Welcomes are seldom warmer – especially so central in Manhattan – than at Merrion Row Hotel and Public House, a boutique hotel two minutes from Times Square in New York’s Theater District: once you’ve seen the sights, dined and shopped, this is a discerning place to drop. Its exterior resembles the genteel townhouses of its Dublin namesake Merrion Square – a likeness that has prompted a Gaelic flavour throughout, from its Guinness-serving pub to its Irish-American restaurant to the Gaelic artworks: it’s an Emerald isle of respite in six-storey red-brick form.
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability and in some cases a fee.
Double rooms from £186.76 ($228), including tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $28.69 per room per night on check-out and an additional room tax of $3.50 per room per night on check-out.
In the heart of Manhattan, space is always at a premium, so go for a Premium King or Studio King to secure a generously sized room – the latter includes a sofa in the living area. Suite Configuration is a good option for families or groups.
Wool tailoring, corduroy, tweed and herringbone fabrics have a hint of Gaelic charm that’ll fit right in at Merrion Row.
Merrion Row’s entrance and public areas are wheelchair accessible; some rooms are adapted with ADA-standard ensuites.
High tables opposite the bar if you’re drinking or grazing – a spot in the conservatory when several courses are called for.
It’s an Irish pub: expect characters, with attire to boot…
Beyond the hotel lobby, a low-lit den of barside high stools and a bench against the wall with further high tables and chairs is a cosy spot to dine, complemented by a (lighter) glass-ceilinged conservatory with bistro-style tables and chairs. The cuisine here is at heart Irish-American and yet unfettered by geography: starters such as shepherd’s pie empanadas, braised short-rib sliders, creamy burrata and French onion soup are followed by standout burgers, ‘Irish’ chicken curry and beer-battered fish and chips, balanced by a choice of salads and sides. And, in the finest New York tradition, the restaurant’s open for weekend brunch.
Dingle vodka and Irish whiskey feature strongly in a bespoke cocktail menu that conjures a little Emerald Isle charm. In addition to tables in the bar and restaurant, there’s a modest bar with beers on tap (staffed during the day) in the lobby.
The Public House is an all-day eatery: breakfast is served from 7am–11am, then it’s lunch from 11am–3pm, and dinner, 3pm–11pm.
A selection of dishes from the restaurant menus is available from 7am–11pm.
Merrion Row Hotel and Public House is beside Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
LaGuardia and Newark airports are each less than 30 minutes from the hotel by road; John F Kennedy International is a 45-minute drive away. The hotel can arrange private transfers at extra cost.
Grand Central and Pennsylvania stations are both around half a mile from the hotel; a handful of subway stations nearby include Times Square 42nd St and 42nd St Bryant Park.
There’s an MPG Manhattan Parking opposite the hotel across West 45th Street.
Worth getting out of bed for
Once you’ve ticked off the classics (Empire State, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, September 11 Memorial), here’s a handful of lesser known adventures to try. A City Climb at Edge, New York’s highest outdoor viewing platform at Hudson Yards (also home to architectural spectacle, the Vessel) is enough to test the mettle of any thrillseeker. A repository of rare materials, the soaring-ceilinged Morgan Library & Museum is a treat for book lovers and only a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Art aficionados looking to top up on trips to MOMA, the Met and the Guggenheim should explore the Frick Collection on Madison, which includes paintings by Vermeer, Gainsborough and Reubens among its treasures. And lastly, a ghoulish tip: Boroughs of the Dead organises macabre walking tours, including a Greenwich Village ghost-themed itinerary.
In Midtown, Keens Steakhouse is a 120-year-old institution where the cocktails are as good as the prime rib and porterhouse. For a sense of its history, look up: the restaurant’s vast clay pipe collection is displayed on the ceiling and includes smoking pipes of notables such as Albert Einstein and Teddy Roosevelt. Where Soho meets Little Italy you’ll find Gran Tivoli, a lively, convivial Italian restaurant with a well executed menu of pasta, risotti and pasture-fed meat including steak and schnitzel. Leave room for cannoli or blood-orange campari granita. On the borders of Chelsea and Greenwich Village on West 14th St, Coppeliais a Latin diner serving South American-inspired dishes including grilled skirt steak with plantain, enchiladas, arroz con pollo and Peruvian-style short ribs.
Inside Grand Central Station, the Campbell is a cocktail bar with a dress code (no sports gear, caps or shorts) and live jazz on Saturday nights, set in a high-ceilinged former private office with leaded glass windows. A rooftop lounge with views of the Empire State Building, Daintree is a velvet-chaired sanctuary serving martinis, innovative concoctions such as a whisky and rum-laced Tropic Thunder, alongside wine and beer; a snack menu of chicken salt seaweed popcorn, oysters, kimchi-pimped prawn cocktail and halloumi laffa offers amazing grazing.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this red-brick boutique hotel in Manhattan and unpacked their Mets merch and Tiffany’s jewellery, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Merrion Row Hotel and Public House in New York City…
Geography is king in New York City – and Merrion Row earns its crown with a prime spot moments from Times Square in midtown Manhattan. This red-brick boutique hotel and pub puts you squarely in the Theater District, a few blocks south of the Rock, with Radio City Hall and MOMA in walking distance. A hotel at the heart of the action, however, needs staying power if it wants to keep its throne – and at Merrion Row, you can expect an oasis of discreet hospitality and comfort. Rooms make the most of typically modest city-centre proportions with Hypnos mattresses, high thread-count bed linen and blackout drapes for a good night’s sleep. Furnishings are gentlemen’s club-classy in shades of blue, lent character by an art collection with a Gaelic bent – an Irish-American welcome that extends to the hotel’s pub-like restaurant and bar. Even the entrance to Merrion Row is less lobby, more pub, with a selection of optics and beers on tap beside reception, setting the convivial scene for the cosy bar and restaurant beyond. An open-all-day eatery for casual Irish-American dining, the Public House presents an easy option for dinner and drinks after a day pounding the sidewalks. And it’s this good-time vibe, in combination with its geography, that will secure Merrion Row’s place in your affections.
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