Ireland Hotels
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The Merrion Hotel

The Merrion Hotel Rating: 5.0 Pearls

The Merrion is Dublin's most exclusive luxury hotel, and has a convenient location across from the Government buildings in four 18th-century townhouses. It has fewer rooms than the nearby Shelbourne and feels more intimate and private, though its list of features is still extensive: The hotel has a full-service spa, 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 true that some rooms have unremarkable views of other buildings, the gym is a bit small, and not all rooms have iPod docks, but most will find little fault with this five-pearl gem.

Merchant Hotel

Merchant Hotel Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Located in the heart of Belfast, The Merchant is grand and stylish, combining Victorian elegance with a modern Jazz Age vibe. There are several options for dining and drinks, including The Great Room, which serves a traditional afternoon tea, and Bert’s Bar, which has live jazz every night. Light sleepers might be wary of a hotel that provides earplugs to muffle noise from surrounding bars, particularly in some ground-floor rooms. Rates are in the splurge range, but that’s to be expected from the only five-star hotel in the city center — especially one that sells haute couture shoes in the gift shop. Travelers wanting a cheaper boutique hotel in the city center might try The Fitzwilliam Hotel, which has funky yet very modern decor.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast Rating: 4.5 Pearls

This upscale, über-contemporary hotel has gone to every effort to wow with a focus on funky chic design and a modern, moody vibe. Its smart and snazzy rooms haven't scrimped on comfort, with Egyptian cotton sheets and duck-down duvets. In-room tech also leaves nothing wanting. The hotel's low-lit restaurant is a design gem, while its stylish bar serves excellent cocktails. The location is right in Belfast's city center, and is thus within walking distance to many attractions and transport links. All in all, it's pretty well priced for a property of this caliber, though if it's just a little too hip, check out the Europa Hotel round the corner.

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Ashford Castle embodies the fantasy of the Irish castle hotel, featuring a massive historic stone facade, complete with towers and turrets; gorgeous, manicured grounds; a stunning setting on a huge lake; and common spaces that are truly grand, with rich wood paneling, chandeliers, and antique furniture. After such magnificence, the rooms can be a bit of a letdown. They still retain elements of their original elegance, but some have frumpy style and need renovations. George V Dining Room offers excellent, formal fine dining (jackets are required in the evening), and drinks and tea can be enjoyed in the graceful drawing room with lake views. The wide range of estate activities includes falconry lessons, boat tours on the lake, golf on the 9-hole course, clay shooting, and archery.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin

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 feature up-to-date amenities such as flat-screen TVs, stocked minibars, and free Wi-Fi; business 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.

Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls Lodge Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Sheen Falls Lodge is arguably the top hotel in County Kerry. The 300-acre estate belonged to the Marquess of Landsowne in the 18th century, and the hotel -- opened in 1991 -- feels like a country manor house. It has a stunning setting on both Kenmare Bay and Sheen River, which has, as the name suggests, gentle tumbling waterfalls. The 66 rooms have classic country decor -- crown molding, cheerful prints (plaids and florals among them, in moderation), and soft yellow walls; all but one have water views. Estate activities range from clay pigeon shooting to fishing to tennis, and more traditional luxury hotel features include a lovely indoor pool, spa, and small fitness center. Formal fine dining is offered at La Cascade restaurant, while (slightly) less expensive dishes are served at the classy Restaurant Lounge. The sommelier hosts daily tastings in the wine cellar.

Dylan Hotel

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 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 Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

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 one of the best picks in town.

The Westbury Hotel

The Westbury Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls

The Westbury is a luxurious 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.

The Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel

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. Only The Merrion can compare.

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Oyster Pearl Rating

  • Award-Winning

What's Your Style?

  • Beach
  • Luxury
  • Resort
  • Romantic
  • Value
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Locations

  • Ballsbridge
  • Belfast
  • Bushmills
  • City Center North
  • Connemara
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Amenities

  • Air Conditioner
  • Babysitting Services
  • Balcony
  • Basic Television
  • Business Center
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Brands

  • Best Western
  • Bewleys Hotels
  • Four Seasons
  • Jurys Inns
  • Marriott
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