Genteel gateway to the city

Lorraine Flood

IF you fancy shopping until you drop, indulging in afternoon tea or enjoying a romantic break, it's worth checking out Dublin's Gresham Hotel as a base.

One of the great hotels of Dublin, it's synonymous with the city's character and personality, adding a touch of eloquence to the revitalised O'Connell Street. Its location means that the Gresham is close to all transport hubs such as Bus Aras, Connolly and Heuston stations.

In terms of location, it doesn't get much more convenient, giving easy access to shopping districts on Henry Street, Jervis Street and Grafton Street.

After a day pounding the streets in search of a bargain or two, you can treat yourself to some spa treatments as the hotel is affiliated with luxurious French Beauty Day Spa, which is a five-minute drive away, close to Christ Church Cathedral.

If you like to venture to the capital to take in a theatre show or concert, you have ample facilities to choose from with The Gate, The Abbey and The Gaiety theatres within walking distance and bigger venues such as the O2 and the Grand Canal Theatre a short hop on the LUAS red line.

The hotel was opened in 1817 by Thomas Gresham. It was destroyed in 1916 by British military shelling but was rebuilt in the 1920s.

If you decide to give the Gresham a go, you'll be in good company as an array of stars have chosen the hotel over the years, including Muhammad Ali, George Best, Beyonce Knowles, Elizabeth Taylor and Bruce Springsteen, among many others.

If you fancy a break in the capital, the Gresham has a number of good value deals. To celebrate the release of the new Sex And The City movie, the hotel is offering an all-star package: cocktails, canapes and cupcakes are on offer, along with complimentary tickets to watch the film at the Savoy next door. Deals start at €60 per person for the use of the penthouse suite, with a terrace balcony that overlooks the city, for a minimum of eight people.

The hotel is also offering a summer midweek special at €60 per person sharing, bed and full Irish breakfast, Sunday to Thursday; Taste of Luxury two nights bed and breakfast with prices from €113 per person sharing, based on one night's accommodation and one dinner on either Friday or Saturday night.

The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. Call 01 874 6881 or see