Dublin can be heaven
Brooks Hotel offers the perfect base for a trip to Dublin for shopping or leisure, offering an oasis of luxury and calm in the heart of the bustling city centre.
This four-star hotel is located on Drury Street, just minutes from Grafton Street and within a short walk of Powerscourt and Temple Bar, and this location in the heart of Dublin's main shopping district makes it the perfect base for a shopping break. There is also an excellent selection of high end boutiques on Drury Street itself and the surrounding streets, with some fascinating finds just around the corner in the shops and stalls of George's Street Arcade.
Brooks, a member of both the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Manor House Hotels groups, offers spacious and very comfortable accommodation with air conditioning, mini bar, safe, and free wifi access in all rooms, with DVD player and radio also available. After a long day’s shopping you can choose your favourite pillow from the hotel’s pillow menu and relax with a DVD, available to rent in-house, or, if you want to enjoy the full cinematic experience, you can take advantage of the hotel’s private 26-seater screening room for a private viewing of your favourite film.
The screening room, along with Brooks’ excellent conference facilities, make it a firm favourite for corporate meetings and events, while the hotel’s leisure facilities offer a welcome escape from the bustle of the city. You can get away from it all in the oak-panelled residents’ lounge, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet, peruse the well stocked library, indulge in a game of chess, or just relax with a cocktail and your favourite paper. The hotel’s gym, which is exclusively for residents’ use, offers a range of aerobic and resistance equipment along with a sauna to keep you feeling fit and healthy. If you prefer your exercise al fresco, the hotel is just two minutes from Stephen’s Green, where you can enjoy a brisk run or a nice stroll. The hotel also offers a number of suggested jogging routes so you can pick a route which matches your running regime.
There is a huge choice of bars, restaurants, and theatres within minutes of Brooks Hotel, while the hotel’s own restaurant offers a delicious selection of artisan foods in contemporary and comfortable surroundings. During a recent visit to the hotel we enjoyed a meal at Francesca’s restaurant in Brooks, which was nothing short of perfect. The hotel is a member of Good Food Ireland and sources much of its ingredients locally. Francesca's offers an eclectic choice of Irish and international cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. We sampled the seafood staple of haddock and home-cut chips, and pork medallions in a wild mushroom cream sauce. The haddock was cooked to a flaky perfection and the chips were generously cut, while the pork medallions were melt in the mouth delicious. The dessert menu also offers a wide selection, from chocolate brownies to toasted marshmallows to a selection of Irish farmhouse cheeses, with a range of ice creams in intriguing flavours such as pistachio and cider.
The hotel's Jasmine bar is a comfortable and contemporary space which is a popular venue for pre- and post-theatre drinks, and a resident pianist plays in the bar at weekends. Jasmine bar is one of the Great Whiskey Bars of the World – the first in Ireland – and stocks more than 100 whiskeys from nine different countries.
Brooks has been voted one of the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland in the Bridgestone Guide for the past three years and was awarded Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice 2010. It is not hard to see why the accolades keep coming – the hotel clearly prides itself on attention to detail and the staff are very friendly and efficient, offering an excellent level of service
Brooks is also a good base from which to visit Dublin's many attractions – it is just around the corner from Trinity College Library, and a short walk from, among others, Dublin Castle, Christchurch, and the Museum of Natural History, a must-see for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to come face to face with the now extinct giant Irish deer. You can wander just slightly further afield to enjoy trips to both the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery, while a ride on the Dublin Eye, the enormous big wheel unveiled earlier this year, which will give you incredible panoramic views of the city and beyond, is well worth a trip to the O2. You can take the effort out of travelling to many of the city's attractions with the Dublin Bus Tour, a hop-on-hop-off service which takes in much of the city's main attractions from Kilmainham to Merrion Square.
Prices at Brooks Hotel currently start from €70pps, with a range of packages, including couples, midweek breaks, shopping specials, and even a whiskey tasting experience, available on the hotel's website www.brookshotel.ie