3 weeks ago

Contemporary, Classic or Cost Effective … The Best Capital Breaks This Summer


While trips to far flung destinations might be off the cards, it’s time to love local and relook at Dublin through a different lens. There will be less overseas tourists and foreign language students adding to the vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere for which the city is renowned, but this creates a unique opportunity for Irish residents. This summer it’s time to rediscover our rich cultural history and enjoy for ourselves all the things that make us proud to call Dublin our capital. Here’s where to stay …

The Wilder Townhouse 

A Victorian townhouse close to Iveagh Gardens and near St Stephen’s green, The Wilder Townhouse is steeped in history and has been restored to perfection. As well as a reassuring residents’ only environment, keyless technology has been introduced as well as spatially laid out areas to accommodate social distancing, without compromising on atmosphere or service. The popular signature cocktails, served in The Gin and Tea Room, will continue to be a very special experience as will the breakfasts and light plates served throughout the day in the Garden Room. The Wilder Townhouse has created two reopening packages.“Together Again” promises all of the ingredients for the perfect romantic getaway, with a bottle of Bollinger Champagne awaiting in guests’ room on arrival, a bouquet of flowers designed by Appassionata, Maison Margiela toiletries, lavender pillow spray and sleep masks with late check-out and breakfast in bed, from €299 per couple. There’s also the “Summer Staycation” package which includes a night’s stay with breakfast and a complimentary bottle of chilled Prosecco and Irish strawberries from €169 for two people. The Wilder Townhouse will be open to guests from June 29. www.TheWilder.ie

Hard Rock Hotel Dublin

Just before lockdown began I had the pleasure of visiting the new Hard Rock Hotel and was very impressed with this music-inspired city escape. Adorned with memorabilia from artists such as David Bowie, Phil Lynott, Hozier, The Rolling Stones, U2 and Kurt Cobain, its swish rooms include Crosley record players supplied with a selection of vinyls based on your musical preferences. There’s also a personalised playlist on your in-room entertainment system, while wannabe rock stars have the use of a Fender guitar and amp from the in-house collection. Guitar lessons are delivered through the in-room TV screen to upskill even the pros. Special offers are available from €142.50 per person sharing for one night, and €232.50 per person for a two night stay in a king room, which includes a self-guided memorabilia tour, breakfast, dinner on one evening and a signature cocktail each in Zampas Bar and Restaurant www.hardrockhotels.com/dublin.

Conrad Dublin

Conrad Dublin is offering some bespoke experiences including a fabulous Picnic package where guests can experience the beauty of Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens and spend an afternoon grazing with a delicious picnic hamper filled with personally chosen treats and the finest champagne (from €190 for two). For the culture vultures, book the Literary Tour at Conrad Dublin and experience the James Joyce’s Dublin Walking Tour and a private Jameson Masters Whiskey tasting on return to the hotel at the Conrad Terrace (from €190 for two). Or why not book the new Conrad Family Room? It comprises large interconnecting king and twin bedrooms accommodating two adults and two children and includes all the essential comforts of home, a cosy sanctuary after a busy day seeing the sights. From €350 per night for two adults and two children under 12 years of age. www.conraddublin.com

The Merrion

One of THE GLOSS team’s favourite venues, The Merrion is offering a “Five Star Steal” offer. This includes one night’s accommodation in a luxurious double room, a bottle of chilled champagne in your room upon arrival, full Irish breakfast the next morning and a three-course dinner for two people in The Garden Room. Price €350 total stay (based on two people sharing). No that’s not a typo. To book contact the Merrion at 01 603 0600 or email [email protected]

Cliff Townhouse, Dublin City 

When I used to visit Dublin, before becoming a resident, I invariably booked one of the nine elegant bedrooms at Cliff Townhouse, overlooking St Stephen’s Green – with access to Grafton Street it couldn’t be more central or comfortable. The bedrooms, from €208 on a bed and breakfast basis, combine Georgian-style antiques with contemporary glass lamps, silk curtains and classic marble bathrooms. Currently, the hotel is also offering an overnight package which includes a Cliff picnic to take to the park from €300 for two people sharing: www.clifftownhouse.ie.

InterContinental Dublin 

The elegant InterContinental Dublin will reopen next week, commencing June 29, with a number of “Great Escape” packages for those wanting some luxury and escapism. A stay combines old school glamour, a stylish setting in leafy Ballsbridge and the chance to check out the newly-refreshed and refurbished areas including The Lobby Lounge, The Reading Room and The Whiskey Bar. Make use of the “Your Stay, Your Way” option by tailoring your own luxury escape, by booking the best available rate at 20 per cent discount. (From €300 per room per night). All guests have use of the 14-metre lap pool, serene inner courtyard gardens to dine al fresco from the Seasons Restaurant menu. Other options include the luxe “Suite Escape” from €448 per room per night, and “Reconnect and Reunite” packages for family from €368 per room per night. Guests have the use of bicycles to explore the Sandymount, while late check-outs, complimentary parking and cocktail masterclasses are some of the additional treats – not forgetting a bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne for couples staying in the spacious suites. www.intercontinentaldublin.ie

The Dean

When The Dean reopens on July 20, it wants to share its love of Dublin with guests. They have put together several itineraries to uncover hidden Dublin from self guided art tours to hidden histories and outdoor adventures. In tandem with this it is launching  #LivingLaVidaLocal hashtag. Opening offers include a “stay three nights, get one night complimentary”, while if you stay five nights, get two nights free. For a full range of its “Fall back in love with Dublin” deals visit www.deandublin.ie.

Merrion Mews

An Irish Landmark Trust property, Merrion Mews is a really unique experience located above two working stables on the ground floor, which is used (randomly) by the Mounted Unit of An Garda Síochána.  Access to the accommodation is by a narrow stairwell and it’s spacious enough for a family of six. There’s a living room, overlooking the stable yard, kitchen, two bedrooms and one of the few remaining gardens in Merrion Square, an added bonus. Plus there is an enticing offer – a “grab it quick” discount of 20 percent off the normal price for arrival dates up to July 31 (depending on availability – and at the moment it’s good), and must be booked by June 26. From €884 for 2 nights – less the discount as above; www.irishlandmark.com.

The Shelbourne 

The Shelbourne will reopen their guest rooms on June 29 and The Shelbourne Escape is a tempting offer. A five star overnight stay with breakfast from €299, include dinner in The Saddle Room from €349, or add on a Movie Night for €40 per couple, which comes with delicious hot dishes, sweet treats and a bottle of wine delivered to your room to enjoy with a movie. If you are missing visits to the spa, The Shelbourne is also proposing a luxurious self-care stay and an Elemis in-room experience. Check into your Deluxe room and you’ll receive an Elemis face and body gift pack in your room on arrival to test during the stay. Included too is a generous pouring of Elemis pure essential bath oil for you to set the tone for a relaxing and calming soak leaving your skin beautifully scented and moisturised. With breakfast the next morning, the ultimate Elemis in-room experience is priced at €334; www.TheShelbourne.com.

Airfield Estate

Due to open at the end of June, for an afternoon out I recommend Airfield Estate, Dundrum, which is currently open for pre-booked visits and is operating a one-way visitor trail through acres of the gardens and farm. Visitors will be able to see the animals, follow the exercise trail and explore the food and ornamental gardens. The Estate’s Overends Kitchen is currently operating a takeout service with barbecue boxes for 3-4 people for €90, and Afternoon Tea boxes proving very popular. These take-home Afternoon Tea for two can be pre-ordered online and costs €40. The Horse Box Café is open daily outside the gates of the Estate serving barista style coffee with lashings of Airfield Jersey milk on the side, while its Farmer’s Market is already open and very popular indeed. Weekend timings are: Saturday: 9.30 am – 2.30 pm and Sunday: 10 am – 2 pm with free entry and parking. www.airfield.ie  

The Marker

The Marker will reopen its doors on Wednesday July 8, with two new packages that visitors can now book; The Summer Package (from €255 per room per night), includes a discounted room rate with complimentary breakfast and late checkout until 3pm and the Gourmet Staycation Package (from €330 per room per night) where guests can enjoy gourmet treats in The Marker Bar. Hotel guests also have exclusive access to the best views of Dublin landmarks and docklands from the rooftop lounge during the day, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, with the Rooftop Bar serving summer cocktails and taste plates created by executive chef Gareth Mullins. Gourmet Package upgrade options include flame grilled blue Lobster and a bottle of Ayala Champagne or John Stone Tomahawk Steak and a bottle of Bordeaux. Hotel guests and members will also be able to visit The Marker Spa and Wellness area from July 8 with pool and gym access followed by other offerings and treatments in late July in accordance with government guidelines; www.themarkerdublin.com.



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