The Millenium Bridge
offers great views of Dublin.
This European Union member might finally be
getting a long-awaited national conference center. Plans for such a
facility have been floated by politicians and developers for at
least a decade, but they have always fallen through for one reason
Late last year, however, the government formally announced it
was accepting requests for proposal from developers. According to
the government’s specifications, the new center will be in Dublin
and will have room to accommodate at least 2,000 delegates; at
press time, a specific site had not been selected. Completion is
set for late 2007.
Another big headline for the Emerald Isle: As a result of a
federal law banning smoking in any workplace, Ireland’s famed and
beloved pubs became smoke-free on March 29, along with restaurants
Ireland’s Tourism Policy Review Group, a government
organization, has made several recommendations to lure visitors.
Among the suggested measures:
" Renegotiate Ireland’s bilateral aviation agreement with the
United States to increase air service, particularly from the
" Improve roads and signage in tourist spots such as Dublin and
parts of western Ireland, such as Connemara and Kerry
" Establish a mandatory hotel classification system
" Form a national bed-and-breakfast organization.
Meanwhile, for those who have not contacted the main tourism
body in a while: The Irish Tourist Board merged with the Northern
Ireland Tourist Board in 2002. The combined organization is now
called Tourism Ireland.
Dublin’s landmark hotel, the Shelbourne,
is now part of Marriott International’s portfolio; it was formerly
part of the Le Méridien chain. The historic property dates back to
1824; in 1922, the Irish Constitution was drafted and signed there.
The property is undergoing an extensive restoration to its 190
guest rooms (to be increased to a total of 276), lobby and dining
facilities, as well as adding central air conditioning to guest
rooms, 11 meeting rooms and public spaces. Upon completion in 2007,
the hotel will be rebranded the Shelbourne, a Renaissance
A funky new bar, Ice, has opened at the 259-room Four
Three Jurys Doyle Hotel Group properties in Dublin the
410-room Jurys Ballsbridge and Towers, the
204-room Westbury and the 188-room
Berkeley Court have refurbished their guest rooms
and meeting facilities.
The Conrad Dublin has refurbished its 200
guest rooms and five meeting rooms.
The five-star, 145-room Merrion, Dublin,
housed in four Georgian townhouses, debuts its new penthouse suite
this month. With a private terrace garden, the facility is
available for functions.
Fore: The Marriott Druids Glen in
Newtownmountkennedy, about 20 miles south of Dublin, debuted its
second golf course, the 7,000-yard, 18-hole Druids Heath, last
The outskirts of Dublin also will be home to the new 144-room
Castleknock Hotel and Country Club. The property,
part of the Tower Hotel Group, is slated for completion in late
2004 and will feature a $9.4 million, 18-hole golf course, plus
meetings facilities and a spa. n