For a double room per night - beginning at 325 euros Ok, this is an expensive hotel, but it's worth it if you're in the mood to treat yourself. I decided to stay there on my last night in Ireland. Service, rooms, restaurant are all top quality.
2 Brightly Glittering Michelin Stars
This incredible gastronomic paradise is Dublin's only (to my knowledge) two Michelin star restaurant and, after my recent experience there, it deserves every point on those two stars.
To date (October 2008) the only meal I have had in Ireland that comes close to this was in the K Club earlier this year.
The restaurant is located in the Five Star de Luxe Merrion Hotel and we were greeted pleasantly as we entered. Guided to a comfortable lounge in neutral blues and greys, we were offered a drink as we perused the very interesting menu.
I was longing to try the tasting menu, but the maitre d' very kindly advised that it's a three hour meal and wouldn't be fair to my dining companion, who did not want to opt for that menu.
Having eventually chosen our meals, and relaxed with our drinks, we were lead into the large, high roofed, bright dining room. Here the atmosphere is almost church like in that there's no background music or sound other than the chatter of happy diners. To be honest, I found this quite offputting as the high ceilings made for excellent acoustics and I could clearly hear what others were saying, even though tables are quite far apart.
One thing I love about this type of restaurant is that they constantly bring little food surprises. In the bar we had a tray of canapes, my favourite being a tiny spring roll of lamb. Our amuse bouche was a cappuccino of fennell - delicious, spicy, and left me longing for more. That's what an amuse bouche is supposed to do:-)
We both followed this with the foie gras. It was excellent, but not the best I've had. It simply wasn't quite crunchy outside. You know how you bite into foie gras and your first sensation is almost of caramelised meat, then it progresses to a liquid affect?
Next came my main course of lobster tail with glazed belly of pork and pea jelly. I was disappointed in this. It was the most expensive dish on the menu but the portion was tiny and it wasn't especially tasty. The pork did nothing for it and nor did the pea jelly (though it was different). I much preferred my companions main of pigeon breast. Now that was a dish to relish - perfectly cooked; perfectly presented. I would have that next time.
The pre- dessert (yes, this is the latest thing in good restaurants) was an apricot jelly with white peach creme brulee, jamaican pepper foam and roast coconut. I simply adored it.
How could one have room for dessert after all this? But I managed. My lime souffle was exactly how a souffle should be - light as air, eggy and not floury, and redolent of fresh limes. Superb.
They are not going to let you home wanting for anything here - petit fours appeared, followed by chocolates, all made here of course. I could not manage coffee. You do not get away cheap here. Two starters, two main courses, one dessert, a bottle of wine, pre dinner drinks, and water came to just under €400.00. Be prepared for the bill, then sit back and enjoy. I have been overly critical of some of the dishes here and others would not be - so go, enjoy, and come back and tell me what you think.
Nice hotel,but well overpriced
I stayed at the merrion for valentines weekend. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The room was nice, especially the bathroom. The only thing i didn't like about the room is that it had NO tea/coffee making facilities which I thought was a bit strange considering it's a standard feature in most 3 or 4 star hotels.Another dissappointing feature was the price of food. I'm a person that doesn't mind paying top prices for top quality food, but after I paid 32 euro for a simple sirloin steak,I knew I was being ripped off when I had in front of me the worlds smallest sirloin and didn't get my value for money. I don't think I'll be returning here although it is a nice hotel, it just wasn't as luxurious as people make it out to be.I think I'll stick to the 'Clarion hotel IFSC'.
elegant piece of history
Our four nights at The Merrion were quite near perfection. We had a large, quiet room in the old section with a lovely view of the gardens. The burning fireplaces in the main rooms added to the coziness of the hotel. The included breakfasts were excellent with a great variety of fruits, breads, and cooked to order items. The only challenge was the difficulty of getting to the spa from the main house, in bathrobes, without going through the lobby - quite a maze. We had one dinner there, and the food was not anything special. Service was excellent throughout. The pool and spa are superb. The location is excellent, we never used public transport, we walked everywhere. There are many great restaurants and pubs within a 3 minute walk.
One of The Best
My wife and I have stayed at many excellent hotels and the Merrion can hold its own with the best of them. The service is excellent and the hotel's relatively small size allows the staff to recognize guests and to provide personal service. The public rooms are well-maintained and tastefully decorated and the restaurants and bars are smoke-free due to Ireland's recent push for a healthier society. The guest rooms at the Merrion are also very nice and have a nice assortment of ammenities. The Restaurant Patrick Guillbaud is still Ireland's finest and the Bar 23 is reserved for guests. This is a nice touch since the Cellar Bar can become crowed in the evening. We had breakfast in the Cellar Restaurant one morning, but we ordered room service on the other days. The prices were the same, the service was right on time and the food was excellent, so I would recommend this option. All in all, this is the place that I'll return to when I next visit Ireland.
Beautiful, but overpriced.
There's no denying that the Merrion is the height of good taste - elegant drawing rooms, tastefully furnished bedrooms, understated pool area. The staff are courteous without being obtrusive and the whole place has the feeling of staying in someone's (albeit large) country house.
We stayed in a room in the newer part of the building. The bathroom was enormous - separate shower and bath, but the room less so. It was also very hot and stuffy and despite putting the air conditioning on low it stayed that way. The decor was discrete, but also slightly shabby in places eg chipped paint on the furniture, dirty balcony.
The pool is large and unlike most hotel pools you could definitely swin lengths in it. I found the changing rooms a bit dirty though - it was towards the end of the day, but would have expected someone to come a check them over regularly. We both had a treatment in the spa, which was fine - not amazing, but nothing to complain about.
We didn't have dinner in the hotel, but the breakfast was good. Again, not amazing - the portions were good, but it was overcooked and a bit bland.
All in all if we went back to Dublin we would consider staying at the Merrion as it is a really nice hotel. At 260Eur for 1 night though I would expect it to be as good as it was and maybe a bit better.
Our stay @ The Merrion
Overall, the stay would have been 100% had it not been for the temperature of the room. The service was outstanding from the Concierge to the cleaner, and the food and facilities were excellent. A swim in the Spa is a must, one of the best pools I have been in. The terrace for cocktails was complimented by fantastic weather (although it chills when the sun disappears!) and the art collection is incredible.
I mentioned the temerature to reception on 4 occassions (with no avail) and also heard the recepionist answerng a similar call whilst waiting to comment again..! It's a shame that the stuffiness of the room let our stay down.
Christ Church Cathedral, decorated floor tiles
3 pints of guinness.....
Storytelling at O'Neill's Pub
best hotel location
Does anyone have any suggestions as to where the best area to stay in is? We'll be going sometime in July for about a week, and we'd like a nice location that is pretty close to main attractions, as well as restaurants and such. Thanks!
Re: best hotel location
If you want a lively area you want Temple Bar. It can get a bit noisy at times but somewhere like Jury's inn : www.jurys-dublin-hotels.com/jurysinn_christchurch . I remember walking by that Hotel once and thought to myself i wish i was staying there instead of where i was where you could hear trains going by all hours of the day & night. So Christchurch is probably the best area to stay in. Another useful website could be :
Re: best hotel location
What is your price range? We liked the Conrad Hilton for its walking distance to lots of great things.
Re: best hotel location
It depends on your price range and what you mean by "best". For me the Westbury, just off Grafton St, or the Shelbourne on St Stephens Green or the Merrion Hotel across from the Parliment Buildings are the best locations for shopping and nightlife. The Radisson St Helen's SAS on the Stillorgan Rd is probably the best location if you want to mix it up between the city centre and the beautiful Mountains and beachesin Wicklow, Marina and markets in Dun Laoghaire. All of the above would be on the Pricey side but check out Laterooms.com. If these are too pricey just check out hotels in the same locations.