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The Dean 4.0

Dublin, Ireland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • On Harcourt Street, ground zero for nightlife lovers
  • Instagram-worthy rooms with rotary dial phones and other fun retro touches
  • In-room perks include Smeg minifridges and smart TVs with Netflix
  • Rooms range from petite Mod Pods and Punk Bunks to a sprawling penthouse
  • Stylish rooftop bar cum restaurant with panoramic views 
  • Popular basement club with DJs spinning nightly
  • 24-hour reception desk and room service
  • Free Wi-Fi 

Cons

  • Nightlife -- inside the hotel and out -- creates a noisy environment
  • The smallest guest rooms can feel cramped
  • No fitness center or spa
  • No on-site parking (discounted off-site parking is available) 
  • Breakfast is not included

Bottom Line

Although it occupies a restrained-looking Georgian building, this upscale boutique hotel in the south-central part of the city is anything but staid. Its location in the noisily beating heart of Dublin’s nightclub district makes sure of that. The Dean’s credo (“We don’t do conventional. We do fun.”) is borne out inside as well, where you will find an assortment of trendy bars and restaurants plus 52 amenity-crammed, retro-chic rooms that come in a variety of sizes. This, of course, isn’t the only Dublin hotel that aims for hip rather than hushed and historic. Travelers could also consider The Beacon and The Morgan, who also eschew a twee, traditional Irish tone; however, this bustling see-and-be-seen spot offers a more central location than the former and a more youthful aesthetic than the latter. 

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Scene

A party-friendly boutique hotel that's full of personality and prone to noise

Trendy young nightlife lovers who have an eye for style and are prepared to pay extra for it are drawn to The Dean. The hotel's understated brick facade, dark fanlighted door and discreet signage whisper “Georgian;” yet its lobby -- all chrome, leather, and concrete -- screams contemporary cool. It has just enough in the way of kitschy accoutrements and comfy sink-into seating to make it welcoming rather than intimidating. On one end, the reception desk topped with a neon installation by Tracey Emin underscores the emphasis on original art evident throughout the hotel; on the other is a bar, where DJs spin tunes each weekend. The beat goes on downstairs in the boisterous basement club and upstairs in the rooftop restaurant-bar. It even extends to the floors in between: after all, guests can choose from room categories with names like Hi-Fi and Punk Bunk. Because The Dean is part of a larger south-central Dublin scene, enthusiastic staffers can point you in the right direction if you feel the need for off-site entertainment.

Location

A prime location for night owls within walking distance of top daytime sites

The copious supply of ear plugs in every room sums up The Dean’s south-central location. Harcourt is a busy (read: noisy) commercial street that is home to some of Dublin’s most lively clubs. Copper Face Jacks and Dicey's Garden, for example, are both in easy staggering distance, and Everleigh Garden takes up the hotel basement. You don’t have to be a party animal, however, to appreciate The Dean’s proximity to Grafton Street shops, urban sanctuaries (such as St. Stephen’s Green) or major tourist attractions (including St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College’s Old Library). For sightseers going farther afield, there is a LUAS tram stop right across the street. The hotel also lends out bikes if you prefer to pedal.

  • Five-minute walk to Grafton Street shopping district 
  • Seven-minute walk to St. Stephen's Green
  • Eight-minute walk to Gaiety Theatre
  • 11-minute walk to St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • 15-minute walk to Old Library, Trinity College (Book of Kells)
  • 17-minute walk to Merrion Square museums
  • 19-minute walk to Ha'penny Bridge (14 minutes via public transport)
  • Nine-minute drive to Guinness Storehouse
  • 16 minutes to Dublin Castle via public transport
  • 25 minutes to the Convention Center via public transport
  • 35 minutes to Kilmainham Gaol via public transport 
  • 37-minute drive to Dublin Airport (47 minutes via public transport)

Rooms

Quirky, well-equipped accommodations that are hip but not haughty

Some uber-cool hotel rooms take minimalism to the extreme. The Dean goes the opposite route, filling them with “stuff that will make you smile.” This means that aside from the expected hairdryers, safes, and coffee/ tea-making facilities, you’ll also find free Wi-Fi and a smart Samsung TV with Netflix. Accommodation types -- ranging from minuscule, 135-square foot Mod Pods to generously proportioned suites -- typically have distressed floors, decorative molding and a tweedy palette of greens and grays that evoke their Georgian roots. Loads of fun flourishes, though, create a vibe that is more ‘70s than 1700s. Each, for instance, is outfitted with an electric-orange (and oh-so hip) Smeg minifridge. In all but the smallest rooms, bright Nespresso machines, funky articulated floor lamps and, in some cases, bold geometric rugs add further splashes of color; the penthouse even has a lipstick-red Ploum sofa and matching foosball table. Living areas feature lots of retro touches, too. These include rotary dial phones and gadget docks that look like vintage Marshall amps; upgrade from a Mod Pod or Punk Bunk and you’ll also get a Rega turntable plus plenty of records to play on it. The downside, especially in the lowest accommodation categories, is that the sheer volume of stuff can make them seem cluttered and cramped rather than eclectic. The bathrooms, with their white subway tiles and big walk-in power showers, are more subdued. But sleek contemporary sinks with matte-black faucets and tubular lighting ensure they remain suitably stylish. Oversized pump bottles of Dean-branded toiletries from The Grafton Barber are a welcome extra, as are the free ear plugs (which you will likely need given the noise generated by late-night revelers). 

Features

From the basement club to the rooftop restaurant, entertainment is the focus here.

Since the focus here is more on hedonism than health, you won’t find fitness facilities at The Dean. On the contrary, the big draw is a trio of popular on-site entertainment venues encouraging guests to drink and be merry. Music factors in heavily with each of them (not surprising as the team behind this hotel was also responsible for U2’s Dublin lodging, The Clarence). Everleigh Garden, the boisterous club in the basement, attracts party hearty types every night of the week, while the lobby bar has a curated daytime playlist plus DJs spinning late on the weekend. 

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights a DJ is also in residence at Sophie’s, the hotel’s literal highlight. This rooftop restaurant-slash-bar serves wood-fired pizzas, killer cocktails and more, all with a side order of scenery. Its city views are some of the best around, and its lounge-able outdoor terrace is the perfect place to either kickstart your evening with an apéro or end it with a nightcap. Early risers (or the sleep deprived) can also launch their day at Sophie's by ordering a full Irish breakfast and The Dean’s signature drink -- a gin-laced 6:30 Wake Up Call. 

Round-the-clock perks include a 24-hour reception desk and 24-hour room service. When work can’t be avoided, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s 24-hour business center, too; a meeting room is also available, and there is free Wi-Fi throughout. Dry cleaning/laundry services, free bike rentals, and discounted off-site parking round out the list of amenities.

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Address

33 Harcourt Street, Dublin, Province of Leinster 2, Ireland

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