Hotel review

The Grafton, Dublin, Hotel Review: ‘Setting is Great Gatsby crossed with an American restaurant – but it works’ | Travel

What is the story

Less than ten minutes from Temple Bar, on the former site of Bartley Dunne’s – the revered LGBTQ watering hole that made its home here until the 1990s – the Grafton reopened last summer after a refurbishment that gave it gave a great nod to the 1920s art deco style. And, exceptionally, it’s as good a choice for families as it is for a Guinness-fueled hedonistic weekend.

What do we like?

The biggest draw is its central location, as you can explore most of Dublin’s top sights without once jumping into a taxi. The old Harry Potter Library and the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle are all within easy reach.

That shouldn’t stop you from spending time also at the hotel. Topping the list of reasons why Bartley’s Cocktail Bar, an ambience-lit space with friendly staff, filled with traditional hardwoods, red leather, warm brass fixtures and cheerful punters – your place for a sweet pink carnation with lime juice, watermelon syrup and Bombay Sapphire gin (£11), or a tangy Through the Looking Glass with Espolòn Blanco tequila, chilli-infused mango syrup and a rim of pink salt (£11).

A family room

ANDREW BRADLEY

Just beyond the bar is Grafton’s restaurant, also called Bartley’s, where you’ll find great pub grub made with locally sourced ingredients – think Irish mussels with white wine cream (£13) and beef stew and Guinness with creamy mashed potatoes (£16). ), followed by pain au chocolat and butter pudding (£8). The setting is Gatsby the magnificent crossed with an American diner, with caramel-colored light fixtures, tobacco benches and fluorescent pink framed mirrors. It’s an eclectic mix, but it works.

The Grafton, Dublin

Upstairs there are 127 bedrooms in total, ranging from classic doubles to expansive six-person family rooms, complete with a super king and two sets of bunk beds each – no adjoining bedroom in sight. All follow the art deco theme of the ground floor, awash in midnight blue and dotted with brass lampshades and mahogany leather armchairs. The only complaint? Being that center means you are within muffled earshot of the revelry down below. Still, if you’re inclined to partake, you’ll have Terrace Cafe in the glitzy lobby to help you recover the next morning with coffee, fresh pastries, and friendly ears.

What’s nearby?

Just out the front door, you can’t miss the Hairy Lemon, an eerie yellow 19th-century pub that’s a lively place to enjoy a few pints of the dark stuff after dark. Also, don’t miss Mexican restaurant Masa, just across the street, with frozen margaritas and a wicked fish taco. And finally, if you’re wondering how the hotel got its name, it’s thanks to nearby Grafton Street — a bustling shopping district that’s known for its buskers, including Damien Rice and Bono who both played here.

Georgia Stephens was a guest at the Grafton, which offers double guest rooms from £177; mains from £16 (thegrafton.ie). Suitable for children; accepting dogs; accessible; restaurant

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