suite and a lovely evening meal.
Head off to our Facebook page before the 30th of June to be in with a chance.

Good luck.