An oasis of light, calm and five-star style – The Merrion Hotel is undoubtedly Dublin’s leading blockbuster stopover.
This 142-room colossus (which, from the outside, resembles an unassuming townhouse) is a favourite of Diamonds singer Rihanna when she’s touring the Green Isle.
It’s also played host to the likes of US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who stayed here during their visit to the country in 2011. Rock god Bruce Springsteen is also known to drop by.
From the formality of the marbled reception area to the comfort of the lavish open fireplaces, the hotel certainly creates a grand impression. The highlight of our trip was afternoon tea in the airy harmony of the delicately-furnished drawing rooms. The huge art collection adorning the walls (look out for Jack B. Yeats) only increases the sense of event.
And what with the symmetrical, almost Neoclassical charm of the hedged gardens, the hotel’s Edwardian pomp is pure Sir Elton John-esque extravagance. In fact, the above luxury bedspread reminds us of a few of Elton’s more flamboyant stage costumes – but in the best possible way!
The hotel also boasts Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (Dublin’s only two-star Michelin eatery) and The Tethra Spa (which offers complimentary use of its indoor 18-meter swimming pool to guests). However, The Merrion’s greatest selling point is its high profile, city centre location.
It stands proud on the magnificent Merrion Street, running parallel to the resplendent, Georgian-style ceremony of the Government Buildings; the National Museum of Ireland and the National Gallery of Ireland are a mere five-minute walk away.
Lastly, we must pay props to The Merrion’s staff, whose commitment to service was second to none (handsome doormen literally ran to our aid when they saw us struggling with our luggage), rounded off with an easy Irish charm. World class.
Stays at The Merrion start from €276 per room per night, based on two sharing with a full Irish breakfast.