Ireland’s top hotels suffering in crunch
PETER O’TOOLE once had a champagne bath in one of its suites, and John F Kennedy, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor all enjoyed its grandeur. Now, Ireland’s most historic hotel is giving away rooms for free. When the Shelbourne in Dublin reopened last year to show off its €83m facelift, including an oyster bar and Louis le Brocquy paintings, room started at €315 a night. Just 20 months later, the five-star establishment, where in more recent years guests have included the actors Julia Roberts and Daniel Day-Lewis, is one of several luxury hotels across the country offering guests free nights as it attempts to ride out the recession.