Converted Victorian seaside townhouses, towering Modernist dwellings and historic Georgian boltholes: boutique accommodation in Dublin is anything but bland. These small boutique hotels offer a unique alternative to the homogeneity of large chains for the discerning traveller, and have the ability to elevate a trip from being memorable to remarkable.
This stunning Victorian red-brick property is located a short stroll from the bustle of Dublin’s city centre. The restored property, which dates back to circa 1878, is a lesson in vintage chic, with parquet floors, mustard velvet chairs, quirky wall prints and tropical-themed wallpaper. The property offers a range of rooms, from the compact ‘Shoebox’ rooms, ideal for business travellers or solo trekkers, up to stylish suites decked out with marble fireplaces, silk ottomans and wingback chairs. The Wilder is all about the details, right down to the Maison Margiela bathroom products and individually designed rooms. Breakfast is served in the airy garden rooms and offers the likes of fresh fruit and granola, and smashed avocado and poached egg on toast.
Although it may not be the first thing travellers think of when planning a trip to Dublin, the city’s coastline is full of quaint villages and hidden inlets. In the suburb of Dún Laoghaire, just a short train ride from the city centre, is Haddington House, a boutique hotel that has been converted from four Victorian townhouses to create a single stylish hotel. Rooms are contemporary, with Nespresso coffee machines, digital radios and well-curated wall art, while still retaining the original period features of the property. The hotel also houses an excellent Italian restaurant that serves wood-fired pizzas that can be enjoyed on the outdoor lawn overlooking Dublin Bay. The hotel is right by the water, giving some rooms incredible views over the bustling pier. Breakfast is served in the restaurant, and consists of a buffet offering both hot cooked options and fresh fruit and cereals.
For travellers who value a central location, Stauntons on the Green couldn’t be any closer to the action. Located right on St Stephen’s Green, the historic park at Dublin’s heart, these boutique lodgings also afford guests a private entrance into the Iveagh Gardens, another lush green garden in the city centre. The hotel is brimming with history, having had famous guests reside in the building over the years, such as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Rooms are tastefully furnished, and many feature original works by Irish artists. Breakfast is one to linger over, with table service and made-to-order options including a full Irish, smoked Irish salmon with eggs or a charcuterie board with cured meats and cheese.
Another boutique hotel located on Stephens Green is the Cliff Townhouse, a handsome Georgian building that overlooks the park. Split over four floors, including the trendy basement Urchin Bar, this historic building is in an ideal location for exploring the cultural highlights of the city, as well as the best bars, restaurants and shopping. The elegant rooms feature calming shades of beige, pink, fawn and duck-egg blue, with little details like Donegal wool blankets and Nespresso machines making for a stay that does not sacrifice home comforts for the sake of style. Breakfast is à la carte and served in the airy restaurant.
Located just beyond the city centre is the leafy suburb of Ranelagh, a bustling village full of excellent pubs, restaurants and boutiques. Here you’ll also find The Devlin, a boutique hotel that you may never want to leave. From the bespoke neon signage above the check-in desk to the artwork carefully chosen by curator (and prominent Dublin street artist) James Earley, individual Nespresso machines, Dyson hairdryers, delicious munchies boxes filled with Irish snacks, there’s not a detail they haven’t considered. If you venture out of your room, you’ll discover the private cinema and buzzing rooftop bar. To ease the pain of departing this boutique hotel, make sure you leave time to enjoy their signature breakfast in Layla’s restaurant, which affords sweeping cityscape views over Dublin’s skyline.
Anyone partial to a few Instagram snaps when they are travelling will want to consider The Alex, a seriously stylish hotel in Dublin’s city centre. Think pale pink walls, green velvet sofas, speckled marble surfaces, geometric flooring and industrial-style lighting. Rooms are furnished in the same vein and range from twin rooms to luxe suites complete with separate lounges; staying in the luxe suite also gives guests exclusive access to the executive lounge, the perfect place to kick back with a complimentary drink after a day of exploring. The buffet breakfast is served in the hotel’s stylish restaurant, furnished with velvet banquet seating and chic pendant lighting.
This boutique Dublin hotel is its first dedicated to street art, and is located in Smithfield, one of the city’s coolest areas, just north of the River Liffey. The hotel is right beside the Jameson Distillery, as well as a plethora of traditional pubs, trendy cafés and busy neighbourhood bars. This hotel offers a unique place to rest your head, with an impressive array of street art across all five floors, chosen by curator James Earley. Rooms are sparse and modern, with luxurious King Koil mattresses and of course, vibrant modern art on the walls. There are plenty of great restaurants in the surrounding neighbourhood, and the hotel offers a selection of sandwiches, wraps and breakfast pastries, sourced from local Irish suppliers, throughout the day. The hotel’s café/bar is the perfect spot for a strong coffee to start the day, or an expertly crafted cocktail to kick off the night’s festivities.
This five-star establishment is tucked away in the upscale neighbourhood of Ballsbridge. Whilst the handsome red-brick property (originally part of the Royal City of Dublin Hospital) is a building with a rich heritage, the interior is bursting with contemporary chic. Sleek and modern, with bursts of terracotta and cobalt blue, this boutique hotel has a stylish, understated ambience. It’s family friendly, with dedicated rooms for newborns and children, and dogs are also very much welcome, with custom services available to make your pooch’s stay as enjoyable as yours. The Dylan has excellent dining options, with the stylish Eddison Restaurant and Nurserie Bar, an outdoor terrace that’s positioned to catch the very last of the evening sun. The hotel offers a classic full Irish breakfast, the perfect fuel for a full day of exploring the city on foot from this central location.
Just off Dublin’s Georgian mile, beside the Grand Canal and down a discreet lane, is one of the city’s most unusual boltholes. Number 31 is a boutique guest house that was formerly the home of famed architect Sam Stephenson, who designed many of Dublin’s landmark buildings in the mid-20th century. As is to be expected, the building boasts some intriguing architectural features. The accommodation is split between the original Georgian property, with high-ceilinged rooms and original period features, and the modern mews building, which houses the hotel’s famous sunken sofa, while the properties are connected by a rambling secret garden. Number 31 has won awards for its breakfast, which is served on communal wooden tables in the conservatory, offering homemade breads, poached fruit, airy omelettes and Irish breakfasts cooked to order.
This contemporary hotel is as impressive from the outside as it is inside; the towering Modernist edifice overlooks Grand Canal Square and the Docklands area of Dublin, the city’s tech centre that’s tipped as Dublin’s most exciting upcoming neighbourhood. For those looking for a bit of pampering, The Spa at the Marker is the perfect place to unwind with a host of indulgent treatments, an infinity pool, a Jacuzzi and more. One of the best features of this hotel is their amazing rooftop terrace. By day, you can kick back or book into one of the hotel’s 60-minute yoga classes that run throughout the summer. As the sun begins to dip, you can enjoy unrivalled panoramic views of the city while sipping on a signature cocktail. The extensive buffet breakfast is served in the award-winning brasserie restaurant.