Dublin charms visitors with its small town feel, Georgian architecture, and hopping pubs. But it’s had the (sometimes unfair) reputation of being home to cheap, crash pad-style accommodations for decades. We're here to set the record straight: In the last few years, Dublin's hotel scene has become much more exciting and posh, despite the country’s economic struggles. Beautiful, cutting-edge hotels -- comparable to those in other European capitals -- have begun to spring up and some of our favorite accommodations are the city’s many gorgeous boutiques. There’s one for every taste and budget, so check out six of our faves below and let us know which you like best in the comments section!
The Dylan Hotel is a stylish 44-room boutique with a quiet and safe location in Dublin 4, an upscale neighborhood a short walk from the city center. Each room has been individually styled with a mix of whimsical decor -- artistic headboards, intricate mirrors, statement chairs -- and classic pieces. Amenities are fantastic for such a small property. In the room, there are flat-screen TVs, iPod docks (with iPods loaded with historical Dublin walking tours), stocked minibars, and bathrooms with underfloor heating. Some bathrooms also have big, luxurious soaking tubs with small flat-screen TVs. Amenities in the hotel include a fitness room, cozy bar, heated outdoor terrace, solid restaurant, and 24-hour room service.
La Stampa Hotel & Spa
The La Stampa Hotel & Spa is a 28-room boutique option in the center of Dublin. Eastern and Moroccan themes dominate the decor, and rooms have comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and stocked minibars. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and some have luxurious soaking tubs. The on-site Mandala Spa continues the Moroccan theme and offers a long list of treatments, along with cozy seating. The on-site restaurants and bars -- including the upscale Pink Supper Club and Sam Sara, home to a great late-night scene -- are a draw at this hotel. And the location on Dawson Street is within easy walking distance of shopping on Grafton Street and St. Stephen's Green. But, as can be expected, a hotel with this much going for it is often on the pricey side.
The Beacon Hotel
The Beacon Hotel is a trendy 88-room boutique that is a breath of hip, fresh air in the Dublin hotel scene. All-white rooms have fun design features including pops of color, bamboo shoots, and ornate headboards. Bathrooms are equally chic with modern fixtures, gray tiles, and walk-in showers; some rooms have sexy freestanding soaking tubs in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. The location is not within walking distance of Dublin's tourist spots -- but it's close to the tram (LUAS), making it easy enough to reach the city center, and parking is free. Hotel features include the Crystal Bar for cocktails, My Thai restaurant, a beer garden, and free Wi-Fi.
The Morgan is a boutique hotel located in Temple Bar, the "cultural quarter" and nightlife center in Dublin. The all-white rooms have comfortable beds and crisp linens, and are complete with modern bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and electric kettles. To some, the pops of color and animal prints will feel chic, while others may not find the style to their taste. While there is no on-site gym or spa and in-room Wi-Fi comes at an additional fee, the hotel is home to a popular neighborhood bar serving a small tapas menu and cocktails.
The Cliff Townhouse
The Cliff Townhouse is a quaint bed and breakfast with a prestigious address on St. Stephen's Green. This historic townhouse is better known for its upscale restaurant and bar than its 10 elegant, individually decorated rooms, but the rooms are in fact one of the best kept secrets in Dublin, with free Wi-Fi, soft furnishings, and lovely accents. An excellent breakfast is included in the nightly rate and many guests also take advantage of the fantastic in-house restaurant, complete with a cozy fireplace. While reaching some rooms requires ascending a flight of stairs, and the lobby is very small, this historic boutique offers an incredible location and delicious dining.
The Schoolhouse is a charming, historic hotel located in the leafy Ballsbridge neighborhood. The building housed a school from 1859 through 1969, and underwent a restoration in 1997 that preserved its historic character. The result is a traditional, cozy boutique hotel unlike any other in Dublin. All rooms are named after a famous Irish writer and have classic decor including floral prints and antiques. Rooms do have modern touches as well, including flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and fluffy duvets. Bathrooms have historic charm, but are a little snug. The architecture of the hotel is most striking in Olivier's Restaurant and the Schoolhouse Bar, which share a beamed cathedral ceiling. The vibrant neighborhood bar has a fireplace, outdoor seating, and large screens to accommodate fans of sports matches. The quiet location, excellent food, and history of this hotel make it one of Dublin's best value picks.