Ask someone who’s stayed at Number 31, a downtown Dublin house-hotel, what it’s like and he or she likely won’t get past the breakfast: the pears poached in vanilla syrup, Wexford strawberries, eggs scrambled with smoked salmon from the west coast, and slices of zesty cranberry loaf. Such homey food served in a sunlit dining room is part of what makes Number 31 feel less like a hotel and more like the pied-à-terre you’ve always dreamed of. Comfortable rooms and unobtrusive staff add to the urban townhouse vibe; the hotel owners, Noel and Deirdre Comer, manage to be warm and welcoming while also leaving guests to make themselves at home around the peat fire in the sunken lounge.
A wild garden separates the hotel’s two buildings, a Georgian terrace house and the coach house, and the overall modernist-meets-classic design owes to architect Sam Stephenson, who lived in the house as he renovated it in the 1950s. Number 31 is a favorite of Dublin insiders, from artists to architects to the designer John Rocha.
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A five-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Green, the hotel sits in a quiet part of downtown Dublin. It’s a 20-minute walk along the swan-filled canal to two of Dublin’s coolest neighborhoods: Portobello and Grand Canal Dock. In the former, the George Bernard Shaw is a brightly graffitied old pub that serves pizzas from a double-decker bus out back—and Locks is one of the best restaurants in town. There’s more good pizza in the latter at Paulie’s, which draws a lively crowd.
Need to Know
Rooms: 21 rooms. From $190. Check-in: noon; check-out: 11:30 a.m. Dining options: There’s no on-site restaurant, but the hearty breakfast—a choice of Full Irish, scrambled eggs and salmon, eggs Benedict, and mushroom frittata, not to mention the homemade jams and breads—is divine. Spa and gym details: Neither are on-site.
Who’s it for: Those who prefer some independence over hovering hotel staffs; Number 31 is like a cross between an apartment rental and a hotel. Our favorite rooms: Ask for a courtyard-facing room to overlook the garden and avoid street noise on weekends. Plan ahead: There’s no elevator, so guests with limited mobility will want to request a room on a low floor.