Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

The Westbury: Grafton Street's five-star spot loved by Rory McIlroy and Hollywood A-listers

Many of you reading this will already recognise The Westbury Hotel in Dublin as it has long had a reputation as one of the city’s leading social hubs.

Favoured by many A-listers from our own Rory McIlroy to Hollywood film stars the luxurious five star hotel, which sits yards from Grafton Street, is perfectly situated for a trip to Dublin whether for shopping, socialising or sightseeing.

As soon as you enter the hotel the doormen make you feel so welcome as they guide you to the reception on the first floor or take your keys and park your car for you. Every guest is treated like a VIP it seems.

The first thing you will notice about this impressive hotel is its expansive Gallery room which stretches far out before you and offers an elevated view overlooking Grafton Street and a perfect place for some people watching. The first thing we did on arrival (even before we went to our room) was enjoy a drink in The Gallery - the perfect start to a perfect break.

The decor and furniture in the hotel is breathtaking. There are pieces of artwork around the hotel mostly by well known Irish artists which reportedly are worth more than two million euro collectively.

If it is shopping you or your other half are after then you are spoiled for choice on Grafton Street with its department stores and designer outlets including the famous Brown Thomas store. The hotel itself is connected to The Westbury Shopping Mall which offers many exclusive lines of clothing, jewellery and accessories.

There are also scores of top notch bars and restaurants literally on the hotel’s doorstep. You can opt for super trendy or traditional like Kehoe’s pub, less than 100 yards away from the hotel. which was first licensed in 1803, or Bruxelle’s, famous for its beer and rock music (it has a bronze statue of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott outside).

But you really will find it tough to drag yourself away from the hotel’s uber comfortable bedrooms or relaxed bar, restaurant or tearoom (which I am told does a fantastic afternoon tea and has become quite a Dublin institution).

The room we stayed in had a sumptuous pillow-topped king size bed with crisp, Irish Lissadell linen and Blanc d’Ivoire throw, all which made for a great night’s sleep, one of the best I have had in a long time.

When we did manage to wake from our slumber we enjoyed a brilliant Full Irish breakfast while looking out over the early morning shoppers in Grafton Street. Trust me the Full Irish is very full indeed!

Later that evening we dined in the hotel’s own Balfes restaurant, an all-day dining brasserie with Parisian and New York influences which was buzzing when we were there on a Saturday night. It has its own entrance facing out onto Grafton Street so it doesn’t feel like a usual hotel restaurant.

Executive Chef Jorge Ballaster has created a mouthwatering menu featuring a range of steak and seafood dishes as well as burgers, lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes.

My partner and I both opted for steaks, one rib-eye and one fillet, from the Josper grill which allows chefs to use charcoal indoors. The steaks were cooked perfectly and had a delicious smoky flavour, served with caramelised onions, grilled flat cap mushroom, home cut chips and pepper sauce. I also tried the pan fried scallops for starters and again they were delicious.

Even if you are not staying at this hotel make sure to book at a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner reservation at Balfes. Ensure you sample some of their signature cocktails, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

The hotel’s Wilde restaurant (named after Oscar Wilde) was being revamped during our stay but will soon reopen and is promising a menu of exquisitely presented dishes.

However we did enjoy a few hours in the hotel’s Marble Bar, with its striking Fabergé chandeliers. It is the perfect place for a few drinks before or after dinner.

As I mentioned earlier the hotel’s location makes it an excellent choice to base yourself for any trip to Dublin. As well as the shops and social scene around the hotel you have many of Dublin’s key landmarks within a few minutes walk, including Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green (a great place to walk off all those fabulous meals you will have at The Westbury).

It is easy to see why The Westbury has become the number one destination for celebrities visiting Dublin but the hotel and its staff go out of their way to ensure each and every guest gets the A list treatment.

Travel factfile

The Westbury Hotel, Grafton Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 003531 6791122


Rates start from €260 bed and breakfast, based on two adults sharing.

Balfes restaurant is open from 8am until late from Monday to Friday and from 10am until late on Saturday and Sunday.

- To make a booking call 003531 6463353 or check out

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