Dublin, Ireland

The Alex

Price per night from$197.26

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR166.52), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Co-working cool

Setting

Majestic Merrion Square

The Alex in Dublin has everything you want in a city hotel – fresh, contemporary design, a peerlessly convenient location, and all the ultra-fast WiFi you could ever need. Locals join guests at the mirror-backed bar and salad-specialist restaurant, while the tech-set mingles in the laptop-friendly lounge. Upstairs, you’ll find light-flooded rooms lined with original Irish artworks – style-cues are taken from the 1920s (think tan leather, green velvet and Edison light bulbs), mixed with sleek mid-century furniture and Anglepoise lamps. The storied Merrion Square is just around the corner, and cobblestone streets lead you through the capital’s core.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A cocktail each at the bar (two a room) and a selection of truffles on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Alex facilities

Need to know

Rooms

103, including five suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £171.77 (€189), including tax at 13.5 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast, but you can pig out on the full Irish buffet for €17.50 a person.

Hotel closed

The Alex is closed from 21 December until 26 December every year.

At the hotel

Gym, free WiFi. In rooms: Smart TV with Chromecast, Roberts radio, minibar, Paul Costelloe bath products, free bottled water, tea and coffee. Executive rooms and suites have a Nespresso coffee machine.

Our favourite rooms

Upgrade to an Executive King Room – it comes with extra space of course, and you can hang out in the Executive Lounge.

Spa

Gym bunnies and fit flexers, rejoice (or high five) – the Alex boasts a seriously high-spec gym and a mind-boggling array of equipment, weights, machines and accoutrements for the actively inclined.

Packing tips

A copy of James Joyce’s Dubliners, and a notepad for your own stream of consciousness.

Also

The common areas are wheelchair-accessible.

Children

All ages welcome. Travel cots with linen can be added to all rooms.

Food and Drink

Photos The Alex food and drink

Top Table

Pick a burgundy velvet booth, which are well poised for people-watching and cosy enough for intimate conversation.

Dress Code

Handbags and gladrags for a night on the town, or Veja trainers to keep it casual.

Hotel restaurant

The Carriage is the social hub of the hotel, where guests and locals gather in a light-flooded lounge lined with velvet booths and contemporary design. Salads are the stars of the menu – choose a combo of superfoods and ancient grains, then add extras including sun-dried tomato tapenade, panko tiger prawns and piri piri turkey. There’s a ‘Sambo Section’ of tapas, too, and a dessert menu rocking a homemade brownie with coconut sorbet and mixed berries. For a quick cuppa go to Steam, the ground-floor espresso bar brewing beans from Dublin’s own Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters.

Hotel bar

The mirror-backed bar is loaded with local craft beers and artisan spirits – make your first cocktail the Alex, a gin-based house specialty shaken with basil, mint and elderflower liqueur.

Last orders

The breakfast buffet is open from 7am until 10.30am, lunch is from noon until 3pm, and dinner is from 3pm until 10pm.

Room service

Any time the restaurant is open, you can order anything from the menu to your room. After that, choose from a handful of hearty sandwiches.

Location

Photos The Alex location
Address
The Alex
41-47 Fenian Street
Dublin
D02 H678
Ireland

The Alex has an A-list location on Fenian Street in the heart of Dublin.

Planes

You can fly into Dublin International from around the UK (it’s just over an hour from London), Europe and North America. The airport is 13km from the hotel; the journey takes around half an hour in a taxi.

Trains

The city tram runs right past the front door – follow the tracks to the nearest stop, just up the road. For longer journeys, Pearse station is a short walk from the hotel; from there, you can take the intercity service to Belfast (two hours and 40 minutes), or head down the coast to Bray (one hour) and Wexford (two and a half hours).

Automobiles

Hire a car from the airport if you’re planning to explore the rural riches of Emerald Isle. While you’re in Dublin, store it at the car park 100m from the hotel (€15 a day).

Worth getting out of bed for

At the hotel itself, head down to the espresso bar for a coffee and a sweet treat, hit the high-tech gym (it has every machine and accessory you can imagine… and a lot you didn't know existed) and refuel with a health-food salad at the restaurant. If you’re staying in an Executive Room or a suite, you’ve got access to the swish Executive Lounge, which has its own bar for snacks and drinks throughout the day – and don’t worry, there’s super-fast WiFi too.

Then head out into Dublin – you’re in the heart of the Georgian district. Browse the big-name shops along Grafton Street, then mooch around Merrion Square, the townhouse-fringed park that was once home to Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats among other distinguished Dubliners. On its western edge, you’ll find the National Gallery, filled with blockbuster baroque paintings, work by the Dutch masters, and finest collection of Irish art in the country. Trinity College is Ireland’s most prestigious university – and its cobblestone grounds make it a lovely spot for a stroll, or a picnic on the lawn. Don't forget to take a gander at the extraordinarily well-preserved, 9th-century Book of Kells. After all that roaming and romance, it’s only right to pop by the shrine of St. Valentine (at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), and pay your respects to the patron saint of lurve.

Local restaurants

Network does all manner of pastries and a very respectable flat white, but the single biggest reason to go is the smashed avocado on toast. The Market Bar serves gourmet tapas on sociable canteen tables, under the vaulted ceilings of a converted warehouse – there’s no music, so all the atmosphere comes from the din of diners and the open kitchen. Chimac is all about Korean-style chicken (brined for 18 hours, double-fried and doused in fiery spice), home-made pickles and cold craft beer. Michael’s is the spot for special-occasion seafood; or drop by Little Mike’s (a few doors down) for casual plates of oysters and scallops at the counter.

Local bars

The discreet doorway of the Vintage Cocktail Club is a portal to a different world – specifically, a Prohibition-styled speakeasy crafting madcap cocktails. The drinks list is a journey through time, from a 17th-century-inspired milk punch with freshly grated nutmeg, to a 1930s mai tai and the bar’s latest signature creations. If you’re going to go for a pint of Guinness and a folksy singalong anywhere in Dublin, it’s got to be riverside in Temple Bar.

Reviews

Photos The Alex reviews

Anonymous review

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 boutique hotel in Dublin and unpacked their tweed blankets and tin whistles, a full account of their Irish break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Alex in Dublin…

In a former life, the Alex was the O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel – but it’s all change since then. There’s not a hint of traditional stuffiness and the abbreviated name is matched by clean-cut, on-the-pulse interiors and an atmosphere of innovation – co-workers flock to its laptop-friendly lobby and catch up over coffee at the in-house espresso bar. For all the modernisation, there are nods to classic design – retro rotary telephones sit next to polished brass plant pots on walnut desks and Anglepoise lamps crane their necks over velvet upholstery. One thing, though, hasn’t changed a jot. It’s still one of the handiest addresses in Dublin: trams trundle past on their way through the city centre and Dubliners amble by on their way to flagship stores on Grafton Street, first-rate art in the National Gallery and the jade-green lawns of Merrion Square.

Price per night from $197.26

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