Take time to enjoy a full Irish breakfast in the hotels award-winning Seasons Restaurant before strolling down Merrion Road and popping into Roly’s for a take away coffee. Continue walking down leafy onto Northumberland Road over the Grand Canal through Georgian Dublin. We recommend heading straight to Trinity College Dublin to beat the crowds flocking to see the famed Book of Kells exhibition. The ninth-century illuminated manuscript of the New Testament gospels is one of 25,000 rare books in the college’s barrel-vaulted library. Take a leisurely stroll up Dame Street to the historic Dublin Castle and learn about medieval Dublin and the view the State Apartments. Insider tip: for a quieter experience than Trinity College’s famous Book of Kells, visit the Chester Beatty Library in the grounds of Dublin Castle. It showcases thousands of manuscripts from all over the world and offers informative tours.
Continue exploring Ireland’s capital and your journey into Medieval Dublin with a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest in Ireland. On the grounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is Dublin’s best kept secret, Marsh’s Library, the oldest library in Ireland. Having worked up an appetite with the walking and sightseeing, work your way back to South William Street for lunch in Sole followed by a famous pint of Guinness in Dublin’s most notable literary pub, Grogans. Picking up souvenirs? Housed in a gracious Georgian townhouse, the Powerscourt Centre offers local fashions, Irish antiques and restaurants. Nearby pedestrianised Grafton Street offers a lively luxury shopping experience with street performers.
Having explored the land, it is now time to explore the sea with a Dublin Bay Cruise. The ferry departs daily from Dun Laoghaire Harbour and takes you on a journey across Dublin Bay past Ireland’s Eye and berths in the coastal village of Howth. Whilst in Howth make sure you sample the delicious seafood cuisine in some of Dublin’s finest restaurants. Our Concierge can arrange a table in one of the popular establishments. Our favourite restaurants have a strong focus on locally sourced food, as well as the use of fresh, local and seasonal produce from small, independent suppliers. After your return to the hotel, end your evening with the relaxing sound of our in-house pianist and enjoy a glass of Irish whiskey or an Irish coffee in the intimate area of our Whiskey Bar, where we have a unique collection of over 70 whiskeys to choose from. It may be that you will have to try more than one to find your favourite.
Céad Míle Fáilte (One hundred thousand welcomes)
Ireland has two official languages – Irish (Gaelic) and English. Visitors will notice this on all public signs. According to census figures about 1.6 million people in the country report a competence in the Irish language with only 380,000 declaring fluency. Those using Irish for daily communication live in areas designated “Gaeltacht”. Most of these areas are located along the western Atlantic coast. To ensure its survival all Irish children are taught Gaelic in school.
Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Internationally recognised as Dublin, the official Gaelic Irish name for the city is “Baile Átha Cliath”, which signifies “the town at the ford of hurdles”. The name Dublin derives from the Gaelic “dubh linn”, translated literally as “black pool”, which in turn comes from the Norse language referring to the place of the city’s original Viking settlement.
Gaelic Football and Hurling
The most popular sports in Ireland, based on attendance figures, are Gaelic Football and Hurling. The latter is unique to Ireland and is played with a small ball (about the size of a tennis ball) and a hurling stick or “hurly”. Hurling is played at an electric pace and is considered one of the fastest field sports in the world. Irish people are also proud of their national rugby team. Players are drawn from both parts of Ireland and the highlight of the calendar is the Six Nations tournament held annually from January to March.
Ireland is the land of poets and playwrights
The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to four writers with strong Dublin associations – the playwright George Bernard Shaw, the poets W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory and the extraordinary James Joyce. A host of other award winning authors, historical and contemporary, have woven literature into the very fabric of the city. This was recognised in 2010 when UNESCO named Dublin one of only a select number of Cities of Literature.
Count Dracula fiction was created by a Dubliner
Bram Stoker, author of the novel “Dracula” – a work that has inspired countless books and films about the infamous vampire – was born and spent a large part of his working life in Dublin. The house where he lived is located on Kildare Street in the centre of the city just off St. Stephen’s Green.