Europe

The Most Chic Boutique Hotels in Dublin

In Dublin’s Fair city, the hotels are so pretty.

When people think of Ireland, the first things that spring to mind for many are likely the rolling green hills and the fact that there are more sheep than people. And they’re not wrong. The homeland of U2 and Guinness has no shortage of rocky cliffs, sweeping seascapes and lush countryside.

But Dublin is a different sort of Ireland. Decidedly more urban, the bustling metropolis can certainly hold its own among the more established big-name capitals across Europe.

The humble hub for generations of writers and artists has become an up-and-coming hotspot for travellers over recent years and its transformation is only picking up speed. The country is undergoing a bit of a renaissance as many large international companies are beginning to open their European headquarters in its major cities, boosting the local economy and putting Dublin on the global business stage.

The new wave doesn’t stop in the corporate world. Trendy cafes, world-class restaurants and stylish shops are opening left, right and centre, lending the city an overall more cosmopolitan vibe. Dublin’s metamorphosis hasn’t sacrificed its charm, instead blending it with a distinctive international feel.

In a nation known for its warm hospitality and welcoming people, you can bet that the hotels are among the best of the best. Get in on the craic at one of the capital’s chic boutique options, a more individual way to experience the area. Cool and sophisticated, they’re anything but conventional.

Victorian Heritage and Elegance

1/4

Five minutes from St. Stephen’s green and around the corner from the Iveagh Gardens, the Wilder Townhouse is housed in a gorgeous red brick Victorian building from 1878 that possesses that specific look of the former home of someone with a title. The intimate lobby feels more like entering an apartment than a hotel and the whole experience feels like a modern version of a period story where one decides to stop and stay at a family friend’s estate.

But while the former “home for retired governesses” exudes historic character, the interior is chalk full of modern touches, from the rain showers to the art on the walls.

Sleek and elegant interiors include rich colours and luxe details like parquet floors and velvet headboards. Indulge in total relaxation with blackout curtains and complementary Replica By Maison Margiela Paris products.

Suites showcase original features such as lofty ceilings and sash windows unique to the space, as well as standalone bathtubs that will be calling your name after a long day of strolling around the city.

Take breakfast in the Garden Room, all bright florals in muted shades, teal banquettes and exposed brick walls. In the afternoon, lounge on the terrace shaded by umbrellas and surrounded by hedges, creating a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city where guests can converse over a pot of tea. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, swing by the Gin and Tea Rooms to sample one of their craft gin selections from across the country.

The Wilder

Dublin
9.2 Excellent (229 reviews)

A Restaurant-With-Rooms

1/4

The Cliff Townhouse is the type of structure possessing that specific look of the former home of someone with a title. Logical, considering that it was once the abode of the Earl of Shelbourne. Built in the 1600s and just a stone’s throw from St. Stephen’s green, Samuel Beckett once put pen to paper on these grounds that were part of the then-famous “Beaux Walk”.

Featuring a unique restaurant-with-rooms concept, this is the place to be for foodies. With so many delectable dining options on site, you’ll dine so well that you may never want to leave.

Head chef Sean Smith dishes up a contemporary take on traditional Irish cuisine at the main restaurant. Specializing in seafood gathered from the nation’s extensive coastline, choose from scallops to mussels to lobster served whole. If you can’t select just one (we feel you), you can even compile your own bespoke seafood platter. For a light bite, the Urchin Bar serves tapas, sharing plates and cocktails, as well as an enviable breakfast. For a more decadent treat, head to the Oyster and Champagne Bar for a taste of the Irish sea topped with caviar.

Enter the Georgian style building through one of the famous Dublin doors out front and take your pick of the five townhouse rooms or four parkview rooms. All are decked out in silk curtains and blankets made from Donegal tweed, while the parkview rooms go the extra mile with old school writing desks and vintage marble fireplaces.

Bathrooms are a vision of marble and mirrors, with some baths featuring vintage chrome taps. Muted pastel shades, King beds and Nespresso Coffee Machines make the Cliff feel like a refined version of staying in a friend’s guest room.

The Cliff Townhouse

Dublin
8.3 Very good (525 reviews)

Contemporary Style on Merrion Square

1/4

While the Alex is the epitome of the funky and personal feel of a boutique hotel, it’s more hip than hipster. Modern furniture and muted jewel tones create an overall serene yet stylish atmosphere, while works by local artists adorn the walls. Take a seat at one of the long wooden desks in the lobby’s airy Work Hub co-working space to get some serious work done with plenty of light and charging space.

King-size beds, rainforest showers, Roberts radios and Smart TVs with Chromecast make sure you want for nothing during your stay. Book an executive room or suite for a Nespresso machine, plush bathrobes, mineral water and access to the exclusive executive lounge with complementary beverages and snacks and the country’s fastest hotel Wi-Fi. For a decadent touch, the Alex suite features an indulgent soaker bathtub.

At the Alex, you can do what you want when you want at any time of day or night. Feeling peckish at 3am? Not a problem with 24-hour room service. Want to fit in a workout before a full day of sightseeing? A non-issue when you can hit the 24-hour 140 square foot Core Fitness Club at sister hotel The Mont with a wide selection of top-notch machines and props.

The on-site Carriage bar and restaurant prides itself on its use of local and seasonal ingredients, even providing alternatives for those with dietary restrictions. The new in-house Bar is a cocoon of chic décor, concocting excellent craft cocktails as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Grab a cup of roasted Cloud Picker Coffee at the Steam café and enjoy a pastry or sandwich by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Alex

Dublin

Street Art Indoors

1/3

If art and design is your thing, then the Hendrick Smithfield is the place to stay. The self-proclaimed first street art hotel in the country is a smorgasbord of edgy urban décor that is far from gimmicky. Brimming with colour and style, art is incorporated into almost every element of the property so that it can be perused like its very own gallery. Ranging from graffiti to stencil art with everything in between, Irish street artists are showcased in an entirely new way.

Located in Smithfield in Dublin 7, an indie neighbourhood known for its culture, the arts heart of Dublin is right outside your door. Whether you’re into film, local handicrafts or theatre, there are plenty of options to get your art fix nearby, with street festivals and farmers markets galore. For those who don’t know where to start or fancy a guide to give them some insider tips, the Hendrick also offers tours of the surrounding city, as well as the rest of Ireland.

Sustainability is one of their top priorities and they were the first Hotel in the country to receive a Gold level in Leading Energy and Efficiency Design.

Twin, double or accessible rooms provide comfortable King Koil mattress beds, Grohe showers and complementary Wi-Fi. Bunk rooms are also available if you’re bringing kids or just feel like acting like one.

Grab a fresh pastry or bite of bread from local inner-city institution Bretzel Bakery or an artisan sandwich from the Delicious Food Company to snack on on-site or as you’re running out the door to explore. Finish the day with one of the 14 beers and 31 spirits on offer at the Hendrick Bar.

Hendrick Smithfield

Dublin
8.4 Very good (347 reviews)

Modern Design and Historic Character

Once the nurse’s home at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital, the Dylan is located in a leafy residential area slightly south east of the city’s core. Quiet and secluded but still central, it’s the best of both worlds.

The main floor and dining spots were renovated as recently as 2019. Options include The Eddison Restaurant for a seasonal menu, The Ruby Room available only to hotel guests, The Nurserie Terrace and the accoladed Dylan Bar for food, brunch and cocktails.

The spacious rooms keep many of the Victorian buildings original design elements, such as vaulted ceilings, sash windows and port holes. Chose a front facing room for views of Baggot Street or select a balcony room for a breath of fresh air.

Feel right at home with international adaptors, lush linens and Nespresso machines. Bathrooms are made sophisticated with Italian marble, cozy underfloor heating, a heated towel bar and double-sized rainforest shower.

A Deluxe room amps it up with Bose Bluetooth speakers and beds with memory foam. The Experience room adds on pillows and duvets made with goose down, a dish of seasonal fruit and a Bathroom TV, while the Signature suite goes a step further with a soaker bathtub and Italian custom handmade king-size bed.

Every type of traveler is welcome – the hotel has a babies and kids program and is dog friendly, providing pet beds, treats and water dishes.

Even the smallest of details has been thought of at Dylan, from laundry and dry cleaning to a knowledgeable concierge. Parking and valet service are available and car service can be secured if you left your vehicle at home. Hair straighteners and curling irons can be requested from the front desk. If you’re interested in learning more about the city around you, take part in the iPod walking tour program. The gym provides cardio machines and loanable iPods. If you’re strictly here for business, make sure to take advantage of the laptop hire and business butlers for typing and copying services.

Dylan Hotel

Top rated
Dublin
8.8 Excellent (929 reviews)

5-Star Luxury

The Marker is 5-star luxury at its finest. Rooms are all custom modern furnishings and clean lines in an elegant palette of grays with pops of bright colour. All six room styles are havens of opulent design with floor-to-ceiling windows and rainforest showers. Malin + Goetz products, 40-inch HD TVs, air conditioning, Nespresso machines are the icing on the cake.

One-bedroom suites give dual aspect views and a dining table that seats four, while the two-bedroom and two-bathroom Presidential suite features stand-alone bathtubs and uninterrupted views looking over Grand Canal Square.

If you’re travelling with little ones, kids will love the crafted Irish teepees available as free add-ons to the corner suite, decked out with blankets, pillows and a flashlight. Call up the Kid’s Concierge for nightly turndown milk and cookies, plus a bedtime story. Children’s sized robes, babysitting, special kids swim slots and loanable bikes with a kids’ trailer and picnic option ensure a good time for all.

Taste the a la carte menu focused on Irish fare and local produce at the Brasserie, the “Best Hotel Restaurant in Dublin” according to the RAI headed by famous Executive Head Chef Gareth Mullins.

For a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, try the Marker bar with its gastropub menu or the seasonal rooftop bar and terrace with a cocktail bar and panoramic views of the city.

Zen out at a complimentary rooftop yoga class on summer Saturday mornings or practice on your own with a yoga box from the front desk with mats, blocks and straps. Swim lessons and personal training are also available for those who want to get their heart rate up.

For a unique way to see the city, try out the run concierge – a staff member organized free running tour of the architecture, sights and river in the hotel’s vicinity. Offered twice per week, the level is personalized and runs end with drinks back on-site. Kick off your recovery with a visit to the complimentary spa facilities, including an infinity pool, sauna, jacuzzi and eucalyptus steam room.

The Marker Hotel

Top rated
Dublin
9.4 Excellent (3887 reviews)

Urban Downtown Cool

Open since 2014, the Dean is the cool kid of Dublin’s hotel scene. Industrial chic design is topped off with extra nice details like a late 12pm check out and discounted parking.

Offering six styles of rooms, there’s something for everyone. Trendy pod style and bunk rooms have stocked SMEG fridges, Marshall amps, smart TVs, Grafton Barber products, Nespresso machines and rainforest showers. The HiFi option provides city views supplemented with a record player and vinyl collection, while the Dylan and James suites impress with oak floors, drinks cabinets, limited-edition guitars and balconies for when you need to take a break from all that awesomeness.

Art is very important to the Dean and they’re proud to boast the creative history of the city, showcasing pieces from more than 40 Irish artists throughout the space. They host exhibitions and take part in frequent artistic collaborations to support the local art scene.

With a central location on Harcourt street, the hotel is in close proximity to a wide range of bars and restaurants, making it an ideal spot if you plan on enjoying the local nightlife.

If you don’t feel like straying too far, take in the wraparound 360 rooftop views at Sophie’s restaurant. Hit the terrace and sprawl on the “loungey beds” or get cozy with blankets and heaters in the winter. Chow down on the contemporary take on traditional Irish fare, including brunch.

The Dean bar is a great place for your morning coffee (or an Irish one), with a backdrop of guest DJs on the weekends.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime stay, book the Penthouse. The loft-style space is perfect for a stag and doe or a getaway with your closest friends. Choose from one or two bedrooms with XL beds and enjoy the endless amenities you never knew you needed. The two bathrooms have freestanding bathtubs and a full kitchen includes beer taps and Irish snacks. The living space is complete with a gas fireplace, massive sectional couch, handmade furniture and a vintage drinks cabinet. With a Foosball table, poker table and video games to keep you occupied, what more could you ask for?

The Dean

Dublin
8.2 Very good (701 reviews)