Fodor's Expert Review The Spencer

IFSC, Dublin, Co. Dublin, 1, Ireland See on Map

Built with business guests in mind, this high-rise hotel in the middle of the International Financial Services Centre has been a surprise hit with all travelers interested in the business of good value and clean, quiet rooms with good amenities. The office-block-like exterior is indistinguishable from many of the financial institutions that surround it, but inside the refurbished public spaces are imaginatively lit and quietly elegant.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel's location is not the most inspiring if you want to soak up Dublin's history, surrounded as it is by modern office blocks. But the city center is a short walk away.


The bedrooms—big by Dublin standards—are all straight lines and contemporary light-oak furnishings. Shades of blue and taupe create a calm environment (the hotel claims its environment is guided by Eastern philosophy, no less), but for true serenity try to get a room at the front with great views out over the Liffey.


Bathrooms are grey and well-appointed, with more cute Eastern-style box plants. Bathrobes and slippers are provided, and standard rooms have rainforest showers.


A sleek, modern lobby, with concrete partitions, yellow seating and what looks at first glance to be a giant honeycomb panel (it's just decorative) behind reception.


The hotel has an 18m heated indoor pool, surrounded by black tiles, part of its comprehensive fitness offering.


There's a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, and the Viola Day spa.


A proper gym rather than fitness suite here, there's a room of cardio machines, weights, and lots of exercise bikes (set up for the Spin classes the hotel offers, among others).


The hotel hosts summer BBQ parties for groups in summer, overlooking the river, or year-round there's East restaurant, ofering Asian classics: try the Nasi Goreng.


The funky Spencer Cocktail Bar attracts a hip, after-work crowd, with outdoor seating and river views.

Try the Hendricks G&T with cucumber and black pepper, or learn how to make more adventurous combinations at one of the hotel's cocktail classes (must be booked for groups of 10 or more).


Getting Around

The hotel is a 20-minute walk into Dublin city center proper, although it's a pleasant walk along the River Liffey. There are also trams and buses that can connect you.


There are a few good options in the IFSC itself - J2 Grill and Sushi (2-minute walk) is a good Japanese restaurant overlooking the river, or a little further along there's the Harbourmaster Bar and Grill (6-minute walk), serving up good international dishes in an atmospheric former harbourmaster's office.


Right by the Harbourmaster, the ely bar and grill (6-minute walk) serves fresh-tasting cocktails as well as a good menu sourced from the family farm. Or try MV Cill Airne (4-minute walk) a floating restaurant on a vintage boat, for drinks and dinner.


It's a long way from having bags of history, but it does have comfort and modern amenities in spades, including a great fitness offer, plus a pleasant riverside location. Plus, it's only 20 minutes away from the center, and prices are good.




Phones: 01-433–8800

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