Dublin Docklands is an area of the city of Dublin, Ireland, on both sides of the River Liffey, roughly from Talbot Memorial Bridge eastwards to the Point Depot. The Docklands has over recent years been regenerated into a modern business hub. The area has over 600 enterprises with new companies moving in every month. The recent unban regeneration has transformed the Docklands into an innovative built environment and a uniquely modern area in which to do business. New infrastructure, such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the LUAS Docklands extension, has made the area more accessible. New venues, including the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, the refurbished O2 Arena and the Convention Centre Dublin have all become modern Dublin landmarks. In tandem with the presence of national and international leaders in the finance, legal, digital and communications sectors, the Docklands has become a vibrant working and living district in the city of Dublin. At the heart of this new generated area, facing the
Bord Gais Energy Theatre is The Marker Hotel.
Extraordinary, surprising and luxurious, The Marker Hotel is the perfect urban retreat for those who crave the unconventional yet still expect exceptional standards of service. The architecture of the hotel draws on the elemental nature of the Irish landscape and combines it with a sleek urban aesthetic, creating an experience that is distinctly Irish and truly inimitable. This elemental style is carried right through from the ground floor cocktail bar and brasserie, through the unique geometric layouts of the 187 bedrooms, to the rooftop garden, reaching across the cityscape to the stunning natural beauty of the mountains and the sea. In the shadow of Dublin’s mountains, The Marker Hotel exudes modern sophistication and would not look out of place on the quayside of Barcelona’s Marina.
After a hellish journey from London, Emily and I were relieved – no, ecstatic – to make it to The Marker Hotel in one piece. With such a warm Irish welcome at reception, we were put at ease instantaneously but as we were so late there was little time till our dinner reservation at The Brasserie, so we were quickly shown to our room. The room and suite views vary from the Grand Canal Square, the Docklands, to the Dublin and Wicklow mountains and right out to sea. With an emphasis on original, cutting edge design the rooms really deliver on style and comfort. In total there are 166 guestrooms, all with marble bathrooms, fourteen corner suites, four luxury suites, two luxury one-bedroom suites and the Presidential Suite. The rooms feature a palette of crisp white linens and soft, natural textures are contrasted with punches of vibrant colour. Furnishings have been carefully chosen for design aesthetics, yet also to ensure that you have every convenience at your fingertips. Everything has been considered, from full-size work desks, clever desk lamps with iPhone and iPad charging stations to luxurious toiletries. Our large corner suite over looked the old chimney that harks back to the original roots of the Docklands as an industrial hub of Dublin. This spacious room had floor to ceiling windows, bespoke armchairs, sofas and footstools, creating the perfect space for chilling out while long console desks and Eames-style task chairs provide ample space and comfort for catching up on some work (that could wait till after dinner!). The spacious bathroom was finished throughout in Black Nero Marquina and White Carrera marble, with luxurious deep baths, rainforest showers and Malin+Goetz products. Looking around it was hard to realize one was in Dublin; this hotel stands out as a mecca of modern cool, something one would expect of a city in Spain or The Netherlands, not Ireland. Even the corridors with their long aspect hallways and the juxtaposition of room doors to those corridors were like something out of an Escher canvas.
After a fabulous shower in the rainforest shower, Emily and I made our way down to The Brasserie for dinner. Modern European with a touch of Irish, it was a truly delightful meal, one that lasted way beyond bedtime thanks to the wonderful staff. Cajoled (I use this word loosely as I am never one to be able to say no) into cocktails in the bar, Emily and I took a seat by the roaring fire while barman Michael Keane prepared boozy delights to warm even the coldest soul. Finishing off our night in typical BBB style with espresso martinis, we made our way back to our suite and a much-needed night’s sleep.
Waking for breakfast, I was grateful for the alarm – with blackout curtains it is somewhat difficult to work out if day or night, perfect for someone like me who hates the light when trying to sleep. Breakfast was a tasty affair with a sumptuous buffet of pretty much anything one could conceivably want for breakfast, all served with that irrefutable Irish charm. After a tour of the hotel, where we got to see the wellness spa that boasts a stunning infinity pool – a genuine sanctuary for guests and a rare find in such a central city location – and the Rooftop Bar and Terrace in all its daylight glory as it reaches across the cityscape to the wild natural beauty of the mountains and the sea.
Jumping in a cab, we whizzed through the modern industrial sprawl of the Docklands with its glass and architectural bridges and took a step back in time as we reached our destination in the heritage centre of Dublin, St. Stephens Green. The Marker Hotel, at the heart of the newly reinvigorated Docklands, is a true modem marvel. Jutting out of the landscape like a force of rock and glass it is worthy of ranking amongst some of the best design hotels in Europe BUT what sets it apart, and it is in Dublin after all, is the service, with that witty Irish charm and ability to make even the weariest traveller smile The Marker Hotel is not only making its mark in Dublin but beyond.
The Marker Hotel
Grand Canal Square