Ireland Travel Guide
In these trying times of hotels for millennials, it was with a heavy heart that we first learned about the arrival of a new Dublin hotel called The Dean. That must be geared towards Students or Graduates, right?
Luckily, wrong: The Dean is a new boutique hotel. Of course, millennials will like it, but it's not necessarily aimed at them. In fact, it's majoring in art - no fewer than 45 contemporary Irish artists, from typographers to fine artists, are currently lined up to take to the walls when it opens later this month.
Rooms follow the Soho House model of being honest about room size: Mod Pods are "small and cool" (they have mini SMEG fridges), Punk Bunks are the same size, only with bunk beds, and SupeRooms are the daddies - double the size, with Samsung Smart TVs, Netflix, rainforest showers, and Nespresso machines. Hi-Fis are bigger still, and come with a record player and "classic vinyl".
If your list of Dublin hotel room requirements includes things like duplex, roof terrace, and private cedar wood hot tub, the just refreshed Penthouse at The Merrion brings all of those things together. Sixteen years after it was first opened, the hotel has redone the two-floor space, which includes the above master bedroom. Between the furniture (desk chair, sofa), drapes, and colours, it strikes a rather feminine tone to us; more images of the rest of the suite below.
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The Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare and its 18-hole championship golf course on the Atlantic Ocean, will now be known as the Trump International Golf Links, Ireland.
Meanwhile, The Lodge at Doonbeg, a 218-suite hotel with a spa and several restaurants will be managed by the Trump Hotel Collection. However, it doesn't appear that the hotel will actually get the Trump moniker. At least not right away. Currently, the charming hotel has rooms for about 175 pounds in early March.
And of course, it would not be a Trump announcement without a ballsy statement from The Donald himself. We particularly love this one:
“I am thrilled to announce that we have purchased yet another incredible golf resort. From Trump National Doral, Miami to Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, known as 'the greatest golf course in the world,' we only have the best. Doonbeg is an already terrific property that we will make even better-- it will soon be an unparalleled resort destination with the highest standards of luxury."
[Photo: The Lodge at Doonbeg/Facebook]
There’s a headline we never thought we’d write. The fact that we did, and can make a plausible connection between the Windsors, a species of wading birds, and an Irish castle, is due to one thing: a photograph that was taken over a century ago, in 1905 to be exact. We’ll explain.
Back then, Ashford Castle was owned by the Guinness family, which invited the then Prince of Wales to come up to Ireland to hunt. Five months after the “Woodcock Shoot” took place, and the 1905 photograph was taken, the Prince ascended to the British throne as King George V, which makes him the grandfather of QE II, and of course, a few generations on, the ancestor of little Prince George of Cambridge. Earlier this month, Peter Phillips, eldest grandson of Queen Elizabeth, joined a Woodcock shoot to recreate the century-old image and celebrate the upcoming Diamond Jubilee of Ashford Castle.
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It's about that time when folks start preparing for their European vacation. The quandary is always the same though--where to stay that won't break the bank, especially when airfares to cross the pond can get outrageous this time of year.
Luckily we've found a happy medium and it's called The Marker Hotel Dublin. Opened on April 2nd, the city's Dockland area has received its first five-star property. But despite the ritzy status (it's become part of the Leading Hotels of the World), the 187-room hotel appears to be quite down-to-earth, yet trendy with a fun cocktail bar, the biggest roof bar in Dublin, and of course, walls dotted with whimsical Irish art.
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Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. We figure, he won't be laying his salt-and-pepper head just anywhere, after all, he's big time now. So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we’ll give you some details on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city that’s sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
Layover Hotel Episode 5: Honorable Mention 1: The Davenport Hotel This traditional hotel right near Merrion Square is what Bourdain says, is in "a good location and great for the less than 150 euro ($196) a night rates." We agree.
Honorable Mention 2: Kinlay House Cheaper still is this budget spot in the Temple Bar section. The comment? “It's a hostel. But, who doesn't love sharing a room with strangers?” The upside? "It’s within walking distance of many of the typically touristy spots in town and lots of bars." And at 12 euro ($16) a night starting rates that includes free light brekkie, we can't be mad in a city where many people crash and burn in their beds after heavy nights out.
But where does Tony choose to slumber? Take a guess. We've been here before.
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Shuttered since November while undergoing a 12 week flash makeover, progress is on schedule for Dublin's Morrison Hotel, with a grand reveal set for February 1st.
The Morrison first made headlines last February when it was scooped up by billionairess Elena Baturina (who's just…you know…the richest woman in Russia and the wife of Moscow's former mayor). Apparently she liked the River Liffey views of her new little Irish investment, but felt the interiors left something to be desired. Hence the $9.3 million "splash" of improvements.
The hotel is joining forces with the Hilton franchise and will re-open as Dublin's first DoubleTree.
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Normally when we think of the toiletry offerings at Holiday Inn Hotels, we think of soap, shampoo, lotion and if we're lucky conditioner. But at the Holiday Inn Express at the Dublin Airport, the hotel offers guests additional amenities like shaving cream, disposable razor, toothpaste, comb, toothbrush, cotton wool and even special stuff for the ladies.
This "Forgot Something" was snapped by HotelChatter Flickr contributor (UggBoy♥UggGirl) and we've found out that all Holiday Inn Express hotels now have the "Forgot Something" extra amenities program (and have been for a few years now.)
It was when news popped into our inbox of Lough Eske Castle winning the title Best Luxury Countryside Hotel In The World at the Luxury Hotel Awards that we had two burning questions. What is Lough Eske Castle? And what are the Luxury Hotel Awards?
According to the website:
The World Luxury Hotel Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels worldwide. This Award was established as a celebration of ultimate achievement in hoteliering. It is about congratulating hotels that have taken the extra step & such differentiated themselves from "good hotels" to "exceptional hotels".
The list of this year’s winners is here, if you want to take a look. But in the meantime, what’s more interesting to us is a peek at Lough Eske Castle – especially as, apparently, it’s won the same award for the past three years.
In honor of the upcoming holiday, we'll highlight a few wacky St. Patrick's Day packages that must have been thought up by a leprechaun.
If you need help learning more about your family tree, the County Clare hotel recently added on-site genealogists to help you research your Irish heritage, coordinate visits to villages where your ancestors once lived and even connect you with a long-lost relative.
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You also know that the more you pay for your hotel room, the less likely your internet connection is to be free. And the repeat offenders who make our naughty list year after year are the luxury brands like the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carltons. But there might be an exception to that crappy rule.
The Dylan: nice beds, no dubious rockers. We could deal with that
Well oi’ll be damned (say that in an Irish accent, it might make more sense). It’s St Paddy’s Day coming up (17 March) and if you want to go ultra-authentico and spend it in Dublin, you’d better get your planning skates on.
But here’s the good news – pricewise, places seem to be less than extortionate, considering Dublin is an extortionate city, even on the off season. We just checked out two of Dublin’s poshest hotels: the Clarence, which is owned by Bono and his greasy chums, and the Dylan, which is so sleek it has no need of dodge celeb booking.
The Clarence has double rooms starting at €189 ($256/£168), and the Dylan’s even cheaper at €179 ($243/£159). If you don’t want to travel on a hangover, it even has a stay two nights, get one free package going down at the moment. Who’da thunk it? That leaves plenty of euros left to spend down Temple Bar.