The terrace bar at the tastefully modern Gibson Hotel has to be the dream spot to view the impressive skyline and shimmering waterways of Dublin's trendy docklands area. Towering bamboo and surreal murals give the public spaces a dash of the exotic, and add to the overall vibe of an oasis of calm within the bustling city. It's also brilliantly located for the 3 arena music and live entertainment venue (and is in fact a music-themed hotel in itself) - although this does mean it's a bit out of the main center - and it boasts really stellar customer service too, as well as a conference center and meeting rooms.
A Nordic, spacious feel to the design ensures rooms flooded with natural light, and many open onto pleasant private courtyards. Floating shelves, lighting strips cleverly hidden under the beds, and a strong green–organic ethos, add to the chilled-out vibe.
Rooms are for two, but an extra bed can easily fit in, making the hotel useful for families or small groups travelling together.
The crisp white tiled bathrooms are of a reasonable size, with good showers.
Reception is slightly oddly located on the third floor (accessed via lifts and escalators), but staff are friendly and competent, and there are some quirky decorative touches.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There's some construction noise at the hotel at the moment (summer 2018) - and this is probably going to continue because of the development status of the docklands area - but staff will try to accomodate requests for quieter rooms where possible.
The Coda Eatery, named after Led Zeppelin's final studio album, prides itself on using local produce and creating wholesome, healthy dishes. It's also the home of the First Dates TV show - whether that makes you more or less likely to dine there is up to you! Breakfast is not included, but good, and reasonably priced at €13.
The hotel's hemi bar has great views and a bright, modern feel. It can get very busy on gig nights.
The luas tram system stops right outside the hotel, to which is lucky, because the hotel is otherwise not quite in the city center - it's about 30 minutes' walk to the main sights. However, it's close to the docklands attractions, and easy to reach by sea or road due to its proximity to Dublin port.
Try The Brasserie (18-minute walk), the Marker Hotel's well-regarded restaurant, for tasty modern cooking. Or the docklands' branch of the Musashi (12-minute walk) Japanese mini-chain offers great sushi close to the hotel.
The IFSC business district offers a few drinking and dining options on the way into town. Harbourmaster Bar and Restaurant (18-minute walk) is a cool modern joint located in a sympathetically converted former harbourmaster's office. Or The Brew Dock (19-minute walk) is a cosy micro-brewery/pub with good beer.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Modern and sleek, with personality and a real sense of calm, the Gibson is also well-located for gig-goers and business guests, with good meeting facilities.