The Westbury Hotel is in the heart of the city yet discretely tucked away too. It’s a matter of turning into it from Grafton Street, Dublin’s famous shopping street passing through the two flower stalls that flank the pathway. The floral fragrance leads the way in. On the way you pass a life size statue of Thin Lizzie’s guitarist Philp P Lynott, one of Dublin’s famous sons, to be greeted by a doorman who will take your bags.
The building started life as a convent but there is no sign of austerity anywhere. The reception is on the first floor — a flight of stairs (or lift) from the entrance — and it’s an unexpected view of the expansive Gallery Room which stretches far out before you. It’s a gorgeous eyeful in stately hues of cream, light grey with wood pillars bathed in lashings of light coming in from the large windows. The furniture has been designed by George Smith and hanging from the high ceilings are Waterford crystal chandeliers.
There are pieces of artwork around the hotel mostly by noted Irish artists. If they were put up for sale they would collectively fetch more than two million euros.
It’s location makes it ideal for holiday makers who want a few days in the city close to the highlights and, though central, it is slightly tucked away and so the rooms remain quiet. Those doing business in the city will find The Gallery makes a great meeting point thanks to free Wi-Fi and the business centre on the same floor.
There are 154 superior rooms, 9 Superior double doubles (a twin room with two double beds), 24 delux and 27 suites including a Presidential Suite arranged over five floors. I had a Superior double double and slept on a soft Sealy bed made up with 100 per cent Irish Lissadel linen. Bathrooms are spacious with beautifully scented Aromatherapy toiletries.
All rooms are set up for PC use and a tiny but highly useful detail is that the sockets are placed at desk level. Another thoughtful item is a powerful hairdresser-strength hairdryer and a full size Nespresso machine.
There is a fully equipped business centre. There are no spa facilities within the hotel but they have an association with a nearby Energie Fitness who have a 19m swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms and a gym.
The hotel has teamed up with BodyByrne training centre and guests can book a one-to-one personal training session.
Food and Drink
Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be taken at their Wilde restaurant (named after another of Dublin’s famous sons Oscar Wilde).
There’s also brasserie-style restaurant, Novo, on the ground floor. They serve a different type of breakfast dubbed Novo Light. It is all about nutrition and each dish is colour coded to show its nutritional properties — i.e. a green dot means low fat, a pink one means gluten free, red means a superfood and blue means high protein. The Oat Protein Pancake with berries has all four dots. The breakfast burrito (275kcals) is packed with fluffy egg whites, carrots, onion and tomato wraped in a warm grilled tortilla with salsa on the side.
A la carte food is served in The Gallery throughout the day. There’s also a lovely high tea menu and locals regularly come by just for this. In the evening the Gallery has a relaxed social vibe where locals may come to meet and have a drink.
Some spend the evening in the attached glamourous Marble Bar. The floors are of black marble and the lights are mock faberge chandliers, creating a lovely ambience to sip a cocktail or two.
Its central location and the compact nature of Dublin means that everything is nearby. Turn left and you arrive at Trinity College where the Book of Kells attracts 3000 tourists a day. Turn right and you get to historic St Stephens Green, a beautiful park in the middle of the city.
Close by are a a large clutch of pubs all claiming to serve the best pint of Guinness in town the vibrant Temple Bar, a buzzy, if a tad touristy area where music seems to ooze out of every doorway.
Read also our Top 10 things to see and do in Dublin guide.
Yes it is free throughout the hotel.
From 190 euros.
Value for money
Very good. The concierges are almost psychic, surroundings are plush, and rooms (including the standards) are very spacious.
How to get there
If you are flying to Dublin, a taxi costs around 35 euros from the airport and takes around 40 minutes.