The Merrion Hotel Rating: 5.0 Pearls
When it comes to romance, it's tough to top The Merrion's quiet exclusivity, gracous Georgian interiors, first-rate fine dining, and luxury spa. It has fewer rooms than the nearby Shelbourne and feels more intimate and private, though its list of features is still extensive: In addition to the full-service spa, it has a lovely Roman-style indoor pool and well-equipped fitness center. The impressive restaurant offering includes Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, the only restaurant in Ireland to receive two Michelin stars, as well as the casual and atmospheric Cellar Bar, housed in the original 18th century wine vaults. It's the top pick in Dublin for couples planning a posh getaway.
The Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 265-room Shelbourne, built in 1824, is one of Dublin's best-known luxury icons, with a grand entrance right on St. Stephen's Green and an impressive roster of famous past guests (Bill Clinton, Julia Roberts, and Liam Neeson have all stayed here, to name a few). Rooms have elegant traditional decor, though some are quite small and standard Queen Rooms lack bathtubs. Still, the ornate common spaces, hot spot bars and dining venues, luxury spa, and historic cachet combine to make this one of Dublin's premier options. Some may prefer its grandeur to The Merrion's more understated approach, but we gave The Merrion top billing for its intimate feel.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Fitzwilliam Hotel is a beautiful design hotel with a fantastic location overlooking St. Stephen's Green. A bold use of color, modern furniture, and eclectic accents combine in fun rooms with huge bathrooms. Many rooms have soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers; all have minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. In addition to a full gym and spa, the Fitzwilliam also has three distinct restaurants serving Irish, Mediterranean, and French cuisine (Thornton's has one Michelin star). The hotel also offers 24-hour room service. With small touches like fluffy duvets and nightly chocolates, this hotel -- with its location at the heart of Dublin -- is the best pick for romance in town.
Dylan Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
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, and statement couches/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. In addition to its character and sleek style, the Dylan is known for excellent service.
The Westbury Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Westbury is a luxurious, romantic hotel located in the heart of Dublin, just off Grafton Street and within walking distance of major sights. The 205 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated with neutral colors, plush couches and linens, and modern patterns. All rooms have Nespresso machines, minibars, and elegant bathrooms. The Westbury is known for space, and even the standard rooms are generous in size. The huge lobby is full of comfortable couches where a delicious afternoon tea is on offer. The hotel also has an upscale restaurant, Wilde, named after the writer Oscar Wilde, a casual restaurant called Cafe Novo, and the Marble Bar. When booking, be sure to read the fine print: Some packages come with breakfast and Wi-Fi while others do not.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Radisson Blu Royal is a 150-room, contemporary luxury property on the south side of the River Liffey. The modern, quiet rooms are upscale and well-suited to couples, featuring up-to-date amenities such as flat-screen TVs, stocked minibars, and free Wi-Fi; some rooms have Nespresso coffeemakers. Bathrooms are sleek, and have separate soaking tubs and walk-in showers. Suites offer extra space to lounge, and some come with balconies. Hotel amenities include on-site parking (for a fee), two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, a bar, and a business center. While the hotel doesn't have a fitness center, guests do have free access to a local gym a short walk away.
Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is located about half an hour northwest of Dublin's city center. The historic property -- an 18th-century castle turned Georgian house, turned convent, turned hotel -- sits on beautiful green grounds, making it a popular spot for weddings and events. The 145 rooms are spacious and modern, though lack any wow factor in the decor department. However, linens are crisp, there is free Wi-Fi, and the castle offers 24-hour room service. Additional room amenities include electric kettles and safes, and suites have luxurious soaking tubs. The biggest highlight here is the spa, with its serene hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tub, and variety of treatments. A lovely lobby has plush seating and a fireplace, and the fitness room is adequate. The location may be out of the way, but with a library, restaurant, three bars, and several golf courses nearby, there is plenty to keep guests entertained.
La Stampa Hotel & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
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. Restaurants and bars are a draw at this hotel, including the upscale Pink Supper Club and Sam Sara, home to a great late-night scene. The location on Dawson Street is easy walking distance from shopping on Grafton Street and St. Stephen's Green, but the hotel is on the pricey side (as are all the hotels on this list).