Made famous by the writer James Joyce who set many of his most iconic works in the Irish capital, Dublin has certainly changed since those literary halcyon days. Once a genteel hometown, today it is a bustling city that attracts huge numbers of tourists each year.
Nowhere characterises how the city has changed more than the modern day Temple Bar neighbourhood – now crammed with cafes and upscale hotels and suffused with a 24-hour party atmosphere. For those seeking a quality hotel that won’t burn too big a hole in their pocket, we’ve picked out some of the best 4-star hotels the city has to offer.
The North Star
Situated in the heart of Dublin’s business district, the North Star has been a highly regarded hotel for many years, but recently it has propelled its reputation to new levels with the opening of a brand new adjoining building called The Address at Dublin 1. Featuring 72 chic guestrooms along with an award-winning restaurant and bar, it is expected to quickly become one of Dublin’s most fashionable destinations for leisure and business travellers alike. Despite being at the epicentre of the city’s bustling street life, venture inside and you’ll find a sanctuary of calm and tranquillity, augmented by a stylish and contemporary design flourish. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks or a nightcap on the exclusive rooftop Club Lounge boasting outstanding views over Dublin’s famous skyline. Dublin Airport is only a 10 minute drive away.
This excellent hotel will certainly please lovers of architecture with its proximity to the stunning 18th-century Georgian buildings of Merrion Square just metres away. Also close by are St Stephens Green and Trinity College, two other famous Dublin landmarks. As for the hotel itself, large air-conditioned rooms have en suite bathrooms with baths and power showers, cashmere blankets, plasma TVs and tea/coffee making facilities. Amenities include an on-site restaurant serving modern Irish cuisine, and a cocktail bar where many guests gather for pre-dinner or late night drinks.
Clayton Hotel Burlington Road
Nestled in the heart of Dublin’s leafy southside district, a 20-minute walk from the town centre, this hotel is popular with guests due to its excellent amenities, which include a 24-hour fitness centre with views over the city, an elegant on-site restaurant and separate bar, a dedicated business floor and an impressive ballroom. Guest rooms come with a TV with 24-hour sports and news channels, a spacious work desk and complimentary WiFi. Bord Gais Theatre is a 15 minute walk away.
Radisson BLU Royal Hotel Dublin
Everybody needs good neighbours and the Radisson Dublin BLU has certainly struck lucky in that regard, with the majestic St Patrick’s Cathedral located just next door, while five minutes by foot will bring you to the equally impressive Dublin Castle. The hotel itself is excellently appointed, with guest rooms featuring luxurious baths and showers, while most also offer views across the city as well as Nespresso coffee machines to help spark you into life in the mornings. Food and drink is also at the heart of the hotel. There’s a casual on-site brasserie serving French cuisine, a separate dining room offering fine dining along with vintage whiskeys and wines, and a stylish bar where you can enjoy exotic cocktails and even more stunning views over Dublin.
Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge
Housed in a beautifully restored 19th century building that was once a Masonic orphan’s school, this hotel’s setting is hard to argue with. Combined with its pristine landscaped gardens, it’s little wonder that so many visitors choose to be based here. As for the hotel’s interior, spacious guest rooms feature fluffy duvets, hypo-allergenic pillows and are also sound proofed for a quiet nights’ sleep. Guests can enjoy traditional breakfasts, along with a carvery and light snacks throughout the day, while international cuisine is served in the Brasserie Restaurant every evening. The Grand Canal is a short drive away and is ideal for summer walks by the water.