Enjoy inspiring cultural itineraries at these unique places to explore in Dublin, Tokyo and Chicago.
Dublin: The City’s Best Kept Secrets
Two of Dublin’s best-kept secrets sit within a short stroll of one another, making for a fascinating and unusual combination for those with about a half day to explore.
Start with a visit to Iveagh Gardens across the street from Conrad Dublin. Find the hidden door behind the National Concert Hall and enter another world of a true Victorian garden, although its history dates back even further to more than 300 years. The site was once the lawn of the Earl of Milltown. Today, it’s the perfect escape to enjoy the incredible fountains, savor the scent of roses in the rosarium, or try your sense of direction in the maze.
Then stroll through the historic Saint Stephen’s Green to The Little Museum of Dublin. This quirky space, split over three floors, is packed with more than 5,000 items donated by locals. There’s a room dedicated to U2 with photographs and fan memorabilia, a copy of James Joyce’s death mask, and mementos from U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Dublin, as well as everyday assorted objects charting Dublin’s 20th-century social history. Fascinating and revealing for the incurably curious, it makes for the perfect dive into the city’s character.
Book your stay at Conrad Dublin to explore the city’s best kept secrets.
Tokyo: A Vineyard with a View of Mount Fuji
Japan’s remarkable wine culture is the perfect escape via a day trip to Suntory Tomi No Oka Winery. The vineyard sits in the foothills of the stunningly beautiful Mount Fuji, one of the world’s most iconic backdrops.
The winery, nestled amid the UNESCO World Heritage site, achieves every step of the winemaking process, from growing and fermenting the grapes to bottling the finished product. The process tells the story of the land and terroir through white and red grape varieties, like koshu and chardonnay or petit verdot and pinot noir, all of which are grown in perfect harmony with nature.
A guided tour takes guests to view the wine fermentation, the barreling area and the bottling in the cellar. Of course, no winery visit is complete without a chance to taste the fruits of their labors. The guided tasting even comes with another incredible view of Mount Fuji.
After exploring Japan’s wine culture, Conrad Tokyo is a leisurely 90-minute train ride away, a trip that offers another fascinating window into Japanese daily life and culture. When you return to the comfort of the hotel, you can order one of the Suntory Tomi No Oka wines to toast to your trip in style.
Chicago: First Lady Architectural Boat Tour
Got an hour to burn in the Windy City? Robert Ramos, guest services manager at Conrad Chicago, recommends the First Lady Architectural Boat Tour. The official Chicago Architecture Foundation cruise takes you through the Chicago River on a fantastic architectural journey.
From the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower to the curves of the Aqua Building designed by American architect Jeanne Gang, this brief trip lends insights into the history of Chicago via its diverse skyline.
Sit back and relax as the guide leads you into a world of stunning reflections and gargoyles perched on high. Be sure to have your camera ready as the First Lady navigates the iconic Loop and sails under the Willis Tower soaring 103 floors above the city.