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Hotel Review: The Westbury adds luxury new terrace suites to a classic Dublin stay

The Westbury has added sumptuous new terrace suites to its room selection, just a short skip off Grafton Street

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One of the new terrace suites on the fifth floor of The Westbury

One of the new terrace suites on the fifth floor of The Westbury

Afternoon tea at The Westbury, Dublin

Afternoon tea at The Westbury, Dublin

The interior of a terrace suite at The Westbury

The interior of a terrace suite at The Westbury

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One of the new terrace suites on the fifth floor of The Westbury

Ask anyone to name a classic old Dublin hotel, and chances are it won’t be long before The Westbury crosses their lips — no mean feat considering the city-centre hotel first opened its doors in the early 1980s.

Part of the Doyle Collection, with several hotels in Ireland, England and Washington DC, the five-star’s vibe is old-school grandeur meets art deco glamour — with a dash of modern luxury — all of which, when combined with its covetable position right at the epicentre of Dublin shopping and nightlife, makes it a popular choice for home visitors and foreign travellers alike.

The rating: 9/10

Arrival & location

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Afternoon tea at The Westbury, Dublin

Afternoon tea at The Westbury, Dublin

Afternoon tea at The Westbury, Dublin

Tucked away down a tributary of the always-bustling Grafton Street, turning off the busy shopping street and seeing The Westbury is akin to the joy of stepping off a packed commuter train. A stream of taxis line up, waiting to deposit guests at the wide plaza out front to a soundtrack of chinking glasses from al fresco diners at Balfes, one of the hotel’s two restaurants.

Inside, we initially mistake the concierge desk to the right of the entrance for check-in before a helpful member of staff guides us up the hotel’s iconic central staircase to the vast first-floor Gallery. Overlooking Grafton Street, the space is a haven of comfy-looking sofas and armchairs; the mix of guests kicking back and Saturday shoppers enjoying afternoon tea makes for a nicely buzzing atmosphere on arrival. I see my husband clock the potential for a quiet pre-dinner pint on one of the sofas. 9/10

Service & style

Check-in is efficient — if perhaps a little business like. However, I do overhear the couple next to us getting a somewhat more animated welcome with extra little bits of info dropped in, including a recommendation for a cocktail later in The Sidecar bar (more on that gem later).

Service for the rest of our stay is on point, with plenty of staff on hand whenever we need them. What I love most is that the overall feel is a world away from the homogeneous hipster havens that have been popping up around the capital in recent years, with not an exposed lightbulb in sight and lots of impressive Irish art (including pieces by Sir John Lavery and Louis le Brocquy) hanging on the walls rather than Ikea-esque rent-a-prints. It’s old-school but modern and friendly at the same time... a hard balance to achieve. 8.5/10

The rooms

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The interior of a terrace suite at The Westbury

The interior of a terrace suite at The Westbury

The interior of a terrace suite at The Westbury

The reason for our visit is the hotel’s new luxury terrace suites, recently added on a refurbished fifth floor. These face the rear of the hotel, looking out onto Clarendon Street, with views across the rooftops to the west of the city. The terrace itself is the suite’s top selling point. Spacious, with two seating areas, multiple heaters and plenty of blankets for cosying up under, it’s a real outdoor oasis.

Inside, the suite is roomy and opulent, with all of the luxury items you’d expect at this price point. Giant bed with luxury linen? Check. Separate sitting area with art deco cocktail bar and Nespresso machine? Check. Marble bathroom suite with twin sinks, walk-in shower and a roll-top tub with its own TV? Massive check.

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But while all the amenity boxes are well and truly ticked, the muted, grey-forward colour palette feels a little too corporate and, despite its terrace, we can’t help feeling that the suite, with its pretty, louvred French shutters, is a little on the dark side. It would also be nice to see the hotel source Irish-made bathroom products, and offer a more sustainable option to single-use miniatures. 8.5/10

Food & drink

We dine in Wilde, the high-end alternative to the more casual Balfes downstairs. We’re seated in the restaurant’s conservatory, where the floor-to-ceiling windows mean we get to spend much of our meal watching the comings and goings on the front plaza. The food is delicious, with a Clare Island salmon starter and main of herb-crusted lamb cutlets the stand-outs — and the service is faultless. After dinner, we repair to The Sidecar, the hotel’s The Shining-esque art deco cocktail bar, where mixologists in white tuxes serve up top-notch tipples.

The next morning, we opt for a late breakfast just before the generous 11am cut-off time. A tasty full Irish and eggs benedict hit the spot, and although we don’t avail, I see another couple getting coffees to go — a nice touch for those planning a wander around the city centre on a Sunday morning. 9.5/10

The bottom line

When it comes to city-centre hotels, The Westbury’s location is hard to beat for those who want to be close to shopping and nightlife. There’s plenty to love in the opulently styled interior, not least the great dining and drinking options (Dubliners, The Sidecar is well worth a visit if you’re looking to up the glam factor on a girls’ night out).

The lack of a spa or pool is something I always feel in a hotel, and while our terrace suite lived up to expectations, I felt opportunities to use it were limited (bar ordering room service). Maybe a one-night package that offered a dinner served on the terrace would let guests make full use of this stunning space?

Insider tip
If you’re staying in a Terrace Suite, order breakfast to your room and enjoy your full Irish al fresco with a side of cityscape.

Local 101
Just a few steps from the front door sits one of my favourite pubs, McDaid’s. Grab a seat outside and one of the best pints of Guinness in the capital.

Rates
Rooms start at The Westbury start at €295. B&B in a terrace suite is available from €660 for two, or from €720 including dinner in Wilde.



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