Ireland Travel Guide

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Fancy a Genteel St Patrick's Day? Try a No. 23 at The Merrion

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  Site Where: Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, Ireland, 2
March 17, 2015 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, we’re going to Dublin. Not to tell you which hotel bars to drink in – that would be far too easy. Rather, let’s talk about the most genteel way to soak up the booze.

The setting: The Merrion, our luxury must-stay for the city, a Dublin hotel as iconic for its high prices as for its history and comfy rooms.

The scene: one of the lounges in which afternoon tea is served.

The protagonist: you, keen to experience the Merrion, less keen on the idea of afternoon tea for €48 ($51).

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HotelChatter's Must-Stay Hotels for Spring 2015: Dublin

Where: Dublin, Ireland
March 16, 2015 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Clontarf Castle

Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. We’re kicking off the spring season with a trip to Dublin, just in time for St Patrick’s Day. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.

Looking for a hotel in Dublin? You can trawl through online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?

Here are four different hotels to try in the Irish capital. So whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.

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Plans Resurface, Again, for a Titanic-Themed Hotel on The Site Where The Ship Was Built

Where: Belfast, Ireland
February 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Here we go again. When we reported in 2009 of plans to convert the shipyard where the ill-fated Titanic was built into a themed hotel, we weren’t sure we liked the idea. We're still not sure, but we’re keeping an open mind as we follow the latest hotel’s progress until it actually, finally opens. No date on that yet.

With a little help from a £4.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the 4-star, 84-bed hotel will occupy the headquarters of Harland and Wolff, one of the largest shipbuilders of the 20th century. Many a cruise ship in addition to the RMS Titanic were built here as well as some pretty serious navy warships.

What makes the hotel seem more plausible this time around may be the fairly new next door neighbor. The uber-angular Titanic Belfast museum, which opened in 2012, overlooks the historic shipyard buildings and what will be the front side of the hotel. The hotel will have a new steel and glass entrance, illustrated in the top rendering.

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The Sandymount Is the Latest Dublin Hotel to Get a New Look

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  Site Where: Herbert Road, Sandymount, Dublin, Ireland, 4
January 30, 2015 at 9:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

You wait for ages for the Dublin hotel scene to switch things up, and then lots of things happen at once. Following the Dean’s opening, the next property to go under the hammer (literally speaking) is the Sandymount, a family-owned, historic hotel from 1955, though the building – or buildings, rather – dates from 1866, when it was a row of houses.

History, of course, is only good in a certain way, so right now they’re refurbishing 60 bedrooms at a cost of €1m.

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Inside and All Around the Rooms at the Dean Dublin

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  Site Where: 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland, 2
January 7, 2015 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

Fab amenities: check. Fantastic restaurant: check. But how do the rooms at the Dean Dublin measure up?

We stayed in a Punk Bunk - one of the smaller pod rooms, only with bunk beds. There’s a double bed on the bottom, and a single on the top. The rooms are 12.6sqm. Yes, that’s tiny – there’s the bed area, a teeny desk area, and the fridge and minibar stuff in the corner. Then there’s a narrow passageway taking you to the door and the bathroom. We had one big suitcase, and one small, and it was a squeeze.

But having said that, it was comfortable. Obscenely so. The enclosed bed was slightly too short for our 6ft frame, but the mattress was the comfiest we’ve slept on in months – strip-the-sheets-and-write-down-the-name comfy (King Koil Club Class, since you ask).

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What to Order at Sophie's at the Dean Dublin

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  Site Where: 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland, 1
January 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

You already know The Dean is Dublin’s newest hotel. You also know it has sweet amenities. Soon, we’re going to take you inside and all around it. But for today, let’s go through what to order at the restaurant, Sophie’s.

Sophie’s is pretty rare (we’d venture almost unique) for Dublin – a glass-walled, rooftop restaurant. It’s incredibly popular already – the (Tuesday) night we went, it was rammed, and we were told we’d have to wait until 10pm for a table. That was until we played the hotel guest card, and they cleared a space for us immediately – hotel guests will always get priority, apparently.

Sophie’s specializes in pizza (it has a woodfired oven) but we were straight off a flight from Vegas via London, and just needed some warmth and some protein. Here’s what we ordered – and we can thoroughly recommend every single bite:

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Four Seasons Dublin Is Now Intercontinental Dublin

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  Site Where: Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland, 4
January 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (2)

Last time we checked in on Four Seasons Dublin, it was getting ready to wind down with another “five-star brand” ready to take over.

We guessed Intercontinental – and lo, it has come to pass! It switched hands officially on 1 January.

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Could this Hotel Umbrella Be the Best Hotel Umbrella Ever?

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  Site Where: Dublin, Ireland
December 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we’re on the subject of the simple amenities being the best, check out this offering we picked up at Clontarf Castle in Dublin the other week.

Yes, it’s an umbrella. No, it’s not your standard hotel umbrella. Because although it’s large, and although it’s sturdy, it is completely unmarked. No funny colors. No embarrassing logo. Nothing that says “I’m a tourist, please mug me.”

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What’s in the Bag at the Dean Dublin?

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  Site Where: 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland, 2
December 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hotel amenities. They can be crazy or sensible. They can be extravagant or parsimonious. But sometimes, they can be simple, sensible and also super-cool. Like at The Dean, Dublin’s newest (and, probably, trendiest) hotel.

We checked into a pod-like Punk Bunk last week to be greeted with these three bags hanging up by the bed. Early Christmas stockings? Laundry bags with the last guest’s stuff left over? Nope, amenities. A hairdryer. A clothes steam cleaner (in addition to the iron – pretty novel). And, the best one:

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88 Pounds of Chocolate Went into This Christmas Display at Dublin's The Marker

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  Site Where: Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin, Ireland, 2
December 19, 2014 at 8:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

That’s a paltry little holiday display, you might say, observing the santa-sleigh-tree combo in the lobby of Dublin’s The Marker hotel. These trendy hotels. Too cool for Christmas. SMH. By the way, why does the lobby smell of chocolate?

Then, if you got up close to the santa, you would realize your terrible mistake. I have maligned the Marker, you would say. This santa-sleigh-tree is so well done that I had no idea it was entirely made of chocolate and icing. This is actually the most fabulous Christmas display in the world!

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The Merrion Dublin Has Two Doppelganger Christmas Trees

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  Site Where: Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, Ireland
December 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in hotel-land. Trees. Baubles. Gingerbread houses. Scented candles – they have it all. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be picking out some of our favorite decorations. Got some OTT trees of your own? Send ‘em in to tips@hotelchatter.com!

The Christmas tree at the Merrion, Dublin’s poshest home-from-home-style hotel, took all day to put together on 1 December. Staff – led by the hotel florist – worked all morning and into the night in order to put each bauble in the correct place. But enjoy it while you can, because the Merrion tree’s lifespan is a short one – it’ll be taken down and replaced with a doppelganger on Thursday.

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Olive Trees and Wraparound Headboards: The Dean Dublin Is Open

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  Site Where: 33 Harcourt St, Dublin, Ireland
December 1, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

First look at a Mod Pod

The doors are open and the photos are in of the Dean Dublin, which opened last week.

What we like:


· Rooftop restaurant Sophie’s, with its 360-degree views of Dublin and what appear to be olive trees growing inside;
· Deft touches like Smeg fridges and old-style telephones in the rooms;
· The colors and textures – deep blues and velvet sofa-style wraparound headboards in the tiny Mod Pod rooms – trendy yet chic;


· Wraparound windows and massive desks in the Hi-Fi rooms – perfect workstation or what;
· Local elements like trays of “Irish munchies” and Grafton Barber toiletries;
· The €250m worth of local art about the place, and the ability to purchase some of it.

What we don’t like:

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