Devlin Hotel – uber trendy in Ranelagh
On the spur of the moment today I ventured forth to Ranelagh, an old stomping ground of mine from my youth. It was always a buzzy place and in recent years has become one of Dublin’s best suburbs for eateries. Now all of a sudden the buzz has developed into uber trendy. There are some excellent boutiques such as Anastasia and it is fitting that for the first time there would be a hotel too – The Devlin.
My first port of call was to the local bank to pick up some foreign currency where I discovered to my dismay that the bank had become one of those spooky places where they don’t actually handle money and have no tellers. How mad is that? It was also a pain in the neck as I knew this meant another stop elsewhere. My humour was declining fast so I was extremely pleased to see a spanking brand new building across the main road – Dublin’s newest hospitality offering in the form of The Devlin Hotel.
I was keen to visit as I had read a few positive articles since it opened only a couple of weeks ago. The Devlin is a sister hotel of The Dean on Harcourt Street, owned by Press Up Entertainment. The Press Up group is behind several very trendy hospitality spots in Dublin and their theme is very evident in their newest venture. Whilst normally hotels operate on the basis of accommodation being the primary focus, these particular hotels operate on the basis that the primary business are the restaurants and bars and the accommodation is more secondary. There is a very substantial casual restaurant on the ground floor, with the main restaurant, the Layla, located on the top floor. The Layla has surrounding glass walls giving it a very spacious feel and fantastic views which includes the RTE mast to the south; the Poolbeg Stacks to the east and several church domes and spires nearby.
I opted for my coffee and scone on the outside terrace of the Layla Restaurant on the top floor. Hard to believe I was outside in the middle of NOVEMBER! If you are a little more wimpish than myself you could opt to sit under the outdoor heaters. The interior design is very attractive – very 1950’s. Super scone, very good coffee but the standout moment was chatting with the staff. I was so impressed with James, who looks after their outdoor plants and who hails from Ranelagh. We had a great conversation and we need more ‘James’ in the hospitality world; he had come out of retirement and was so happy to have a job meeting people. It really made my day that such a trendy place as The Devlin has no problem at all in hiring people of all ages. They should take a bow.
Following my little sojourn on the roof top, Dillon, the Housekeeping Manager, showed me a few bedrooms. The corridors are narrow with lots of black but offset by a loud patterned carpet (very brave of the designer) and floor to ceiling windows at either ends of the corridors. There were also very large lighted bedroom numbers outside the bedroom doors. I am not exaggerating in saying that the bedrooms are petite. The Devlin categorize them by names such as Mod Pods; Bunk Pods; Tri Pods and Super Pods. I am presuming that the interpretation of these names implies that space is limited, which it is, but well laid out. Mind you I might have an issue if I was in a Mod Pod for a couple of nights as there are no clothes closets so they must be aiming at the short stay market. I probably wouldn’t recommend going for the U.S. market as Americans usually travel with lots of luggage. I loved the comfy looking beds and the art deco soft sofa surrounds on three sides but I did spare a thought for the staff who have to make up the beds as they would need to be acrobats with long arms. Even though the rooms were extremely small there were interesting extras such as the antique style telephones and fancy Dyson hairdryers.
The Devlin will do well in Ranelagh and already it seems to be attracting lots of interest. As well as the two dining spaces it also boasts a 42 seater cinema in the basement so that will definitely appeal to a younger clientele.
It was a very enjoyable break before I headed off on my mission to find a bank with a foreign currency counter.