Merging urban sophistication with rustic Irish charm (seriously!), a brand-new hotel opened in Dublin's Docklands area this spring.
With 187 rooms, The Marker Hotel promotes lots of pampering with an infinity-edge pool in the spa and a rooftop garden lounge in which to kick back. Each room is decorated with chartreuse, French-blue, and heather-grey hues paired with an Italian Carrara and Black Nero Marquina marble bathroom stocked with Malin & Goetz skin- and hair-care amenities. There are six room categories, some with a Philippe Starck-designed lamp and an Eames-style task chair.
At the hotel's brasserie, the food—for breakfast and lunch, plus a special à la carte or pre-theatre menu (next door is the Bord Gais Energy Theatre)—straddles Irish and locally sourced, served in a space marked by modern furnishings that includes a Panton chair. A grey marble table paired with white private booths and banquette seating creates comfortable, stylish seating options. Some of the authentically Irish dishes include porridge and smoked salmon for breakfast; Irish beef carpaccio or champ mash for lunch; and freshly shucked Irish oysters at dinner. At The Marker Bar, guests can warm up in front of a fireplace while sipping cocktails, while docking stations along a workbench attract business travelers. The bar's food menu is lighter than what's served in the brasserie, including a house terrine, Irish beef sandwich, and a plate of Italian cured meats. And in June the rooftop lounge will debut, complete with plantings of indigenous flora and grasses nestled among seating areas.
Four treatment rooms in the spa, along with an infinity-edge pool, help guests carve out a little bit of quiet time. Two retro-inspired cocoons suspended from the ceiling create a cozy resting space. At the gym, guests will find free weights and cardiovascular machines, as well as a scenic bicycle ride (choose from California's Trinity Mountains or France's Col de la Colombiere) you can access through your smartphone.
An introductory offer (with rates starting at 169 euros) through May 7 allows for a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room, along with free breakfast for two. There is also a deal on suites: rates start at 249 Euros ($324) for a free upgrade to a suite, also including breakfast for two, on stays through May 7.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of The Marker Hotel