The Wilder Townhouse – Whimsical and historic Victorian villa on the edge of central Dublin.
Originally built as a home for retired governesses in the 1870s, The Wilder Townhouse’s grand red brick building has also been a retirement home, artists’ studio, and – as some records have it – a “home for bewildered women”, prior to its current incarnation as one of Dublin’s best boutique hotels. It is the antidote to soulless corporate hotels, with all rooms regularly updated by the owners. Whether it’s the addition of a quirky ornament, a new piece of art, a different book for the mantlepiece, or a recipe for the breakfast menu, the Townhouse is looked after like a home and you feel it as their guest.
The Wilder Townhouse – Location
- Address: 22 Adelaide Road, Dublin.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Dublin has no underground trains but the Luas tram stops at Harcourt Street (0.3 mile) and there are good bus connections from St Stephen’s Green (0.4 mile).
- Area: Although Adelaide Road itself is more of a through-road than a destination, the hotel is well-positioned between lots of great neighborhoods. With trendy Portobello to its west, St Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street in the north, village-like Ranelagh just south of the canal, and well-to-do Ballsbridge to the east, you’ll get to know the city well – especially if you walk everywhere.
- How to Get There: Both of the roads leading south from St Stephen’s Green lead to Adelaide Road (7-10-minute walk), which bounds one side of the hotel. From the airport, take the Airlink bus (number 757) to the Adelaide Road stop, a 2-minute walk (0.1 mile) from the hotel. From Heuston Station, the 145 bus goes to St Stephen’s Green, from where it’s an 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) to the hotel. From Connolly Station or Busáras (coach station), walk to the Marlborough Green Luas tram stop and head south to Harcourt Street, from where it’s a 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the hotel.
- Handy to: Camden Street for nightlife and restaurants, St Stephen’s Green.
The Wilder Townhouse – The Basics
- Ages: Most guests tend to be couples and solo travelers on a city break, though the hotel does its best to accommodate all guests.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: The hotel offers a laundry service (extra charge) and there are ironing facilities.
- Parking: Complementary guest parking available in the hotel’s forecourt.
- Extras: In-room books, umbrellas, concierge service, free parking, newspapers.
- When to Book: Book 1-2 months ahead for the best rooms in summer months. Christmas to March is low season in the city, so there will be more last-minute availability.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +353 1 969 6598
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: thewilder.ie
The Wilder Townhouse – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa, but a local beauty salon has put together an exclusive pampering package for Wilder guests.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center. The hotel has teamed up with a local gym in order to offer guests a way to work out during their stay.
- For Families: The hotel has cribs for babies but, otherwise, there are no specific child-friendly amenities.
- For Disabled Guests: The hotel offers wheelchair-accessible en-suite rooms. There is also an elevator to the upper floors.
The Wilder Townhouse – Food and Drink
- Restaurant/Lounge/Bar: You don’t need much imagination to guess what the emphasis is at the guests-only Gin and Tea Rooms. There’s a great selection of Irish craft gin as well as hot drinks, afternoon tea, and a small bar menu with cheese/charcuterie boards and other light bites. Drinks are available all day and bar menu from 12:30pm. Closes 11:30pm/12:30am depending on day/demand.
- Breakfast: Complimentary and served in the Garden Room, adjacent to the Gin and Tea Rooms. There’s a buffet featuring home-baked bread, scones, muffins, cereals, juices, yogurts, and fresh fruit. Hot breakfast dishes cooked to order, including Full Irish and several popular egg options. When the weather is good, the enormous glass doors can be thrown open for al fresco dining.
- Room Service: Not available.
The Wilder Townhouse – Rooms
- Room Types: Shoebox Double • Small Double • Popular Double/Twin/Accessible • Suite • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: The Wilder Townhouse is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The suites. Not only are they the biggest rooms but, in addition to the features enjoyed by every room (climate control, minibar, hairdryer, tea/coffee-making facilities, flat-screen TV, Replica by Maison Margiela toiletries, and a safe), they each feature an additional flat-screen TV, super king (6’) bed, living area with sofa and armchairs, bath with overhead shower, and bathrobes.
The Wilder Townhouse – Local Transport
- Walking: The whole of south-central Dublin is easily reached on foot. You can visit the majority of the major tourist attractions within a 30-minute walk from the hotel.
- Tram/Bus: The Harcourt Street Luas stop is a (0.3 mile), which makes north-south travel a breeze; there are good east-west bus connections from St Stephen’s Green (0.4 mile). The hotel’s a scenic 20-minute walk (1 mile) to the nearest DART station at Pearse Street, which is the fastest way to get north-south along the city’s gorgeous coastline.
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: Irish law doesn’t allow Uber/Lyft to operate. Most locals use the Free Now or Lynk apps to connect them with local licensed drivers. You can hail a cab in the street if it has got its light on or find one at one of the many taxi stands around the city.
The Wilder Townhouse – What’s Nearby?
You can walk almost anywhere in the city center within 30 minutes. Public transport does not usually cut travel time significantly.
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Viking Splash Tours – This blast of a tour on a bus-boat means you’ll see the major attractions from land as well as water. Sets off from the north side of St Stephen’s Green. (0.6 mile).
- 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour – To get to grips with modern Ireland’s complexities, you must learn about the 1916 Easter Rising against the British government and this is one of the most vivid ways to do it. Meeting point: International Bar. (1 mile).
- Lazy Bike Tours – A great way to get to know the western parts of the city as this tour on electric bicycle takes you as far as Kilmainham. Meeting point in Temple Bar. (1.5 miles).
- Dublin Bay Cruises – See Dublin from the sea. Boat trips with onboard commentary to the traditional fishing village of Howth in the north – famous for its seals and dolphins – and the vibrant suburb of Dun Laoghaire in the south. March-October only. Departure point at the Convention Centre on the Liffey. 25-30 minutes walking or by public transport (1.5 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Suesey Street – Contemporary Irish haute cuisine with a focus on traceable, seasonal Irish produce. Reservations recommended. $$$-$$$$. (0.2 mile).
- Damascus Gate – Sumptuous Syrian and Lebanese food, including mezze platters, stews, kebabs, falafels, baklava, and more Middle Eastern treats. Great value set lunch menu. Shisha available. $$. (0.3 mile).
- Sophie’s – Hip rooftop restaurant open from breakfast till late every day for great food (tendency toward pizzas and US-inspired dishes) and cocktails. $-$$. (0.4 mile).
- Doolally – With a menu created with Michelin-starred Indian Chef Alfred Prasad that features traditional Indian classics with a modern European twist, you can’t go wrong for a fun meal out. $-$$. (0.4 mile).
- Zaytoon – Mini-chain of excellent modern Persian food with fantastic kebabs. Great for vegetarians, too. $. (0.4 mile).
- Matt the Thresher – It’s easy to forget Dublin’s a seaside town – something that this place hopes to remedy by providing excellent seafood, from buckets of mussels to oysters shucked to order as well as burgers, great sandwiches, and salads. $-$$$. (0.4 mile).
- Camden Kitchen – Elevated neighborhood bistro producing seasonal excellence in a trendy, intimate dining room. Open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner and Wednesday-Friday for lunch. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. (0.5 mile).
- Hang Dai – Inventive take on Chinese classics (think venison Ma Po tofu with sprout slaw and raw chestnut, cauliflower and seaweed in a black sesame sauce) in a super-hip venue with deadly cocktails – some have a limit on the number you can order – and a live DJ on the decks. Closed Mondays. $$-$$$. (0.5 mile).
- Frank’s – The central communal table is perfect for the wine tasting and small plates on offer in this hip joint that has retained the facade from when it used to be a butcher shop. Open Wednesday-Sunday. $$-$$$. (0.5 mile).
- Las Tapas de Lola – Run by Spanish Anna and Irish Vanessa with joie de vivre. Some of the best Spanish food this side of the Bay of Biscay. $$. (0.6 mile).
- Patrick Guilbaud – Consistently rated as one of Dublin’s best restaurants since it opened almost 40 years ago. It has 2 Michelin stars and its wine cellar is the stuff of legends. Reservations strongly recommended. $$$-$$$$. (0.6 mile).
- The Greenhouse – Avant garde fine dining worthy of its 2 Michelin stars just off St Stephen’s Square. Reservations recommended. $$$-$$$$. (0.7 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
Head towards Portobello’s Camden Street for a great strip of nightlife within walking distance of the hotel.
- Odeon – This opulent and dramatic bar, set in a grand old railway terminus, features mood lighting, excellent cocktails, and lively DJs. Good late-night venue. (0.3 mile).
- Camden Exchange – Quirky bar with murals and a whole van coming through the wall for free-spirited souls desperate for a good cocktail and burger. (0.5 mile).
- Wishbone – Hip joint peddling cocktails, buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and fries. Simple recipes, effective execution. (0.5 mile).
- Flannery’s – Traditional pub and beer garden, specializing in Irish music. Open late so can get packed. (0.5 mile).
- Camden Bites and Brews – The small plates are tasty but this relatively new bar is gaining fans for its cocktails and great atmosphere. (0.5 mile).
- Whelan’s – Famous bar/club with daily live music or DJs and general good vibes. (0.6 mile).
- Against the Grain – Galway Bay Brewery craft beer on tap with punchy food to soak it up (think platters of wings, burgers, etc.). (0.6 mile).
Best Nearby Cafés
- Brother Hubbard South – Fabulous all-day brunch, delicious scones, and other home-made cafe staples (naturally, great coffee). (0.3 mile).
- Wall & Keogh – You can sniff and sample dozens of teas at this tea-lovers’ paradise, with unusual sandwiches and delicious cakes, too. (0.4 mile).
- Joe’s – Taking coffee appreciation to new heights, this place is a must for any caffeine addict. The beans are from famed Berlin roastery The Barn and gourmet light bites are also served. (0.5 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Dublin’s best shopping can be found in the warren of streets between the luxury stores on and around Grafton Street (0.7 mile) and Temple Bar (1.5 miles). In this area, don’t miss the cool Powerscourt Centre, a unique mini-mall built in a courtyard surrounded by Georgian townhouses, whose upstairs floors are filled with antique jewelry stores. George’s Street Arcade is also fun; it was Ireland’s first purpose-built shopping center and houses all kinds of quirky and independent stores (1 mile). On the Northside, head to Henry Street (1.5 miles), which has outposts of all the major international chains as well as famed Irish department store Arnotts. The streets around it are worth checking out as they are fast filling up with cute stores, cafes, and bars.
- Louis Copeland & Sons – Family-run chain of mens’ tailors. Exquisite made-to-measure suits alongside modern brands like Belstaff, Gant, and Ted Baker. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) to the Pembroke Street Lower store.
- Djinn – Excellent and reasonably-priced jewelry store with beautiful handmade artistic pieces, mostly by local jewelers. (0.6 mile).
- Celtic Whiskey Shop – Award-winning whiskey shop that claims to stock the “most comprehensive whiskey range in Ireland”, including exclusive, rare, and collectible bottles. (0.7 mile).
- Monaghan’s Cashmere – Established in 1960 and still run by the Monaghan family who specialize in only the finest cashmere products. (0.8 mile).
- Sheridan’s Cheesemongers – The Sheridan brothers created a cheese empire from a Gallway market stall in the 1990s. Their South Anne Street shop is the best place to sample and learn about Irish cheese. (0.8 mile).
- Magee 1866 – Heritage producer of handwoven Donegal tweed. Buy as ready-to-wear clothing or by the meter at their flagship store. (0.8 mile).
- Anthony Peto – Classical and fantastical handmade hats by this British milliner who only has 2 stores, in Dublin and Paris. (0.8 mile).
- Kilkenny – Touristy but still one of the best places for Irish handicrafts from all over the country, including knitwear, pottery, prints, and cosmetics. Designers range from tiny artisans to international brands like Orla Kiely. (0.8 mile).
- Powerscourt Centre – Stunning mall set in Georgian townhouses with a central courtyard and a great selection of antique stores. Other great stores inside include Article, which has an eclectic range of quirky objects and gifts, and MoMuse, which sells hip handmade jewelry by Dublin-based designer Margaret O’Rourke. (0.8 mile).
- DESIGNYARD – Set over a few floors of a Georgian townhouse, this place sells classy contemporary sculptures, art, and jewelry. (0.8 mile).
- Avoca – Outstanding chain of chic and modern mini department stores selling contemporary homeware, fine food, and stylish clothes. At the central Dublin store there’s also a good takeaway deli counter and a pleasant café. (0.9 mile).
- Om Diva – Extravagant concept store with a mix of vintage and fledgling Dublin fashion designers and contemporary womenswear dotted with fabulous homeware and accessories. (1 mile).
- St Stephen’s Green – Central Dublin’s largest square (22 acres) contains much more of interest than meets the eye. It’s well worth going into the park, not only for the pretty planting and ornamental Victorian features, but also to absorb city history via the many statues and monuments. Look out for bullet holes on the Fusiliers’ Arch at the northwest entrance to the park that date back to the 1916 uprising, when rebels took the square in an attempt to wrestle control from the British government. (0.3 mile).
- Little Museum of Dublin – On the northern side of St Stephen’s Green is the quirky Little Museum of Dublin. Not only is it a great opportunity to get inside a Georgian townhouse, it’s also a fabulous way to get to know more about Dublin via the many artifacts related to famous people and events and accompanying stories told by the guides. (0.6 mile).
- Merrion Square & Around – This graceful square, laid out in the 1760s, is one of the best places to see the Georgian townhouses that Dublin is so famous for, many of which have been home to some of the city’s most famous denizens, including Oscar Wilde (check out his highly unusual statue in the northwestern corner of the square) and WB Yeats. You’ll find a huge concentration of the city’s biggest sights in and around the square. These include the National Gallery (see below) and the archaeological and natural history sections of the National Museum of Ireland, as well as the seat of government, Leinster House, and the Taoiseach’s office, housed in the palatial Government Buildings. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile) to Government Buildings/17-minute walk (0.8 mile) to Oscar Wilde Statue.
- National Gallery of Ireland – An art lovers’ dream, Ireland’s most important art gallery has over 13,000 paintings and sculptures, including works by Caravaggio, Goya, Turner, Monet, Vermeer, Rembrant, and Picasso. As you’d imagine, it has the most comprehensive collection of Irish art in the world, including the archives of Jack B. Yeats (brother of WB Yeats), whose painting “The Liffey Swim” is a must-see. (0.7 mile).
- National Museum of Ireland – Four separate state-run museums, three of which are in Dublin, come together under the banner of the National Museum of Ireland and showcase many of the nation’s most precious treasures. The Archaeology section, just by Leinster House, has some of the best surviving Celtic and medieval artifacts in the world, including the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch. It stands almost back-to-back with the Natural History Museum, always a hit with kids as it is packed to the rafters with stuffed animals; adults will appreciate how little the museum’s Victorian structure and cabinets have changed since its inauguration in 1857. Arguably the most impressive of the national museums is the Decorative Arts & History Museum at Collins Barracks. Wonderfully varied, it contains displays from war and immigration to fashion and interiors. An outbuilding contains an excellent exhibition exploring the 1916 rebellion. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the Archaeology & Natural History museums. 35 minutes (2 miles) via public transport to Collins Barracks.
- St Patrick’s Cathedral – The national cathedral of the Church of Ireland, St Patrick’s is worth a visit for it’s decorative tiled floor and interesting links to history. Notably, the author of “Gulliver’s Travels”, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), was the dean and visitors can see his grave and self-penned epitaph. It was also the site of the first-ever performance of Handel’s Messiah. If you have time, step into the perfectly preserved Marsh’s Library, which dates back to 1707, next door to the cathedral. (1 mile).
- Trinity College – A must on anyone’s Dublin itinerary is Dublin’s premier university. Its major attraction is the show-stopping Long Room library and its greatest treasure, the Book of Kells, a beautifully-decorated version of the New Testament from around 800AD. (1 mile).
- Chester Beatty Library – On the same site as the Dublin Castle stands the jaw-droppingly amazing Chester Beatty Library. Its eponymous founder, an American mining engineer who made Ireland his home, collected rare manuscripts his whole life and left them to his adopted city. Almost everything on display is stunning, from Ancient Egyptian scrolls dating from 1550–1070 BC to papyrus codices – some of the earliest surviving Christian artifacts. There are texts, wood cuttings, and scrolls from most of the world’s major religions and civilizations, as well as a pleasant cafe and a little rooftop garden. It’s a must-visit. (1 mile).
- Irish Rock N’ Roll Museum Experience – The focus in this fun museum is on the many Irish musicians who have shaped popular music. There are anecdotes and memorabilia from Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, U2, Sinead O’Connor, Enya, and Hozier (to name a few), as well as artifacts and memorabilia from international acts like The Beatles and David Bowie. The ‘experience’ element gives you the chance to dress up, rock out, and record your own track. You’ll also get to see working recording studios that have been used by Rihanna, Kanye, and Will.I.AM and go backstage/onstage at the Button Factory, one of Dublin’s coolest gig venues. (1 mile).
- Ha’penny Bridge – Dublin’s most picturesque bridge was also its first pedestrian-only Liffey crossing, built in 1816. The Liffey Bridge, as it’s officially called, is much more commonly known by its nickname, which refers to the half-penny fee people used to pay to cross in order to compensate the ferryman whom the bridge made redundant. (1 mile).
- Dublin Castle – The patchwork Dublin Castle was not only the center of British rule in Ireland from 1204-1922, but it also has Viking foundations. On the tour of the building, you’ll see the Royal Chapel and grand State Apartments that everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Pope Francis has visited over the years. (1.5 miles).
- EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum & Around – There are a ton of sights on the north bank of the Liffey, but perhaps the coolest is EPIC, a lively and interactive museum about the Irish diaspora and how the Emerald Isle has influenced the world. There’s even an Irish Family History Centre, as part of the museum, to discover whether there’s Irish ancestry you can claim. It’s housed in the magnificent CHQ Building – a vast riverside warehouse dating back to 1820. Almost on the doorstep are a few other interesting sights, including the authentic replica of the Jeanie Johnston, a ship that made 16 transatlantic voyages with people fleeing the Great Famine of the 1840s, as well as the haunting Famine Memorial, the harp-shaped Samuel Beckett Bridge, and the grand Customs House building. 25-30 minutes (1.5 miles) walking or by public transport.
- The Hugh Lane – A wonderful public art gallery named after visionary Hugh Lane, who spotted the need for and collected works to create a space for modern art in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century. In 1933, Lane’s collection was given a permanent home in a stunning 1762 townhouse on Parnell Square. Permanent works include stained glass by Harry Clarke, some of Sean Scully’s formidable abstract paintings, and Francis Bacon’s London studio, which was donated to The Hugh Lane and rebuilt in its entirety in one of its galleries in 2001. 25 minutes (2 miles) by public transport.
- Phoenix Park & National War Memorial Gardens – One of the largest inner-city parks in the world, Phoenix Park is the place to head to if you have a spare day and need to stretch your legs in – what feels like – glorious countryside (there are even wild deer). There’s loads of stuff to see and do, including an 18th-century Magazine Fort, various monuments, a prehistoric burial chamber, a castle, and Victorian ornamental and walled gardens. There’s also the grand residence of the president of Ireland and Dublin Zoo. The park is so big you might want to rent a bike or even see it via a bike or Segway tour by Phoenix Park Bikes. Almost tacked on to the southeastern corner of the park is the War Memorial Gardens, one of the city’s most delightful parks. It was designed by a superstar architect of his day, Sir Edwin Lutyens, and dedicated to the almost 50,000 Irish soldiers of the 300,000 who died fighting for Britain during World War I. 35 minutes (2.5 miles) by public transport.
- Kilmainham Gaol – The gaol (prison), which was in use up until the mid-1920s, is an evocative piece of Irish history that really brings the people behind the independence movement to life. Charles Stewart Parnell and other rebel leaders of both the 1916 uprising and Irish Civil War were kept or executed in this hellish place that hadn’t changed much since it opened in 1796. 30 minutes (2.5 miles) by public transport.
- Guinness Storehouse – Billing itself as Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse is something of a behemoth, with 7 (count ‘em) floors dedicated to the black stout that is known the world over. You’ll learn about the brewing process and the brand’s famous advertising campaigns, and get to taste it too. The highlight is the top-floor Gravity Bar, which offers 360-degree views of Dublin and beyond (so keep your fingers crossed for a clear day). Advance booking recommended. About 35-40 minutes (2 miles) by walking or public transport.
- Irish Museum of Modern Art – Across the road from Kilmainham Gaol is the grand gate to IMMA, Dublin’s premier contemporary art museum which is housed in grand old hospital buildings set in lovely grounds. The permanent collections feature works by contemporary artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Lucian Freud, Tony Cragg, Annie Liebowitz, Gillian Wearing, and Paula Rego, as well as older pieces by the likes of Giorgio de Chirico and Jack B. Yeats. 35 minutes (2.5 miles) by public transport.