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Dublin is a famously gregarious city with an infectious sense of fun, a fascinating history and a tendency to welcome visitors with open arms. Whether you’re more interested in the capital’s Georgian architecture or its world-class museums, culture of all kinds flourishes here. In Temple Bar, live music filters into the streets from a myriad pubs and bars, while a collection of beautiful parks provide peace and quiet for those that need it. The city’s accommodations are just as varied. Need hotel recommendations? Keep reading to find best hotels in Dublin, from romantic 12th-century castles to contemporary business digs.
Best Overall: Ariel House
Atmospheric Ariel House is located a two-minute walk from Aviva Stadium in the picturesque suburb of Ballsbridge. Consistently rated as one of Ireland’s best accommodation options, this intimate guest house comprises three authentic Victorian buildings. Set within beautiful private gardens, it is an enclave of peace and quiet made special by original elements, including stained glass windows and Flemish brickwork. Expect personalized hospitality and a 24-hour concierge service. If you’re looking for a home away from home in Dublin, you’ve found it.
There are 37 rooms and suites, all with comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms and complimentary tea and coffee. Some have bay windows, while others have fireplaces or four-poster beds. In the morning, sit down to an award-winning breakfast spread, made from locally sourced ingredients. Afternoon tea is another highlight, thanks to a mouthwatering array of homemade cakes and scones. There’s an honesty bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking, while those relying on public transport can use the Dart to reach the city center in just 10 minutes.
Best Budget: Generator Hostel Dublin
Located just north of the River Liffey in the trendy Smithfield district, Generator Hostel Dublin puts you within a few steps of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. Although it’s geared towards young travelers on a budget, this is not your average youth hostel. As well as ultra-affordable dormitory accommodations, the hostel offers a range of private rooms for those with a few extra Euros to spare. Throughout the hostel, the decor is industrial chic, with exposed brickwork and stylish elements of wood and stone.
For a budget hotel, the list of facilities is impressive. Wake up with a Full Irish breakfast in the social café and restaurant area, then choose from a list of inventive (and competitively priced) pizzas and burgers for dinner. In the evening, the bar offers a cozy atmosphere and regular live music events. Your room rate includes linens, city maps and Wi-Fi, while other amenities available for rock-bottom fees include luggage storage and laundry services.
Best Boutique: Number 31
Award-winning boutique Number 31 is located just south of the city center in an area known for its Georgian architecture, near St. Stephen’s Green and The National Concert Hall. The hotel seamlessly blends its historic location with design-led interiors that befit its previous incarnation as the home of modernist architect Sam Stephenson. Relax in a sunken lounge fitted with leather sofas and a roaring fireplace; or in bedrooms adorned with bright, bold fabrics.
There are 21 rooms to choose from, each with a Hastens bed, luxury linens and free Wi-Fi. Number 31’s complimentary breakfast sets it apart in a city full of boutique accommodations. In addition to the traditional Full Irish spread, expect breads and jams made in-house and specialties such as kippers and smoked salmon. The garden provides a peaceful space for relaxing outdoors, and while there’s no restaurant, there are plenty to choose from nearby.
Best for Families: The Croke Park
Located next to Croke Park stadium in Drumcondra, this contemporary four-star hotel offers a quiet option for families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center. Board games and toys can be borrowed at reception, while the Family Suite is designed with large groups in mind. Two bedrooms and a separate living room provide plenty of space and older kids will love the 50” flat screen TV and iPod docking station.
This suite also includes access to the Executive Lounge, with its free breakfast spread. Even if you opt for a different room, kids under 12 are always entitled to a free breakfast. Sideline Bistro includes a healthy children’s menu (and coloring books for younger guests). Wi-Fi is free and babysitting services can be arranged whenever you need a quiet moment in the fitness room or bar.
Best for Romance: Clontarf Castle Hotel
Situated in the coastal suburb of Clontarf, Clontarf Castle Hotel is tailor-made for romantic Dublin getaways. The castle dates back to the 12th century and retains its whimsical ivy-clad turrets and crenellated battlements. Inside, all rooms include a 55” TV, a generous minibar and a pillow-topped mattress designed for lazy mornings spent sleeping in together. For a truly romantic stay, choose a suite with sloped ceilings and a four-poster bed.
Share gourmet gastropub fare at Knights Bar, a cozy haven complete with crackling open fireplaces and upholstered armchairs. Fahrenheit Restaurant is perfect for special dinners, serving fine Irish cuisine and signature cocktails. The Romantic Rendezvous package includes a champagne dinner for two at Fahrenheit, an Artisan Castle breakfast experience and handmade chocolates and rose petals in your room.
Best Luxury: The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion Hotel combines four Georgian townhouses to create a five-star retreat near The National Gallery of Ireland. Tasteful interiors are brought to life by plentiful natural light. All rooms and suites include plush beds with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets; while the two-bedroom Merrion Penthouse is a palace with a marble kitchen, a Music Room and a private roof terrace.
Dining options include The Cellar Restaurant, known for its modern Irish cuisine; and the Patrick Guilbaud, the only restaurant in Ireland with two Michelin stars. Enjoy afternoon tea by the fire in one of the elegant drawing rooms or sip evening apéritifs at No. 23 Cocktail Bar. As well as a full menu of massage and beauty treatments, Tethra Spa includes a gym and an 18-meter infinity pool.
Best for Nightlife: Temple Bar Hotel
Surrounded by bars, pubs and restaurants in the heart of Dublin’s lively Temple Bar district, four-star Temple Bar Hotel is your gateway to the best of the city’s nightlife. Start your evening at Buskers on the Ball, a popular sports bar with a video wall and an impressive array of games tables. Buskers Bar offers cocktail masterclasses and live music seven nights a week. If you’re getting married, make sure to peruse the hotel’s long list of hen and stag party packages. Contemporary rooms are equipped with a memory foam pillow-topped mattress, free Wi-Fi and a 42” TV. And Toast restaurant serves a hearty breakfast designed to aid next-day recovery.
Best Business: The Spencer Hotel
A four-minute walk from The Convention Centre Dublin, The Spencer Hotel enjoys a convenient location in the heart of the International Financial Services Centre. Host corporate events for up to 155 delegates in one of eight meeting rooms, each one fitted with the latest tech equipment. High-speed broadband allows you to work in your room or suite, while ultra-comfy bedding and blackout curtains ensure you wake up feeling refreshed. East Restaurant offers an Asian fusion menu perfect for wining and dining clients. When work is over, unwind at The Spencer Cocktail Bar or in the heated pool at the hotel health club.
Best Oceanfront: King Sitric
If you’re looking to make the most of Dublin’s seaside location, book a stay at King Sitric, an oceanfront hotel in the scenic outer suburb of Howth. Named after an 11th-century Norse royal, this family-run hotel has been charming visitors with its dedication to comfort and simplicity for over 40 years. Blue-and-white themed rooms have incredible ocean vistas and include free Wi-Fi and breakfast. When dinner rolls around, head to the restaurant for fine wines and a seafood menu inspired by the freshest local catch.