Hotel Intel: Anantara Dublin is a reflection of Ireland itself

Anantara is the only five-star property in the trendy, upscale neighbourhood of Docklands.

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The newly rebranded Anantara The Marker Dublin delivers superlative hospitality with an appealing mix of cosmopolitan energy and restorative tranquillity.

It’s an architecture standout overlooking the Grand Canal Basin of Dublin Bay that relaunched in 2023 after a makeover of the Marker Hotel’s lobby, 187 guest rooms and suites, and the addition of the new restaurant Forbes Street by Gareth Mullins.

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Anantara is the only five-star property in the trendy, upscale neighbourhood of Docklands, so its chic restaurant, fashionable bars and deluxe accommodations are often booked solid. Bentleys and Rolls Royces idle out front as valets ferry Rimowa luggage and heaps of shopping bags from Dublin’s famous Grafton St. The rooftop bar has compelling 360-degree views of the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea. The Marker Bar buzzes from morning espresso to evening cocktails.

In spite of the action, the guest rooms are pin-drop quiet because the hotel faces the Grand Canal Square, a park and promenade.

Couches and tables overlooking a canal.
The rooftop bar at Anantara The Marker Dublin has 360-degree views of the city, the surrounding Wicklow mountains and in the distance, Dublin Bay of the Irish Sea. Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel

Irish spirit: Anantara is modern, edgy and international — but its essence is Irish.

“The hotel resonates with elements indigenous to Ireland,” said Derek A. Brennan, a manager who is a connoisseur of Emerald Isle lore. “The exterior geometric panels recall the Cliffs of Moher, and the interior cantilevered ceiling reflects the basalt formations of the Giant’s Causeway (a craggy northern coastal route).”

Restaurant supervisors wear handsome Irish tweed hacking jackets and the beautiful cashmere and lambswool bed throws are by Foxford of County Mayo.

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A seating area in greys and blues overlooking Dublin.
The new Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel is decked out in sleek, contemporary decor by Irish designers, with a backdrop of compelling water views of the Grand Canal. Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel

Neighbourhood: Docklands is a former industrial area that has boomed, with futuristic glass buildings towering above 18th-century brick warehouses. Also called Silicon Docks, it’s home to high-tech heavies like Google, TikTok, Meta, Ancestry and LinkedIn. It’s great for a walkabout, cycling, a boat tour or even paddleboarding on the Grand Canal.

The prestigious Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, next door to Anantara, is staging La Bohème by the Irish National Opera this fall, The Lion King and, in 2024, Hamilton.

Burnt orange lounge chairs next to an infinity pool with moody lighting.
The Zen-inspired, infinity pool is part of the Anantara Spa in Dublin. Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel

Experiences: Anantara organizes unconventional, authentic Irish escapades (fees apply). “Wild swimming” is an excursion to hidden coves and beaches of the Irish Sea, guided by a marathoner. Another outing is to Ireland’s famous horse races, with insider tips by a trainer.

Gastronomes might tackle a cooking class on Irish soda bread or join Spice Spoons, a jaunt on a fishing boat hosted by chef Mullins.

A check works with seafood at a long counter.
Executive chef Gareth Mullins creates contemporary cuisine with the finest Irish ingredients at Forbes Street in Anantara The Marker Dublin. Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel

Dining: Forbes Street is lively and easygoing, with an open kitchen and tantalizing displays of oysters (called dainties) and excellent wines, including many superior Corovin options by the glass, chosen by master sommelier Maxim Prokopenko.

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Mullins expresses his Irish roots with cockles ‘n’ mussels, Guinness bread, Colcannon mashed potatoes, roast lamb and modern twists on Irish beef tartare and veg dishes like roasted celeriac with hazelnuts.

Mullins is proud of his local ingredients, the best of land and sea. “We know every farm, river, garden and artisan producer.”

Forbes Street’s tour de force is aged beef — ribeye, filet mignon or whiskey-cured T-bone — by revered butcher John Stone of Country Longford, who has an MBE (an honour of the British Empire). Seafood from Irish waters might be tiger prawns, turbot, scallops or sea trout pastrami with Teeling Whiskey crème fraîche.

Breakfast is a don’t-miss for blueberry pancakes and eggs Benedict, with sides of thick-cut Irish bacon, bread and butter pudding, Burren smoked salmon, Cacavan cheese, Wexford strawberries and, from the prestigious Thomas Doherty Meats, black and white puddings. In balance, the Equilibrium menu features a poached egg, avocado, spinach and grilled tomatoes.

Wellness: The lifestyle gurus at both Irish Tatler and Condé Nast have raved about Anantara Spa. It has a Zen ambiance, with an indoor infinity pool, a sauna and a eucalyptus steam room. You can pump iron in the new Techno Gym, join rooftop yoga or rejuvenate with herbal massages.

A lounge with a bar in the background.
The Marker Bar, a contemporary lobby lounge with a terrace on Grand Canal Square, buzzes from morning espresso through lunch to late-night drinks and casual suppers. Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel

If you go

Air Canada flies Montreal-Dublin three times a week, approximately May through September. Toronto-Dublin is daily through October, and four times weekly through winter (aircanada.com).

Anantara The Marker Dublin: 353-01-687-5100 or Leading Hotels of the World, 800-745 8883; anantara.com/en/the-marker-dublin; Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland. Thai-based Anantara operates in Asia, Middle East and Europe.

Price: Best rate guarantee. Rates fluctuate. Approximate sample rates: deluxe room from about $500 in lowest winter season, or junior suites from about $750-$870. Full suites/presidential suite available. Indoor pool (with children’s hours), spa for 16 and older, bicycles, toiletries by Voya of Ireland, evening turn-down, newspapers, Tipperary bottled water, Nespresso coffee/Solaris tea.

Tourism Ireland/Fáilte Ireland: ireland.com; visitdublin.com.

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