Ireland Hotels › Boutique Hotels
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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.

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.

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.

Pembroke Hotel

Pembroke Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Built in 2007, Pembroke Hotel is fairly new for this medieval city. The chic, modern property has 74 air-conditioned guest rooms in the heart of the old city. It is located just around the corner from Kilkenny Castle, and there are spectacular views of the castle from the roof deck and from the special Castle View rooms. The trendy Stathams Bar and Restaurant draws locals and guests for its creative takes on seasonal ingredients, and the bar offers live music on weekends. Rates are on par with hotels in a similar class, but the Pembroke is the highest-rated of the bunch.

Tara Lodge

Tara Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The 34-room Tara Lodge is a modern, friendly boutique in a leafy residential area of Belfast within walking distance of the city center. Rooms are contemporary yet homey, and don't scrimp on amenities -- especially in the higher-end rooms. Modern bathrooms too are well equipped, featuring extra fluffy towels and luxury toiletries. Free Wi-Fi and on-site parking are a big plus, but spaces are not guaranteed. Despite its location street noise has been reported, so if you're after quiet rather than leafy surrounds the same distance from city center and at similar rates, look up the Radisson Blu Hotel.

The House Hotel

The House Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

This intimate, 40-room boutique is one of Galway's best upscale options, and has charm to spare, with a historic stone exterior and bold, quirky interior. There are few features to speak of -- no fitness center, spa services, or dedicated meeting rooms -- but the convenient location near the Spanish Arch and the heart of the Latin Quarter is ideal for sightseeing. Rooms have bright, stylish contemporary decor and upscale bathrooms with towel warmers and rainfall showerheads. The restaurant, The House Cocktail Bar & Bistro, is a local hot spot and serves modern Irish cuisine.

La Stampa Hotel & Spa

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.

Schoolhouse Hotel

Schoolhouse Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

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 the on-site restaurant and bar which share a beamed cathedral ceiling. The vibrant neighborhood bar has a fireplace, outdoor seating, and screens to show all the big sports matches. The quiet location, excellent food, and history of this hotel make it one of Dublin's best affordable picks.

The Beacon Hotel

The Beacon Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

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 far from Dublin's tourist spots -- but close the tram (LUAS) for reaching 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.

Dates


Oyster Pearl Rating

  • Award-Winning

What's Your Style?

  • Boutique
  • Luxury
  • Romantic
  • Value
  • Business
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Locations

  • Ballsbridge
  • Belfast
  • Blanchardstown
  • Bushmills
  • Carlow
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Amenities

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

  • O'Callaghan Hotels
  • Relais & Chateaux
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