Temple Bar Inn is ideally situated for visitors looking to tick off the tourist hotspots; within minutes, travellers can be enjoying a tipple in the Temple Bar area, taking a stroll through Dublin Castle or viewing The Book of Kells at Trinity College. However, the great location is not the only draw for the Temple Bar Inn – the interior is characterised by a modern design with a cosy, family-friendly feel. Comfortable communal areas feature exposed brick, egg chairs and leather couches in earthy tones, and its 101 rooms range from singles to quadruples. A continental or hot breakfast can be purchased at the restaurant, and guests can recharge after a day of exploring Dublin with a complimentary coffee on the outdoor terrace.
The Hendrick Smithfield is a celebration of art, giving centre stage to the carefully chosen graffiti that street artist James Earley has selected for the walls. The white walls and minimalist furnishings create a perfect backdrop for the urban gallery, with each room serving as its own playful art space. This hotel does not sacrifice function for form. Each of the 146 rooms has been thoughtfully designed to maximise space, and those with bunk beds are a convenient and fun accommodation option for small families visiting Dublin. Relax in the industrial-style bar, which sells Bretzel Bakery pastries for a light breakfast. The hotel is ideally located for exploring the nearby attractions of Smithfield, including the independent Light House Cinema and the Jameson Distillery, which hosts tours that guide visitors through this historic home of Irish whiskey.
The Uppercross House Hotel welcomes the whole family, including pets | Courtesy of The Uppercross House Hotel / Hotels.com
The Uppercross House Hotel lies three kilometres (1.8 miles) south of the centre, in the serene suburban Rathmines area. The boutique hotel has a homely vibe, with flower baskets outside the front door and 49 welcoming rooms. It’s both pet-friendly and family-friendly, with free cribs and infant beds available; the hotel also has a babysitting service. The warm atmosphere extends to the hotel bar, Mother Reilly’s – with small alcoves and a garden filled with wooden tables and chairs, it’s a popular haunt for those who want to test their knowledge at a pub quiz or brave an open-mic night. Rathmines is also filled with a variety of other cosy pubs and restaurants, and The Uppercross House Hotel has easy bus links to the city centre.
For an alternative stay, visitors can try Schoolhouse Hotel, a former 19th-century school. Outside, the old schoolhouse architecture remains, while the interior has been charmingly transformed to accommodate guests across 31 vintage-style guest rooms. Each of the hotel’s rooms is named after an Irish writer in homage to Ireland’s incredible literary heritage. The dramatic vaulted ceilings and oak beams of the hotel’s bar and award-winning restaurant incorporate the original architecture of the building’s two spacious classrooms. The location is perfect for those looking for a quieter stay while remaining close to the action. The Schoolhouse Hotel is just a three-minute stroll away from Grand Canal Dock train station, and the city centre is reachable within 20 minutes on foot.
This striking 262-room hotel is most notable for its central Dublin location. Just around the corner from Trinity College and Grand Canal Dock on the waters of the Liffey, Trinity City Hotel offers an unbeatable address for travellers who want to be right in the middle of the action. This four-star hotel blends Georgian architecture with its maximalist interiors, with chandeliers and gilded mirrors giving common areas a sense of old-school opulence. By comparison, the bedrooms are simple, with practical design in the hotel’s signature shades of warm purple. Despite its main-road location, noise from the street is minimal, guaranteeing a peaceful stay.
Just 3.2km (2mi) and a 20-minute bus ride away from the city centre, Dublin’s only castle hotel gives visitors a taste of Ireland’s illustrious history. Clontarf Castle was originally built in 1172 and was once home to the Knights Templar, while the current castle structure dates back to 1837. Following a stint as a cabaret venue, the building reopened as a four-star hotel in 1997. Guests can expect four-poster beds, maximalist prints and castle paraphernalia from eras gone by. Local spots worth visiting include the beaches dotted along the rugged coastline, the scenic St Anne’s Park and the Bull Island Nature Reserve, which is easily accessed via a connecting bridge.
Located in a Georgian townhouse and modern mews, Number 31 is a home from home for travellers visiting Dublin. And like any home, the beating heart is its kitchen. Guests rave about the breakfast made by Delia; it includes hot dishes such as kippers made to order as well as lighter bites such as cranberry and orange loaf. Outdoor space may be rare in the city, but guests here can enjoy their morning coffee in Number 31’s secret courtyard and sheltered terrace. Bright furnishings and white walls keep guest rooms light and airy, and the retro sunken sofa in the communal lounge is a highlight of the hotel’s decor. This hidden oasis is just a five-minute walk from St Stephen’s Green and the National Concert Hall.
The Dean, a stone’s throw from Dublin’s energetic Camden Street, is a stylish base for revellers looking for a spot of culture. A neon sign designed by Turner Prize-nominated artist Tracey Emin takes centre stage above the reception desk, where guests can pick up a pocket guide to the boutique hotel’s art collection or some of the hotel’s merch. The buzzing, top-floor restaurant hosts DJs on the terrace until the early hours on weekends. Those staying in one of the hotel’s suites can also create their own after-party thanks to the turntable, vinyl and guitar supplied.
Overlooking the grounds of St Stephen’s Green, The Shelbourne is a Dublin institution. Founded in 1824, it has played host to many monumental events in Ireland’s history. In 1916, the hotel welcomed injured parties at The Easter Rising, and in 1922, Ireland’s first constitution was drawn up in a guest room. Over the years, The Shelbourne has hosted esteemed guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedys. Writers like Seamus Heaney have frequented the famous Horseshoe Bar, too. The Shelbourne is by no means low-key, but the appeal of this hotel is not only about old-world elegance. Indeed, the beauty salon and hotel spa make it a standout urban retreat.
As popular with the business crowd as it is with families, The Marker Hotel is a chic and luxurious five-star destination. This hotel is no wallflower; located in Dublin’s ‘Silicon Docks’, the checkerboard-style exterior is a city landmark and sets the futuristic theme of the hotel. The 187 comfortable rooms include doubles, twins and suites aimed at families travelling with children. There’s substance to support the hotel’s style; amenities include an award-winning brasserie, a rooftop bar and luxury health spa. During the summer months, yogis can take to the terrace for a complimentary yoga session.