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Ireland is a beloved place to many people in the world. I have ancestors on both sides of my family from Ireland, so when my wife and I got the chance to visit in 2016, it was a week of pure delight. It is one of my favorite destinations I’ve ever visited. Planning a trip back is high on my list. So high, in fact, that I’ve already started to scout out the best hotels in Dublin for our return.
I wouldn’t describe travel to Ireland as particular expensive, especially considering the strong dollar right now. But neither would I describe it as cheap. You have your pick of hotels in Dublin, from hostels to luxurious five star accommodations. Most of the best places to stay are on the upscale end. But with a few points in your travel wallet, you can slash the price of your trip to something more manageable.
The hotels mentioned are among the best options available. Some are chain hotels that may make for a great award redemption, and others simply have top notch reviews.
The Westin Dublin
The Westin Dublin is one of the premier 5-star hotels in the Irish capital. You can expect great service and posh accommodations. The building containing the Westin has had many different lives over the years, and its sure to impart a piece of history to you during your stay.
The location of the Westin Dublin is perfect. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the nightlife in Temple Bar, famous Trinity College, the river Liffey, and shopping along Grafton Street. You can be on Luas, Dublin’s light rail, to other destinations within minutes as well.
As an SPG hotel, the Westin Dublin might be the best award redemption you can make in the Irish capital. It is a category 5 hotel, requiring 12,000 or 16,000 SPG points per night. Cash prices are often over 400€!
Do note that award nights in summer can be hard to come by. Randomly searching many date ranges (typically 3-5 nights), I often got the “please contact us to redeem your free nights”. This doesn’t mean an award stay isn’t possible, it just means you may have to pay a few more points for a premium room or suite. Remember that you can get a 5th night free on a 5+ night stay with SPG!
The Shelbourne Dublin is the best Marriott option in Ireland. This gem of the Renaissance hotel brand is situated at an enviable location in the heart of the city, across the street from St. Stephen’s Green. Like with the Westin, most of the heart of Dublin is within easy walking distance from the Shelbourne hotel. Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor. The hotel is the recipient of the 2017 Traveler’s Choice luxury hotel distinction. Expect fantastic service at these 5-star historic accommodations.
As a category 8 Marriott property, an award night at this beautiful, historic hotel will set you back 40,000 Marriott points. Cash rates will likely set you back an easy 250€.
The Merrion Hotel
Not far from the Shelbourne is the Merrion Hotel, without a doubt one of the very best hotels in Dublin. If you love beautiful historic hotels, the Merrion is probably your best choice in the city. The building is a gem of Georgian architecture. All the rooms and suites are light and airy, imbued with hues of the Irish landscape, and utterly luxurious. The Merrion Hotel even has its own private, secluded garden you can retreat to when you tire of exploring the Irish capital.
These 5-star accommodations come with a 5-star price tag, however. Expect to pay over $400 a night for a standard room, and three times that for a suite!
Check out the reviews of this #1 hotel on Tripadvisor.
The Morrison is yet another Dublin hotel with a great location along the River Liffey. The brick exterior may appear fairly unassuming, but the inside of the hotel is chic and modern. It is one of the most hip places to stay in Ireland’s capital and should make any list of best hotels in Dublin.
At the Morrison you can unwind in one of the stylish guestrooms and enjoy the fastest wireless internet of any Dublin hotel. Dan tried to stay here on his trip to Ireland in 2015, but had to cancel when his flight to Dublin was canceled (SEE: The HUGE mistake I made by not booking my hotel early).
As a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, the Morrison is a great option for the savvy points traveler. Expect to redeem 50,000-60,000 Honors points per night for most dates. Rates start at around $250 and can push over $400. You can check out rates over at hotels.com. It is one of the most expensive DoubleTree hotels I’ve ever seen.
Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre
If chain hotels are your thing, the Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre may be the one for you. The hotel is quite new, and the rooms are very modern for a Holiday Inn Express. The typical free HIX breakfast is served, which is one of the main reasons Dan likes Holiday Inn Express hotels over straight Holiday Inns (SEE: Why I hate Holiday Inns).
The hotel location on the north side of the River Liffey is great as well. You can walk down O’Connell Street to the General Post Office, which headquartered the leaders of the (in)famous Easter Rising. The Dublin spire is close as well. A bit further and you can cross the River Liffey on the Ha’penny bridge over into Temple Bar.
Clontarf Castle Hotel
Always wanted to spend a night in a castle? I have. And I just might turn that desire into reality at the Clontarf Castle Hotel next time I am in Dublin. Accommodations range from boutique queen rooms featuring heritage decor to larger deluxe rooms with a more contemporary feel. The hotel has a few dining options as well, including the stately Knights Bar.
Clontarf Castle Hotel is a bit further from Dublin City centre than most of the best options. But don’t overlook it on that account. You can still easily access Dublin by bus from the stop right outside the hotel.
Rates for this hotel are pretty reasonable. In shoulder season they are often under $200 USD. Expect to pay a bit more in summer. You can check out rates for this castle here.
The Aberdeen Lodge is another highly-rated pick I’m considering for a return to Dublin. It’s a mid-range boutique option a bit further from the city, but certainly still has some charm. From tea and biscuits served on arrival, to a great breakfast in the morning, the place is known for its hospitality. Check out the super-helpful and stellar reviews on TripAdvisor for yourself [LINK].
Even though this hotel isn’t located in the heart of Dublin City centre, you can still be Trinity College or strolling along the River Liffey in a matter of minutes via DART, the Dublin Area Rapid Transit.
The Conrad is another good luxury option in Dublin. The hotel is near St. Stephen’s Green, with all the same accessibility to the city as the Shelbourne or Merrion. As one of the brands in the Hilton portfolio, it could make for a great award redemption.
For many sample dates, I was finding prices of 55,000-60,000 Hilton points per night. Since award prices are now tied to cash prices (with supposed caps), you’ll be getting about 0.5 cents per Honors point. Remember that you can also book a 5th night free on Hilton stays as long as you hold at least Silver status (which is super simple with the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express).
Check out prices for the Conrad Dublin or read reviews at TripAdvisor
The Hilton Dublin
The Hilton Dublin is a bit further from the city center than many of the options, but I wouldn’t overlook it. It has extremely easy access to Luas light rail, as there is a station located literally just outside the hotel. The hotel is modern and nice.
My wife and I stayed at the Hilton Dublin last summer, and we had an issue with our stay. The shower drained very poorly in our first room, and the hotel wouldn’t re-room us until at least the next day. Other than that incident, our stay was very nice.
I would recommend staying here if you have at least Hilton gold status, as it will get you free breakfast and hopefully a room on the more recently renovated third floor. If you don’t have Hilton status, though, I would probably pass and look at one of the other best hotels in Dublin.
As another Hilton hotel, the reward price varies depending on the cash price. You can get it as cheaply as 30,000 points, but the price can also inflate to 50,000 points. Expect to pay around 40,000 points per night for a typical stay.
Consider one of these best hotels in Dublin on your next trip
If Ireland isn’t on your bucket list, it certainly should be. The country is one of exquisite beauty and charm, and the capital is a great place to spend a few days before you head out into the rest of the Republic. There is plenty to see and do, whether it is leisurely strolling along the River Liffey, visiting Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, or enjoying a pint of “the black stuff” in Temple Bar.
And you can do it all without breaking the bank for lodging. Consider one of these best hotels in Dublin on your next visit to the Emerald Isle.