Checking in? Then check out the fantastic selection of hotels in Dublin. From Georgian five-stars to boutique beauties, romantic retreats to hip neighbourhood hangouts, the city has something for all tastes (and budgets). Here’s a selection to get you started…
Dublin Hotels: Grand Old Dames …
The Shelbourne Hotel is Dublin’s grand old girl, a sparkling Georgian building on the corner of St Stephen’s Green. It’s a beautifully-appointed five-star hotel, with a history every bit as sumptuous as its bedrooms, bars and lounges. Michelle Obama and her daughters stayed recently - the latest in a long line of celebrity guests including Charlie Chaplin, JFK and Peter O’Toole… who famously filled his hotel bath with champagne. The Irish Constitution was drafted in Room 112 under Michael Collins, and all manner of delicious discussions continue over dinners in the Saddle room and drinks in the legendary Horseshoe Bar.
The Gresham Hotel
The Gresham dates from 1817, with its Portland stone facade conjuring up a golden age of style and decency for many Dubliners. Afternoon tea beneath Waterford Crystal chandeliers, society gossip in Toddy’s Bar and comfortable city centre rooms are all part of the charm – plus, the Aircoach service to Dublin Airport stops right outside the door. 288 rooms cover all bases from suites to executive, and the Gresham is just a stone’s throw from the Abbey and Gate theatres, Hugh Lane Gallery, the historic GPO and some pretty irresistible shopping on Henry Street.
Our tip? Book a room overlooking O’Connell Street.
The Royal Marine Hotel
A short drive or DART ride along Dublin’s southern coastline whisks you to The Royal Marine, an historic hotel overlooking Dun Laoghaire’s Victorian pier. The elegant four-star dates from 1863, with a history of illustrious guests including Frank Sinatra, Laurel & Hardy (there’s a bar named for each) and Queen Victoria… who enjoyed a 16-course breakfast straight off the boat! A sumptuous refurb in the 2000s imbued bedrooms, bars and lounges with creature comforts and mod cons to match period details like sash windows and Victorian staircases. And the icing on the cake? It’s got to be a restorative treatment at the Sansana Spa.
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
Fitzpatrick’s is a name synonymous with the best of Irish hospitality. The castellated hotel grew up around a mansion originally built in 1740, witnessing a colourful history before the legendary Paddy and Eithne Fitzpatrick took it under their wing in the 1970s. Today, daughter Eithne continues to welcome guests into its characterful sprawl of lobbies, suites and surprisingly nifty leisure facilities (including a 22m pool). Landscaped gardens, charming service and Irish sea views are amazing, but the lasting memory lies in the welcome. You’ll feel like family.
The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion’s history as a hotel may be short, but its history of hospitality stretches right back to the glory days of Georgian Dublin. Built around an elegant terrace of Georgian townhouses near Merrion Square, the hotel offers five-star service from the get-go. Doormen greet guests in top hats and tails, leading them into a series of interconnecting drawing rooms swimming in plush period furniture and priceless artworks (an afternoon ‘Art Tea’ is inspired by the paintings). Celeb guests have ranged from Bruce Springsteen to the Obamas. Facilities are exactly what you’d expect, from the Tethra Spa to Patrick Guilbaud’s two-Michelin star restaurant. It’s a very special stay, at the heart of a very special city.
Dublin Hotels: New Kids on the Block…
The Dylan Hotel
It begins with one word – a tasty, lower-case ‘dylan’ cut into brushed steel and backlit with a sultry red light on an old Victorian facade. Step in the door, and that word blossoms into a full-blown boutique experience. Decadent designer details wash over the senses - a leather-studded elevator, Bang & Olufsen phones in individually-styled rooms . Treat yourself to the best of Irish produce at the chic Dylan Restaurant, before getting the glad rags on and repairing to one of the city’s sexiest social spaces… the Dylan Bar (it even stages its own cocktail masterclasses). It’s the perfect setting for a city break.
The Morrison Hotel
Set right at the heart of the city, overlooking the River Liffey from Ormond Quay, the Morrison is one of Dublin’s finest designer hotels. Style greets you at every turn, from bedrooms in spanking shape after a refurb by leading Irish architect Nikki O’Donnell, to Irish design talent on show in the textiles, art and sculptures. Quay 14 is one of the hippest (and hottest) hotel bars in town, and The Morrison offers two restaurants delivering top Irish produce in comfort and style. The hotel has serious musical chops too, alluded to in famous lyrics in certain bedrooms and a cocktail menu arranged by Intro, Verse, Chorus and Finale. Stay tuned!
The Gibson Hotel
U2’s Bono and The Edge own The Clarence, but theirs isn’t the only hotel in Dublin with rock n’ roll pedigree. Located within a stage dive of the O2 (and hosting many of the acts that perform there), The Gibson is a showstopper. Think glossy, 21st century design. Think 100MB free Wi-Fi, a sixth-floor relaxation area and random hog roasts. It’s no accident that the Docklands diva evokes both a classic guitar brand and a gin martini, either: its three-storey atrium, Pattie Boyd prints, Japanese copper baths and Hemidemisemiquaver bar (named after the 64th note in music) are the perfect base for a famous weekend in Dublin.
The Marker is Dublin’s newest five-star hotel, a design stunner overlooking the burgeoning neighbourhood of Grand Canal Dock. Behind its unique chequerboard façade, you’ll find a surprising marriage of unconventional touches and textbook service. Honeycomb concrete ceilings dip down over a sleek bar, a top-notch spa and wellness centre provides for all your pampering needs, an infinity pool slinks through Kirkstone tiles, and a rooftop garden inspired by the Burren is one of Dublin’s hottest tickets. Rooms are at once decadent and crisp, with views over the Liffey, Dublin and even the Wicklow Mountains.
If you want to be in the thick of the action, look no further than The Morgan. A boutique proposition set right on the edge of Temple Bar, this is the perfect base for visitors who want to plug right into the city. It’s got chic suites, moody lighting, sultry furniture and some of the best mojitos in town. Everyone from Solange Knowles to The Stone Roses has stayed, and it rocks the cocktails too, especially during what it calls ‘social hours’ (Monday to Friday, 4pm-7.30pm). Rooms are fun and funky, with just the right amount of decadence… and if you really wanna push the boat out, the penthouse comes with an airstream caravan.
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