It’s just over 20 years old, but the palatial Intercontinental Hotel has done so much, it feels like a grand dame of Dublin hotels.
As of the Four Seasons in 2001, the sprawling Hotel Celtic Tiger was an immediate, ironic-free temple to Ireland. Set deep within D4, the OTT boom-time build ties the city’s Georgian and Victorian heritage, while somehow trampling both; The interior was strewn with chandeliers, opulent suites, and miles of marble; The infamous Ice Bar hosted an exciting influx of developers, champagne and glamor models. It was the best of times. It was the worst time.
The hotel has since been acquired by the MHL Collection of Ireland (which includes the Westin and Powerscourt Hotels), and today operates under the franchise as an Intercontinental.
The scale, chandeliers and ice bar remain, but it has been evolving and adding layers in recent years – for example, the renovation of its public areas and whiskey bar, and its garden porches and terrace during the pandemic. to reboot. Looks like it’s time to check in.
arrival and location
Intercon calls itself “Dublin’s only true five-star urban resort”, and its portico offers an extravagant and slightly intimidating set-down (I evacuate my family Ford before I arrive). A 221D Porsche parked nearby, we were offered valet parking for €25 or self-parking for €18, and a doorman hurriedly came to pick up our bags.
Of course, the staff is too professional to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Stepping into the lobby, with its large vases of fresh flowers that take your eyes off the lounge, the receptionist and concierge were the epitome of friendship behind face masks. We were checked in in an instant with the elevator, and a welcome note outlining the things to do in the area, from walking around to city events (Dublin is described as a 10-minute walk away) was given. 8/10
service and style
Pre-pandemic, Intercon performed a staggering amount of leisure, corporate, wedding and event business. It’s quiet now, but I love the space and serenity in its lounge, luxuries over breakfast and browsing a stunning art collection (including Tony O’Malley, Orla de Bri and Blaise Drummond – ask concierge Valerie Keogh for the lowdown) .
It still feels flashy and showy, but the refurbished Whiskey Bar is a warm, classy nook; The lounge is tasteful and airy, and the remodeled garden adds a whole new dimension to the nice weather. There’s plenty of room for distancing, operating feels sure and safe, and we started the evening with a pianist listening to young families, couples, and other fellow guests in the middle of these beautiful rooms.
Below deck is a small spa and two-lane, 14m pool, which felt cool and dark during the evening swim (I also found the men’s changing room to be dull and clubby, with a boxed-away sauna overlooking the lounge) Was). I’m told the pool area shines more in daylight – renovations are planned.
I too was well taken back by the ice bar. I expected a Celtic Tiger flashback, but it has become mellow and orderly over time – to me, the white marble, clean lines and textile art panels now feel storied and retro, an interesting mix of design and Dublin lore. A reboot is being discussed, and the space definitely needs a refresh — but can they linger even a little bit in past lives? 7/10
If you like a place to hang out in a hotel room, you have come to the right place. Intercon’s 208 rooms are among the city’s most spacious, with entry-level ‘classics’ starting at 42sqm, and suites like the multi-room hideaways used by The Rolling Stones, Pink and Bruce Springsteen, among other celeb guests. grow up to
We stayed in a two-room suite overlooking the RDS and garden, which had a king-size bed, beautifully crisp sheets, and marble bathrooms combining old and new luxuries. Huge TVs, a deep (though small) shower, full-size iron and smart lights on board and vanity mirrors were creatures of note, but the shower took a few minutes to warm up, and I’d love to see options for mini toiletries. 7/10
Guests can dine in the lounge or at the Seasons restaurant, which serves a three-course table d’hte menu with bread from €60pp – quite reasonable for this level.
The service at dinner and breakfast is lovely – from the moment you’re headed to your table for wine recommendations, polite chat, and invitations to relax as you please. I liked the room better in daylight, when natural light added a glow to the gray-gold tones, and large, conservatory-style windows added blurred lines indoors and out.
Breakfast is a wide spread, if priced at €30pp; Well-crafted care for dinner and an opportunity to bask in the imagination of five-star service, without the rush. We tried a pumpkin risotto from the lounge menu, and a medley of spicy and crunchy beetroot, followed by pan-fried halibut with parsnips and vanilla, from curry and cauliflower seasonings. The salted caramel and apple sponge picks were all delicious and well executed with the desserts. 7.5/10
A Winter Sale offering 20pc off the best available B&B rates. Stay two or three nights, and you can get an additional 15pc discount.
Sandymount Village is a 10-minute walk away, with Bujo’s, Brown’s and local pubs making charming stops. The famous beach is just five minutes ahead.
Dublin is a small but lofty family of five stars – from Shelbourne to Merion, Westbury, Marker and Dylan. To me, Intercon still feels like a brand, an asset you can find in any city. But there’s a place for these resorts too, and it’s becoming increasingly subtle and more discreet than the Celtic Tiger heritage. Check in before the crowds (and sky-high rates) return.
The B&B starts at €285 per room, while a junior suite with dinner and breakfast is on offer from €450 on specials. Pol was a guest of the hotel. IntercontinentalDublin.ie