Country: Ireland; Currency: Euro Conversion: 1 Euro = ` 67 (approx); Best time to visit: May to August
LUXURIOUS HOTELS Four Seasons Hotel: The muscular, no-holdsbarred style of American corporate innkeeping defines this hotel. Its spa is superb as is its lit basement pool. The Merrion: This resplendent five-star hotel houses the largest private art collection in the city. Brooks Hotel : About 120 m west of Grafton St, this small, plush place lays emphasis on familial, friendly service. It’s nouveau classic decor wins hands down. The Westbury Hotel: It sits snugly on a small street just off Grafton St, thus making for an ideal pad for corporate honchos and celebs alike. The Gibson Hotel: Located in central Dublin, this hotel (see pic) is near the airport and close to The O2, The Convention Centre Dublin, and the Dublin City Hall. If you prefer to be a green traveller, opt for this one. The hotel has an active Green Policy and it just won The Silver Green Hospitality Award.
MUST VISIT Guinness Storehouse: Shaped like a giant pint of Guinness, this beer lover’s Disneyland rises seven impressive storeys around a stunning central atrium. Dublin Castle: A visit to the excavations is the most interesting part of the castle (see pic) tour. It is also home to one of Dublin’s best museums, the Chester Beatty Library. Kilmainham Gaol: Irish history under one roof is what defines this museum best. It was formerly a prison that played a key role in Ireland’s painful path to independence Christ Church Cathedral: Its hilltop location and eye-catching flying buttresses make it the most photogenic of Dublin’s three cathedrals.
BEST RESTAURANTS Sixty6: This swanky New York–style brasserie serves international cuisine. It does a mean rotisserie chicken, four different ways, at any given time. Yamamori Sushi: This Japanese restaurant (see pic) is best known for its bento boxes. A must try here is the Nami Moriawase. Winding Stair: This restaurant has a simple décor, a warm atmosphere, an excellent wine list and a wonderful Irish menu – creamy fish pie, bacon and organic cabbage, steamed mussels…. Peploe’s: This is a sophisticated and sumptuous wine-bar, which is basically Dublin’s answer to London’s Ivy Rooms. It’s all about elegance and attention to detail.
Powerscourt Centre: This upmarket shopping mall (see pic), built in an 18th-century town house, is for the discerning. It has boutiques, salons antique shops and more. Tower Craft Design Centre: The Centre houses studios for the local craftspeople. Drop in to buy jewellery, ceramics, silk, leather bags and various other handcrafted items. Circus Store & Gallery: If you are looking for designer wear this is where you ought to be. Apparels, accessories, and even some contemporary local art… you get them all here! Havana: This is as exclusive as Dublin fashion boutiques get: Lucy Downe’s Sphere One cashmeres, Joanne Hynes’ elegant evening wear… you’d be spoilt for choice.