From Oscar Wilde to James Joyce, Dublin has inspired some of the world’s greatest writers, so there’s no better place for couples to write the next chapter in their own love stories. In Ireland’s capital city, partners can stroll through leafy parks, ogle centuries-old landmarks like Dublin Castle, and raise toasts in the lively bars of Temple Bar, before bedding down in hotels with period features, double-ended baths and low-lit cocktail bars. Here we list the best places to stay for a romantic getaway.
The Wilder Townhouse, Dublin 2
4.8/5 (233 Reviews)
The Wilder Townhouse, Dublin 2 | Courtesy of The Wilder Townhouse, Dublin 2 / Hotels.com
A grand, red-brick Victorian façade sets the tone for The Wilder Townhouse, situated near St Stephen’s Green. Inside, the rooms are just as striking. Period features such as high-shine herringbone wood flooring, sash windows and original fireplaces are teamed with quirky modern art pieces and sculptures like golden dogs and porcelain parrots on perches. Don’t miss breakfast here – homemade breads and pastries are served on high tea stands and the pancakes are the size of ping-pong paddles.
Overlooking the River Liffey, The Clarence Hotel is in the bull’s eye of Temple Bar. Of the 58 bedrooms and suites here, the Garden Terrace Suite and the Penthouse are the ones to really write home about. U2 performed Beautiful Day live in the Garden Suite in 2000 for Top of the Pops. The Penthouse, meanwhile, comes with its own rooftop terrace, bar and grand piano – ideal for couples celebrating something special.
This boutique hotel is set on a hushed residential street and is just a 15-minute walk from St Stephen’s Green. The sumptuous rooms mix and match Victorian features like vaulted ceilings and chaise longues with modern treats like Nespresso machines and Bluetooth speakers. Elsewhere, the hotel has everything couples need for a date night. Order an Irish-themed cocktail from a waistcoated bartender in the Ruby Room before heading to The Eddison restaurant – the Taste the World cheeseboard is a great choice for two.
Tiered chandeliers, suits of armour, flamingo-shaped bedside lights and bulldog-print bed cushions – the interior design at House Dublin, near St Stephen’s Green, is irresistibly eclectic. This playful approach continues in the hotel’s other facilities including the nine spaces for eating and drinking. Highlights for couples include the candle-lit Wine Room with its floor-to-ceiling wine shelves and the Gin Room where partners can sink into velvet-clad Chesterfield sofas and sip gin martinis to the sound of a crackling fire.
The 1920s Jazz Age inspired the design at this Georgian townhouse hotel near Fitzwilliam Square. Each room is distinct, but they’re full of features like modernist art prints, scalloped headboards, art deco lighting and plenty of brass and glass. Nights at this hotel revolve around the sunken lounge with its wraparound leather seating and mirrored honesty bar. Mornings, meanwhile, are all about a lazy breakfast – don’t miss the cranberry and orange nut loaf – and a midday checkout.
This boutique hotel is in Ranelagh – a 13-minute tram ride from the centre – but it coaxes couples out of the city centre in a long list of ways. The rooms come with extras like mini SMEG fridges, Marshall amp speakers, Dyson hairdryers and even in-room guitars. There’s an American-themed cocktail bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the roof. The hotel is also home to a subterranean cinema with couch seating that’s perfect for pairs.
With just nine rooms, Cliff Townhouse provides couples with a bit of privacy. The four Park View rooms offer a sense of seclusion thanks to the large sash windows that overlook St Stephen’s Green and flood the rooms with light. The menu in the hotel’s seafood restaurant was made for romance – it features seven different types of oysters and a selection of sharing platters including the Townhouse Special, which comes with a whole lobster.
Fairytale romances deserve fairytale settings like this turreted 18th-century hotel set on the edge of Dublin Bay, 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre. Of the 113 rooms, the Castle Suites, with their antique furniture, gilded mirrors, chandeliers and taffeta, are the most plush. Couples staying here should visit the stone-walled Dungeon Bar before bedtime to try the 1847 cocktail that is a shout out to the castle’s history.
Across the road from St Stephen’s Green, Stauntons on the Green offers couples respite from Dublin’s bustle. Rooms are decorated in calming stone colours and filled with subtle period features like fireplaces and chandeliers. There’s a restful garden at the heart of the hotel, which is filled with birdsong during the day and fairy-lit at night. On warm days, you can eat breakfast here – try the Irish fruit loaf that’s soaked in Earl Grey tea for 24 hours.
Rose Cottage | Courtesy of Rose Cottage / Booking.com
Named after the most romantic flower of all, Rose Cottage overlooks the Irish Sea and is a mere 10-minute drive north of Dublin Airport. Built more than 300 years ago as a fisherman’s cottage, this B&B makes its first impressions with its whitewashed stone walls and thatched roof. Inside, features like an open fireplace, double-ended baths and lounge window seating steal the show. It’s best to arrive here hungry as a welcome pack of homemade scones, jam and coffee awaits every visitor.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Kate Phelan.
These recommendations were updated on June 16, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.