Saturday 17 March 2018

From the Easter Rising to champagne baths ... the Shelbourne has seen it all

The Shelbourne staff
The Shelbourne staff
The Shelbourne concierge Dennis O'Brien
The Shelbourne executive chef Garry Hughes
Kirsty Blake Knox

By Kirsty Blake Knox

The Shelbourne Hotel has seen it all.

During the 1916 Easter Rising, British soldiers camped on the roof of the hotel and opened fire on Irish Rebels in St Stephen's Green.

And in recent years, rugby star Cian Healy has had his 4x4 clamped there on more than one occasion.

As part of a new documentary called The Shelbourne, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes peek at the running of Ireland's 190 year-old luxury hotel.


Porters and managers have filled bathtubs with champagne for Hollywood's elite and rustled up feasts for the current First Lady of America while a CIA agent looked on.

This is the hotel where James Cagney danced on the piano in the Lord Mayor's Lounge, where Adolf Hitler's half brother Alois Junior washed dirty pots and where the Irish constitution was drafted in 1922 in Room 112.

"The history of the hotel is incredible," chief concierge Dennis O'Brien said. "You can't work in a place like this without feeling the history coming out through the ceiling and the floors."

The show follows the day-to-day lives of various staff members including VIP managers, concierges, doormen, executive chefs, florists and cleaners.

It also features some of the hotel's notable guests including Michael Flatley and the Irish rugby team who decamp to the St Stephen's Green hotel the night before matches.

"The players consider this their home before they go and play," general manager Stephen Hanley said.

The Shelbourne will air tonight on RTE One at 8:30pm


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