Ireland’s credentials as a literary powerhouse—boasting no less than four Nobel laureates for literature—are recognized by culture lovers the world over. This year, Dublin, the nation’s capital, will shine brighter as the world marks the 100th anniversary of James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. The arts mecca—much like Joyce’s masterpiece—reveals tradition and innovation at every corner.
While so much of Ireland’s architectural history is astonishing, there is nothing quite like Luttrellstown Castle Resort. The 567-acre private estate hosts an array of activities, from golf to horseback riding, fishing and falconry. Here, you can retire to the locally famed Lady Granville Suite. Named for Aileen Guinness—who, upon her marriage to Brinsley Sheridan Plunket became Lady Granville—Luttrellstown Castle was a wedding present from her father, Ernest Guinness. The 20-bedroom castle is available, with full staff, to be booked exclusively.
Dublin’s literati will be putting on the show of the century at the Bloomsday Festival (June 11–16) with scheduled readings from some of the world’s leading authors and thinkers. Drama lovers will want to secure front row seats at the world-renowned Abbey Theatre, founded in 1904 by Ireland’s first Nobel laureate for literature, William Butler Yeats, and playwright Lady Augusta Gregory. A private tour at the recently opened Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) offers access to the nation’s rich literary history through thought-provoking exhibitions. Book collectors will want to travel a few kilometers south of the city center to the seaside village of Dalkey for the Dalkey Book Festival (June 16–19) and book an appointment to see the collection at Ulysses Rare Books (which includes a first edition of Ulysses). Another must? The National Gallery of Ireland, which is exhibiting a collection of J.M.W. Turner watercolors.
Service meets style at the Merrion Hotel. Book the Garden Wing Penthouse Suite, a two-story, three-bedroom abode overlooking the hotel’s garden, where parents can take advantage of the property’s family friendly offerings, which include arranging daytime fun for the kids, and babysitters for the evening. The whole family can enjoy Art Tea, the afternoon tea service which offers confectionery inspired by the Merrion’s extensive art collection. The Shelbourne Hotel remains a solid stay as the Princess Grace Suite lives up to its royal designation. Named after its most illustrious guest, actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, this beautifully appointed suite offers stunning views of St. Stephen’s Green and a library that contains books on Kelly’s life. Both hotels are located within a stone’s throw of the Grafton Street Shopping Quarter, where luxury department store Brown Thomas houses up-to-the-season stock from Balenciaga, Prada and Gucci.
Ireland has been experiencing a culinary revolution over the past decade, with more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants on the island. Case in point: The much-raved-about, Michelin-ordained resto by Patrick Guilbaud on Upper Merion Street has a menu which features the city’s finest French fare by way of an exquisite eight-course tasting menu, carefully made with local ingredients. Another must is Chapter One by chef Mickael Viljanen, whose ever-changing dinner menu has made Viljanen a local superstar among foodies and critics alike. A plethora of elevated dishes can also be found at Variety Jones, a restaurant situated on a quaint corner on Thomas Street. In this Michelin-tipped spot, world-renowned chef Keelan Higgs routinely updates his tasting menu and has managed to secure some of Europe’s finest vintages on his small-yet-impressively curated wine list.
Located 6 miles (10 km) north of Dublin, Signature-Dublin’s Terminal 1 (DUB / EIDW) is the perfect gateway to the capital of Irish culture. Reservations can be made at https://loyalty.signatureflight.com/.