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Inside Dublin’s best new hotels and restuarants

by Staff

Dublin is one of Europe’s most thrilling capitals right now thanks to a swath of fresh hotels and restaurants — and even more swish inns like the the Hoxton and the Standard are on their way.

Here’s a look at all that’s new in the old Big Smoke.

Hot hotels

One of Ireland’s most hotly anticipated new hotels comes from local hospitality firm Press Up.

This month, they opened the Leinster (from $325), a 55-room luxury bolt-hole in Merrion Square.

Despite its classic Georgian facade, it’s all whimsy inside.

Dublin’s top hotel, the Westbury, has refreshed its best suites (private bartender anyone?). Sim Canetty

Expect fringed lamps, sculptural headboards upholstered in a floral textiles, and mix-and-match bathroom tiles set against quirky black-and-white wallpaper.

The hotel is also filled with world-class art (300 works in total), including a piece by Damien Hirst.

The biggest draw here, though, is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Asian-inspired roof resto.

Meanwhile, the Westbury, Dublin’s toniest stay, has poured millions into the refurbishment of its 18 suites.

The most talked about of the set is the presidential, where visiting glitterati like Marlon Brando, Pavarotti, and David Bowie have stayed.

It’s been rebranded the PV Doyle Suite, after the Doyle Collection founder.

That suite now comes with a very specific amenity: an on-call bartender and a private cocktail bar.

Unsurprisingly, staying at the Westbury costs a pretty penny, with standard rooms fetching about $2,000 a night during St. Paddy’s Day (DoyleCollection.com).

For a more pocket-friendly option, check into the colorful rooms at Nyx Hotel Dublin (from $150) in the hip district of Portobello.

The 175-room hotel is brought to life with an eye-catching medley of artsy-fartsy details: a leopard statue, graffiti-style fonts, bird’s-nest booths and framed close-ups of women in extravagant makeup.

There’s a party atmosphere at the property thanks to DJ-fueled nights and events.

Tasty tables

Nordic fine-dining post Allta has a swank new home. Al Higgins

Chef Niall Davidson just relocated his nomadic restaurant Allta to a permanent home in the Docklands. The new spot has an open layout that combines the restaurant, a bar, and a micro-bakery.

As always, Davidson’s super-fresh menu changes daily depending on what he can source from Ireland’s prized purveyors.

Some days it might be deep-sea langoustine, while another day could see him highlighting a crispy sweetbread with black garlic.

A Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Kicky’s, is the latest from Michelin-starred chef Eric Matthews. Expect regional takes on world food. Anthony Woods

Former head chef of Michelin-starred fine-dining icon Chapter One, Eric Matthews struck out on his own last year with the opening of Kicky’s, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant not far from Dublin Castle.

From the creamy croquettes loaded with jamon Iberico, to the hearty rabbit Bolognese, Matthews’ creations all borrow from the region.

Over in Rathmines, the lively Dublin suburb in the south, there’s a lot of buzz around the restaurant scene. One of the latest is Lottie’s, a stylish bistro that highlights Ireland’s bountiful farms and seas. T

he two-course, $30 early-dinner menu is a steal.

If you’ve had enough of Guinness, you may be happy to know that there’s also a natural wine movement taking root.

From the team behind Fish Shop comes Bar Pez, the love child of the owners’ favorite places to eat and drink when they travel to Spain.

A natural wine list (broadly European but with an obvious focus on Spain) and a tightly curated selection of seafood-obsessed small plates (from fresh oysters to crab sandwiches) make Bar Pez the kind of relaxed neighborhood hang of our dreams.

Around the corner from the buskers of Grafton Street, more natural sips can be had at Row Wines, which was inspired by natural wine bars in Barcelona.

While you can definitely get your fill of funky viños, the drink list also comes with low ABV cocktails, craft Irish beer, and even Irish vermouth.

The kitchen has a more global perspective with items like cured trout with ponzu and nori, chicken inasal, and pasta carbonara.

Something to do

In between meals you want to hang with the cool kids, check out what’s on the calendar at Hen’s Teeth, formerly a trendy grocer and brunch spot that has been transformed into an event space, hosting food pop-ups, cultural happenings, and parties.

Think: exhibitions fete-ing local creatives, flea markets, launch celebrations, and all-night discos. And who knows? Maybe Kelis will show up.


200 years young

The Shelbourne kicks off the year with a bicentennial celebration. Barry Murphy

This year marks a milestone for one of the city’s most enduring legends: The Shelbourne.

The luxury hotel (from $645), built in 1824 in the city center, is now celebrating its 200th birthday. And it goes without say that any hotel that old will have seen a thing or two.

The Shelbourne hosted the initial meetings to establish the Irish constitution. and, in 1922, it was here (in room 112) that the drafting of that constitution took place.

Today, 112 is fittingly dubbed the Constitution Room, where two originals of that historic document are exhibited.

But it’s not just ambitious politicians who are drawn to the Shelbourne.

While no one knows for sure if James Joyce ever stayed at the hotel, he did give it a shout-out in “Ulysses.” We’re more certain of the international celebrities, like Grace Kelly and the Rolling Stones, who have all spent a little bit of time in the elegant suites and sumptuous Lord Mayor’s lounge.

Now owned by an investment group and operated by Marriott, the 265-room beaut has seen its drapes modernized and the menus updated over the years — but in two centuries, the fabric of the storied hotel has never really changed.




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