Hotel Owner Reams Guest For Complaint

by SharonKurheg

Complainers gonna complain. And when you’re a chronic complainer, or are complaining about something you really shouldn’t, don’t be surprised if you get some push back. Much like the well-worded response to the people who bought a house next to an airport and then complained about plane noise.

Sometimes a complaint is legitimate but the response is unexpected, like what a Texas airport did after passengers complained about wait times to get their luggage. Or the elderly woman who wrote a bad review of the hotel where she was staying, the hotel got wind of it, and called the police to kick her out.

And then you have the complaints where the response is just classic. Regardless of if the complaint is justified or not, the manager (or whoever writes the retort) may have a great sense of humor and storytelling that makes the reply a joy. Such was the case of the woman who made the mistake of complaining about the Hotel Doolin, in Ireland. Read the response of the hotel manager – you’ll be glad you did. 😉

Which brings us to another complaint about an establishment in the Emerald Isle, Charleville Lodge. The 30-room hotel in Dublin admittedly wasn’t the nicest or fanciest establishment in Dublin. It was a 3-star hotel that got an average 3.5 stars on TripAdvisor (we had a link to the hotel’s Trip Advisor page, but it’s no longer live. More on that in a moment). It had been described on TA as a “very handy place to stay,” “perfectly acceptable,” and “a happy visit!,” where “the good easily outweighed the bad.” Then again, they don’t try to make themselves what they’re not. Their own website pretty much told it like it was:

Are you a millennial? If so, Charleville Lodge is legit the best place for your squad to stay woke. Our 30 rooms are #blessed with super comfortable beds and flat screen TVs that are totally on fleek. Our prices are always low AF. Reception is 24 hours so we keep it lit all the time.


Please be advised that Charleville Lodge is not Buckingham Palace, therefore guests should not expect 7-star service. While our accommodation has often been described as palatial, guests are reminded that Charleville Lodge provides budget accommodation and very adequate service. Our service is by no means excellent, which is reflected in the amount of money you’re paying us.

And even…

Charleville Lodge is located in the Phibsborough area of Dublin 7, 57 seconds walk from the new Phibsborough Luas station. While the area sometimes resembles a scene from the night of the living dead, you’ve nothing really to worry about as 85% of cafe visitors make it home alive. As long as you don’t make eye contact with the locals you’ll be grand.

So you can see they don’t take themselves too seriously. Even their promo video is kind of fun:

As you can see in the video above, the owner of the Charleville Lodge was a man named Paul Stenson. Stenson made a name for himself around 2017 into 2018, when an opportunistic “influencer” asked him for a free hotel stay in exchange for reviews. When he said no and gave perfectly understandable reasons why, she made a video (since deleted) where she reportedly portrayed herself as a victim. That resulted in bunches of her followers to leave him negative reviews in retaliation. Because, you know, maturity. He, in turn, basically reamed her and barred all bloggers from staying at the Charleville Lodge.

So you get an idea of what Paul Stenson is like – good sense of humor, but not afraid to tell it like it is, either. The above is, by far, not the first time he’s said something that got people riled up. In fact,  he once described himself to Dublin Live as a “controversy addict”. But his bark may be worse than his bite.

“In reality, both the hotel and café [Stenson also owns the White Moose Café next door to the hotel] provide excellent service. People are often quite annoyed or underwhelmed when they visit us,” he told Dublin Live.

“They expect to be treated badly and see a dysfunctional team with a lunatic manager running around,” he continued. “Customers are generally surprised at how well they are treated and how good our food/service is.

“My online persona is simply a way of getting attention, which is the main objective of marketing,” he added.

Smart man. Like shock jock Howard Stern in his early days, or Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, he knows that “any publicity is good publicity.” I get and appreciate that.

So that’s the backstory.

Anyway, the controversy continued when someone gave the Charleville Lodge a 1 star review. They said the hotel was super far away from the city, in a dangerous area, and the rooms were extremely old and disgusting. They claimed they were put in a dark room that was “discusting” but when they requested a different room, the new room was bad, as well. They complained about things being broken and dirty, with hairs on the floor, dirty bed sheets and an “unconfortable” bed.

Stenson’s reply was classic Stenson (edited only for adult language):

Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your complaint. Let me address some of your points.

Firstly, you are totally right when you say that Charleville Lodge Dublin is super far from the city. Despite the fact that the Booking site you booked through says we’re 1.7km from the centre of Dublin, this is factually incorrect. In reality, Charleville Lodge is not located in the real Phibsborough, it’s located in the Phibsborough of a parallel universe. To access the real Charleville Lodge, you must travel several million light years. If you are lucky enough to pass an Einstein-Rosen bridge, colloquially known as a ‘wormhole’, you may get there sooner. This requires a tremendous amount of skill on the part of the taxi driver, however, and not all drivers have passed their interstellar exams just yet (when this happens you’ll be the first to know). In the meantime, taxis will continue to refuse to drive to Phibsborough, as their family will have aged by twenty years and their pet cat will be well over the rainbow bridge by the time they return.

You are also entirely correct when you say that Phibsborough is dangerous. This is why we strongly recommend that all guests carry some form of weapon on their person when walking around. We have several baseball bats for hire at reception and a limited number of protective helmets. We hand out tactical combat equipment to guests every morning at dawn, but this is operated on a first come, first served basis, and given the demand for weaponry amongst our guests, we cannot always guarantee availability.

You are correct in saying that you were accommodated in a “room with dump”, although I do believe there are nicer ways of saying our rooms are ensuite. When you say our building is old, I couldn’t agree more. Our hotel is a terrace of Victorian houses, dating back to 1894. When we modernised all rooms within the past 2 years, we placed hardwood floors in each of them. The main reason for this was to protect the floors against spillages. It is not uncommon that guests fall in the door after making the intrepid, inter-universal journey from Temple Bar and spill intoxicating liquor all over the floor.

In terms of “hairs on the floor” or “dirty bed sheets”, we did not find any evidence of this. However, it is not entirely impossible that these hairs were brought into your room by a neighbouring extra-terrestrial being. The b**tards are all over the place here in the multiverse, and they’ve a terrible tendency to make themselves invisible when you go looking for them. That’s why I never hire aliens, if I’m honest.

It’s unfortunate that you liked “Nothing. Absolutely nothing” and disliked “Everhthing”, but next time may I suggest doing some research on the property you’re going to stay in.

Yours Sincerely,
P.S. If you think you’re getting a refund, you can Feck Off! (Feck off is a nice way of saying ‘have a great day’ in this particular universe).

Knowing what I’ve learned about him, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Paul Stenson.

We originally posted about Paul Stenson and his hotel back in May, 2022. Since then, things have changed.

In early 2023,  Stenson updated his LinkedIn profile, stating that had closed up shop on the hotel and was trying to find a buyer for his restaurant. From LinkedIn:


It is with both sadness and delight that I announce that our family business Charleville Lodge Dublin has been sold.

My parents bought the business in 1994 and I joined in 2003, 20 years ago. My folks are now getting to the point in their lives that they would like to retire and I have no interest in being in Dublin anymore. Several months ago, we were made an offer we couldn’t refuse, and so, on 31st Jan 2023, Charleville Lodge will be changing hands.

We wish the new owners every success in what they do. We made it very clear that all staff be retained so we are pleased to say that all of the team, some of whom have been with us for over 20 years (Chris, Irina), will be kept on by the new owners.

As for The White Moose Café, the new owners have no interest in retaining a café, so the White Moose HQ is now on the lookout for a new home too.

However, I am now at the point in my life where I think my days working in food are over. I was never really cut out for working in hospitality. My strengths are in entertainment/writing/acting the clown. As such, I am willing to sell the White Moose brand to anyone mad enough to carry it on. I will only sell it to someone who will be able to continue the White Moose story well into the future and keep our customers smiling.

There are so many people that I’d like to thank for making Charleville Lodge / White Moose Café the success that it is, but the word count won’t allow me. I am grateful to every customer who walked in our door. Even the vegans, the gluten intolerant and the review writers (the bloggers can still piss off).

Thank you to every staff member, even those of you who thought I was a right bollox, for your incredible service and loyalty. Thank you to my ex partner (in crime) Jason for setting up the White Moose with me. Most importantly, thank you to Mom and Dad for giving me a platform to create a name for myself.

What happens next is still uncertain, but one thing’s for sure, my antics will continue in whatever I do. Charleville Lodge/White Moose Cafe may be gone, but Paul Stenson isn’t going anywhere.

Much love always,

Paulie x

It sounds as if Mr. Stenson was quite a character as a restaurant and hotel owner. But he’s right; based on his replies alone, his strengths are in entertainment, writing, etc. All the best to him.

Feature Photo: Amazon

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