My weekend trip to Dublin with my mum was made especially memorable with our stay at The Westbury Dublin.
Part of the family-run Doyle Collection, The Westbury is a luxury, five star hotel in the heart of the city, just off Grafton Street. It’s also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, so you can expect that extra attention to detail and top class service.
The hotel’s grand marble lobby is impressive and always buzzing with guests checking in or relaxing in the lounge. It really comes to life with fine artwork, exquisite floral arrangements and twinkling crystal chandeliers.
Afternoon tea in the lobby lounge is quite an institution in Dublin and we loved spending time there on the comfy sofas in front of the roaring open fire. There’s even a Champagne trolley to add that extra touch of decadence.
Our check-in was swift and very welcoming – we were offered a bottle of mineral water each and a map to get our bearings. On the way to our Deluxe Twin Room on the second floor, I was impressed that the lift has a leather bench to rest your weary feet between floors, just like Claridges in London.
Even before entering our room, I fell in love with the long corridors covered with pastel-hue striped walls and a Beverly Hills vibe. Our spacious room was just as pretty, designed in a soft neutral palette with highlights of crimson, chocolate and beige.
Happily we both had a queen-size Sealy bed covered with 300 thread count Lissadell linen, a velvet throw and floral cushions to ourselves. The room also features a fantastic walk-in wardrobe, 32″ flatscreen TV, executive writing desk, minibar, Nespresso machine and a kettle with plenty of tea and coffee.
We were kept well hydrated during our stay with a number of complimentary bottles of mineral water, as well as a welcome gift of large bottles of San Pelegrino sparkling and still water and a generous fruit bowl.
The luxurious marble bathroom has a deep-soaking tub and a shower with good pressure, plenty of extra-wide towels as well as a two full sets of gorgeous Aromatherapy Associates bathroom products. Plush bathrobes and slippers give that extra touch of comfort.
On our first evening, we enjoyed dinner in the hotel’s newest restaurant Balfes. Named after the street it’s located on, Balfes has a modern European bistro feel and it was buzzing with a well-heeled crowd on Saturday night.
We were seated at a cosy corner booth on a long Chesterfield sofa with good views of the street outside and the open kitchen. The menu is a tempting mix of crowd-pleasers and more creative dishes, all cooked using the finest Irish seasonal produce.
To start, I ordered the most delicious Pan-fried scallops with carrot & ginger and a sesame crumb (€14). The four plump scallops were perfectly golden on the outside and I loved the subtle Asian flavours of smooth, ginger-infused carrot puree and nutty sesame.
My mum went for a lovely and simple Celeriac soup topped with fresh herbs and drizzled with olive oil and served with wedges of sundried tomato and soda bread.
Balfes’s secret weapon is a josper grill, so I couldn’t resist following the scallops with some good Irish grilled meat. I really enjoyed my Loin of milk-fed veal, roast artichoke, confit potato and baby spinach. The enormous piece of veal was tender and succulent with a smoky, charcoal taste and the vegetables were a perfect accompaniment.
I thought my main course couldn’t be beaten, but my mum’s Fish and chips with crushed peas and tartare sauce was out of this world. The fresh, flaky cod was covered in the most delicious beer batter and was served with a cone of tasty skin-on chips.
The only thing that didn’t hit the spot was my Banoffi with hot chocolate mousse (€7.50). It was swimming in a rich dark chocolate sauce that overpowered the sliced banana, vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookie base.
My mum’s Rice Pudding with coconut and mango was excellent with a pleasant texture and fragrant, Thai-inspired aromas. We finished the meal with pots of fresh mint tea and rolled up to bed feeling full and content.
After a good night’s sleep in our heavenly beds, we headed down to the hotel’s main restaurant Wilde for a delicious, leisurely breakfast. The restaurant is of course named after Dublin’s own Oscar Wilde and the hotel is just short walk away from the Oscar Wilde Monument at nearby Merrion Square.
We were seated at a table with plush velvet seating and were swiftly served pots of freshly-brewed coffee and tea, plus our choice of white or brown toast with salted butter.
I loved the pancakes with berry compote, mascarpone and maple syrup and my mum enjoyed fantastic scrambled eggs served with bubble and squeak and a grilled tomato.
On the second morning, we decided to keep it light and go for a few bites from the generous continental buffet. Everything is high quality and we particularly liked the chocolate cake with cocoa nibs, pain au chocolat and home-made granola yoghurt pots.
The Westbury is a stunning, perfectly-located hotel with exquisite hospitality, where you can feel truly at home.
Is there anything that could make it even better? Well, perhaps a small spa to complete the five star experience, however guests can indulge in some pampering with the Take 30 with The Westbury and Crème de la Mer package just around the corner at luxury department store Brown Thomas. For a luxury weekend in the heart of Dublin, The Westbury should be top of your list.
Rooms at The Westbury start from €230 per night on a bed and breakfast basis. For reservations visit www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-westbury-hotel or call +352 (1) 679 1122.
Chérie City was a guest of The Westbury
Photos by Chérie City and The Westbury (Balfes interior by Paul Winch-Furness)