7 Dublin hotels for a romantic city break, including castles, lush gardens and waterfalls

Neil Hegarty
Wilde Restaurant at The Westbury provides a beguiling setting to enjoy a romantic meal

Romance takes many forms – and Dublin can offer its own beguiling additions to the scene: strolling St Stephen’s Green on a frosty afternoon, the sun gilding the treetops; or watching the ‘sun rise in the morning, like barley-sugar on the water’, as described by poet Louis MacNeice. The hotels below will add their own measure of delight too: the sound of a waterfall from the deck of the Iveagh Garden Hotel; the carved wood and baronial splendour of the Clontarf Castle Hotel – it’s all here. Here's our pick of the best romantic hotels in and around Dublin. 

The Shelbourne Dublin, Ireland

The Shelbourne Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

9Telegraph expert rating

The signature red-brick Victorian façade of The Shelbourne Dublin has glowed on the northern side of St Stephen's Green since 1824. Think five-star elegance: the three bars are popular fixtures on the city's social scene, while afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor's Lounge is something of a Dublin tradition. There’s a delightful spa, a pool and a wonderful relaxation space, with park views and cocktails. Upgrade to rooms with balconies for romantic views of St Stephen's Green and the distant mountains. For a special nightcap, head to 1824 residents' bar – kitted out in high-Victorian splendour and capped with an outdoor terrace. Read expert review From £211 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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The Westbury, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The Westbury Hotel

Dublin, Ireland

8Telegraph expert rating

The Westbury is certainly grand and opulent, but with a delightful balancing note of intimacy. Think fresh flowers, original art on the walls, luxurious furnishings, bright chandeliers, wide bay windows and masses of space. Rooms are spacious and bright, with excellent city views and soundproofing. Dining experiences range from afternoon tea on fine china (with a tea sommelier on hand) to Gin Sling cocktails in the 1930s-style Sidebar bar. Wilde provides a beguiling, Gatsby-esque setting to enjoy a romantic meal. All this, plus an unrivalled location in the very centre of Dublin's main shopping and entertainment district. Read expert review From £207 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Iveagh Garden Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Iveagh Garden Hotel

Dublin, Ireland

7Telegraph expert rating

This city hotel has a distinctive, Art Deco style: the lobby features elegant chandeliers, globe lighting and a library motif – all of which combine to offer a restful introduction. Additional calm can be found at the oasis of the Iveagh Gardens adjoining the hotel; meanwhile, the larger expanse of St Stephen’s Green is just a five-minute walk away. Rooms are clean, calm and comfortable, with excellent showers and own-brand toiletries. Elle’s restaurant and bar is a lovely place: open and airy, with lightwells and a spacious heated deck backing onto the Iveagh Gardens' waterfall. Read expert review From £102 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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The Merrion Hotel

Dublin, Ireland

9Telegraph expert rating

The Merrion exudes period charm from its prime position in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Interiors have been conserved to delightful effect, with stuccoed ceilings and antique furniture juxtaposing its collection of Irish art. Admire the beautiful courtyard garden – a rarity in a central Dublin hotel – and spend time in the tranquil Tethra Spa, with its delightful blue-tiled pool. Expect Carrara marble bathrooms and luxury linen in the rooms. Round out your stay with a fine dining experience under a rose-gold roof at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, the only restaurant in Ireland to hold two Michelin stars. Read expert review From £236 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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the wilder townhouse, dublin

The Wilder Townhouse

Dublin, Ireland

8Telegraph expert rating

A glowing red-brick Victorian gem – once used as a home for retired governesses – has been repurposed as a spiffy boutique hotel. It has retained much of the building’s period charm. The décor has lots of quirky character, from the period fireplaces and corner cabinets repurposed into shelving to amusing mannequins found in rooms. The Wilder is residents-only, meaning you can be assured of an intimate and tranquil atmosphere in the public areas. Breakfast in particularly excellent, with fluffy pancakes and strong coffee. Alternatively, artisan Irish tipples can be sampled in the comfortable Gin and Tea Rooms. Read expert review From £133 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Cliff Townhouse hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Cliff Townhouse

Dublin, Ireland

8Telegraph expert rating

Cliff Townhouse is a charming restaurant with rooms offering comfortable accommodation and an unsurpassed location in the heart of Dublin, looking across St Stephen’s Green. It’s set within a well-maintained Georgian townhouse, with vast sash windows, stucco ceilings and fine dimensions. Each of the nine rooms is beautifully appointed with antique furnishings and luxurious finishes; the views of the Green are superlative. Check out the marble-topped Oyster Bar, something of a city institution; enjoy your oysters here with an excellent pint of Guinness. Or try the charming afternoon tea, complete with a cup of lobster bisque. Read expert review From £150 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland

8Telegraph expert rating

This hotel offers a centuries-old historical pedigree and masses of character, where Victorian baronial architecture meets contemporary furnishings. The quiet location near the coastal promenade – just a 10-minute drive from Dublin – offers sea air and a touch of seclusion from city bustle. Rooms are equally characterful; go higher for vistas across Dublin to the mountains. There’s a cosy restaurant, buzzing bar and an outdoor terrace for afternoon tea. A truly stupendous collection of paintings and artworks can be found scattered throughout the hotel, so use the building as your own private gallery. Read expert review From £93 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com