16 of the best hotels in Ireland

Sep 16, 2020

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Editor’s note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip or hotel. For those seeking their next adventure, read on, and make sure to check FCO guidelines for more information.

Ireland is one of the closet and easiest places for a holiday from the U.K. With rolling green hills and blustery beaches, the country has a number of activities for travellers after either an active or relaxing escape. Accommodation options range from many Dublin points properties to regal mansions in the Irish countryside to an Atlantic lighthouse. And there’s really no better place to socially distance than a castle! Here are the 16 best places to stay in Ireland.

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1. The Shelbourne, Dublin

(Photo courtesy of The Shelbourne)
(Photo courtesy of The Shelbourne/Facebook)

The Shelbourne Dublin, an Autograph Collection property, refers to itself as a “national treasure”, and here at TPG U.K., we’re inclined to agree. The landmark hotel, which dates back over 200 years, is home to the Horseshoe Bar, which hosted famed musical acts like the Rolling Stones and the Chieftains. You can also visit the room where the Constitution of the Irish Free State was written. Now known as the Constitution Suite, the space still contains the original table and chairs used during the momentous event.

2. Adare Manor, Limerick

(Photo courtesy of Adare Manor)
(Photo courtesy of Adare Manor)

Rated as one of the top hotels in the world by Conde Nast and home to Limerick’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, Adare Manor is the perfect place for your dream getaway. A picturesque castle offering activities like fishing, horse riding, cycling and even a golf course on the grounds, guests will love spending time in the great outdoors. There’s also a cinema and a spa for rainy day stays.

3. The Westbury Hotel, Dublin

(Photo courtesy of The Doyle Collection)

Once a former convent, the Westbury, part of the Doyle Collection Hotels, is dotted with Irish art, regal chandeliers and plush furniture. Rooms are tastefully designed with understated furnishings, including some with canopy beds featuring Lissadell bed linens and marble bathrooms. Hang out at the Sidecar, a 1930s inspired haunt with a stunning bar backdrop and craft cocktails.

Read more: How to backpack around Ireland

4. Dromoland Castle, Newmarket on Fergus

(Photo courtesy of Dromoland Castle)

Another regal hotel on this list, Dromoland Castle is located just outside Shannon in Clare. The castle, which has been welcoming guests since the 16th century, is located on 450 acres of verdant pastures and hills. With a golf course, spa and numerous outdoor activities — you can even try your luck at archery or falconry — you’ll never be bored during your stay.

5. Hyatt Centric Dublin

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

Located in one of the oldest sections of Dublin, The Liberties, the Hyatt Centric has 234 guestrooms, some of which have views of the neighbouring St Patrick’s Cathedral. Rooms feature contrasting textures and colours, like oak and brass fixtures which juxtapose perfectly against turquoise velvet furnishings. Plan to explore the surrounding area, which has a number of whiskey and gin distilleries, plus the famed Guinness Storehouse.

6. Powerscourt Hotel, Enniskerry

(Photo courtesy of Powerscourt Hotel)
(Photo courtesy of Powerscourt Hotel)

This Autograph Collection property in Wicklow is just a 30-minute drive from Dublin city centre. With not just one, but two golf courses, the Powerscourt Hotel also features a spa with a sleek indoor pool. Rooms are classic and elegant, with views overlooking the property’s landscaped gardens, as well as the Enniskerry Hills and Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Read more: 5 of the best hikes in Ireland

7. Conrad Dublin

(Photo courtesy of Conrad)

Conrad Dublin combines the city’s wealth of history with modern comforts. Nearby St Stephan’s Green and overlooking the National Concert Hall, the hotel’s luminous rooms feel Irish-inspired, with elegant design touches of pale green. Although the Irish sunshine only makes occasional appearances, getting a room with a balcony may just be worth it.

8. The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

(Photo courtesy of The Merchant Hotel)
(Photo courtesy of The Merchant Hotel/Facebook)

Built in 1857, the Merchant Hotel is a historic hotel with modern comforts. Located in Belfast’s historic quarter, the hotel boasts a rooftop hot tub and fitness centre complete with expansive views and a variety of bars, including Bert’s Jazz Bar, the Cloth Ear Pub, a cocktail bar and Champagne lounge. With room designs from Art Deco to Victorian, you can travel back in time with the classical decor.

9.The Marker Hotel, Dublin

(Photo courtesy of The Marker Hotel)
(Photo courtesy of The Marker Hotel/Facebook)

A stylish modern hub, the Marker Hotel offers an onsite, award-winning spa and a snazzy rooftop offering views of Dublin. The 187 rooms and suites feature luxurious bed linens, throws, artwork, furniture and cushions from Irish and Danish designers as well as spacious marble bathrooms.

Read more: From Connemara to the Giant’s Causeway: 9 of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland

10. Glenlo Abbey, Galway

(Photo courtesy of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel)
(Photo courtesy of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel/Facebook)

Set on the banks of Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey dates back to 1740. Set on a tranquil, sprawling 138-acre estate, the call of the hotel goes past just the elegant guestrooms and inviting Italian marble bathrooms. Plan to dine in former carriages that once were part of the Orient Express at Glenlo’s unique Pullman restaurant for a very special type of train experience.

11. InterContinental Dublin

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Situated on two full acres of greenery in the upscale Ballsbridge neighbourhood, the InterContinental Dublin makes for a truly opulent escape. Guestrooms feature garden views and marble bathrooms. For the ultimate splurge, the William Butler Yeats Suite pays homage to the iconic Irish poet, complete with three balconies, plus a separate kitchen, dining and living area, an additional powder room and even a personalised W.B. Yeats book to take home.

12. The Cliff at Lyons, Celbridge

(Photo courtesy of The Cliff at Lyons)
(Photo courtesy of The Cliff at Lyons)

Just a 30-minute drive from Dublin, The Cliff at Lyons in Kildare is a true escape for the mind, body and soul. With rooms, apartments and cottages (many of which are located in historic buildings) you can choose just the right accommodation for you. Despite the hotel’s lengthy history, rooms are renovated and come with modern amenities like Nespresso machines and Egyptian cotton bed linens. Set on the banks of the Grand Canal, the spa is located in a beautiful former carriage house.

13. Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara

(Photo courtesy of Ballynahinch Castle)
(Photo courtesy of Ballynahinch Castle)

You may be tired of seeing castle hotels on this list, but Ballynahinch is truly one of the finest. Set upon 700 acres of rivers, forests and rolling hills, the hotel has on onsite salmon fishery and shooting school. Rooms are comfortable and stylish, many of them overlooking the river. Enjoy fresh seafood at the Owenmore restaurant, run by executive chef Alan McArdle or cosy up to the crackling fire at the Fisherman’s Pub.

14. Clare Island Lighthouse, Clare Island

(Photo courtesy of Clare Island Lighthouse)

For rustic seaside charm along Ireland’s blustery Atlantic coast, stay at nautical landmark-turned-heritage hotel Clare Island Lighthouse in Mayo. Room options range from the Tower House, where the circular bedroom is located in the lighthouse sphere itself to the Sauna Suite, which features a sauna with views.

15. Finn Lough Bubble Dome, Enniskillen

(Photo courtesy of Finn Lough)

While Finn Lough also has beautiful waterside cottages, for a truly unique experience, stay in the bubble dome. With 180-degree clear walls, you can stargaze by night and admire the forest by day. The dome features a canopy bed, fluffy robes, a Nespresso machine and daily breakfast for a romantic, private experience just 90-miles away from Belfast.

16. Clontarf Castle, Dublin

(Photo courtesy of Clontarf Castle)
(Photo courtesy of Clontarf Castle)

Located just outside Dublin and next to the seaside, Clontarf Castle is more of a fairytale version of a castle and is popular as a wedding venue due to its magical and dramatic interiors and grounds. Originally built in the 12th century, it combines ancient architecture with wonderful 21st-century facilities. But don’t worry, you’ll get your princess canopy bed. The Knights Bar has Insta-worthy ceilings, huge open fireplaces and stained glass windows while Fahrenheit restaurant is perfect for a romantic supper.

Bottom line

Ireland makes for the perfect easy getaway from the U.K. Regardless of your travel plans — sipping Guinness in an Irish pub or exploring the rolling Irish hills, there’s an ideal hotel for you. And spending your Irish holiday in a castle makes for a truly memorable holiday.

Featured photo by Mieneke Andeweg-van Rijn/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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