Ireland, especially Dublin, is on my Bucket List for a while now and I am planning to go there soon, so I did some research about the most beautiful hotels there. Because it’s a very old city and one that we often associate with a somewhat overcast atmosphere, Dublin can be perceived as having a lack of luxury. In a way this isn’t inaccurate, because many of the top attractions in the city are places that have been around, in one form or another, for decades, if not centuries! However, make no mistake, the people and businesses of Dublin are well aware that the city is something of a tourist hub. Last year, the city ranked in the top 30 most visited cities in the world, ahead of places like Madrid and Berlin!
Accordingly, there is a thriving luxury hotel business in the city, and there are several wonderful places to stay should you ever want to explore this fascinating Irish city. Rather than reviewing a single one of them, I’m going to list a few of the top options, what makes them stand out, and what you get out of staying at them. Any and all are terrific options for a stay in the Irish capital.
The Westbury Hotel Dublin
The Westbury is as close a thing as there is to a definitive best luxury hotel in Dublin, which certainly counts for something. It’s a legitimate five-star hotel right in the middle of the city, yet it doesn’t feel cramped or even small, with plenty of space for each of its just over 200 rooms. A stay at the Westbury means spotless, modern luxury, but also incredibly easy access to the city and its main attractions. More specifically, the hotel is located just off of Grafton Street, which in some ways is the spine of Dublin. It’s a narrow winding road that’s been the heart of the city’s social life for over a century, and which has all the shops, pubs, restaurants, and people-watching you could ask for.
If you’re interested in a more affordable option but one that still feels special and somewhat indulgent, the four-star Alex hotel should definitely be under consideration. Marked by wide open public spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows in cozy rooms, it’s a lovely place to stay for a luxury atmosphere at a reasonable price. The Alex is less in the thick of things than, say, the Westbury, yet it’s still not far from important areas like the legendary Temple Bar district. So for those who like to have access to the city, but not necessarily feel surrounded by it, The Alex is a perfect option.
The Shelbourne Dublin
The Shelbourne is a really neat option, and perhaps the most quintessentially Irish one we’ll discuss here. It was built in the early-19th century, and while it’s been updated and refurbished over the years, it still feels like an old-world dwelling of sorts. However, its interior is now comfortable enough to earn a five-star rating, and it also has some modern amenities such as a vaunted oyster bar and an in-house restaurant with a stellar reputation. The Shelbourne is also appealing to a lot of visitors because of its close proximity to Dublin’s most popular public park, the iconic St. Stephen’s Green, which every first-time tourist ought to explore (and every second-time tourist will want to!).
The Merrion Hotel Dublin
If there’s a hotel on this list that feels borderline palatial, the distinction would have to go to The Merrion. Another city centre five-star option, it’s an opulent place, built in a Georgian style and housing elegant rooms, gorgeous amenities, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a small in-house spa. The Merrion offers easy access to many of the city’s main attractions, and is just around the corner from one of Dublin’s true hidden gems in the Fitzwilliam Card Club. In the face of Ireland expanding upon its game offerings in the online casino space, the Fitzwilliam is something of a bastion of an older time, and a very classy place for a late night poker game in the city.
Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
This hotel’s name more or less speaks for itself. As you can imagine, a hotel that doubles as a golf resort is located just outside of the main city, and near the sea in fact, such that there are magnificent coastal views. If you happen to enjoy golf, or if you’re simply looking for a more relaxing getaway with access to Dublin, it should be one of the first places you look at. You can’t do much better for pure comfort and beautiful surroundings, and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a highly regarded spa on the premises!