Heritage, hedonism and hospitality in Dublin The well known capital of the Republic of Ireland sits on the country's east coast on the River Liffey and is awash with historic buildings including Dublin Castle, which dates back to the 13th century. Dublin's array of sites and its rich cultural heritage have made it a recurrent favourite for visitors across the years, with key attractions including St Patrick's Cathedral, dating back to 1191, Phoenix Park complete with the city's zoo, and the National Museum of Ireland. On these cobbled streets however, it is the character of the city and its inhabitants - a potent fusion of heritage and hedonism - that has drawn travellers back time and again, and it is in the city's hotels that this comes together in rich splendour. At the centre of the whole experience is the tradition of the Irish pub in Dublin. For all the healthy living obsessions of the 21st century, every Dubliner has their favourite haunt, both traditional and newly established, and so you can imagine the popularity of the pub with rooms. The warm welcome of the city is resplendent in its smaller hotels and bed and breakfasts - the elegant townhouses of Waterloo House for example, situated mere moments from the famous St Stephen's Green and other historic landmarks. Equally, the homely feel of Ariel House, the homely guest house where foodies can delight in the excellent breakfasts, and children in particular at the family friendly hotel, may be pleased of the perfect pancakes. For those who prefer a slightly more rural retreat of course, Dublin is surrounded by Ireland's historic hotels and country house hotels that pepper the nearby landscape but still offer an easy trip to the city. Hotels in County Wicklow or hotels in County Laois may appeal for their more rural vistas, taking in the unbridled beauty of mountains, pastures and coast.