On a vacation to the UK this past summer, my family and I had fun noticing the differences between American English and British, or in this case, Irish English. Little things like “let” for “rent, or “toilet” for “bathroom.” And after our stay at the Russell Court Hotel in Dublin, we also discovered that “lively” could be added to the list of differences.
On the Russell Court’s website, you’ll find the statement that the hotel is a “lively hotel.” What they mean is that the hotel is attached to what is probably the most popular night spot in all of Dublin – Dicey’s Bar.
Little did we know this as we checked into the Russell Court Hotel, anticipating the excitement of watching the World Cup semi-finals in a country that actually likes soccer, as the hotel also boasts of “many plasma screens to watch the match.” Translated, this means, “We have quite a few plasma TVs, but good luck getting a place in the bar to see it from anywhere.”
The Russell Court luckily does have a great location. Situated on Harcourt Street, you can walk pretty much anywhere from there. Buy a ticket on one of the hop-on-hop-off busses and get a good overview of what’s available. You’ll notice that excellent shopping, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral can all be reached on foot. So, we headed for the shopping area in search of an open spot to eat and enjoy the game.
After the match, we headed back to the Russell Court Hotel to get some much needed sleep, as we were feeling the time difference of our travels.
But sleep was not to be had that evening. Nor the next three evenings – the length of our stay at the Russell Court Hotel. Dicey’s Bar was in full swing as we entered the hotel, stopping only to prove to the security guard that we actually were staying there as guests. As we ascended the elevator that accommodates one person comfortably, we joked about how the Irish must love their football, since everyone seemed to be out celebrating.
And at 3:00 AM, they were still celebrating. The music was loud enough to dance to, even in our third story rooms. Putting the pillow over my head only helped to suffocate me; the bass of the music still penetrated my bones. I could feel every beat to Lionel Richie, Frank Sinatra, and even Michael Jackson.
Bleary eyed and sleepless, we enquired at the desk the next morning about the World Cup celebrations and how loud they had been, receiving our lesson on the apparent Irish definition of “lively.” “Oh, that’s not the Cup! It’s like that every night. Well, except for Sunday and Monday.” That wasn’t what we wanted to hear.
“Can we move to the front of the hotel then, away from the music?”
“The front is even noisier, y’know. The street noise carries on longer than the pub does. Our website does say that this was a lively hotel!” Ah, there it is – “lively” means “no sleeping here!”
Don’t get me wrong, the Russell Court is a very nice hotel – the rooms are furnished well, the people are nice enough. But before you stay there, decide if you like the American English “lively” or the Irish English “lively.” It means the difference between sleeping at night or partying all night.
Oh, I almost forgot – they do supply you with earplugs!