Bed and breakfasts are a great way to see the country and meet people. Hosts are generally outgoing individuals, interested in talking about their part of the world and learning about yours. Fellow travellers share recommendations and warnings over breakfast. But sometimes, you just want to stay at a hotel again.
Bewleys' Ballsbridge, just south of Dublin City center is an excellent choice. Ten minutes walk from the US embassy, a block away from the Royal Dublin Society -- host to the annual Dublin Horse Show as well as a recent Paul McCartney concert -- and across the street from the plusher, pricier Four Seasons, Bewley's Ballsbridge is well located. The DART -- Dublin Area Rapid Transit -- is a five minute walk from the hotel and it's only two or three stops to downtown.
The building itself looks nothing like a hotel. It's a converted school, set back behind a lawn. Only a few cars and taxis hover around the front door because the garage . . . or car park . . . is hidden underground, underneath the lawn.
Rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable but best of all are the showers. Pure delight! After days at B&Bs with only the merest trickle of lukewarm water, here was a deluge! And it could be warm, hot, hotter still! Ah, the luxury of it all!
We didn't find this on our own. Friends living in Dublin suggested Bewleys as a hotel they often used for business travellers coming to Ireland. At 99 euros per night, plus tax and another 6 euros for parking we agree with their recommendation.