There are countless hotels in Dublin, Ireland to choose from, but none caught our attention like Cliff Townhouse. It is the perfect boutique hotel in Dublin. Whether you want to explore the city or enjoy day trips from Dublin, such as Dublin to Cliffs of Moher, it is a wonderful hotel to have as your hub. As foodies, we enjoy trying traditional dishes from the places we visit. Cliff Townhouse is more than just a boutique hotel, it is essentially a restaurant with rooms. With only nine cozy rooms and an amazing restaurant, it is truly the perfect choice for any foodie travelers such as ourselves. Here is an inside look of what it is like staying at the Cliff Townhouse and why you should book this boutique hotel in Dublin.
Full disclaimer – We were hosted to stay at Cliff Townhouse. As always, our opinions are non-biased and our own. Our post contains affiliate links. When you click on the link you will have the option to purchase a product at no extra cost to you, but we would receive a small commission. We want to thank Cliff Townhouse for their generosity and for everyone following and supporting us on all of our sweet adventures.
History of Cliff Townhouse and Company
Cliff Townhouse occupies a late 17th-century Georgian house that is rich in Ireland history. It was originally the home of the Earl of Shelburne and then a number of Ireland’s most prominent families, such as, John Pratt, the Ormsbys and St. Ledgers to name a few. It was not until 1884, when the house became the headquarters of The Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick for the county of Dublin Knot. During the 20th century the house had more visitors including the acclaimed Irish writer, Samuel Beckett. It was not until 2010 when Barry O’Callaghan purchased the house and turned it into what it is today, Cliff Townhouse.
Barry O’Callaghan is a well known businessman in Ireland for his work with Irish education publisher, Riverdeep and now Chairman and CEO of Rise Global. He is also the owner of the Cliff House Hotel Collection in Ireland. In addition to Cliff Townhouse, there are also two other hotels and a cooking school. Needless to say, Mr. O’Callaghan has built a leading luxury hospitality company in Ireland. Cliff House is a five star boutique hotel with a Michelin star restaurant located on the cliffs of Ardmore. The second hotel is Cliff at Lyons, a beautiful country retreat in Kildare.
From the moment we contacted the team at Cliff Townhouse till the moment we checked-out, the staff were patient, generous and kind. Since Cliff Townhouse only has 9 rooms, the staff is very small, but that just means more opportunity for attention to detail. We were greeted by a front desk agent who helped us carry our bags inside while Adam parked the car. He was very friendly and helpful in answering all of our questions about sightseeing around the city.
Every server we had during our lunch and breakfast were amazing. Everyone was well knowledgable with the entrees and accommodating. We barely made it to our lunch reservations, but the kitchen and front of the house staff were very courteous to stay open for us. We cannot stress enough how much this meant to us. It made a great lasting impression of the kind of service Cliff Townhouse provides their guests.
As we briefly stated, Cliff Townhouse is a restaurant first and foremost. However, they do not have just one restaurant, but two seafood restaurants, Cliff Townhouse Restaurant and Urchin. Guests can enjoy a fine dining experience at Cliff Townhouse Restaurant, while the Urchin sits below the townhouse and offers guests a more casual atmosphere.
Cliff Townhouse Restaurant
Cliff Townhouse Restaurant is overseen by Cliff House Hotel’s Executive Chef Martijn Kajuiter. Chef Martjin is from the Netherlands and was trained in London for several years under brilliant chefs before making his move to Ireland to work at Cliff House Hotel. After only two years, he earned the highest merit, one Michelin star. With this being said, guests can rest assured they are enjoying one of the finest meals in the world with Chef Martjin overseeing the menu at Cliff Townhouse Restaurant. Chef Martjin leaves the restaurant in the hands of the Head Chef, Sean Smith. Chef Sean is from Donegal, Ireland and with years of experience in other kitchens, he has turned Cliff Townhouse into a culinary destination in Dublin.
Cliff Townhouse Restaurant is open daily for both lunch and dinner. Chef Sean creates beautiful dishes using only sustainable seafood from Irish waters. Guests can find the freshest Irish seafood such as, cod, monkfish, Dublin Bay prawns, scallops, hake, Irish lobsters and Galway oysters. In addition to seafood, they also source pork, beef and free-range chicken from organic Irish farmers. Preparing local, fresh and sustainable ingredients for guests is the primary goal for the team at Cliff Townhouse Restaurant.
Lunch is served daily from 12pm to 2:15pm with menu options of a €25.00 two course or €30.00 three course meal.
Sunday lunch is served from 12pm to 4pm with menu options of a €30.00 two course or €35.00 three course meal.
Pre-theatre dinner is served daily from 5:15pm to 6:15pm with menu options of a €25.00 two course or €30.00 three course meal.
Dinner (late seating) is served daily after 7:30pm and guests are offered A La Carte menu.
Dining Room Ambience
During the time of our visit, their restaurant was undergoing renovations, so we dined at their private dining room used for special events. We could not have asked for a better table and atmosphere as we were able to sit by the window overlooking St. Stephen’s Green.
Cliff Townhouse Restaurant has a beautiful new dining room, but maintained its classic colors of ocean blue and a pure white. The colors compliment the concept of being a seafood restaurant and gives the dining room a nice atmosphere. Most of the dining room is white, including the walls, ceiling, table cloths and chandeliers, while the leather booths and chairs bring a pop of blue. This ensemble results in a very clean and elegant dining room.
Freshly Baked Bread
The servers brought us a plate of freshly baked house-made bread with butter. We had seaweed and Guinness soda bread – two local and well known ingredients in the Dublin area. Both breads were delicious on its own, but with the luscious butter it was amazing! Ireland butter is truly the best.
The entire day we were in Dublin it was raining, so when Christina saw Lobster Bisque on the menu, she immediately knew what she was ordering. Rain or shine, the lobster bisque was perfect. It was rich in flavor and well balanced with the brandy cream. The only negative part about this dish, was there was not enough – it was wonderful!
Spiced Beef Carpaccio
The spiced beef carpaccio was an excellent, light appetizer. The thinly sliced peppery beef was perfectly seasoned and tender. Placed on top of the thinly sliced spiced beef were toasted hazelnuts, slices of cheddar cheese, fresh rocket and pesto. Every component played a part in making this appetizer hearty and balanced. The hazelnuts offered a contrast of texture, while the cheddar cheese brought a slight saltiness to compliment the bitter rocket. For a finishing touch, the pesto was drizzled on top (simply because everything tastes better with pesto).
Fillet of Cod
We did not realize cod tasted so good before our lunch atCliff Townhouse Restaurant. The beautiful, thick cut fillet of cod was a true taste of seafood at its finest. It was pan-seared to perfection creating a crispy skin with a flaky and juicy interior. Underneath the fillet of cod was an artichoke and vegetable barigoule (a traditional Provençal dish of braised artichokes in a warm white-wine broth). This seafood dish was light and hearty – a wonderful entree for a rainy or sun shining day.
We could not leave Ireland without ordering fish-n-chips, so thankfully Cliff Townhouse Restaurant answered our desires. They not only had fish-n-chips, but they elevated the traditional dish with a beautiful presentation. Instead of an oily battered fish stacked on top of one another, we were presented with one long piece of fried fish. It was a very elegant approach to a rustic entree. The exterior fried batter was crispy and delicate, which complimented the flaky cod very well. Paired with the fried cod were smashed peas, a caper tartar sauce, lemon wedge and of course the “chips”. Ireland certainly knows how to cook the perfect potatoes and Cliff Townhouse Restaurant was no exception. The smashed peas brought a nice pop of color and healthy addition to the dish. Though the fried cod came with tartar sauce and a lemon wedge, the fish was so delicious on its own, we did not even need the condiments.
This dessert was by far the best one of our entire trip. The creme caramel was simply a piece of heaven. Baked with excellent care, the creme caramel custard was creamy and delicate. The caramel syrup was not overly sweet, just purely exquisite. Accompanying the creme caramel were rum soaked raisins and crispy shards of walnut praline. The rum soaked raisins provided a burst of flavor while the walnut praline created a nutty contrast of texture.
The lemon tart was paired with a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Surprisingly, both the lemon tart and raspberry sorbet were not too acidic. The dessert was quite refreshing and a pleasant finish to the meal. The exterior crust on the lemon tart was golden brown delicious, while the top was bruleed with sugar. The bruleed sugar produced an additional sweetness, warm touch and crispy contrast of texture to the dessert. Overall, this was a delightful and well balanced dessert.
Breakfast at Cliff Townhouse Restaurant
Breakfast is the best way to start your day and it is included in the daily rate at Cliff Townhouse. The breakfast is offered inside Cliff Townhouse Restaurant as a sit down dining experience. Guests never have to leave their seat to get anything, the server provides them with excellent and quick (if needed) service. There was only one server at the time and she was amazing. We explained that we had to hurry to catch our morning flight and she responded by being fast, attentive and relaxed all at the same time. Because of our server, we were able to enjoy our breakfast in a timely manner and make it to our flight.
Guests are immediately brought fresh orange juice, a cup of fruit salad, Glenilen yogurt (local farm from County Cork), freshly baked pastries, Guinness soda bread, hot toast, tea and/or coffee. An absolutely amazing spread of healthy and hearty options before the main breakfast entree. The menu is quite extensive with options such as, creamed porridge, eggs florentine, eggs benedict, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, french toast and the full-Irish breakfast.
We enjoyed scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a full-Irish breakfast one last time. Both dishes were wonderful and perfect portions of food. Christina typically can never eat breakfast as soon as she wakes up, but finished her entire plate of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon because it was light and delicious. Adam devoured his scrumptious full-Irish breakfast with pleasure as his last meal in Ireland.
Urchin is located just underneath Cliff Townhouse Restaurant, providing Dublin with a beach-inspired cocktail bar. Guests can find a more relaxed and vibrant vibe at Urchin while still enjoying local and sustainable ingredients. It is the perfect restaurant to grab speciality cocktails with small sharable plates “tapas” of delicious food. While maintaining their local Irish produce and seafood, Urchin’s menu also touches on Spanish cuisine creating a new culinary fusion. Dishes found on the menu include, scallop ceviche, Irish pork, duck liver parfait, sobrasada, Irish sea urchin, oysters and more. It is also the perfect restaurant for a fun Sunday brunch!
As we mentioned earlier, Cliff Townhouse is a restaurant with hotel rooms. They have nine rooms in their 17th century Georgian house and none of the rooms are identical. There are two room categories, Townhouse and Parkview room. Both room categories are luxuriously designed with beautiful furniture and comfortable beds. The main difference between the two categories is space and views. We were grateful to be placed in one of the best Townhouse rooms.
As soon as we entered the room, we were in love. Our room instantly felt like we were home because of the decor and lovely hand written note from the team at Cliff Townhouse. They also provided us with sleeping masks and in addition to our comfortable bed, we slept soundlessly.
Our Townhouse room had a pretty color palate of fuchsia on the bed head, throw pillows, blanket and curtains. It also had beautiful furniture and pieces that tied into the 17th century such as, the antique door knobs, espresso wooden drawer and desk. Then the cutest part of the entire room, our dollhouse doors on the closet. We also had a plasma screen TV, coffee table, sofa and Nespresso machine to enjoy.
The bathroom is not overly big, but it is not small by any means. It has a single sink, toilet and bathtub shower unit with a soft tan marble wall. Amazing citrus essence amenities of shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body lotion, nail set, shower cap and more from Damana were provided to us.
A Prime Location in Dublin
Cliff Townhouse is located in the heart of Dublin’s city center making it the prime location. With so many attractions to enjoy in Dublin, we found Cliff Townhouse to be perfect. It is across the street from St. Stephen’s Green and within walking distance to almost everything:
- 10 minute walk to Trinity College
- 13 minute walk to Temple Bar and Ha’penny Bridge
- 20 minute walk from Brazen Head Bar
The airport is only a 20 minute drive from the hotel.
One essential travel tip for visiting Dublin is that we do not recommend driving in the city because of its difficulty. However, if you are driving yourselves by car to the hotel, please note that the parking garage is a few blocks from the hotel. We advise you to park in front of the hotel and have the front desk team help bring your bags in. Then they can help direct you to the Q Park, where guests have a discounted rate of €17.50 per day.
If we find ourselves in Dublin again, we would stay at Cliff Townhouse in a heartbeat. It is truly the best boutique hotel in Dublin. The food was incredible, the hotel room was warm and cozy and the staff was very helpful and friendly. We could not have asked for anything more and highly recommend everyone stay at Cliff Townhouse in Dublin, Ireland.
22 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2, D02 HW54, Ireland
+353 1 638 3939
Christina + Adam