The Shelbourne – a 5-Star Luxury Hotel in Georgian Dublin

The Shelbourne is Dublin’s and Ireland’s most famous hotel for a variety of reasons:

  • Outside it is a rare example of the combination of classical Georgian design with Victorian red brick;
  • Inside it combines modern amenities and excellent service with huge old stately rooms;
  • And through a recent eighteen month refurbishment it has adapted the glories of it’s past to look towards the future of hospitality.

Historically speaking, The Shelbourne was used as a redoubt by British forces against the Rebels who had gathered in St Stephen’s Green – which the hotel overlooks – during the the Easter Rising of 1916. Six years later, in 1922, room 122 was used to draft the constitution of a newly independent Ireland.

The Exterior

The Shelborne Hotel is five storeys high, ten windows wide, and ten windows deep; a majestic square that dominates the street and promises 5-star luxury to anyone visiting Dublin for business or leisure.

From across the street, one is struck by the contrast between the white stone window casing and the red brick squares that rest either side, separating each window from the next – it is like a chequered board of red and white squares. The black roofline, that frames the top of the board, is punctured by a number of windows that overlook the green lawns and sinuous paths of St Stephen’s Green behind you. To the left and right extremities, the windows stop and the edges of The Shelbourne are framed on each side by a decorated stone column. The frame is made complete by old iron railings that stand on either side of The Shelbourne’s majestic entrance.

The Shelbourne Hotel Exterior (square-on view)

The Entrance

The entrance to The Shelborne, which has ushered in visitors to Dublin for over a 150 years, is dominated by an iron overhang, behind which stands the old four-pillared entrance and portico. Once you have passed the statues of the Nubian princesses and their slave girls at either side of the entrance, and have been greeted by the bellmen, you will pass through wooden revolving doors, and it is at this point your where luxurious stay in Dublin begins in earnest.

The Shelbourne Entrance Bellmen

The Lobby and Ground Floor Plan

The Shelbourne Hotel was originally private houses: 32, 33, and 34 St Stephen’s Green; but over the years the hotel has expanded. When you enter, at the old entrance to 33, you will be struck by the tasteful way in which the Shelbourne has adapted and yet retained the spirit of the building’s initial purposes. All demands and business of a modern hotel blend gently with the pillars, chandeliers and golden cornices that adorn the Shelbourne’s lobby.

Beyond the reception is the stairhall, leading up to the first floor. This elegant highlight is a portland stone staircase with oak handrails leading to a beautiful oval centrepiece on the first floor landing, which is replete with chandelier and gold coffering.

Below the stairs is the entrance to the Saddle Room – one of the finest dining options in all of Dublin. The golden upholstery on the Saddle Room’s seating is an unnecessary clue to the room’s glamour and class.

The Shelbourne Hotel Stairwell

Afternoon Tea in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge

If you are looking for a cheaper way to experience the delights of the Shelbourne during your stay in Dublin, then afternoon tea in the Lord Mayor’s Lounge is an excellent choice. This beautiful ground floor room has a tasteful array of decorations, seating and a varied menu of refreshments and cakes. You can relax in the soft lights of this relaxed lounge whilst observing the bright busy street and the trees of St Stephen’s Green through the tall windows – all the while enjoying the best tea in Dublin.

Weddings and Conferences in the Great Room

To the rear of the ground floor is the Great Room – a beautiful ballroom, conference suite, dining room with bar.

The Great Room can be hired for your wedding reception, providing an exquisite backdrop for your wedding photographs. Lighting and seating can be arranged according to the taste of your wedding party. It is also the ideal venue for an international business convention.

A convention at The Shelbourne Hotel