There is no question about it, staying here for a few nights is a wonderful experience and it is impossible not to recommend Gabriel House. If you are booking make sure to include breakfast.
I stay here every time I visit cork and this time I booked four nights rather than my usual two nights and for the first time since 2008 rain was not a problem because if it did rain it did so during the night and did not impact on my photography.
The hotel is described as being on a hill and when they say a hill they are not joking. If you are not fit and fully mobile and you plan to walk around the city you may need to consider elsewhere but the prices are likely to be much higher. This year I found a very good solution in that there is an excellent and frequent bus service with stops beside the hotel. My advice is purchase a LEAP card and use the bus service.
If you need to get to the hotel from the railway station there is a short route described as follows: Come out of the train station onto the Lower Glanmire Road; cross the street and turn left. You will see a series of steps on your right hand side. climb these steps and continue straight ahead to Summerhill North. Turn right and you will see Gabriel House after 200m or so. In the past I have used these steps on a regular basis but this year I avoided the steps as there now appears to be a group of individuals engaged in heavy drinking towards the top of the steps from about 3pm onwards and it can be difficult to get by them especially if you are alone.
I am already planning my City Visits for 2017 and started booking hotels yesterday using booking.com and expedia.ie and already I got a big surprise when I tried to book. This year I paid Euro 59.40 per night in 2015 I paid 110 for two nights so I was expecting to pay about Euro 125 in July 2017. Using expedia.com the price was Euro 216 for two nights [free cancellation] this was much more than I was willing to pay so I decided to try booking.com and found a room at Euro 102 for two nights which was really good but there was a catch in that the terms and conditions had changed since I last booked. Now an up-front part-payment is required and it is no longer possible to cancel without having to pay 70% of the total.
The Euro 102 price is very good, as it includes an excellent breakfast, but I am not willing to book a year in advance, part pay up-front and then not have the option to cancel.
The Metropole Hotel is available at a much higher price [Euro 198] but they are offering free cancellation.