This review was first published on Essential Hotel's Online Travel Magazine Back in 2013 so it will contain some out of date information. The review is from the days prior to Wedding Photography becoming my main photography work.
First impressions count… so standing outside a magnificent Georgian building that is the Shelbourne Hotel while the valet helps you unload before taking the car off to park is a pretty good one, and an early indication of the priority put on looking after guests. Check in was just as quick and easy – the freshly made bowl of cookies definitely helped our kids actually enjoy it!
Inside the biggest compliment you could give the hotels 2007 restoration is that you’d never believe it’s so recent. The hotel still exudes all the old world charm, opulence and sophistication that have made it one of Dublins top hotels for almost two hundred years.
There aren’t many hotels with their own museum – the Shelbourne’s is beside its reception. One noted event being the drafting of the Irish Constitution in an upstairs meeting room. The guestbooks on display read like a who’s who of Hollywood glamour – old and new with Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, the Kennedys, Princess Grace, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson, among the names on display. American First Lady Michelle Obama is rumoured to be staying shortly while husband Obama attends the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Our ‘Double Double’ room was perfect for our needs. The room has everything you’d expect of a five start rated hotel. Complimentary speciality tea/coffee, dressing gowns, an umbrella (we are in Ireland after all) and bottle water awaited us. The modern traveller is well catered for too with free wi-fi access.
We enjoyed breakfast in the Saddle Room during our stay and the combinations of private booths and very attentive staff made the experience very enjoyable and stress free. Staff were discretely attentive – to the extent that a handful of straws were brought to our table shortly after our two year old was noticed struggling with his drink. The great choice and quality of food left every one of us set up for the day ahead.
For us, the hotel’s location was one of its key benefits. St Stephen’s Green really could be the hotels front garden it’s that close by. Shopping, bars, eateries and Molly Malone’s statue (who we had to find for a school project) on Grafton Street are a short stroll away. Buses, horses and carriage rides, bus tours and the Luas Tram are all located nearby.
Overall the Shelbourne Hotel offers a great experience, with wonderful staff, in the perfect location and if you value last impressions as importantly as the first, ours was our daughter sadly declaring ‘I don’t want to go home’ as we pulled away in our gleamingly clean just valeted car!!
Prior to weddings being my main photography work I was, luckily, asked to write, and photograph, for hotel reviews & travel features.