Why plan an incentive trip to Dublin, Ireland?
Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, can trace its roots back to the 9th and 10th century when Vikings settled along the river Liffey, naming the settlement Dyflin, from the Gaelic Dubh Linn– meaning ‘black pool’ – which referred to the dark tidal pool where the river Poddle entered the Liffey on the site of the Castle Gardens at Dublin Castle. This city has a wealth of history, and the architecture proves it –with beautiful Georgian and Victorian row houses creating the streetscapes and many medieval buildings that are still standing to today. Dublin is also famed for its welcoming people, pedestrian-friendly streets, beautiful city parks, multiple free museums, lively pub culture, and the rolling green hills of the Wicklow Mountains that are just south of the city center.
Upon landing at Dublin International Airport (DUB), attendees have a quick 20-minute transfer into the city center. Airlift into Dublin is very convenient, with direct flights from many major airports including New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Newark (EWR), Chicago (ORD), and Los Angeles (LAX). Upon departure, US Citizens will pre-clear US Customs in Dublin, making travel back home that much quicker once they land in America.
Due to its location, Dublin does not experience dramatic differences in weather throughout the year. The summers average in the mid-60’s, with winters averaging in the low-40’s. Ireland as a country is known for their cloudy and rainy days, but Dublin receives less overall rainfall compared to other areas in the country. We recommend visiting in April or May when days begin to get warmer and before the peak summer travel season.
Dublin Incentive-Quality Hotels
Overlooking the famed St. Stephen’s Green, and within walking distance of all the top sites to see, The Shelbourne exudes luxurious, old-world charm. This 5-star Autograph Collection hotel was originally founded in 1824 and has been the location of many historical events – including the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922 (in their famed Constitution Suite meeting room which still has the original table the Constitution was drafted on!) and the historic visit of the first Irish US President, John F. Kennedy, in 1963. The hotel has 265 guest rooms, including 20 suites, and has a beautifully appointed spa, salon, and health club. Much of the 12,000 square feet of meeting space has natural lighting, with many of the rooms overlooking St. Stephen’s Green, along with high ceilings, original crown molding, crystal chandeliers, and original furniture.
The Shelbourne also boasts three restaurants, including the famed Lord Mayor’s Lounge offering Afternoon Tea overlooking St. Stephen’s Green. It also has four bars, including the newly opened 1824 Bar and the beautiful Terrace Bar that is perfect during warmer evenings.
Located just steps from the most famous shopping street in Dublin, Grafton Street, The Westbury offers 5-star luxury in the heart of the city center. Voted the No.1 Hotel in Dublin by Conde Nast, this property offers modern amenities, wrapped in 1930’s charm and décor. It also boasts a unique feature, the Gallery, filled with one of Ireland’s most beautiful private art collections.
The hotel has 178 guest rooms, including 27 suites, and 6000 sf of meeting space. It also has two restaurants on-property, one bar, and offers a lovely Afternoon Tea in The Gallery.
Often, attendees want an experience outside of the city center (but still close enough for a day trip in!). Powerscourt is the perfect accommodation for these types of groups. Situated on 1,000 acres amongst the Wicklow Mountains, this resort gives 5-star, old-world luxury coupled with modern amenities. The hotel is a part of the historic Powerscourt Estate, which was originally transformed from a medieval castle to an opulent estate in 1741.
The hotel has 201 guest rooms, including 94 suites, and has a calming spa, large indoor swimming pool, fitness center with views of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and a Leisure Club. Groups have multiple options when it comes to meeting space, with more than 12,000 sf of indoor meeting space, plus options for events in the gardens. There are also three restaurants on-property, one bar, and of course, an option for Afternoon Tea in the Sugar Loaf Lounge.
Powerscourt also boasts numerous on-site activities, including falconry, cycling, garden tours, golf, and numerous shopping experiences. The Powerscourt Distillery is also on-property, for those that want to imbibe on some locally made Irish whiskey.
Activities for Incentive Travel or President’s Club to Dublin
Founded in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university. Within its walls is the famed Trinity College Library (that looks like something out of a fantasy movie), which houses the Book of Kells. One of the most famous artifacts on display in Dublin, the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing four Gospels of the New Testament and created by Celtic monks sometime around 800 AD. It is a beautiful sight to see, as is the magnificent library! A private tour of the library and Book of Kells is a perfect half-day activity for a group that would allow for free time to explore Dublin in the afternoon. As an enhancement, add a stop at a local pub for a classic Irish lunch!
Dublin is known for its history, architecture, amazing culture…and Irish stout and whiskey! A trip to Dublin is often not complete without a stop at the Guinness Storehouse + Gravity Bar or the Jameson Distillery.
The Guinness Storehouse is a seven-story-tall museum dedicated to the important steps it takes to brew the famous beer. Each level is focused on one certain step of the process and goes into great detail on each of those processes. A private group tour can be arranged, with a special focus on the history and marketing practices of Guinness throughout the years. The tour concludes with a fresh pint at the Gravity Bar, located at the very top of the Storehouse, with a breathtaking 360° view of the city. The Gravity Bar can also be used for private events – like a Welcome Reception for attendees, complete with Irish food, music, and dancers. Optional enhancements for the tour include pint pulling lessons or a private tasting of special, reserve Guinness beers. Ensure that the group has time to stop for a quick look around the massive gift shop, located on the bottom floor, before departing.
Founded in 1780 by John Jameson, the modern-day Jameson Distillery is in the original factory on Bow St. that started it all. The distillery offers a mix of Jameson history, hands-on activities, and fully immersive experiences. The Bow St. experience offers a tour of the facility and whiskey making process, a look back at the history, and a Jameson drink of your choice at the end. For an upgraded activity experience, the Black Barrel Blending class or Whiskey Cocktail class are both great, interactive options.
A Day Spent Outside of Dublin
Fresh air and green rolling hills greet guests as they venture out to County Wicklow, with the Wicklow Mountains framing the background. There are many fun activity options to choose from that offer a uniquely Irish experience. The famous Ballyknocken House & Cookery School (ran by celebrity chef Catherine Fulvo) offers an opportunity to get hands-on in the kitchen, using ingredients grown on the farm. Or venture to the Orchard Center for a fun-filled day of Irish Olympics – complete with hay bale rolling, peat moss tower building, and a visit to the famous Bailey’s Irish Cream cows who live on the farm. The day is concluded with a delicious BBQ lunch and a Bailey’s tasting. For a little bit of history, head north of Dublin for a visit to Malahide Castle and pub lunch in the nearby fishing village of Howth.
Something extra…Christ Church Cathedral Farewell Dinner
Christ Church Cathedral is a gorgeous cathedral that dates to around 1030 and was originally founded as a Viking church. It is the perfect location for a Farewell Dinner to end a fun-filled week in Dublin. The group could start their evening with a cocktail reception in the crypt, where many oddities are housed such as a preserved heart of a famed Archbishop, a stockade made in 1670, and the mummified remains of a cat and a rat who got stuck in the pipe of an organ when the cat was chasing the rat! It also houses a stunning collection of rare silver, as well as a copy of the Magna Carta, and docents could be on hand to speak to the history for those interested.
Following the reception, guests would enter the awe-inspiring cathedral – complete with candelabras, an elegant King’s Table set-up, florals, and candles. Options for entertainment include the Christ Church Cathedral Choir (which makes for a very impressive welcome to the Cathedral), a harpist for the Cocktail Reception, and the 3 Tenors for music and entertainment during dinner.
Off-Site Restaurants in Dublin
Situated in Dublin’s city center, near St. Stephen’s Green and The Shelbourne, FIRE prides itself as a ‘Farm to Fire’ restaurant – where most ingredients are sourced locally through Irish farmers. It has been consistently named one of the best restaurants in the world. The restaurant offers multiple private dining options, including a first-floor option that has access to a private terrace overlooking the Lord Mayor’s Garden. The menu consists of locally caught fish and shellfish, with the main focus on their locally raised Irish Hereford Prime Beef.
This chic restaurant is located in Dublin’s city center and is a seafood lovers paradise, focused on providing the freshest seafood in the city. Their sea-to-SOLE philosophy focuses on sourcing from local suppliers when possible. The Captain’s Table offers a unique private dining experience, complete with a private bar. The menu boasts a wide variety of fish and shellfish, including their famous SOLE Seafood Tower for the table to share or a Caviar Experience.
A casual night spent at Temple Bar is a must for a uniquely Dublin experience. Temple Bar is a lively riverside neighborhood, known for its energetic pubs and live music scene. With over 50 pubs to choose from in the walkable area, it is a great place for a group to stop in for a classic fish and chips and a pint of Guinness. Some of the pubs do offer small areas that can be reserved for groups of 10 people or less to host small group Executive dinners.
Are You Ready to Begin Your Dublin Adventure?
With its unique charm, impeccable hospitality, and a wide array of exciting activities, Dublin is an ideal choice for your next incentive travel program. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to assist you in effortlessly managing all the logistics. Explore the outstanding services we offer or drop us a line to get your exceptional Dublin program started! Your adventure awaits!