The Clarence

Book now (price from £100.00)

Address: 6-8 Wellington Quay, , Dublin, 2, Ireland

Star rating:
5 star hotel

4.6

An epic Dublin haunt in the 80s, now owned by legendary rockers Bono and Edge of U2.

The U2 legends bought this 1852 building as a two-star property in 1992 and transformed it. The link with U2 is such a draw that the hotel hasn’t changed much since; wood panels and stone floors are loyal to the original 80s design when U2 were regular hang outs as an up-and-coming rock band - I find the look a bit old to be honest, but the reputation of the hotel is able to overcome any style issues. The Octagon Bar is still popular with visiting celebs and models. Art by Guggi, commissioned for the hotel in the 90s, is seen throughout public areas. The penthouse boasts an outdoor hot tub on the rooftop for extremely cool and twinkling city views at night up and down the River Liffey. The Clarence is suitable for groups and families as some suites open into each other.

Location
5
90%
Eating/drinking
4.7
90%
Leisure facilities
4.2
90%
Service
4.7
90%
Value for money
4.7
90%
Bedrooms
4.6
90%
Public areas
4.5
90%

Location

Accommodating a birds eye view of the cultural cobbled Temple Bar district on one side and up and down the River Liffey on the other. Dublin Castle and Dame Street is a couple of minutes' walk away while Grafton Street and O’Connell Street are less than ten minutes' stroll.

Bedrooms

49 bedrooms, inc. five suites. Deluxe king bedrooms have balconies looking down onto Temple Bar and across the city skyline to the Dublin mountains. Super king-sized beds are very inviting indeed. Free WiFi throughout and you can choose from five bold colour schemes in bedrooms – purple, red, blue, gold or chocolate. Rooms at the back are the quietest, or standard rooms cocooned in the middle of the building are equally quiet. Families can choose one of the River King rooms at the front where double doors open into a second bedroom. The penthouse on the roof also boasts a baby grand piano (plus the cool hot tub!).

Public areas

The intention is to keep the interior as it was in the 80s - an ode to U2 -- it's not everyone's taste, especially not mine, but it has appeal in a retro way! There are plenty of cute nooks and crannies as you weave through the hotel where you can grab a coffee over the newspaper or delve into the social hive that is the back bar (for a pint) or the legendary Octagon (for a cocktail) after 6pm.

Eating and drinking

The Octagon is popular with Dublin locals for its €7 cocktail happy hours from 5-8pm every day and retains a certain status with the enduring U2 connection so the atmosphere is usually lively. Cocktail classes n the back bar are popular with groups – a total bargain at €25 including two cocktails. The 20 ft ceiling and space of the Tea Room restaurant is a little cold and lacking in character in my opinion, so perhaps not the best spot for an intimate meal, but perfect for groups, where up to 120 people can let loose a little. A more private lounge at the front of the hotel is a relaxing spot for Afternoon Tea.

Leisure facilities

A fitness room houses a treadmill, bike and ski machine. The Therapy spa is there if you feel like a massage.

Service

Lots of attentive staff are on hand to cater to your every whim. Service is informal and friendly.

Who stays there

U2 groupies flock here from all around the world – even staff can’t believe the steady flow of fans year 'round. Musicians and celebs in that circle are known to frequent the penthouse, and a central location ensures the Clarence gets a mix of business travellers and tourists. Good value deals attract Irish customers.

Price advice

The best deals are on Sundays and Mondays. Package deals are available including Guinness Storehouse passes as well as 15% discounts for visits of more than three days. It costs 25 euros to park for 24 hours.

Amenities

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Singles
  • Nightlife
  • People watching
  • Shopping
  • Special occasions
  • Art

Pros & Cons

  • Lively Octagon Bar
  • Location
  • Balconies in bedrooms
  • Adjoining rooms for families
  • Restaurant lacks character
  • 25 euros 24 hours parking
Book now (price from £100.00)