Insider's Guide Competition

by Great Hotels of the World

Thank you to everyone who entered our Insider's Guide Competition. We had some fantastic guides and the competition was tough.

But, we have chosen a winner ...

Congratulations Darren Keating from Dublin - you are our Insider's Guide winner!

Darren's excellent insider's insight - "the perfect 'Dub Day' in Dublin" was what swayed our judges' decision.

The Winning Guide - Dublin, Ireland

This year has seen the Queen of England and President Obama both visit Dublin. There can only be one reason why - the legendary hospitability. All and sundry knows that Dublin is the world capital for ‘great craic’ and carousing the night away – but there is so much more to this historic city. History is everywhere – from the 5,000 year-old artifacts in the National Museum (that’s 1,000 years older than Stonehenge) to the literature, countless modern dining and shopping options, which add shine to this Celtic city. But how do the locals spend the day (the “Dubs” as they are known!)?

Here are some recommendations for the perfect “Dub” day in Dublin – most of the recommendations below are based in the city centre, which is easy to navigate on foot. The two main thoroughfares are O’Connell Street and Grafton Street, which is pedestrianised.

Start your day with an early-morning shot of caffeine to get you going in Bewleys Cafe on Grafton Street. It’s been around since 1927, and has six beautiful and famous Harry Clarke stained glass windows. Right next door in Whitefriar Street Church are the bones of St Valentine, who gave us Valentine’s Day. Pop in and say “hello” as the locals do for good luck and a romantic day.

An Irish institution, Grafton Street is great for shopping so beat the crowds and visit the city’s main department store – like an Irish Macy’s – is Brown Thomas (or as the locals say, “BT’s”). All the leading Irish and international brands found under one roof.

A short walk away you can spend some time digging up the past to really get to grips with how old this city is. Take a walk around Trinity College -  the grounds are open to the public and used well by the locals. Pick up a daily newspaper (the Irish read more news per person than anyone else) or perhaps a book of short stories by one of the famous students like Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde who have passed through the cobbled courtyard. The library in Trinity is home to one of the world's most famous books, The Book of Kells, painstakingly written by monks in cold, dark cells over 1,200 years ago. Local tip - a new page is on display every day!

Not far from here is a modern sight that’s great for photo opportunities. The gleaming Dublin Spire has become like the Eiffel Tower of Ireland so you can’t really miss it. And don’t feel embarrassed about snapping ‘arty’ shots looking up at at the clouds from the base – the locals have seen it all before – and have their own special names for the Spire… ask and you will be told! They are very funny and tongue-in-cheek!

Mid-morning, you’ll need a hearty brunch, so a good place not far from the spire to go is the Kingfisher It’s a small, family-run place at the top of O’Connell street. The cafe serves a legendary full Irish breakfast - delicious and is guaranteed to keep you going all day, a real local diamond.

Also nice to visit is the Georges Street Arcade which is off the tourist trail and has been around since 1881. An eclectic redbrick indoor market for Irish souvenirs – especially Aran sweaters, crystal, and linen – you can buy almost anything for the folks back home. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for the plentiful souvenir shops you’ll pass in the city centre.

Even the most independent, hardcore traveller likes to jump onto a tour every now and then, and Dublin has a few that are funny, useful and well-lubricated. For some cheesy fun, get yourself on the Viking Splash Tour. The 90-minute tour is full of silliness, including the Viking roar - screaming at passersby who always scream back! - and the donning of plastic-horned helmets. But aside from the gimmicks, the tour is pretty unique. The old WWII vehicle is amphibious – and so you’ll roll into the canal at the end!

A good spot not far from here is The Brazen Head. They say it’s Ireland’s oldest pub, and haunted too, and you’ll usually find music and storytelling happening inside. If it’s cold, there’s a fire lit in the fireplace, and if it’s warm, you can enjoy your pint and a good dinner in the cobbled courtyard. 

Finally, into the wee hours, it has to be spent in the area known as Temple Bar. Take a tour of the bars, all open 'till late. Done? You're now a true Dub!



Darren has won:

  • A 4-night stay for two at the newly refurbished five star Hotel Altis in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Delicious buffet breakfast daily
  • Return transfer service from the airport
  • Cocktails at the hotel's S. Jorge Panoramic Bar on your arrival day
  • Portuguese delicatessen VIP treatment in your room upon arrival
    • Hotel Altis lobby and competition


      General terms

      1. No purchase necessary: a purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning.
      2. Employees of Great Hotels of the World or its subsidiaries are ineligible to enter the competition.
      3. Entrants must be 18 years or older to enter.
      4. Personal information collected by Great Hotels of the World in connection with the contest, will be collected and used according to applicable laws, rules and regulations.
      5. The competition closes at 17:00 (GMT) on 15 November 2011. No responsibility is accepted for late, lost, misdirected or illegible/inaudible entries.
      6. Great Hotels of the World reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the competition and/or prize at any time.
      7. Great Hotels of the World may use any personal information entrants provide in connection with this promotion for the purpose of running the promotion and also in adverts, publications, media statements and other promotional material. Great Hotels of the World may disclose the information for those purposes to its related bodies corporate and contractors, and to the promotional partners.
      8. The entrant indemnifies Great Hotels of the World and the promotion partners against each claim, action, proceeding, judgment, damage, loss, expense or liability incurred or suffered by, or brought, made or recovered against Great Hotels of the World and the promotion partners or their associated companies, including but not limited to:
        • Any breach of these Conditions of Entry; or
        • Any infringement by you of the intellectual property rights of any third party
      9. Great Hotels of the World are not liable for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, computer equipment, software, technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participants or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation in, downloading or uploading any materials in this promotion.

      Terms of entry

      1. To participate in the competition, entrants must write a 24 hour guide to your chosen destination in no more than 750 words. Entries longer than this may be disqualified.
      2. All submissions must be in English.
      3. The submitted article should preferably include information on the destination’s places to see and visit, places to eat and secret hotspots.
      4. Entries should be submitted to and should include the entrants full name, address, telephone number and email address.
      5. The entrant’s submission must not contain brand names or trademarks or material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory or libellous. The submission must not discriminate against race, sex, religion, nationality, disability or age. Entries deemed to include any one of the above will be removed and disqualified from the competition.
      6. Only one entry per person is permitted.
      7. All entries must be received by 17:00 (GMT) on Tuesday 15 November 2011 to be entered into the competition. Late entries will not be accepted.
      8. Entries must be the individuals own work.
      9. It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that no part of their entry infringes the copyright of any third parties or laws.
      10. Entrants may send a maximum of 3 photos to accompany their stories. These must be sent in JPEG format and must be a maximum of 10MB in size.
      11. Illegible, incomplete or defaced entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries.
      12. Entries will be judged on which are the most original, entertaining and interesting (amongst other things) and Great Hotels of the World’s decision of who is picked as the winner is final and binding.
      13. Great Hotels of the World has the right to edit, adapt and publish any or all of the submissions and may use them in any media without attribution to the entrant.
      14. Great Hotels of the World reserves the right to disqualify any finalist who tampers with or influences, or benefits from tampering with or influencing, the entry process or the Promotion.
      15. Each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual worldwide license to Great Hotels of the World to reproduce or feature any or all of the submissions in any type of media or promotional material.
      16. No joint or group entries are permitted.
      17. Great Hotels of the World reserves the right to select an alternate winner if it determines in its discretion that the winning finalist does not adequately satisfy the conditions of entry or are otherwise subject to disqualification.
      18. Great Hotels of the World and its promotion partners will never be liable for any indirect, incidental, special or consequential loss, or loss of profits or revenue arising out of your participation in this promotion.
      19. The entrant acknowledges and agrees that they are solely responsible for all liability resulting from the posting or publication of insider’s guide entries and other materials in connection with the contest.

      Prize Terms

      1. The winner will receive a four night stay for two people at Hotel Altis in Lisbon, Portugal including daily sumptuous breakfast, return transfer service from Lisbon International airport, cocktails at their S. Jorge Panoramic Bar on your arrival day and Portuguese delicatessen VIP treatment in your room upon arrival.
      2. Two passengers must travel together.
      3. The winner will be notified by email, phone or post by 30 November 2011.
      4. The winner must complete the trip by 15 November 2012.
      5. Transport is not included.
      6. The trip must be booked at least 28 days before departure.
      7. Prize is subject to availability and black-out dates may apply.
      8. The prize is non transferable and there is no cash alternative.
      9. No refund or compensation will be made in the event of the trip being cancelled.
      10. Once tickets are issued, no changes are permitted.
      11. All expenses and incidental travel costs not stated in the prize description are the sole responsibility of the winner.
      12. Great Hotels of the World reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the competition and/or prize at any time.
      13. The winners name may be obtained by sending a SAE to Marketing Department, Great Hotels of the World, Worldwide House, 22 Stephenson Way, London, NW1 2HD, United Kingdom.

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