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Last Wednesday, my husband came home from work to tell me that we'd been offered a weekend away in Dublin, courtesy of his boss. There were two catches: the first was that he'd have to do some work while he was there and the second was that we'd have to leave the next day.
Because it was such late notice, and because it was St Patrick's weekend, the only hotel we could find with availability was The Westbury. Located just off Grafton Street in the centre of the city, it is a five star hotel and a member of The Leading Hotels In The World.
The building isn't much to look at from the outside, in fact if you didn't know it was there you might just walk past, but as I walked into the lobby, I was struck by the understated elegance of the place. The marble flooring, wood panelled walls and shining brass fixtures murmur 'Rich but not flashy'.
We had the cheapest room available, a Queen Room and it was eautiful. All the bedrooms were modernised last year and the new colour scheme is full of neutral tones. Not very exciting if you like your fuscias and terracottas, but very elegantly done. The bed was a Sealy bed and very comfortable - we slept really well. In addition to this, there was a desk, two armchairs and a coffee table. There was plenty of cupboard space and real wooden hangers. Despite all this furniture, the room wasn't cramped at all - there was plenty of space.
Each room has a Krups coffee machine, an iron and ironing board, a hairdryer and 32 inch plasma screen TV, from which you can order movies and surf the net.
The bathroom was a plain white suite with neutral beige tiles on the walls and floor. The shower was excellent, the twoels were nice and big and we were supplied with Aveda toiletries every day.
We found the service in the Westbury to be top notch. All the staff, from the concierge to the girl who came to turn our bed down every evening were polite and friendly without being fawning and fake. Nothing seemed too much trouble. The concierge was happy to make restaurant and entertainment arrangements for us and when one of the ice machines on our floor broker down, a passing member of staff notice and went to the kitchens to get ice for me.
There are two restaurants in The Westbury - The Russell Rooms and The Bistro. We had breakfast at the Russell Rooms every day. You could help yourselves from the cold buffet (pastries, croissants, fruit, cheeses, smoked salmon, cold meats, fruit juice) and also order from the hot menu (full Irish breakfast, smoked haddock, pan fried plaice, and - ugh - an offal plate). The food was delicious and freshly cooked to order. We didn't eat dinner at the hotel, but the menus looked interesting and varied, if somewhat pricey (around 25 euros for a main course - about £20).
Room service is available 24 hours a day. We arrived after a delayed flight at 11pm and delicious freshly made sandwiches, salad and a cheeseboard were brought up to our room.
There is a laundery service available - if you leave a bag of laundery outside your room by 9am, they'll have it back to you by 5pm.
The lounge on the first floor is great for curling up with a book as it's full of armchairs and sofas.
There is a small but well kept gym on the second floor, which I used a couple of times. It has all the sandard cardiiovascular equipment and a few weights machines. Bottles of water are available for you to help yourself to.
We (well, my husband's company) paid 239 Euros - about £200 - a night for our room, which included service charge, taxes and breakfast. Rates go up from here, right up to the presidential suite, which is available for 1600 Euros a night.
Would I recommend it?
Hell yeah! The only thing that would put me off going again is the money. The Westbury is far from a budget option. But as my husband's company were paying for it, we didn't have to worry!