Cookie FM Rating – 5/5
There are many places to stay in Dublin City, and The Marker Hotel is definitely one of the best experiences in the capital. Last weekend (July 2/3), I had pleasure of an overnight stay with dinner & breakfast, and a two-person spa treatment. Having booked a month in advanced, Dónal and I arrived at the hotel in the Grand Canal Square area shortly after 11am for check-in. Although check-in is officially from 3pm, I was delighted our room was ready as we had spa treatments booked for 12.15pm; therefore we had plenty of time to change into swimwear & robes before heading down.
The spa at The Marker has a lovely waiting area, and we were greeted by Andrea before meeting our respective masseuse, Yvette & Michelle. Each of us received a Customised Body Massage, where I opted for the relaxing massage option using anti-stress eucalyptus oils with medium pressure. Yvette put me at ease within minutes, first talking through the options available and if there were any areas of concern or that I’d like her to focus on. Once I was settled in, Yvette came back in to start the massage, first working on my back, neck, shoulders & arms before moving down to my legs & feet, and then after approx. 30 minutes I turned onto my back for the remainder of the massage. I also received a delightful face & scalp massage, which added to my already super relaxed state. When the massage was over, Yvette allowed time for me to “wake up” and waited on me outside where she then brought me to the Relaxation Room that Dónal had just arrived to. We were offered fresh orange juice and a mango sorbet to rehydrate, and chilled out in the cocoon beds for another half an hour. The massage treatments were amazing & extremely relaxing for the both of us, and we felt comfortable through the whole experience. Later we availed of the swimming pool, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi before heading back to our room – all of which are clean and reflective of the hotel’s high-standard image.
Our bedroom at The Marker was a supersize king suite with all the great aspects of a large room including armchairs & writing desk, a fully stocked mini bar & coffee/tea, and a gorgeous black marble bathroom with a large bath and separate shower as well as lovely toiletries by MALIN + GOETZ. We had a great view across the Grand Canal Square from our window. The bed was extremely comfortable, and I had a great sleep on it, so much so that I do wish we got stay another night!
A big feature of the stay over at The Marker was dining at the hotel’s restaurant, The Brasserie. The table was booked for 6.30pm, which offered us the Pre-Theatre menu. The options for this are slightly limited in comparison to their later À La Carte menu, (which begins approx. at 8pm), however we still found dishes that really tickled our fancy. For starters, I opted for the Chicken & Walnut Terrine; and Dónal ordered Master Stock Pork Cheek. They arrived swiftly after we ordered wine, and were beautifully presented. My starter was presented on a porcelain stone within a wooden board, a slice of terrine topped with the accompanying confit rhubarb, flamed wild artichoke & sorrel mayonnaise as well as more of these on the stone. The terrine itself was delicious, full of flavour that was perfectly complimented by the sides, and its texture was smooth but still had a nutty bite to it. I did taste the Pork Cheek starter and it too was delicious. Extremely flavoursome and melt in your mouth, this starter meshed beautifully with the Kimchi & Sake emulsion and worked very well with the red wine ordered.
Our mains arrived in good time after the starters were cleared, and boy did these two dishes look amazing! My Grilled Salmon Main was a perfect orange-pink with a crispy skin atop, on a bed of cabbage & Brown Beech mushrooms and sweet potato purée, topped with crunchy lotus root crisps, and smoked eel aioli on the side of the plate. The salmon was beautifully cooked and was well complimented by the vegetables, with Asian flavours throughout the broth. The textures of this dish were also on point; the soft salmon with the crispy lotus root, the bite of mushrooms with the creamy sweet potato & aioli. My glass of white wine also matched the salmon dish perfectly. Dónal ordered the John Stone Butchers Secret, which was two pieces of succulent beef steak atop an array of beetroot, roasted wedge potatoes, caramelised onions with nettle Mousseline too. This dish was colourful and beautifully presented, packed with flavour from the chargrilled steak to the accompanying vegetables and the jus. We also ordered & shared sides of Nettle Garlic Mash and Chunky Chips. We both truly enjoyed our starters and both plates were clean upon finishing.
And if that wasn’t enough, we ordered dessert too! I opted for Lemon & Dark Chocolate Gateaux, which was a delightful treat; a Dacquoise layered slice of sponge, chocolate sponge, lemon meringue, hazelnut mousse and a dark chocolate icing accompanied by a lemon sorbet atop chocolate crumble with lemon & dark chocolate sauce. This was heavenly and truly delicious from the first to the last bite. Dónal ordered the Irish Cheese Selection that included a tasty quartet of cheeses, oat cakes & crackers, and a side of chutney with cold & fresh grapes too. Our wine was also perfect, though I do wish we were offered more table water more frequently. Later we took to the hotel’s Rooftop Bar & Terrace for a nightcap, taking in the Dublin City sites from the up-high view, with a delicious cocktail each, (though €13.90 per drink is a little steep). Heaters and blankets are provided, and the staff are very friendly.
Our stay at The Marker was exceptional. The buffet breakfast the next morning was lovely – full of fresh options & local produce – Dónal even opted for the DIY Bloody Mary! The staff at The Marker really wanted to ensure we enjoyed our stay; they were attentive, friendly, professional, and also great banter which is a stand-out point to any hotel staff. We enjoyed a fantastic body massage and spa experience followed by a delicious evening meal from to start to finish, and I already look forward to returning to The Marker Hotel.
Tried & Tested
Chicken & Walnut Terrine with Confit Rhubarb, Flamed Wild Artichoke, Sorrel Mayonnaise
Master Stock Pork Cheek with Kimchi, Sake Emulsion, Fried Cashew
Grilled Salmon with Sweet Potato, Cabbage & Brown Beech Dashi, Smoked Eel Aioli & Fried Lotus Root
John Stone Butchers Secret with Heritage Beets, Nettle Mousseline, Caramelised Grelot Onions (€5 supplement)
Lemon & Dark Chocolate Gateaux with Salted Lemon Gel, Lemon Sorbet, Hazelnut Dacquoise
Irish Cheese Selection with Homemade Pear & Raisin Chutney, Ditty’s Oat Cakes & Water Biscuits
Sauvignon Blanc, Saint Clair, Marlborough, New Zealand
Malbec Reserve, Don David, Argentina
The Rafaello & Rhubarb Mojito cocktails
The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
Click to visit THE MARKER HOTEL
Images © Nirina Plunkett
*I did attend as a non-paying guest for this experience, but that does not influence the authenticity of this review.