Luxurious hotels in the South Georgian District
The Shelbourne Hotel is Dublin’s and Ireland’s most famous hotel for a variety of reasons: outside it is a rare example of the combination of classical Georgian design with Victorian red brick; inside it combines modern amenities and excellent service with huge old stately rooms; and through a recent eighteen month refurbishment it has adapted the glories of it’s past to look towards the future of hospitality. Historically speaking it was used as a redoubt by British forces against the Rebels who had gathered in St. Stephen’s Green – which the hotel overlooks – during the the Easter Rising of 1916. Six years later, in 1922, room 122 was used to draft the constitution of a newly independent Ireland.
The Hotel is five storeys high, ten windows wide, and ten windows deep; a majestic square that dominates the street and promises luxury to anyone on a holiday in, or on a trip to, Dublin. From across the street one is struck by the contrast between the white stone window casing and the red brick squares that rest either side, separating each window from the next – it is like a chequered board of white and red squares. The black roofline, that frames the top of the board, is punctured by a number of windows that overlook the green lawns and sinuous paths of St. Stephens Green behind you. To the left and right extremes the windows stop and the edges of The Shelbourne are framed on each side by a decorated stone column. The frame is made complete by old iron railings that stand on either side of the majestic entrance.
The entrance, which has ushered in holiday makers and those on business trips to dublin for over a 150 years, is dominated by an iron overhang, behind which stands the old four-pillared entrance and portico. Once you have passed the statues of the Nubian princesses and their slave girls – to either side of the entrance – and been greeted by the bellmen, you will pass through wooden revolving doors, and it is at this point your luxurious holiday in Dublin will begin in earnest.
The Lobby and Ground Floor Plan
The hotel was originally private houses: 32, 33, and 34 St Stephen’s Green, but over the years the hotel has expanded. When you enter – at the old entrance to 33 – you will be struck by the tasteful way the Shelbourne has adapted and yet retained the spirit of the building’s initial purposes. All demands and business of a modern hotel blend gently with the pillars, chandeliers and golden cornices. Beyond the reception is the Stair Hall, leading up to the first floor. This elegant highlight is a portland stone staircase with oak handrails leading to a beautiful oval centrepiece on the first floor landing, which is replete with chandelier and gold coffering. Below the Stairs is the entrance to the Saddle Room – one of the best dining options in all Dublin. The golden upholstery on the Saddle Room’s seating is an unnecessary clue to the room’s glamour and class.
Afternoon Tea – in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge
If you are looking for a cheaper way to experience the delights of the Shelbourne during your stay in Dublin, then afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge is the ideal choice. This beautiful ground floor room has a tasteful array of decorations, seating and a varied menu of refreshments and cakes. You can relax in the soft lights of this relaxed lounge whilst observing the bright busy street and the trees of St. Stephen’s Green through the tall windows – all the while enjoying the best tea in Dublin.
The Ballroom and other wedding options
To the rear of the ground floor is The Ballroom and Bar. This beautiful room will provide the ideal backdrop to your wedding photographs.
The Great Room is a dining and conference room that can be hired for your wedding reception. The lighting and seating can be arranged according to the tastes of your wedding party. It is also the ideal venue for a business convention.