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(2015 - Fall Issue)


To the list of quintessential experiences to be had in Ireland, I can now add another, somewhat unconventional one: sleeping in Bono’s bed!

Not that the frontman of the wildly popular Irish band U2 was actually present while I snoozed. But since he is co-owner (with band mate The Edge) of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin, you could say all beds in this 50-room boutique property technically do belong to Paul David Hewson (a.k.a. Bono).

After purchasing the Regency building in 1992, the two musicians transformed it into the kind of place they would choose to stay if they were visiting Dublin.

What to Expect

First and foremost is its central location on the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin and within walking distance of many attractions including Dublin Castle, the Temple Bar entertainment district and Trinity College (home to The Book of Kells).

Though the tiny lobby and nearby study seem remarkably understated, check-in is quick and courteous and I get the impression the staff were hired, in part, for their ability to be discreet. The hotel is said to be a frequent stopover for musicians, actors and other celebrities.

Rooms and suites, as well as a penthouse complete with baby grand piano, are stylishly plain with classic Shaker oak furnishings and leather seating, most of which are custom-designed by Irish artisans. The perks are as you’d expect—24-hour room service, complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions.

Within the hotel complex is Cleaver East, the tasting-plate restaurant owned by Michelin-star chef Oliver Dunne, as well as a subterranean hipster hangout with vintage appeal known as the Liquor Rooms.

Bono and The Edge run the hotel as a business venture rather than a band venture, so you won’t see any album covers or U2 paraphernalia on the walls, though band members do pop in from time to time. And the hotel rooftop did play a cameo role when U2 shot a live performance of two of their songs for the BBC program Top of the Pops back in 2000.

Instead, fans should make their way to The Little Museum of Dublin to see the exhibit U2: Made in Dublin, which charts the band’s history from 1976 to the present. Or check out the U2 graffiti wall at the Windmill Lane Studios in the trendy docklands area, where the band recorded three albums.

After a day of sightseeing, relax with an Irish whiskey back at the hotel’s Octagon Bar and, following a pleasant night’s sleep, awaken refreshed to greet another “beautiful day.”

Travel Planner

Air Canada rouge (aircanada.com) and Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) offer year-round direct service between Toronto and Dublin with convenient connections from other Canadian gateways, while WestJet (westjet.com) and Air Transat (airtransat.ca) operate seasonal flights between April and October.

For more information, visit:

The Clarence: theclarence.ie

The Little Museum of Dublin: littlemuseum.ie

Tourism Ireland: ireland.com

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