The Shelbourne In Dublin Celebrates 200 Years

By Robert McHugh
The Shelbourne In Dublin Celebrates 200 Years

Management and staff at the Shelbourne Dublin lined up around the original grand staircase this week, as the hotel gets set to mark two centuries in business.

The Shelbourne is planning a year of celebrations and storytelling, looking back on the characters and events that have shaped the hotel’s story over the last 200 years.


Founded in 1824, The Shelbourne has been home to some truly historic moments, such as the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922, chaired by Michael Collins, with one of the two original copies of the document in the ownership of the hotel to this day.

It was the first hotel in Ireland to be lit by gaslight, in 1825.

Glamorous History

For nearly 200 years, the Shelbourne, on St Stephen’s Green, has been a cultural landmark with a rich and glamorous history.


The five-star hotel has welcomed presidents, royalty, famous artists, writers, and Hollywood film stars.

Famous Visitors

President John F. Kennedy and Hollywood stars Grace Kelly, Maureen O’Hara, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Paul Newman have all walked through the doors.

The Horseshoe Bar has also welcomed distinguished authors, poets and playwrights, including Brendan Behan, Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney.

The Shelbourne Hotel is located in Dublin’s prime central business district and features 265 rooms, including 19 suites. Additionally, it features 12 meeting rooms, two bars, a restaurant, and a health club that includes a newly renovated spa and swimming pool.


In 2016, Kennedy Wilson completed a refurbishment of the external facade, which later won the Irish Georgian Society’s top award.


Kennedy Wilson’s value-added asset management programme also included an extensive interior renovation of all suites, deluxe park view rooms, corridors, and the historic staircase, as well as a redesign and refurbishment of the reception and lobby.

Autograph Collection Hotels

In 2018, the team refurbished several revenue-generating food and beverage offerings, all the meeting rooms, and the main ballroom.

In 2019, following the completion of its $40 million (€36.7 million) refurbishment programme, the Shelbourne became a member of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels, a portfolio of more than 170 independent hotels around the world.