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Merrion Hotel

Address: Upper Merrion St.

Neighborhood: Fitzwilliam Square

City: Dublin

Phone: 011-353-1-603-0600

Website: www.merrionhotel.com

Expert Review

This restored row of 18th-century Georgian town houses, just steps from Dublin's leafy Merrion Square, treats guests to a singular experience of the Irish capital. Converted to a hotel in 1997, the Merrion maintains the aura of an enduring grand dame, yet remains free of any high-handedness. Interior design pays homage to the property's Georgian genesis. The four landmarked buildings that comprise the Main House had stints as state offices and aristocratic residences and even as the birthplace of the first Duke of Wellington, defeater of Napoleon at Waterloo. Unlike the lobbies of many high-end properties, which tend to be cold and transitory, The Merrion sports a series of cozy, old-world drawing rooms with delicate rococo plasterwork and 19th- and 20th-century Irish art. Plush couches and working fireplaces encourage gathering for Art Tea – an afternoon tea service with pastries inspired by the artworks. The Tethra Spa's neoclassic-style indoor swimming pool supplies an aquatic amenity that's rare for city center hotels. The large guest rooms are opulent, with high ceilings and framed mirrors. Rooms in the main house have more old-world character; those in the contemporary Garden Wing are contemporary and overlook the hotel's 18th-century gardens. The Merrion is home to refined cocktail bar, No. 23, and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, a two-star Michelin establishment that is one of the city’s top dining spots. Yet the true gem might be the unpretentious Cellar Restaurant and Bar, serving some of the finest fish and chips in town. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

Tags: luxury | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | great location

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