By Isabel Conway –
One of Dublin’s cherished hotel properties Sandymount Hotel, occupying eight Victorian Houses on prestigious Herbert Road is a rarity in a capital city increasingly dominated by big international hotel chain names.
Here is a traditional family operated hotel, one of the few left in the capital where repeat guests are welcomed like old friends and first timers will want to return to a hotel that has the facilities and amenities and service we expect of contemporary hotel chains.
The 190 bedroom four star Sandymount Hotel was founded in 1955 by George and Rosaleen Loughran which first opened as a substantial guest house. The second generation running the Sandymount hotel John Loughran recalls the old days when country people would arrive from all over Ireland. They came en masse from north and south of the border for the famed Spring and Summer Horse Shows at the nearby RDS grounds expecting their rooms to be available year on year with only a verbal “you’ll have that room for me again next year” as guarantee. “My late mother Rosaleen was a walking reservations department, she remembered everyone and their bookings were all in her head”, he laughs.
“Winner of Europe’s leading Green Hotel in 2017, Sandymount Hotel retained the top accolade for the second year running at the prestigious World Travel Awards, beating off competition from some of the world’s most renowned hotels and resorts, including ICE Hotel in Sweden and Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo in Cannes.
In 2013 Sandymount Hotel took an eco-friendly and sustainable approach to achieve a greener, cleaner hotel by reducing both energy and water consumption. Since then a range of re-cycling and energy reduction measures have been introduced. So if your taps take that bit longer to dispense water, your shower is slower becoming hot whilst the hair dryer remains on lower strength you now know why.!
My spacious calm room in shades of grey, cream and lemon is reached via a warren of corridors and stair cases and with little sense of direction I am soon lost!. The hotel is sited on an old distillery, originally owned by the Haigh family from Scotland which operated from 1769 for nearly a century. It reputedly went out of business after a dispute about paying excise taxes. The houses in which the hotel is located were constructed in 1866 with bricks from the old distillery.
The extensive buffet breakfast at the Sandymount, including lots of gluten free options and hot and cold dishes, is served in the restaurant which has an outdoor terrace onto the garden.
With many great neighbourhood dining options the Sandymount Hotel’s Line Out Bar does its best to rise to the challenge, serving starters like luxury seafood chowder, artichoke goats cheese and pesto tart (which my companion enjoyed) and my tiger prawns, served on marinated beetroot. For mains I opted for lamb chops which were small and rather meagre portion wise by Irish standards but fine by me as I had earlier eaten a big lunch. The 10 oz sirloin steak was almost the size of the dinner plate and would satisfy any dedicated carnivore. A casual spot, the Line Out is good value and stays open late, offering in room dining with hamburgers and pizzas also on offer.
Apart from its friendly cosy atmosphere this hotel’s big advantage is one of location, a couple of minutes away from the at Dart (local rail station) The Aviva stadium, headquarters of Irish Rugby and some of the biggest international music concerts is a minute or two away. Life hots up to fever pitch on match days and the hotel erects a marquee in the forecourt with corporate events indoors. You won’t get a room for love or money during the rugby fixtures. In deference to its near neighbour the Sandymount commissioned a huge bronze sculpture out front depicting Irish rugby saints of yore. A ten- minute stroll from the hotel takes you into Sandymount and its bracing seafront promenade beyond. The birthplace of WB Yeats and where both James Joyce and Seamus Heaney once lived the village reflects Dublin’s cultural and literary heritage and you’ll find cosy pubs and coffee shops aplenty.
For further information see www.sandymounthotel.ie Classic room doubles from €117 . Sundays and Mondays from €125 with full buffet breakfast and late check ; mid- week two night stays and other deals are listed. Afternoon tea €25 pp and €32 with a glass of Prosecco. To make a booking contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353.1.6142000.