Background & Concept
Stepping into The Merrion Hotel is like going back in time to the elegant era of Georgian Dublin, when Ireland’s capital city was revered as one the most beautiful in the world. This luxurious five-star hotel is a famed Dublin landmark, and its exquisite beauty is the result of an intensive project to transform four stunning townhouses into one glorious hotel. A word of warning though, once you saunter through the magnificent, marbled entrance of this hotel and step onto immaculately polished chequer flooring in the lobby, you will not want to leave. Especially as the charming staff treat everyone visitor like royalty.
As The Merrion is opposite Government Buildings, the area is filled with ministers and diplomats. One honoured guest was former President Barack Obama, whose limousine, nicknamed The Beast, reportedly got stuck on a ramp at the nearby US Embassy. Hollywood’s Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie are also huge fans. The hotel is in the salubrious heart of Georgian Dublin, adjacent to Merrion Square – whose former residents include famed playwright Oscar Wilde and poet William Butler Yeats.
There are numerous daily flights across the UK to Dublin. Stena Line also runs a ferry route from Holyhead to Dublin Port. As well as taxis there are numerous Aircoaches from Dublin Airport which stop close to the hotel and the nearest LUAS (tramstop) is a five-minute walk to Dawson Street.
Couples looking for a romantic break in Ireland’s capital will relish this charming hotel. But it’s also a fabulous location for families catching up with Irish relations or executives on a business trip looking for the most luxurious but least corporate-looking hotel possible.
The Merrion exudes relaxed elegance and class. The classical architecture of the entrance, which marries marble columns, tiled flooring and open turf fires is absolutely dazzling. This is the perfect backdrop for the hotel’s incredible private collection of 19th and 20th-century Irish and European art.
Rooms & Suites
All 142 bedrooms and suites are thoroughly charming, having been designed using period Irish furniture in keeping with the architecture of an 18th-century townhouse. You can choose between the Garden Wing Rooms and Main House Rooms and Suites which have views either over the gardens or Government Buildings. Reminiscent of the Gilded Age, delicate rococo plasterwork by master stuccodore Robert West, coupled together with original marble fireplaces and vaulted ceilings, makes for gloriously sumptuous suites and rooms. Airy bathrooms feature Asprey toiletries, while despite exuding period features each bedroom possesses the latest mod cons such as Nespresso machines and docking stations.
Food & Drink
The hotel is famed throughout the world for Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud – the first restaurant in Ireland to boast two Michelin stars. Here you can feast on Ravioli of Blue Lobster and Lacquered Barbarie Duckling under the rose gold roof of this stunning eaterie. The Garden Terrace is bright and airy and it’s a fabulous location, if the weather permits, to devour Executive Chef Ed Cooney’s delicious summer salads while being surrounded by colourful blooms and fragrant foliage. If you fancy a cocktail, No. 23 is one of the best addresses in Dublin. You feel like you’re in a secluded Gentlemen’s Club as you relax on cosy leather sofas while sipping a vast selection of cocktails and wines.
Spa and Gym
There is an elegant 18m pool, together with a relaxing spa and energising gym. The spa uses premium products Espa and Biologique Recherche – which takes a clinical approach to skincare. The miraculous Seconde Peau facial by genius therapist Antonela, aims to help lift and heal skin. It certainly keeps to its promise – being by far the best facial I have ever had as there was a clear visible rejuvenation on my face and décolletage, (the treatment won best facial at the recent Irish Tatler awards).
The Merrion is in the heart of Dublin so is within walking distance of every attraction imaginable. Shopaholics can wander down to Grafton Street to peruse the huge range of stores including the beautiful department store, Brown Thomas. There are pubs and bars everywhere but if you fancy a traditional music night visit O’Donoghues Bar on Merrion row for some live music. The infamous Dubliners have played many sessions there and Bruce Springsteen in a huge fan. Dublin boasts a large range of fine dining restaurants and comfort food eateries. A firm favourite is the Elephant and Castle in Temple Bar – their chicken wings are the best in the world. If you fancy a bit of culture the nearby National Museum of Ireland and National Gallery are great places to start from to learn the vibrant and often heart-breaking history of this incredible nation. The GPO and Kilmainham Gaol Museum are also a must-visit to discover how the Republic of Ireland was created.
This hotel is included in our guide to the best hotels in Dublin.
Address: Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland