Uncovering Europe's best budget hotels since 2001.
By Jessica Colley—
Part of the fun of cheapo travel is saving enough on your daily expenses to be able to afford breaking free once in a while for a big splurge. For some travelers it might be a special boutique hotel, for others it might be an unforgettable lunch.
Read on to discover some of my favorite ways to splurge in Dublin. Each of these three choices represents a mindful splurge – something you can enjoy for several hours (or overnight) that will be a memorable part of your stay. All three will also fill your stomach with some of the best grub on offer in the Irish capital.
1. Lunch at Chapter One
Two course lunch, €29. Three course lunch, €36.50
Cheapos may have passed Chapter One – a Michelin-rated restaurant in Dublin – on their way into the Dublin Writers Museum. It all looks so appealing, downstairs in an exposed brick dining room full of white tablecloths and tall wine glasses.
Skip the dinner menu and splurge on lunch, maybe on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Start with cured Clare Island organic salmon tartare, followed by spiced daube of Irish beef with parsnip and horseradish puree, and top the decadence off with a warm chocolate mousse.
2. A Night at Number 31
There are tons of cute hotels in Dublin, but my favorite small boutique hotel is Number 31, an architectural landmark tucked off of Leeson Street in the heart of Dublin. Step inside this Georgian townhouse for sleek design, luxurious bathrooms, beautiful artwork, a peat-burning fireplace and one memorable breakfast. The cooked-to-order Irish breakfast or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs served with fresh brown soda bread will keep me coming back time and time again.
3. Champagne Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel
Champagne Art Tea, from €49. Regular Art Tea, €36
Afternoon tea is a tradition in Dublin and many of the top hotels offer it. The best version is at the five-star Merrion Hotel, a short walk from St. Stephen’s Green. Be sure to reserve in advance for this two-course substitute for a meal with champagne (or, with just tea). On a warm day, reserve a table in the garden and take a peak around the Merrion before taking your seat.
The first course includes three tiers of sandwiches, scones, and breads complete with lemon curd and berry preserves. The second course is pastries inspired by the art collection in the Merrion Hotel. All accompanied with your choice of tea and a tall glass of champagne.