Joan’s Five Great Hotel Stays in 2021

In the year just passed I count myself lucky to have been able to stay in some hotels in Dublin and around the country. Between lockdowns and restrictions, it seemed like I would never get to stay in a hotel again. However, things did improve and I did manage to stay in some lovely hotels in Dublin, Belfast and Co. Louth. Here are some hotels to consider for a stay in 2022.

Joan’s Five Great Hotel Stays in 2021

Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast  

The hotel highlight of my year was a stay in the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast. The manager Cian Landers surprised me by hosting me in the Penthouse. It had recently been occupied by a Hollywood A-lister and so I slept in Charlize Theron’s bed. The magnificent suite is the top floor of the hotel and has stunning views of the city. To add to the luxury, I had a grand piano, a steam room, a dining room and bar. I loved having a bath in the huge oval tub overlooking the lights of the city. I was in Belfast for the launch of the Art and Soul Exhibition at the Culloden Hotel and that too is a gorgeous five-star hotel on exquisite grounds on the outskirts of Belfast city. 

Four Seasons Hotel, Carlingford 

hotel stays in Ireland

In July, when the strict lockdown was lifted, I went to my favourite place in Ireland, Carlingford on the Cooley Peninsula, and stayed in the Four Seasons Hotel. I must admit it felt a bit odd to be in a hotel, eating in a restaurant after so long. What was even nicer was being able to use the pool and leisure facilities. I did not realise how much I missed these little treats in life. I also had a great sleep in a lovely comfortable room. To top off my stay I hired a bicycle and cycled along the Great Eastern Greenway to Omeath and followed that with a late lunch in PJ O’Hare’s with a friend. 

Galmont Hotel Galway   

If ever a hotel embraced Christmas, it has to be the Galmont Hotel in Galway. Everywhere you turned, there was a beautiful tree, including the massive 15m tree in the lobby. I stayed here at the beginning of December and the chef pulled out all the stops to showcase Christmas dinner – it was delicious.  It was also the beginning of the very successful Christmas Market in Galway. My room on the fifth floor had gorgeous views of Galway Bay and was very spacious. I’d recommend these junior suites for a treat. 

The Wren Hotel, Dublin 

This is the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in, and it was intriguing how it managed to contain everything needed for a comfortable stay. The Wren opened this autumn on the site of the Andrews Lane Theatre in Dublin city centre. The rooms are a testament to good design. They have very comfortable beds, under bed storage, hooks for hanging bags, and a separate toilet and shower. High ceilings in this building make the rooms seems bigger. The Wren is also an eco-friendly hotel using green energy and other initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. See our competition for a night in the Wren on our Travel2ireland Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Westbury Hotel Dublin  

During lockdown the Westbury Hotel, just off Dublin’s Grafton Street used the time to upgrade rooms on the 5th floor. They comprise of a series of spacious junior suites, some with outdoor terraces. The roomy suites have walk in wardrobes and bar area, ideal for a longer stay in Dublin. You cannot beat classic five-star luxury, staff go beyond what is expected to make your stay enjoyable. Wilde Restaurant is one of my favourites in Dublin, and its classic cuisine is timeless. My favourite discovery in the Westbury is that the bathroom light has a sensor and pops on when you get out of bed in the middle of the night. 

Joan Scales
Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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