A gracious renaissance at the Shelbourne Dublin
Occupying its privileged and prestigious location right on St Stephen’s Green, it is easy to imagine being in the countryside when the only view from the room is trees. The Shelbourne Dublin, though, is right in the middle of the action, with grand museums around the corner, trendy bars and restaurants just out the door, and the expanse of Dublin’s beloved park just across the street.
Now that the hotel’s recent renovation is complete, the spacious rooms and suites are welcoming guests to enjoy the fresh decor and new services offered in the hotel, which nevertheless retains its air of urbane elegance and courteous tradition. Ever smiling, the staffmembers from server in the restaurant to general manager of the property not only display an eagerness to ensure guests’ complete happiness, but do so with genuine pleasure in providing the utmost in Irish hospitality.
The Shelbourne has long been a favourite venue for drinks and dinners among Dublin’s well-heeled residents and visitors. The Lord Mayor’s Lounge is one of the best places in Dublin for afternoon tea and is immensely popular. The famous Horseshoe Bar, the Number 27 Lounge, and The Saddle Room are among the poshest places to see and be seen in the city, yet there is none of the haughty pretension that hangs in the air in comparable places in some other cities around the world. This is Ireland, where people are people no matter how thick their wallets.
Irish hero Michael Collins looms large in the history of The Shelbourne, where he stayed on a number of occasions. The Michael Collins Suite is one of the largest in the hotel; among the various items in the well-appointed suite are several biographies about the independence fighter who shaped Ireland’s history in the 20th century. The Shelbourne is one of the few hotels in the world to have its own museum and, though small, this repository of hotel history is a fascinating glimpse into Dublin’s and Ireland’s past. Michael Collins’ chair is there, along with dozens of hefty ledgers meticulously documenting The Shelbourne‘s guests and events over the decades.
Many visitors to Ireland come for documentation of their own history in research of their family tree. In consideration of this motive to travel, The Shelbourne employs the services of a genealogy butler to help guests trace their Irish ancestors. The preparation is done before the guest’s arrival and presented when in residence at the hotel. The Shelbourne Hotel is a Marriott Renaissance property; as such, it delivers the high level of professionalism and refinement expected of the Renaissance brand of which this special service is the perfect example.