Every great city has at least one landmark hotel whose qualities make it the first choice among travelers.
In Dublin, that hotel is The Shelbourne, considered by many to be a national treasure.
Standing across from St. Stephen's Green park in the city center, The Shelbourne bears the history of Ireland inside and out.
After opening its doors in 1824, The Shelbourne was one of the first places in Dublin to get gas lighting (1867), electricity (1881), and an elevator (1902). Eagle-eyed visitors still can spot pocks on the hotel's exterior left by artillery fired during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Now fresh from a $100-million renovation, The Shelbourne ought to be on your Dublin itinerary. While the venerable character of this five-star luxury hotel remains evident, its light, bright, luxurious spaces with tall ceilings and gorgeous floral displays are suited to modern tastes.
Ideally located, The Shelbourne is within walking distance of 1 Merrion Square (Oscar Wilde's former home, open for guided tours) and the shops of Grafton Street. Nearby are many of Dublin's best restaurants, pubs, and tourist attractions, including Trinity College and the Temple Bar area.
What also distinguishes The Shelbourne is its veneration of Ireland's artistic and literary heritage. Paintings and accents in the public areas of "the Grande Dame of St. Stephen’s Green" are subtle reminders of the country's profound contribution to the arts of the English-speaking world.