A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited to the Iveagh Garden Hotel while we were in Dublin for the Westlife reunion tour… I’m not sure if we mentioned we were going to the Westlife tour? Maybe we did once or twice. We were absolutely buzzing to be going to the concert, but we were also insanely excited about staying at the Iveagh Garden because it is the first fully sustainable hotel in Europe and it is also an interior dream.
We were welcomed to the hotel by the kindest porter who led us inside to a dark green and gold, extremely stylish lobby. We were quickly checked in although our room wasn’t quite ready yet.. I suppose that is what happens when you rock up three hours before the check-in time… sorry guys!
However, this was not a problem because the hotel itself has a beautiful bar and restaurant where you can grab a number of cocktails and a small flower terrace which you can chill in. If this doesn’t fit the bill then the hotel is amazingly located right by a number of other restaurant las and bars which you can pick from. We were meeting friends for a pre-Westlife lunch literally across the road at Sophie’s which has a fab top floor restaurant and bar (get the pizza) and killed two hours drinking prosecco and eating cheesy carbs.
After a lazy lunch, lots of laughs and practising our singing we were ready to head back over to check into the room. The hotel has a number of rooms but it still has a personal, quaint vibe. We were shown to our room and we had been lucky enough to get a balcony… “what do you need a balcony in Dublin for?” I hear you ask – well, why would you not want a balcony in Dublin?
The room was clean, spacious, stylish, light and airy, pretty much everything we have ever wanted a room to be. The bed was extremely comfortable, the shower was powerful (because who can really cope with a dribble) and the black out blinds worked a dream during the night. The only thing which was a slight negative was as the hotel is located in such a popular area, there is still a bit of noise in the evening. However, your in Dublin so after a few pints we’re sure you’ll sleep absolutely fine… we did.
Once we had settled into our room and freshened up we headed back to out to see a bit more of the city… well see a few more bars around the city. We explored;
- The Hairy Lemon: This rustic little pub has a really quaint vibe. It’s a traditional Irish pub with low beamed ceilings, little nooks and crannies and trinkets nailed all over the walls.
- Market Bar: This is a little more modern with a big old factory room converted into a hall. They’ve given it a slight vintage feel with the decor and they have a fantastic cocktail list.
- Temple Bar: This is quite probably the most frequented bar by tourists in Dublin. It has the famous bright red exterior and flowers all over. However, due to it popularity it has a really fun and positive vibe with people spilling out into the street to drink.
After a very fun afternoon experiencing Dublin’s finest we headed to Croke Park. We decided to walk to the venue from our last pub of the day Market Bar which was around 40-minutes… the fresh air was probably needed and it meant we got to see a little bit more of the city on our way. The walk most of the way is great but when you get closer to the venue it does change slightly and there are a lot more police around. We had been warned that the area around Croke Park was slightly more dangerous and we were recommended to get a taxi by a lot of people, but we didn’t feel unsafe and would say walking is fine.
Then it was time for the main event: WESTLIFE. We have to say they were amazing, it was one of the best concerts we have ever been too. The music was so nostalgic, the view from Croke Park was amazing and even though they came out about 45-minutes late, we were kept entertained with the camera man zooming in on individuals. If you can’t get tickets in London – go here!
After the concert we walked back to Iveagh Garden which took around 1-hour, but as we were walking with pretty much everyone from Croke Park it didn’t seem to talk that long. As Iveagh Garden is in a really popular location you have a number of clubs to choose from on the street, but after a midday start we were more than ready for bed.
The next morning we woke up nice and early and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast. The options are vast and you get to eat in the restaurant or on the flower terrace. We had a number of different courses and they were all fab! Exactly what we needed after our day of bar hopping the day before and ahead of our next activity; the Guinness Storehouse.
Again, Iveagh Garden is in a wonderful location and you are able to walk to the Guinness Storehouse which took us around 30-minutes. Now, can you go to Dublin and not go to the Guinness Storehouse? Everyone who we spoke to said we had to go, it was one of the best things which they had done there and we have to say… we were a little bit disappointed. Maybe it’s because we don’t really like Guinness, maybe it was because we were a little hungover, maybe it was because people has bigged it up so much we were expecting too much but… in our opinion it was a little tacky and a little plastic… although we were happy enough to pour our own pint. We do have to say though the Guinness did taste better than anywhere else we’ve ever had it… which was once… on a university Otley Run in Leeds.
After our slightly disappointing trip to the Guinness Storehouse we were keen to see the rest of Dublin which doesn’t revolve around alcohol. We walked back into town and hit up some of the bigger spots;
- Merrion Square, St Stephens’s Green and Baggot Street for the multi-coloured front doors and grand houses.
- The Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity Collage for beautiful, calm, mahogany vibes (we did feel a little grumpy about having to pay 15 euros to enter but it was beautiful).
- Dame Lane for little cobbled streets with Irish pubs and flags hanging above.
- River Liffey for a nice stroll in the sun.
- The Temple Bar area for more sweet little pubs, shops, graffiti and alleyways.
- Bunsen for naughty burgers – but so worth the calories.
After completing Dublin we headed back to Iveagh Garden for one final cocktail In Ella’s Bar before heading to the airport to catch our flight back to London.
Overall, Iveagh Garden has a beautiful interior, all the rooms and public spaces have been designed perfectly giving the hotel an air of casual elegance. The hotel is located in the middle of everything so you can walk pretty much anywhere you want to go. The staff are friendly, the food is fab and the cocktails are delicious. The only point that we would make which we have mentioned before is, as it is in such a popular area, there can be a little bit of noise at night but this didn’t affect our nights sleep… just have a Guinness or two first.
Disclaimer: Our stay and dinner at the Iveagh Grden Hotel, Dublin was gifted to us in exchange for a review. However, everything we have said is completely our own opinion.