GG and I spent a night in The Merrion a few weeks ago and it was heaven. We were actually supposed to go after Christmas, but then we had another lockdown! We have been starved of pampering because of Covid and at this stage of our lives we do enjoy a bit of luxury now and again. Have a read of my review of our stay in Harvey’s Point in Donegal a few years ago. It was so good we are hoping to return later this year.
The Merrion façade is four townhouses dating back to the 1760s. So discreet, unless you knew it was there, you could easily pass it by. But you might see one of the lovely doormen/valets in their top hats bring a guest’s car from the underground car park or call a taxi.
Here is one of these lovely doormen (he removed his mask briefly for me) waiting to welcome us.
There are separate entrances to The Cellar Bar and the Michelin-star Patrick Guilbaud Restaurant, both of which were closed because of the Covid restrictions.
The interior is equally striking. When you step inside, the lobby is spacious and airy with imposing marble columns. Pre-Covid, I have enjoyed afternoon tea in the gorgeous, elegant drawing room and had a G&T in the bar with some friends.
The Merrion has an amazing private art collection and we took the opportunity to spend an hour or so on a guided audio tour of its paintings, all of which are hung in the older part of the hotel.
At the back of the Georgian buildings is The Terrace where you can eat lunch or have drinks and where the newer bedroom wings surround a beautiful courtyard.
Here you will also find The Garden Restaurant, while dotted all around are cabanas, perfect in these Covid times where you can socially distance to your heart’s content. My dress above is an old Whistles dress while the dress below is a recent purchase from a new Malahide Boutique on Old Street ‘Studio 124’.
A bronze sculpture of James Joyce overlooks the Garden.
The Merrion is so central, perfect for shopping (Grafton Street is minutes away), for exploring Georgian Dublin, for museums such as The Little Museum of Dublin, and The National Art Gallery.
We got the DART in to Pearse Station and about 7 minutes later we were outside the hotel. But of course they have parking if you want to bring your car.
Dropping our bags off about noon, we had a mooch around Stephen’s Green. There were plenty of people about enjoying the good weather. It just happened to be Bloomsday so there was added atmosphere around the Grafton Street area with so many people suitably dressed to mark the annual celebration of James Joyce.
Grafton Street was less busy and it was sad to see the number of shops that have closed (for good) due to the pandemic. Brown Thomas was still quite busy though!
If you wanted to go a bit further afield, you could borrow one of the Hotel’s bikes and maybe take a picnic up along the canal.
When we got back to The Merrion our room was ready. Overlooking Government Buildings (below) it was in the older part of the hotel and it did not disappoint.
Spacious and elegantly furnished, it was exactly what you expect from a 5-star hotel. A large comfortable bed with luxury-thread bed linen meant we slept like babies. Nespresso machine, mineral water, luxury Asprey toiletries and soft bathrobes all added to the pampering experience.
We had dinner that evening and breakfast the next morning in The Garden Restaurant. The food was delicious, the staff was friendly and welcoming. I did not take photos of the food as I was enjoying the experience of eating out.
Most importantly, we felt incredibly safe. I never saw a member of staff enter the restaurant or pass by the numerous sanitisers dotted about the hotel without sanitising. Masks were worn properly and fitted perfectly. No falling off noses or popping them up and down. Guests were required to wear them in public areas.
The Merrion has a lovely pool and spa and though we did not indulge this time, we might just have to return again in September for another 5-star experience.
We deserve it.
I popped onto their website and noticed that they still have a special offer of dinner, bed and breakfast, and a bottle of champagne in your room for just over €400. I think it was incredible value for the experience we enjoyed.
Go on, you are worth it.