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Hotel Hotspot: The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland

World-class art, food and service unite at the historical hotel. 

What makes a hotel world-class? Is it heritage, celebrity guests, or a MICHELIN-starred restaurant? The Merrion Hotel has that and more. The brand has a reputation for being the grandest hotel in Dublin, and is located in a Grade I Georgian building with hundreds of years of history. A plaque outside the hotel declares that this is the birthplace of the Duke of Wellington, after all.

Located opposite Parliament House, you might bump into a politician while staying at The Merrion Hotel. Famous guests include Bill Clinton, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, and Barack and Michelle Obama. As it is a special occasion spot, it is common to see locals dressed for afternoon tea or dinner. Plus, guests come for tours of the 19th and 20th-century art.

The building dates back to the 1760s, and the hotel opened in 1997. Peter MacCann, General Manager at The Merrion Hotel, explains: “These four important listed houses have been sympathetically restored and brought back to life to be enjoyed by people from all over the world.” 

The Merrion Hotel
Rooms and suites

When we entered The Merrion Hotel, we were greeted by smart staff in top hats. The lobby is small but stylish with its marble floor and grand staircase. The check in area is where the stay starts to feels stately, thanks to the paintings, period furniture and fireplaces.

The Merrion Hotel is home to 142 rooms and suites, which range from the Deluxe King Room to Speciality Suite. We checked into the Merrion Suite, which felt like a home away from home. The thoughtful treats included fresh flowers in a vase, cashmere socks, a hot water bottle, and a large illuminated Christmas tree – we arrived in winter.  

The spacious suite was 682 square feet. The accommodations included a lounge with a TV, sofa, desk, table for four and feature fireplace; a bedroom with a king-size bed and two closets; and a bathroom with a shower, bathtub, two sinks and Italian Carrera marble. While we could do without the old-fashioned hot and cold taps, we loved the traditional furniture and historic maps on the wall. Plus, the courtyard view with a statue of Irish writer James Joyce reminded us we were in Dublin. 

The Merrion Hotel

Restaurants and bars

The Merrion Hotel’s restaurants and bars include the two MICHELIN-Starred Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, The Garden Room for all-day dining, The Cellar Bar with a gastropub menu, and No. 23 for cocktails and bites. The hotel prides itself on sourcing its fish and seafood from sustainable sources, and the meat and poultry are Irish. 

The Merrion Hotel’s service was the best we experienced in Ireland. The staff worked together to make the stay smooth, and executed requests with military precision. When we checked in, we had a thirty-minute window for lunch. In the time it took to put our belongings in the room and sit down at No. 23, we were instantly presented with a steak sandwich, chips and dessert. 

Breakfast is served in The Garden Room, and includes indoor and outdoor seating. The Full Irish Breakfast was on the small side, but the buffet included sufficient fresh fruits, pastries and juices. The dinner was an elegant event and showcased Irish ingredients, which included the moreish Irish butter and bread, Loin of Irish Venison Tartar and Steamed Fillet of Organic Irish Salmon. 

The Merrion Hotel

Facilities 

The Spa and Health Club at The Merrion Hotel is a serene spot with a modern aesthetic. Relaxation is encouraged, so much so that guests can walk in the embossed robes from their room to the spa. The facilities include a hammam, indoor pool, fitness centre, salon and spa. The treatments include facials, massages and beauty services. The Full Body Massage used ESPA products, and was the perfect end to a special stay. 

The Merrion Hotel

Throughout our stay, we were in awe of the splendour along with the service. It’s hard to combine class with comfort and cosiness. The Merrion Hotel: regal and relaxed.

GO: Visit www.merrionhotel.com for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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