The list of reasons to stay in Dublin is almost as long as the city’s 1000-year history. Ireland’s charismatic capital is more than Guinness and adorably named rivers (Liffey and Poddle!), though there are more than 1000 pubs in the city and its riverside Temple Bar area is experiencing a renaissance.
Dublin’s people are welcoming and open, and the craic is there to be had. Despite its capital-city status, Dublin still feels compact and navigable. Its cobbled streets and Georgian buildings make for picturesque strolls, so you can happily head out on foot from one of its inner-city locales. Here are our top picks for places to stay.
This hotel bills itself as the “original rock’n’roll hotel”, but this is no Hotel Chelsea. The Clarence was indeed opened by a couple of rockers, U2’s Bono and The Edge, in 1996 after the pair conducted an extensive 18-month renovation. However, it’s now owned by Brushfield Ltd and each of its 50 rooms and suites is elegantly furnished with locally made oak furniture and plush curtains and sofas in primary colours. The hotel, which sits on the edge of the River Liffey, boasts Cleaver East restaurant headed up by Michelin-starred chef Oliver Dunne and deep in the recesses of hotel’s basement is The Liquor Rooms where Dublin’s arty set sip cocktails. Located on the outskirts of Temple Bar, The Clarence is right in the heart of Dublin’s cultural precinct.
Buswell’s Hotel is all roaring fires and cosy rooms replete with Georgian opulence. Its entry foyer sparkles with chandeliers but it’s more eccentric country manor than fancy boutique hotel. Buswells is ideally located in the city centre, not far from the Irish Houses of Parliament and down the road from the National Museum of Ireland. All 67 small but well-appointed rooms are traditional in décor but they have all the modern conveniences plus luxurious goose-feather duvets. The hotel’s Trumans Restaurant serves satisfying modern Irish dishes made with local produce and Buswells Bar, decked out in dark oak and leather, is a dignified place to catch a parliamentarian having a sly post-work pint.
There is nothing traditional about Dylan. Its opulent rooms are rendered in hues from rich red to lime green and the quasi-Baroque furnishings are gloriously elaborate. Guests can select from three grades of accommodation but all 44 rooms have iPods loaded with walking tours, rainfall showerheads and Mark Buxton toiletries. The hotel’s restaurant, Tavern, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the surrounding Dublin 4 district on the south side of the city has plenty of options for eating, such as “Irish soul food” purveyor Farmer Browns and French bistro Chez Max.
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