When will I, will I be famous?
I can’t answer, I can’t answer that (What’s the point of asking when?)
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can’t answer, I can’t answer that
The five days in Dublin, Ireland in August was our only real holiday trip during summer 2019, if you disregard some conference trips to Riga, Salzburg and family visit to Switzerland. So I wanted it to be nice, comfortable, enjoyable and relaxing.
When I was Googling around for a nice and accessible hotel, my eyes landed on The Marker Hotel, because it came up with very good reviews. And similar to what has happened in other cities, I fell in love at first sight.
The photos were all super nice and it was new, wheelchair accessible and stylish in a not too bad neighborhood. But it was also expensive. So I kept googling. I searched and searched and searched, but there was always something missing. Either the location was in the middle of a cobble stone street, the entrance was not accessible, the furniture looked old or it was equally expensive as the Marker. So after checking out something which was probably between 40-80 other hotels I caved in and booked five days of luxury at the Marker Hotel in Dublin.
Our taxi driver was clearly impressed. “Oh, you are staying at the Marker? Now that’s a posh place!”. The rest of the trip he gave us a detailed lecture about his favourite soccer team. Or was it another sport? I don’t really remember…
And the Marker is a bit posh, I guess. They have a door man with a top hat and when we checked in, we were a bit starstruck. Because before us in line was Little Steven and his whole crew, impatiently waiting for their rooms.
I did not feel inferior though, because the receptionist came over the minute he saw us and asked us to come over to a lower table (accessible for wheelchairs) for check in. Unfortunately our room was not ready yet. But we enjoyed some coffee and cookies in the lobby bar, while waiting. We were curious to see if we would bump into more celebrities during our stay…
The Marker Hotel is situated at the Grand Canal Square next to a new concert hall. It’s a harbor area, which is pretty deserted in the evening. But during the day there is a lot of coffee bars and nice cafés catering the many office buildings in the area, including Google’s headquarter.
It takes about 30 minutes to wheel from the hotel to the city centre itself. It’s quite flat, so it was no problem to wheel the whole distance. Curb cuts and sidewalks are nice and even.
One day we didn’t bother to wheel that much, so we took the local bus instead, which was completely accessible via an automatical ramp (right side photo).
There was originally room for only one (big) wheelchair, but our two small manual chairs could easily fit at the same time. Since we could not reach the ticket box without delaying the bus, we were allowed to travel for free.
In general public transport was ok in Dublin. Most buses had automatical ramps. The tram looked completely accessible (we did not try it) and the Hop on Hop off buses were all accessible via ramps. Some of them were very steep though depending on where the buses parked. The Hop on Hop off buses stopped just 3 minutes from our hotel, so this was also an alternative way to get around, if you wanted to see the whole city in one day. The Green buses had more buses in traffic, so I would recommend those, something we realized a little bit too late.
A normal taxi cost around 10 euros to get from the hotel to the city centre. And it seemed fairly easy to get an adapted car, because of the city’s policy for adapted transportation.
And did the Marker Hotel meet my expectations? Indeed it did. There was more or less nothing to complain about. The service was very friendly, everything was new and clean, the design was cool, the accessible rooms were spacious with a nice view to the square and the bed was comfortable. And we had a a nespresso machine in the room.
And both the rooftop bar and the lobby bar were really nice and offered tasty cocktails and good coffee. We did not try the food at the hotel, because the breakfast buffet was extremely expensive. But we found some very nice breakfast places just around the corner, which I will tell you about in another blog post.
One of the little details I noticed at the Marker, which made me feel welcome as a disabled person, was their evacuation signs. In addition to the “clean my room” and “don’t disturb” sign, they had a sign you could hang on your door, indicating that you need assistance during evacuation. We fortunately never got to test it, but I’ve never seen the concept in another hotel.
I was a little bit curious on how the location would work. And yes, it was not super central. But I actually liked to live a little bit outside the hustle and bustle of the Temple Bar district. By the Grand Canal we could stroll along the harbor in peace on even sidewalks instead of cobble stones. And drunk tourists were replaced with kayak students, ducks and young trendy people from Google.
Just to be clear, we also had the elementary pint in the Temple Bar district during our trip to Dublin. We saw live traditional Irish music, we visited Guinness, the EPIC museum, the Whiskey Museum and much more. We had five sunny days of great sightseeing in Dublin, which is more or less statistically impossible (weatherwise at least). And between all the sightseeing we could relax and enjoy some peace, quiet and tasty cocktails and the Marker Hotel.
Hopefully I have time to blog about the sights and the other highlights in another blogpost. Until then: Sláinte!