The Marker Hotel, Dublin
When best laid travel plans end up going a little sideways, it’s always nice to know that the change of plans involves checking into a five-star hotel upon arrival. Back in March of 2018, I was excited to embark on my first trip to Ireland. Two days prior to the flight out there, it became clear that my connection in Philadelphia would be almost impossible due to an impending nor’easter that eventually dumped a few feet of snow on the Northeast. After a rather painful hour on the phone to American Airlines Customer Service, I had a new flight, that instead connected through London to Dublin. This change in flights meant that I needed to book an extra night in Dublin before heading out to the west coast to Ashford Castle. With Chase points aplenty, I chose the Marker Hotel for its great reviews and fantastic pool.
I arrived in late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to think about setting. I was greeted by a very lovely porter with a top hat (so fancy) and brought inside to the very modern lobby to check in. I was on the second floor - I think - and booked a Deluxe King room that had a lovely view out toward the front of the hotel and Grand Canal.
I quickly took some snaps of the room before the light totally faded, resisted the urge to succumb to jet lag and pass out on the bed, and treated myself to a hot shower in the gloriously shiny marble bathroom. The room was large and clean, with kind of a funky modern twist like much of the rest of the hotel. While I’m not sure that I’d pair blue carpet and mustard upholstery together, it all felt intentional and quirky which ultimately worked. I loved the local magazines and hotel guides that were laid next to some much needed water. I actually spotted a couple of hotels I’d later stay in in one of the books. Definitely made me even more excited for the rest of my trip.
Following a much needed refresh, I set out for a quick walk before it got too dark. I didn’t get far before happening upon some swans lazily gliding across Grand Canal at golden hour. I’m always a sucker for trying to befriend any animal I cross paths with, and think I managed to this time. From the Canal, I wandered aimlessly for about 45 minutes, and took in the bustle of the city at rush hour. As it got darker, I headed back to the Marker and discovered that my company’s Dublin office was actually right next door. Taking the opportunity to do some professional sightseeing, and test out how the food in the Dublin office fared, I headed inside to grab a quick bite to eat and see what it looked like. The next morning, I even met up with some of my Irish coworkers for breakfast and coffee. It was a lovely little surprise.
Though food was plentiful, drinks however were not. So - I headed back into the hotel to grab a quick pre-pool cocktail at the lobby bar. Thus began stop one of my Irish Gin Tasting Adventure that would continue throughout the week. Here, I sampled Gunpowder Irish Gin with Fever Tree Tonic.The cocktail came with a little bowl of caramel corn, which made for a lovely little dessert.
Moving on from the bar, I nipped back into the room to put on my bathing suit and head into the pool Remember, this was a big reason for booking this hotel. I’m a big fan of a steam room/sauna/hot tub session after a long, cramped flight (or really, on any occasion). Due to the nature of the space, I left my phone and camera upstairs, but can share the photo that drew me in on the website. It’s amazing that the infinity pool blends seamlessly into the sleek black floors, creating an illusion that the pool never ends. My excitement was never ending when I discovered that I had the whole spa to myself upon arriving. It was perfect.
Unsurprisingly, I passed out soundly after relaxing in the spa. I woke up the next morning, ready as I’d ever be, to brave driving on the left as I embarked on my Western Ireland road trip. All great journeys start with a cup of coffee, and all great hotel stays end with a bit of a lie in and breakfast in bed in a fluffy robe.
You can book The Marker Hotel direct through their website, or through Hotels.com where you can earn toward and redeem free nights. Through this link, you can also save $50 off your first booking :)