The history and scenic landscapes of Ireland, materialize in the grounding and contemporary style of this retreat in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands
Dublin had been tempting us for some time with its fantastic foodie scene. We were eager to visit its emblematic pubs and mingle with its famously friendly locals. And let’s face it – we couldn’t wait any longer to get our share of Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and frosty pints of Guinness. We had five days to fill before we set off to Venice, so we finally decided to head to Dublin and see for ourselves what the hype was about!
I can’t believe it took us two years to land in Dublin. It’s a phenomenal city in its own right and so easy to travel to if you’re coming from another European city. Although Dublin offers tons of hotels to stay in, nothing really piqued our interest at first. To fully absorb the urban essence of Dublin, we wanted to stay in the city center in a stylishly designed hotel. So when I came across The Marker, I immediately fell in love with the alluring exterior architecture. When I read the reviews, which raved about the hotel’s restaurant and overall design, I was sold. Although The Marker is a 15-minute walk from the city center, we were willing to sacrifice proximity for a homey stay in Dublin.
A Hotel With Natural Inspiration
The name of The Marker lends a unique insight into old Dublin history. The name of the hotel comes from the Grand Canal, an 82-mile inland trade route lined with iron “markers.” Back in the day, each marker indicated to the traveler how far they were from the end of the canal. The final marker was in the Grand Canal Square, where The Marker now resides proudly. Centuries ago, the Grand Canal was the bloodline of the city, carrying lots of exotic cargo like bananas and coffee. Staying in this hotel was a fun way for us to historically experience Dublin, despite the modern surroundings :)
Now The Marker is a contemporary symbol with historical roots in Dublin’s Docklands – a techy and modern part of the city. During our stay, we were neighbors to the corporate offices of Facebook, Google, and the Grand Canal Theatre. We watched young professionals scurrying in front of the hotel throughout the day. At night, locals filled the hotel bar and restaurant, chatting over cocktails and a laid-back meal. It didn’t take us long to realize The Marker was the place to be; Colin Farrell was even lounging in the lobby when we arrived.
When you step into The Marker, you will be enveloped in its brilliant design. The architecture of the hotel is modeled after Ireland’s lush and breathtaking scenery, and upgraded with urban influence. The geometrical appeal of the lobby, for example, is inspired by the hexagonal volcanic rock of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, while the glass walls represent the aquatic, green landscapes of Ireland’s coastlines. Immersed in such symbolic design, we felt like we were really getting an authentic Irish experience...with a modern twist. The earthy color palette of the hotel – greens, grays, yellows, and browns – felt as grounding as it was stylish.
Modern Amenities all Throughout
The Marker extends its classiness to the gym, spa, restaurants, and bars. The gym has all the latest equipment you could need to have a great workout, although you might be more tempted to pass your time in the spa. The Marker’s spa, or “wellness area,” is designed with dark colors to feel as comforting as a cocoon. The infinity pool is spacious and calming, while the dark tones and natural lighting makes this area just plain sexy!
You’ll also love the restaurant and bars at The Marker, especially The Rooftop Bar and Terrace, Dublin’s only rooftop bar. A wild and rocky landscape in Southwest Ireland, called The Burren, inspires the design of this chic bar. On the rare sunny day, the views off the terrace are stunning. We were swept away by the surrounding architecture, which was fun to photograph in the evening. Past the buildings, you’ll get a glimpse at the mountains and ocean that make up Ireland’s natural beauty.
Simply Cozy Quarters
During our stay at The Marker, we stayed in a deluxe room that cast lovely panoramic views of the Grand Canal Square and urban expanse. Original artwork and furniture by Irish designers adorned the space colorfully. Although our room was small, it was cozy and accommodating with décor that felt somehow distinctively Irish (maybe it was the shades of green!). The Italian White Carrara and Black Nero Marquina marble in the bathroom looked sharp and modern…. And of course I loved the Malin+Goetz toiletries!
Dinning at The Marker
Even if you aren’t staying at The Marker, you can’t miss dinner at The Brasserie. The focus of The Brasserie orients around traditional Irish culinary style, which emphasizes the creative simplicity of one central ingredient. At the same time, we saw that the restaurant gave its menu a modern twist while keeping everything locally and freshly sourced.
We had the tasting menu and tried surprisingly amazing dishes like king scallops and pickled rabbit ragout, served with a hazelnut emulsion and sweet rhubarb...and yes rabbit and scallops go phenomenally together. The charming manager ensured that we had perfectly paired wines for the meal, which we were already enjoying immensely. Breakfast is also served at The Brasserie, where you can get fresh fruit, granola, and all the fixings for a typical Irish breakfast. You have to try the sausages!
A Cocktail Or Two On The Rooftop
Although our trip to Dublin was rainy, we still enjoyed the stormy views from The Rooftop Bar and Terrace. Most of the bar is outdoors, but they have a small covered area with heat lamps, snug blankets, and a small glass enclose. Because of the weather, we recommend making reservations.
The bar has a wide variety of cocktails – you can enjoy a classic Manhattan or one of their own concoctions, like The Solero: Absolut Vanilla, Cointreau, vanilla syrup, passion fruit puree, and OJ! Don't be afraid to tell the bartender what you like and let them pick out something... I asked the them to make me something spicy with mezcal and they delivered!
A Taste Of Dublin At The Marker
This hotel is perfect for those who are into design and professional yet warm hospitality. The Marker is an authentic way to experience Dublin and get into the Irish spirit. When you’re not caught up in enjoying this home away from home, you can see what Dublin has to offer. The Marker is close to the train station, but it’s best to pack some walking shoes and head to the city by foot. It’s only a 15-20 minute walk, and you’ll enjoy the surroundings as you go! If you’re looking for something to do, inspect the Book of Kells at the Old Library in Trinity College, or stroll the quaint shops of Grafton Street.
For more information about The Marker Hotel, visit their website: