You know how some people find hotels impersonal and say they could never stay in one for longer than necessary? Well, to start with, I’m definitely not one of them. But when I spent a night at The Dean in Dublin recently, I would have quite happily moved in and called it my forever home if I could afford to.
Before I continue, I’d like to say that I have not been paid by the hotel to write a review. They very kindly gave me an upgrade to a bigger room after I booked it through Hotels.com, where I had zoned in on the stylish interiors like a hawk.
And I think once you’ve scrolled through these pictures, you’ll understand why I’m raving about it so much! By that I don’t mean my photos are particularly great, but it’s undeniable that the whole place looks like something straight out of Instagram’s ‘most popular’ posts, no?
Developed by the people behind U2’s Clarence Hotel, The Dean mixes urban chic with retro vibes and rock’n’roll spirit to perfection. The result is a sassy, bold 4-star abode with loads of surprising features, like the mirrored ceilings in the hallway or the cheeky ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign that tells unwanted visitors to ‘Feck Off’.
Those who are particular about their ambient lighting will fall in love as soon as they set foot on the premises, with the lobby being illuminated by the downstairs bar’s radiant golden glow from one side and the reception’s cool neon glare – which spells ‘I Fell In Love Here’ – from the other.
Checking into the hotel’s HiFi room, I immediately felt at home when I spotted the shoe storage box, which was imprinted with a symbol that clearly showed a pair of Adidas trainers. Or so I like to imagine… Because as you might have noticed, I’m rarely out of my Gazelles.
The room itself opened up to reveal gorgeous views across the city thanks to two feature walls that were made up entirely out of huge windows, wrapping themselves around the corner of the building.
Bed and bathroom scored points for being super comfortable with generous amounts of marshmallow soft pillows and the all-important tropical rain shower head respectively; with the walk-in shower surprising me by having a mirror inside. (It’s only small though and not intended for what you might think, filthy beasts…)
Apart from the overall vibe, what makes The Dean so great is all the finishing touches. Whether it’s a ‘munchies’ tray full of snacks, a selection of wines and Absolut vodka sitting on a shelf ready for consumption, a Marshall record player and amp or a stack of art and erotic books, a lot of attention has gone into stopping you from ever needing – or wanting – to leave your room.
Which brings us onto room service… Okay, so my original plan had been to go out for dinner and drinks in the evening, get a good night’s sleep and then get up at a reasonable time to explore the city. Didn’t happen that way.
Partly because I was struggling with a cold and partly because I felt lazy after weeks of hard work, but also mostly because I loved my room, I ended up eating at the in-house restaurant instead, staying up way too late making the most of the free WiFi and then getting a breakfast brought to the room somewhere around lunchtime the next day.
This is where I need to talk about Sophie‘s for a second. Like I said, there really is little need to leave the hotel, and the ‘glasshouse’ rooftop eatery adds another reason to stay in onto the already impressive list.
The restaurant has stunning 270 degree views on Dublin and is the perfect place for a cosy date or dinner and drinks with friends. It isn’t exactly cheap, but the beautiful setting and quality of the food make it worth a little splurge.
I had the healthy raw tuna with ginger and lemongrass, peppered watermelon and peach & yoghurt dressing for a starter and a not so healthy – but equally delicious – cherry tomato, parma ham, tallegio and rocket pizza for my main.
The next morning rolled around way too soon, and I felt very reluctant to leave behind my newfound spiritual home.
And while Dublin was calling out to me to go and explore, I decided to make the most of the generous 12pm check-out time (See? They just know…) and order room service for breakfast. I mean, brunch.
I don’t usually go for sweet over savoury for breakfast, but the blueberry pancake stack with orange-infused butter sounded way too good to ignore. Adding on a healthy juice and life-reaffirming coffee, it would have been rude not to have breakfast in bed, right?
Enjoying the last of the gorgeous views, I spent another little while reading in my room before admitting defeat and packing up my things.
Dublin, I’m going to have to apologise for not seeing more of you. I swear it wasn’t my fault. But now I have found a true home away from home, I’m sure I’ll be back!
Dean Hotel Dublin, 33 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. For more information check out www.deandublin.ie.