October 2014 Dublin, Ireland
In a world of conformity the increasingly infrequent occasion you do encounter individuality it’s appreciate all the more for its relative rareness and such is the case with the gibson hotel in Dublin’s Point Village.
The lower case spelling of the hotel is by design and hints at an informality and casualness that is a perfect fit for a hotel metres away from 3 Arena, the largest indoor arena in Ireland which regularly hosts big name music acts and has since U2 became the first band to play in the venue for a private concert in 2008. There is a modern musical mantra evident throughout the hotel from the name of the restaurant coda eatery to the adjacent hemidemisemiquaver bar, or hemi bar for short, to the conference and meeting rooms Stratocaster and Rickenbacker Suites and Broadcaster boardroom. Urban street artist Fin Dac is the gibson’s 2014 Artist in residence and has created a massive mural of local lads Bono & the Edge of U2 that adds a signature to a large landing between the second and third floors that also features a living wall and a spiral staircase.
I spent 3 nights in room #574, a superior room with one large double bed, shower stall with rainfall shower head, ample storage space for clothes and luggage and a view of the neighboring Point Village buildings. The whole room is done in a modern décor that matches the public areas but it isn’t a contemporary design that can be cold and colourless as my room had nice warm earth tones that gave it an inviting appeal no doubt aided by some in-room natural plants. The large windows also featured blinds that could be raised or lowered from a control knob near the entrance and once lowered offered a nice dark room appreciated by this light sensitive sleeper. This is a nice touch rarely seen at hotels and helped make for a very pleasant stay in a comfortable oasis that is exactly as shown on the hotel’s excellent website.
The public areas are interspersed with whimsical statues of pigs and sheep that help offer new and unique encounters around almost every corner during the course of your stay.
While a little distance outside the historic city centre of Dublin it’s a compact immensely walkable core so a 15 minute walk would be all that’s required to the main thoroughfare on the north side, O’Connell Street, and barely 5 minutes more to cross over the River Liffey to Trinity College or Temple Bar. The Luas Tram line ends directly in front of the hotel so those not wanting to walk can as easily hop on the frequent trams that run on the route that runs parallel to the river.
I found time to try the relaxation area which is a 6th floor private retreat with sauna and steam room, loungers and two large copper tubs on an outdoor terrace with views over the Dublin Wicklow Mountains. The late afternoon October weather during my visit was clear and dry and pleasant if not warm so filling one of the deep tubs with hot water and letting the day of sightseeing melt away was very relaxing indeed. Change rooms and lockers are provided.
My room rate included daily breakfast and it was served in the coda eatery and as elsewhere around the hotel the staff were uniformly polite and attentive and even during the busier morning rush rarely had to wait more than a minute to be seated and offered a coffee. The selection of meats, cereals, porridge and eggs is good though the bacon could’ve been a little crispier for my liking. I enjoyed the restaurants view of one of two interior atriums with its greenery adding warm earth tones and natural light to wake me up each morning as much or more than the coffee.
I so thoroughly enjoyed my stay I was reluctant to leave the gibson and wished I’d booked it for my whole 6 night Dublin visit instead of only the original 3 nights I had confirmed. I did try to extend my stay but found it fully booked up months in advance so would recommend booking early to get the best rate. The overall value-to-quality ratio at the gibson is sky high as often rooms can be had for around EUR100 or CAD$140 per room per night so would definitely recommend it for anyone wanting a little modern luxury in a hotel that moves to its very own beat.