By Charly SHELTON
When traveling to see the sights, lodging location is a big factor. Something can be said for a beautiful country getaway – if you’re there for the country – but if you are in a big city for a couple of consecutive days, it can be a headache to finish the day and then drive 45 minutes out into the country for that beautiful hotel, only to drive back into the city the next day (with rush hour traffic). And in a bustling metropolis like Dublin, where bike parking is easier to come by than car parking, it’s nice to just leave the car at the hotel and rent a bike for a day or even just walk to your destinations. Then, after dinner, a pleasant stroll through the streets back to the hotel is welcome.
Brooks Hotel in the heart of Dublin is a great location for seeing the city. It’s just a five-minute walk to St. Stephen’s Green – the Central Park in Dublin – eight minutes to walk to Dublin Castle, 10 minutes to walk to the swanky Temple Bar district with nightlife and shopping, and 15 minutes to walk to the National Archaeology and Natural History Museums of Ireland, the National Library, the National Gallery and the Dáil Éireann, the capitol building. It really is right in the center of everything. One may need a bike or cab to get to the Guinness Storehouse or other attractions farther out, but no more than a 15-minute drive gets you anywhere you want to be in Dublin.
And at the end of a long day of sightseeing, walking and visiting pubs, Brooks Hotel is a nice place to spend an evening. The accommodations are plush, but not overly so. It is not a hotel to knock-your-socks-off with extreme fanciness, but neither is it any slouch. I think this is nice because with so much to go out and do in Dublin, and walking all day, and being tired, I just wouldn’t want to come back and stand on ceremony to fit in at the hotel. It’s fancy enough to feel like you’re on vacation but not so much that you feel guilty for wearing sneakers in the lobby. The rooms are bright and cheery (depending on how bright and cheery Dublin weather can get) with certain little touches to turn what could be any old hotel stay into a little bit more. For example, guests are greeted upon arrival in their rooms with a “pillow menu.” Guests are given a choice of five different pillow types for their stay, from The Night Flight, a goose and feather down pillow that is hypoallergenic and firm, to The Northern Feather, a softer, 100% white goose down pillow, steam purified and presented. I chose The Relaxer, a unique V-shaped firm pillow of non-allergenic polyester fibers with support for back, neck arms and shoulders. It’s a little thing – pillow choices – but it really makes an impression.
The hotel and its restaurant, Francesca’s, are part of Good Food Ireland – a carefully curated collection of places to stay, eat and shop for those who want to taste the best Ireland has to offer. GFI helped arrange many of the places for us to stay and eat while in Ireland and they are all unique, but equally great. And Brooks Hotel is no exception. It’s a great home base for a visit to Dublin.
For more information on Brooks Hotel, visit BrooksHotel.ie and to see the other Good Food Ireland recommendations, visit GoodFoodIreland.ie.