Dublin, Ireland Book from

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
With an excellent restaurant and impressive cocktail bar, this bold luxury hotel will dazzle and delight
Walk through the Victorian red-brick building, and you journey through several worlds. Tactile wallpaper, red-and-white Murano glass chandeliers, gold skirting boards, Louis XIV chairs - this is no white-minimalist haven, but a collage of sets from a Tim Burton film. In the slick Dylan Bar you'll find an Art-Nouveau pewter counter, double-sided hearth and fibre optic mood lighting; in the lift, emu skin walls; elsewhere, show-stopping mirrors and metal sculptures. You half expect a cast of fantasy characters to saunter past. Even the pastel restaurant glimmers with pearlised leather and full-length voile curtains.

No expense was spared in the suites either. Expect a panoply of gadgets with all the right names - Bose, Bang & Olufsen- along with 7th Heaven beds which are just as good as they sound. This is the hotel of choice in Dublin for excellent service, stunning food and superb, no-holds-barred comfort.


  • Gastronomic heaven - fine dining, creative cocktails and a long wine list
  • Immaculate, helpful staff exemplify the hotel motto 'Good Service with Style'
  • A great position, 15 minutes away from the busy city centre in a quiet leafy sidestreet
  • Distinctive design with extremely comfortable beds and comprehensive tech
  • This is the place to be seen at weekends, and the terrace is a treat in summer


  • You'll need to book in advance for a weekend table at their popular restaurant
  • Not in the heart of town, but more peaceful as a result
  • Some may find the decor a little OTT, but it's fun for a city jaunt
  • Not to be confused with (unrelated) The Dylan Amsterdam!

Best time to go

Any time is good craic in Dublin, although it can get busy around the Theatre Festival in September-mid-October. The hotel is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day (St Stephen's Day as the locals call it).

Our top tips

Ballsbridge is worth a wander, one of the more genteel and fun neighbourhoods in Dublin. There are heaps of restaurants and bars to explore.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Design Hotel
  • 44
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Best for babies
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service


Walk in to your room and, as if by magic, your favourite tunes emanate from the Bose iPod dock. It's that kind of place. You request your favourite tracks before arrival, and they greet you - in the highest of fidelities.

Dylan Style rooms have a little more character than Dylan Luxury, while the Dylan Experience suites have separate living areas. The top-of-the-range Dylan Signature suite has a decadent super-kingsize bed and Baroque-style furniture enlivened by contemporary fabrics. The bathroom boasts a double-ended bath and an enormous shower, as well its own LCD TV.

But, in deliberate contrast to the high decadence of the ground floor, the palette is warm and autumnal; ours was all lime, silver, purple and warm red. You get the best beds we'd stayed in for a very long time: memory-foam, pocket-sprung and Frette linens. Bedspreads, though vividly patterned, are often monchrome, as are the signed prints of Dublin by Phillip Pankov. Expect custom-made chairs and sofas by award-winning designer Christopher Guy, ample wardrobe space incorporating the minibar, and signature mirrors (some of them on the ceiling).

Bathrooms are no less indulgent: Italian marble, power showers, underfloor heating, fat monogrammed towels and robes, and Mark Buxton products in abundance.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


The Tavern Restaurant - one of the few rooms with a minimum of colour - is also one of the loveliest. Tall French windows face the front terrace, letting daylight stream through floor-length muslin curtains or, at night, spotlights illuminate the room from outside.

Chef Mark Brodie has a modern take on traditional Irish fare, using seasonal ingredients which we hugely enjoyed at dinner in a packed room (do book ahead). Starters included Brandy Bay oysters with cucumber dressing and Irish pork roulade with black pudding. A salt-baked sea bass for two, paired with lemon creamed potatoes and greens makes a sociable main, and desserts range from melting chocolate spheres to a theatrical fairground-style collection including toffee apple donuts and candy floss! Presentation for each course was immaculate and artistic, and there are no fewer than 230 fine wines and champagnes to choose from.

As if that's not enough, Dylan Bar serves a range of excellent (but expensive) cocktails at its spiral pewter counter. The house concoction - vanilla vodka, Galliano, crème de cacao and crème de banane topped with pineapple and grapefruit juice and fresh cream - is as flamboyant and exotic as you'd expect.

Gluttons like us will relish the buffet breakfast, served at an extra charge. There's a vast array of continental treats - croissants,cured meats, juices and smoothies - plus the option to upgrade to a grilled kippers, eggs benedict, pancakes or a traditional Irish breakfast.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


Dylan is set in 'Dublin 4', a leafy, upmarket enclave about 15 minutes' walk south of the heart of the city. Once a haunt of writers such as Kavanagh, Wilde and Beckett, today it's an attractive residential and commercial mix. There's no shortage of things to do, many of them (including current concerts and events) listed in your bedside directory.

  • Shop until you drop in the side streets around Grafton Street

  • See the beautifully illuminated 9th-century Book of Kells, which lies in state in Ireland's premier university, Trinity College, at the bottom of Dame Street

  • Romantic souls like to meander through leafy St Stephen's Green, or wander along the banks of the Liffey

  • Party animals make a beeline for Temple Bar beside the river; many bars and pubs around the city will have live traditional Irish music

  • Culture vultures head for the National Gallery of Ireland which has a swish new extension; or enjoy a night out at the theatre - Dublin boasts several fine venues such as the Abbey, founded by Nobel-prize winner W B Yeats, and the Gate

  • History buffs will enjoy Dublin Castle and the medieval cathedrals, not to mention Georgian Dublin on your doorstep

  • Popular culture enthusiasts will prefer the Guinness Experience at the brewery; don't forget to claim your free pint at the end in the Sky Bar which has views over the city

  • Go racing at Leopardstown, 6 miles south; check out Gaelic football and hurling at Croke Park (Europe's 4th largest stadium); Lansdowne Road (when it's rebuilt in 2009) will host rugby and soccer

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets


Children are welcome, and Dublin has lots to offer families, although this upscale boutique is probably not their natural environment, catering more for couples and business travellers. The concierge is happy to make recommendations and bookings for outdoor activities and shows for kids.

Family friendly accommodation:

All room categories apart from Dylan Luxury can take an extra bed or baby cot


Babysitting available on request

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • National Leprechaun Museum
  • Dublin Zoo
  • Herbert Park


  • Airport: 20 minutes via the port
  • Hospital: 9 minutes
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:

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