Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 1 687 5100
Rooftop and lobby bars, urban spa and indoor pool
There was huge buzz around the five-star Marker when it opened its doors in 2013. As the first five-star opening in the Irish capital – housed in a building that had been in limbo for some years – it was a sign that the economic good times were back and its modernist aesthetic has set an exciting new contemporary pace for a city that’s long been stuck in a Georgian, literary groove.
A 20-minute walk from Trinity College and the main tourist sites, the hotel is at the heart of the Grand Canal Dock waterside and adjacent to Google and Facebook’s HQs, as well as U2’s studios. This is very much new-wave Dublin, with Daniel Libeskind’s kinetic Bord Gáis Energy Theatre next door, flanking the futuristic landscaping and playful red poles of Martha Schwartz’s public square.
Visiting rock and sports stars in town for performances and matches, and laptop-wielding employees of nearby social media superhubs.
Modernity, though for all its Salone del Mobile styling, it’s the service that’s the thing – staff get to know guests by name instantly, and everything works like clockwork, with a warm smile and a welcome engagement.
The Brasserie offers one of the best hotel breakfasts in the city. Of particular note are butcher Tommy Doherty’s sausages on the buffet (Irish sausages are very much a thing, held in high regard by carnivores around the world). Evening meals are classic with contemporary twists, featuring fresh local produce. The spa is superb, with a whimsical chill-out area featuring mini hybrid hammock yurts, and a chic dark-tiled and emerald-green pool area. The lobby bar can be frenetic after work, but the real scene is on the rooftop, where a bar operates in fine weather.
The exterior is particularly striking – a Modernist interpretation of the Giant’s Causeway. The fresh, bright interior features angled wall panels in the corridors which crescendo in a kind of Frank Gehry fractal cave in the main lobby and brasserie.