Dublin’s best B&Bs offer the chance to experience Ireland’s famous hospitality in an intimate setting, without the hefty price tag that comes with many hotels. Comfortable beds, friendly staff and a cooked breakfast with individual twists such as freshly baked soda bread or locally caught fish are guaranteed at these homes away from home in the capital.
Number 31, Bed and Breakfast, Dublin
Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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Number 31 is just five minutes from St Stephen’s Green | Courtesy of Number 31 / Hotels.com
One of Dublin’s best-known B&Bs is the former residence of architect Sam Stephenson, whose Brutalist designs, such as the boxy Central Bank, sometimes provoked controversy with their modern look. This elegant townhouse, just five minutes from St Stephen’s Green, preserves the original Georgian facade, while the interiors combine traditional touches with distinctive Modernist flourishes. Sink into the stylish sunken leather sofa in front of a peat-burning fireplace or enjoy the interplay of patterns and textures in each carefully curated room. Gourmet breakfast options include mushroom frittata, poached pears in vanilla syrup and granola.
Situated in the affluent suburb of Ballsbridge, Ariel House comprises 37 rooms spread throughout two charming red-brick Victorian buildings and a modern wing. The garden-view rooms in the modern wing are neat and unfussy, with more opulent superior rooms and suites available in the main house, featuring four-poster beds and crystal chandeliers. This luxurious bed and breakfast also has a communal drawing room decorated with antique furniture and a grand piano that is free for guests to use. The lavish breakfasts include a full traditional Irish fry-up as well as smoked salmon, pancakes and fresh scones, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
This townhouse, also located in the neighbourhood of Ballsbridge, offers a relaxing family-friendly bed and breakfast experience in Dublin. Rooms vary widely in size and ambience due to the building’s traditional architecture; the original Georgian suites are airy and elegant, while the rear-facing modern rooms are cosier but have the advantage of less traffic noise. For travellers with children, Pembroke Townhouse offers highchairs, cots, infant beds and in-room babysitting services. The red-brick facade retains the building’s Georgian character, as does the drawing room, with its period fireplace and antique furniture. A spread of home-baked treats is available with breakfast, including fruit scones, soda bread and banana bread, with complimentary coffee and biscuits served all day.
The owners of this 1850s period property have taken a distinctly maximalist approach to decoration, cladding everything from cushions to curtains in showy silk brocade and splashing Oscar Wilde quotes over the walls and furniture. Admire the Irish craftsmanship of the waterford crystal chandeliers in the dining room while eating your morning meal, a well-made spread of full Irish breakfast and continental fare complete with soda bread. Kilronan House is just one street away from the National Concert Hall; guests can take advantage of package deals that combine concert tickets with discounted accommodation or explore the range of Dublin’s fantastic museums that can also be found within walking distance.
Owners Pat and Ann bought this dilapidated Edwardian property in Ballsbridge in 1989 and transformed it into a stunning ivy-clad guest house, the deserving recipient of a Fodor’s Travel Award. Service is exceptional and personal, with each guest receiving a pot of Irish tea and freshly baked cookies on arrival. There is also a concierge service that will pick you up from the airport in a luxury car and help you to arrange tours. The award-winning breakfast includes a full Irish, served in the period dining room. Despite the village-like feel of the area, Central Dublin is minutes away on the DART – the city’s public transport is also the perfect way to explore the highlights of the Irish capital’s coastline.
Located just opposite Trinity College, this Victorian townhouse once sheltered revolutionaries Michael Collins and Dan Breen during the Irish War of Independence. Now, it’s a one-stop shop for travellers seeking both food and rooms; the old-timey pub has been run by the same family for over 100 years and serves lunch and dinner, as well as a selection of whiskeys. Breakfast is served in a communal space, and guests can choose between a full Irish and a continental buffet. Rooms are simple but tastefully decorated with soft grey and white furnishings.
For those seeking relaxing sea views, this cosy cottage is located in the coastal village of Howth. It’s a welcome respite from the city, with scenic cliffside walks for hikers of all abilities. Aspiring anglers can exploit an abundance of fish, while shoppers can browse handmade jewellery and vintage antiques at the local market. The cottage B&B itself is decorated in eclectic fashion and serves up a hearty Irish breakfast with home-made bread and preserves. Despite the coastal tranquillity, Central Dublin is only 20 minutes away by DART train.
This luxurious B&B would make an ideal stay for a couple or a family getaway. The spacious en-suite rooms are decorated in a lively red and amber colour scheme with traditional wood panelling throughout. Breakfast is served in the cosy dining room with exposed brick walls and comprises a full Irish, fresh fruit salad and a variety of cereals. The accommodation’s country setting belies its convenient location, 10 minutes’ drive from Dublin airport and 25 minutes from the city centre. The surrounding Medieval town of Swords is home to an imposing castle and numerous golf courses.