I recommend staying at the wonderful, elegant Merrion Hotel on Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, which was created from four Georgian Townhouses. I loved the beautiful furnishings, the small bar and my room. It was a great location from which to explore the city. It has a 2-star Michelin Restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud, which gets reviews as one of the best in Dublin and The Cellar Restaurant and Bar. It is great also for afternoon tea in the Georgian Drawing Rooms. Known as their Art Tea, it highlights some of their extensive art collection in three of the cakes served at the end. Make sure to book early online. You can also tour their private art collection of 19th century Irish and European Art. An audio tour of 20 of the collection’s finest works is available through the hotel concierge.
Make sure to walk around the corner to nearby Merrion Square which is one of the largest and grandest Georgian Squares and which has buildings with their original architectural details.
Hampton Hotel: On my recent trip, I enjoyed the boutique Hampton Hotel at 19-29 Morehampton Rd. Dublin 4. It is located in a lovely neighborhood of Georgian homes and a short walk to neighborhood restaurants. You can easily walk to Merrion Square/ St. Stephen’s Green or take a taxi to and from the city center. It has a very accommodating staff, a nice restaurant for breakfast and comfortable, contemporary designed rooms.
The Dean is a boutique hotel located at 33 Harcourt Street and was included in Wallpaper* Magazine’s ‘Best Urban Hotels’ list. This hip hotel has a fun lobby bar and a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking central Dublin. It is well-located and surrounded by bars, restaurants, shopping and more. Just be aware that with all of the activity comes noise. So if you are a light sleeper, you might try somewhere a little quieter.
Other hotels with recent good reviews include The Westbury where friends stayed recently and loved it, the contemporary Dylan Hotel, The Marker, The Clarence, and The Fitzwilliam. The Marker is a contemporary hotel with an attractive lobby restaurant and bar plus a spectacular rooftop bar overlooking the Grand Canal Square, the trendy Docklands business district and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
The Shelbourne: This is a lovely hotel overlooking St. Stephen’s Green. The hotel is located in a grand 1842 Victorian building with an ornate facade. It is known for its traditional afternoon tea. 27 St. Stephen’s Green.
Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport: If you need a place to stay after your transatlantic flight or if you need a place near the airport before your return flight, this is a perfect hotel for you. The rooms are clean and comfortable and they have a good restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can walk from the terminal or take one of their frequent shuttles to and from the airport. After a late afternoon flight from Chicago, I arrived at the hotel just after midnight Chicago time, 6am local time, and was able to go right to bed. I paid for an extra night to guarantee that I would have a room.