Classic Irish Hospitality at The Westin Dublin

There are thousands of destinations on my "bucket list," so when I visit a city six times in four years you know it is something special. Dublin is by far one of my favorite cities in the world - with its gorgeous architecture, enchanting history and raucous nightlife. But when my flight landed at 4:30 in the morning last Thursday (an hour and a half early), I was not loving it so much. It was cold, dark, rainy and I knew I would have to wander around for hours until my hotel let me in…or so I thought.

Enter the Westin Dublin.

I arrived at the door at 5:30 in the morning and boy was I relieved when the receptionist prioritized my check-in, stored my bags, offered me a cup of coffee and ushered me to the expansive Atrium lounge. Nestling back into a plush armchair, I closed my eyes and before long it was 8 a.m. and I was checked into room #311, a Deluxe Room. Now that's the Irish hospitality I know and love.

The Westin Dublin is comprised of 163 rooms and opened in 2001, the first Starwood property in Ireland. It was built out of six historic buildings, the oldest dating to 1863, which was a bank until the 1990s. Proud of its pecuniary past, the hotel has incorporated that theme into its design. For example, the six meeting rooms are all named after old Irish coins, the restaurant is titled Exchange and the old bank's vault was turned into the Mint Bar (a cozy spot to stop for a delicious meal and a tipple).

We took a peek at room #308, the Grattan Suite, which has a separate living room, two flat screen televisions and views of Trinity College and the Dublin mountains. But no doubt our favorite room was the Banking Hall, which is accessed through the old bank's original entrance, complete with Georgian ceilings, the original door and original tilework in the foyer. The Hall itself has four massive, glittering chandeliers which are comprised of 8,000 Egyptian crystals each. Absolutely gorgeous!

New on the menu: The hotel's Exchange Restaurant was recently refurbished in the last two months. This included opening up the space, designing a new cocktail area and putting in new floors.

Stay tuned next week as Travel Agent returns to Ireland as part of a fam trip.

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Malaby was most recently a marketing communications manager for Tourism Australia, The Americas. More here.