The Merrion Hotel is a luxurious five star hotel set in the heart of Dublin on Merrion Square, not far from the city’s top attractions like Grafton Street and Trinity College.
A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the 142-room hotel is spread throughout four beautifully restored 18th-century Georgian townhouses; updated with all modern amenities and furnishings, they retain period charm in details like rococo plasterwork, vaulted ceilings, and original marble fireplaces. Upon entering, I could almost picture James Joyce or Oscar Wilde walking the same halls or lounging in one of the Drawing Room’s wingbacked chairs.
The hotel’s 123 guest rooms and 19 suites are bright and spacious, with a subdued pastel color palette and fabrics meant to evoke Paul Henry’s Irish landscape paintings (one of which can be found at foot of The Merrion’s main staircase). Rooms have plush carpets and soft velvet and silk accents, creating a warm, welcoming space above the bustle of the city.
My room, a junior suite, had a large sitting area and a decorative fireplace, as well as ample closet space across an entire wall.
All rooms have plush King Koil Executive Club 6 beds with 400 thread count Egyptian cotton linen and large bathrooms with beautiful carrera marble. Rooms also have free Wi-Fi, multi-line telephones, video conferencing, cable/satellite television with movies available on demand, individually controlled air-conditioning, Nespresso machine and a fully-stocked minibar.
Onsite, there are several dining and drinking options: Ireland’s only 2-star Michelin restaurant, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud; the casual Cellar Bar and Restaurant; and the intimate No. 23 Cocktail Bar, which is open only to hotel guests. Art Afternoon Tea, an afternoon tea with small bites meant to evoke piece in the hotel’s impressive art collection, is served in the Drawing Rooms, which are warmed by wood fires in winter.
During my stay, which fell in late November, the hotel was decked out for the holidays with twinkle lights, wreath, and garland.
The hotel also boasts two period gardens, designed by Irish landscape artist Jim Reynolds, with box hedges, water features, statuary, obelisks, and pathways for strolling and admiring the relaxing space on warm days.
While I saw mostly couples and business travelers during my stay, the Merrion bills itself as a family-friendly luxury hotel and offers several services for junior guests. Babysitting service, cots, extra beds and a special junior room service menu are all available and children are welcome in the pool. The hotel even goes so far as to provide mini- bathrobes for kids and a menu of kid-friendly mocktails.
If you go: Room rates start at $260 per night. The hotel offers underground valet car parking facilities for an overnight charge of €25. Make your reservations through Hotels.com or directly online at the hotel website.