The Merrion Hotel | Dublin's Luxury Escape

Revel in its grandeur

Written by

Mui-Hai Chu

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Ask any taxi driver in Dublin, and they'll tell you: The Merrion Hotel is the best hotel in Dublin. Actually, there's no need to ask, as they'll volunteer it, to the point that it would have felt disingenuous, if Dublin wasn't one of the most friendly and genuine cities I'd visited recently. There's also something of quiet luxury about the place. It's luxe, but it's not ostentatious. You might even miss it outside as it's so incredibly discreet and feels like it could just be an office building. The smiling doormen in the crisp grey uniforms give it away though. Inside this plain exterior, is a serene oasis that feels more like stepping into a grand house instead of a hotel. There is art hanging on the walls, but not that sterile corporate art, that even when a substantial piece, is so obviously purchased for show. The art here feels genuine, like part of the residence, personal. The art, a magnificent collection of over 100 19th and 20th-century paintings, is the largest private collection of the kind in Ireland. The hotel blurs the line between gallery and residence, located almost directly adjacent to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Even though it feels old world, there are all the modern touches and conveniences one would desire. There's a fully equipped spa, which offers an array of luxury massage treatments, as well as a gym and a gorgeous 18m subterranean swimming pool. There are 5 restaurants on the premises, all of which offer a variety of Irish cuisine: there’s a gastro-pub, an intimate cocktail lounge, a garden terrace, and, most impressively, a 2-Michelin star restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud, where every morsel eaten is a divine pleasure. If you're not in the mood for fancy foods, try the oatmeal at breakfast. It might not be the most obvious thing to order, but it just will be the best oatmeal you've ever had in your life. Creamy, textured with grit, but melt in your mouth at the same time. It's really something to think about, plus it'll keep you regular on your travels. Beginning at 12:30, afternoon tea in what feels like a stately living room, is not to be missed. It's not just afternoon tea. It's Art Tea, with desserts made from inspiration of the numerous artworks in the hotel. The menu rotates weekly. Aside from the ever delightful tea sandwiches, the truly creative and deliciously artful pastries are not to be missed.

The 143 bedroom and suite hotel, located in the heart of Dublin on Upper Merrion Street, is a restoration of four Georgian townhouses originally built in the 1760s by Lord Monck. Imbued with centuries of Irish history, the meticulously restored rooms are elegant and airy, with a sympathetic eye towards the establishment’s stately history.  Nestled in the pulsing heart of Dublin, the hotel is located mere minutes from art galleries, government buildings, and Trinity College. It certainly deserves its growing list of accolades, which have accrued in great number since the hotel’s inception in the late ‘90s– named the best hotel in Dublin year after year, and ranked among the finest hotels in the world, the Merrion’s advantageous location and attention to detail lends itself to ease of use. What is luxury, after all if not ease?

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The Merrion Hotel, Dublin