Looking for an alternative to a hotel in our capital city? Pól Ó Conghaile went in search of Dublin’s hottest townhouses, often offering boutique charm on a budget.
This 21-room townhouse, hidden down a Leeson Street laneway, comes with serious society pedigree.
Former guests include Henry Kissinger and Ted Kennedy, and room 14 was a meeting place for Charles Haughey and Terry Keane.
Today, it is split between a mews (the former home of architect Sam Stephenson) and a Georgian house.
The buildings are linked by a dainty garden, and highlights include a sunken lounge (pictured above) and communal breakfasts.
Details: Number 31 (01-676 5011; number31.ie), 31 Leeson Close. Accommodation from €75-€160pps, depending on the time of week, season and room.
Is it a guesthouse? A townhouse? A boutique hotel? The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t really matter. This family-owned pad (main picture, above) on South Frederick Street combines three Georgian houses which date from 1740.
Both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available, and the accommodation is linked with George’s Bistro and Wine Bar downstairs (which offers two courses for €17).
Graham Knuttel is a neighbour, so watch out for his paintings and signed prints inside.
Details: Trinity Lodge (01-617 0900; trinitylodge.com), 12 South Frederick Street. It has rooms from €89 per night.
Large-scale developments ain’t exactly the rage in Ballsbridge right now, as Sean Dunne might tell you. Good thing it’s small is beautiful where this 20-bedroom townhouse is concerned, then. Butler’s mixes Victorian and contemporary features to comfortable effect, and the Lansdowne Road location will be ideal for rugby or soccer breaks when the new Aviva stadium opens in 2010. The nearby D4 hotel may be cheaper, but this is a different class of city break.
Details: Butler’s Townhouse Hotel (01-667 4022; butlershotel. com), 44 Lansdowne Road. It currently has two nights in a twin or double room, including breakfast and afternoon tea, from €119pps.
Another Ballsbridge bolthole, Aberdeen Lodge is a Private Ireland member with 17 rooms, a leafy back garden and a plum location on Park Avenue (Sandymount Strand and Sydney Parade Dart station are a stone’s throw away).
The Edwardian property currently has a ‘Real Dublin’ special offer including two nights’ B&B in a deluxe double room with four-poster bed, together with a gourmet evening snack and glass of wine plus free tickets for the Dublin City bus tour, for €169pps.
Details: Aberdeen Lodge (061 311182; privateireland. com), 53-55 Park Avenue. This offer is available until February 2010.
One for the future, this. Blake’s Townhouse — on the Merrion Road — is currently being renovated, but when it opens next summer, it promises the addition of a state-of-the-art Austrianthemed spa. “We must be the only hotel opening in Dublin in 2010,” owner Pat Halpin laughs. Situated across from the RDS, the townhouse also features four-poster suites, comfortable drawing rooms, all-day food menus and a library stocked with Irish and international literature. Details: Blake’s Townhouse (01-668 8324; halpinsprivatehotels. com), 50 Merrion Road. Offers B&B from €75pps.
Last year wasn’t the most auspicious for a celebrity chef to arrive in Dublin, but that didn’t stop Richard Corrigan. This 10- bedroom townhouse sits above the maestro’s Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, setting up the perfect gourmet getaway.
Backed by Barry O’Callaghan (chief investor in Ardmore’s Cliff House Hotel), the building is a classic, the interiors traditional, and the Aviator Lounge a prime spot for tea, coffee and cocktails overlooking St Stephen’s Green.
Details: Bentley’s Townhouse (01-638 3939; bentleysdublin. com), 22 St Stephen’s Green. A ‘Bentley’s Experience’, featuring dinner and B&B for two, is €260.
Forty-eight rooms might be stretching it for a townhouse, but this Pembroke Road property conforms in spirit. “Escape the crumbling concrete of D4 and enjoy a real dose of Dublin 4 hospitality,” they say. “Raid the larder in the middle of the night.”
The individually designed rooms (including mezzanine suites and corporate singles) are particularly suited to business guests, we say. There’s also a study that can be used for breakfast meetings, and flip-charts, laptop and TV are available.
Details: The Pembroke Townhouse (01-660 0277; pembroketownhouse. ie), 90 Pembroke Road. Online rates from €45pps. Three nights are currently available for the price of two, at €200 per room.
The plum Dublin accommodation lies south of the River Liffey, but check the northside for price. This 19 th-century townhouse, former home of playwrights Dion Boucicault and Lafcadio Hearn, is a strong option on a budget B&B strip. The foyer is musty, but wander back though the old wing to a newer build, where the brunt of the accommodation is held. A restaurant, Wi-Fi and rooms with names such as ‘Japanese Miscellany’ add to the randomness of it all. Details: The Townhouse (01-878 8808; townhouseofdublin.com), 47/48 Lower Gardiner Street. Single rooms from €70 and doubles from €115 per night.
25 EUSTACE STREET
You may not have heard of the Irish Landmark Trust, but the charity’s quiet portfolio of heritage buildings is worthy of a Blue Book unto itself. No 25 Eustace Street is a Georgian townhouse dating from 1720, including a free-standing bath, brass beds and boudoir piano. The house, where Standish O’Grady began his History of Ireland, sleeps seven over three storeys and sits in the thick of Temple Bar, so bank on city buzz rather than peace.
Details: The Irish Landmark Trust (01-670 4733; irishlandmark. com) has No 25 Eustace Street available at €300 per night, year round, with a minimum two-night stay.
Marked by a welcoming pair of red doors on Waterloo Road, this 17-room townhouse comes with the Alistair Sawday seal of approval.
Working across two conjoined Georgian residences, highlights include breakfast served in the conservatory (fresh croissants are baked daily). “You’re more likely to wake up to birdsong than city noises,” the owners chirp and, unusually for a Georgian building, there is a lift which reaches all floors and the parking lot.
Details: Waterloo House (01-660 1888; waterloohouse. ie), 8/10 Waterloo Road. Doubles from €99 to €120 per night.