The Westin Dublin was the first five-star hotel in Ireland to be awarded the highest environmental certification in the hotel sector – a Platinum Green Hospitality Award, funded by Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency to promote environmental best practice in the hospitality sector, and is the only Platinum rated hotel in the city centre.
Most hotels offer only notional gestures of sustainability, such as the reuse towel and linen option. The Westin Dublin goes one step further and incentivises guests by offering five euro (or A$6) off the nightly rate or bonus loyalty points. In addition, the hotel employs longer term sustainability strategies such as environmentally responsible purchasing including the use of chemical free cleaning products and a focus on waste management with approximately half of all waste recycled.
The hotel, a thoughtful renovation of the very grand Allied Irish Bank back in 2000, offers well laid out rooms, tastefully decorated with both period and modern features including mahogany furniture and an impressive two metre-high leather headboard in every room.
Rooms are designed with subtle Irish elements reflecting the rich local culture, such as gold and jewel adorned prints from the Book of Kells on the walls and Celtic embroidery in the heavy block out curtains – perfect for a lie-in after sampling a Guinness or two in the nearby bar district of Temple Bar. Many rooms overlook the gorgeous pale pink atrium but the pick of the bunch are those on the top floor overlooking the city rooftops and spires of Trinity College; reminiscent of a scene from Mary Poppins.
Located in what is surely one of Dublin’s best locations in the heart of the city, the hotel is adjacent to the renowned Trinity College – Ireland’s most prestigious University established in 1592 by a charter from Queen Elizabeth I and home to one of the world’s most famous books, the Book of Kells.
Around the campus, you’ll also see the country’s first BigBelly solar compacting bins. BigBelly uses solar power for 100 per cent of its energy need and has five times the capacity of a normal bin. This in turn reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent.
Already trialled by a number of local councils in Australia, including Mosman on Sydney’s lower North Shore, this is an innovative waste management solution that other businesses, including property developers and owners, could explore installing.
Located less than five minutes walk from the River Liffey, the grand Georgian buildings and promenades and the shopping precincts of O’Connell and Grafton streets, The Westin is perfect for a short break or longer stay in the Emerald Isle’s fair capital city.
Even the food ingredients are paired for synergy
With all the usual services you’d expect from a five-star luxury chain (24-hour room service, 24-hour business centre), it also benefits from the more innovative services of the group, for example offering SuperFoods RXchoices in the restaurants and room service. In partnership with SuperFoods LLC, the Westin uses selected powerhouse ingredients, rich in nutrients and paired for food synergy; that is, more nutritious when eaten together, as well as locally sourced items, so guests have healthy options to choose from – whether that be the blueberry and banana smoothie for breakfast or the Skinny Cosmo cocktail in the hip Mint Bar!
The hotel also focuses on socially responsible practice and local community involvement, signing up to the international Green Schools Program in 2012 to promote school action and receiving a Best Management Awareness program award for its commitment to incorporating environmental awareness into the hotel culture.
Guests are treated with friendly service, which no doubt reflects The Westin’s ranking in Ireland’s Top 20 SME Great Places To Work for the past two years. For business, The Westin offers sustainable green meeting options with recycled and biodegradable materials and green printing services, as well as a “clutter-free” set-up where materials are pooled to avoid unnecessary wastage.
The Westin Dublin successfully combines luxury at a reasonable price while delivering environmental and socially responsible practice. The Westin is the eco-luxe option of choice in the city.
Rates: From 150 euro (A$190) for a deluxe room to 400 euro plus (A$500+) for a suite
Room tip: Ask for a room on the top floor for atmospheric views of the city
Love: The location; whether your stay is for shopping, going out, business or culture, The Westin is close to everything. Westin Heavenly Bed for the comfiest night’s sleep.The innovative “Gear lending” – a A$6 loan of new running shoes and socks during your stay to keep fit, suggested as a way to reduce your baggage (and carbon miles when flying).
Room for improvement:Expensive Wi-fi at 10 euro (or A$12) per day. When will these hotel chains do the right thing and provide free Wi-fi like their budget equivalents? No concierge/porters at the entrance to assist with luggage.
Alternate eco friendly stays in Dublin
Mid range – Radisson Blu Royal Hotel 4* has received a Gold GHA award and is part of the Scandinavian Rezidor hotel group which has a long standing commitment to environmental and social best practice. Rooms from A$200 per night. See www.radissonblue.ie; www.rezidor.com
Budget – Kinlay House Hostel 1*. Located in the heart of the Temple Bar district. The hostel focuses on recycling and environmentally friendly procurement and uses wind powered electricity. Dorms from A$24, Rooms from A$45. See www.kinlaydublin.ie/
Best time to visit
Dublin is a year-round destination, but if you are seeking fairer weather visit in the Northern Hemisphere’s late spring and summer (May to August).
How to get there
Several airlines including Qantas, British Airways, Emirates and Etihad have daily flights to Dublin connecting via regional hubs.
Emma Parry has over 15 years’ experience in brand, marketing and communications for major listed companies in Australia and Europe. Most recently she was general manager marketing and communications with Dexus, based in Sydney.