Humor me for a moment let's play a little word association. When you think of Ireland, what are the first things that come to mind? Go ahead turn your head away from the computer and think about this question. OK, now turn back and continue reading. The first pictures that most likely appeared in your head were lush green pastures, leprechauns, or probably something associated with drinking. But how about "elegance?" Does that vision come to mind? Anything related to the feeling of elegance? After a stay at the Jurys Inn at Ballsbridge one of Dublin's most luxurious accommodations you might remember Ireland in a completely different way.
Venture outward toward the republic's coastal edges and you'll find some of the world's most stunning ocean views. The Dingle Peninsula is one such place; it boasts an amazing scene of blue water crashing against high rugged cliffs, faintly dusting its surroundings with the scent of ocean mist. Photographers alike can indulge in these invigorating landscapes.
Heading to the East Coast you'll hit Ireland's capital city Dublin. Established over 1000 years ago, Dublin is filled with extraordinarily friendly people & cobblestone streets winding around its central dividing point the River Liffey. The city's culture, scenery, and nightlife make it a frequent vacationing spot for European and worldwide travelers alike. Double-decker buses constantly roll through the city visiting such places as Trinity College (Ireland's oldest, and most prestigious university), Dublin Castle, the Guinness Brewery, and even the house of U2's famous singer, Bono.
But the real draw of Dublin is its city center. Temple Bar, nicknamed by locals as "Temple Barf" due to excessive drinking, is filled with countless pubs on every street corner and alley. During the daytime, Temple Bar is filled with the sounds of rushing townsfolk. But once the blanket of night covers up the sun, these pubs become the centerpiece of where the real fun happens!
I had the pleasure of staying at a luxurious hotel by the name of Jurys Inn at Ballsbridge a 4-star Irish resort that lies just outside the city center.
The area could be best described as quaint but sophisticated, and surrounded by groups of other high-end hotels. The Jurys Inn is renowned for its genial charm, elegant accommodations, and first-class meeting rooms. It boasts spacious classic and executive rooms as well as three enchanting junior suites. Each room has a refrigerator complete with refreshments, movies on demand, and a variety of television stations from all around the world. Quite possibly the most important feature at least for me was the fact that there was an American plug outlet in the room so I could charge my camera and cell phone while sleeping.
In terms of dining, if you're looking for a snack at any hour of the day or night, stop in at the hotel's Coffee Dock for a quick sandwich or entrée. The Coffee Dock is open from 0600-0430 on Sundays and from 0700-0430 on Mondays; and from 0600-0430 on Tuesdays thru Saturdays. The menu is a la carte.
For a more formal dining experience, Raglan’s Restaurant offers rich, elegant surroundings, combined with a wonderful blend of classic and new world dishes at refreshingly affordable prices.
Raglan's opening hours are 0700-1000 for breakfast; 1215-1430 for lunch; 1230-1430 for lunch on Sundays; 1815-2215 for dinner; and from 1815-2130 for dinner on Sundays.
Library lounge: Opening hours 0800-0130 - Monday - Thursday; 0800-0230 - Friday - Saturday; 0800-0030 - Sunday; Sundays closed 1400-1600 Attractive lounge where guests can sit and relax in a quiet friendly atmosphere.
As tough as it is to drag yourself out of such amazing accommodations, and only five minutes from the front doors of the Jurys Inn is the famous Lansdowne Rugby Stadium. Sports enthusiasts around the country hold this field in high regard, as it is home to Ireland’s world-class football team. Now when I say “football,” I actually mean soccer. Remember, what we know as “football” is known as “American football” to the rest of the world. Yet the original “football” is a game primarily played with the foot a.k.a. soccer. Whatever you call it, you can enjoy a live game at Landsdowne Stadium while the rest of Dublin watches it at home or on screen at a local pub.
This lavish hotel and its opportune surroundings raised the quality of my vacation to a level I never expected. While traveling through Ireland I definitely experienced lush green pastures, numerous musical leprechaun dolls, and an inordinate amount of drinking. I had no idea I would leave the country with more memories of elegance than of pubbing. I have to hand it to the Jurys Inn at Ballsbridge this hotel made me feel like royalty. In a country of castles, fields, and amazing oceanic views, who wouldn’t want to feel like a king?
By Josh Edelson, Long Beach, California Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent.