The second segment of the eight-week voyage went by so quickly, it was as if I didn’t even live it. Segment I was jam-packed with activity—with my family and their friends on board, I didn’t have a moment of rest trying to balance work stuff with social obligations with being a tour guide while on land—then they left, I fell sick and missed a good portion of the second 15-day portion of the cruise. Plus, we were hitting ports back to back, many for two-day stretches at a time and with only had two-and-a-half days at sea, it really did pass in a flash.
Luckily, I had been to every destination on that segment, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on a whole lot (other than the chocolate in Belgium) while sidelined with the flu. Besides, I had one goal in mind: make it to Dublin
healthy alive. Why Dublin? Well, it’s where I was meeting SVV after a month apart—and on our third anniversary at that. (Side note: How has it been three years?! And if you count the fact that we were legally married in 2009, it’s been almost four!)
SVV flew in around 7am and arrived at the port just as we were docking. After giving him a few-hour nap during which I worked (always), we packed our overnight bag and headed into the city center to find our hotel for the night.
Now, don’t get me wrong: You can stay on the ship every night even when it’s a two-day port, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. Particularly when celebrating a special occasion. Particularly when the hotel looks like this.
And leaves you glitter-covered cupcakes—only your favorite treat ever—because you might have “accidentally” dropped a hint that it was your anniversary. (Whoops. Worked.)
I had found the Dylan simply by searching “boutique hotels near St. Stephen’s Green,” knowing nothing about the property or the fact that it would be so gosh-darn cute. But it was. A Victorian-era nurses’ boardinghouse gone modern.
“Cute” isn’t even the right word. Stylish. Chic. Contemporary. Quirky. They all fit the bill. I’m not entirely sure who the designer of this property is—at first, I only assumed Philippe Starck but the concierge assured us it was not—but whoever he/she is, I’d very much like to meet him/her.
Our room was massive, even by American standards, something I am not accustomed to when traveling in Europe. The location is about a 15-minute walk east of the Green, tucked away on a quiet residential street in a place you’d never find if you didn’t go looking for it.
Therefore, no street noise to keep us awake that evening.
But it wasn’t the room that was the wild part. The room was tame in comparison to the awesomely bizarre public spaces, some of which glowed blood red.
If I had a home that were not an 1800s Victorian and I could design it in any way I pleased, I’d like to think it would be identical to the Dylan.
Rather than go out for a romantic dinner that night like I initially thought we might, we had a change of plans. First, we met up with my absolute favorite group of people on the ship, the Pattons, then we went on a pub crawl organized by a hostel with 20 of our closest ship friends (or rather 20 of my closest ship friends as SVV had only arrived that day and not yet met anyone).
And it was so much fun.
Sure, we could have organized a similar pub crawl of our own, but for 16 euro, it was nice just to be able to follow along, go where the leader told us, play Beer Pong when he said to play Beer Pong, drink what he suggested (in retrospect, it does sound a bit sketchy).
And at the end of the night, we retreated to our luxurious quarters at the Dylan. Winning.
I slept better—and longer—than I had in a month, and the following morning, we woke up and had a leisurely breakfast downstairs in the beautiful restaurant.
We had planned to do touristy things around Dublin seeing as it was SVV’s first time in the Irish capital—and I’m determined one day to actually make it to the National Leprechaun Museum, so help me God—but those fell flat once we walked around (and got drenched) in the spotty weather for a spell. Instead, we returned right back to the Dylan.
With so much going on back home—from launching KEEN Digital Summit to keeping up with my freelance load to tending to our Odinn clients, not to mention trying to post regularly on this blog—any stretch of quiet (and solid Internet connection) was a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of the ship’s environment. So we buckled down and worked.
Plus, in a hotel so beautiful, you can’t help but want to test out every room.
And so we did just that.
(Bless the hotel staff for not giving us the crazy eye. In typical Irish fashion, they were just as kind, friendly and helpful as you’d find anywhere.)
Eventually, much later in the day, it was time to return to the MV Explorer so we’d make ship time, but not without some regret. I could have easily moved into the Dylan Hotel if they would have let me, and suddenly my second deck cabin was looking a lot less plush.
I covet the couch in that room! I’ll have to go stay there – I went to Dublin in January but it was just a short jaunt, no overnight. I’d love to go back in warmer weather and really experience more of the city.
I was really trying to figure out where they got all their furniture, but no dice! It would all look so perfect in our lovely, old Victorian.
That is some hotel and thanks for bringing The National Leprechaun Museum to my notice. Clueless ole me wasn’t aware of its existence – such a shame. Fingers crossed I do get to go there someday.
It’s hard to find even when you go looking for it. I saw it on a tourist map and was determined to find it. Too bad we haven’t had time on either of our last two trips to Ireland!
wow! you certainly made the most of your time in Dublin..my god…the Dylan is just stunning..someday I gotta try it…even if it is in my hometown
You can always go for a special occasion! Or just drinks one night when you have nothing better to do =)
Radical accommodation! Surprised you left at all!
I know! The ship would have left us behind if we didn’t go! I can think of worse things that could happen, though… =)
Dylan is indeed impressive, modern and chic architecture, offered amazingly delicious looking cup cakes and the bed appeared out of the world.
So, still no Leprechaun museum. Guess we’ll have to take ANOTHER trip to Ireland…woe is me!
PS: Any chance you slipped Jared in your bag and brought him home with you?
I tried but he had a dentist appointment.
How incredible! What a great looking little, well apparently not little, hotel! I love finding places like that, stumbling upon this awesome gem that you never expected. Glad you’re over the flu and enjoyed the time spent in Dublin, even if you didn’t really get out all that much.
It’s pretty small and tucked away–definitely the perfect place to celebrate an anniversary!
Oooh. I’m going to make note of the Dylan. Hubs’ aunt and uncle booked a room for us at the Clarence as our wedding gift, and it was … underwhelming (but I’m not complaining about the gift of travel accommodations!!) We LOVE Dublin and we’re itching to go back, but we’ll definitely stay somewhere different next time, and this sounds like the perfect place!
I’m such a sucker for the small places. I really liked the Westbury last time we were in Dublin, but a) it was right in the middle of crazy pedestrian traffic (Grafton) and b) IT WAS SO BIG. This place was perfect for us.
What a fabulous place to celebrate an anniversary!!! LOVE the cupcakes! 4 years…time really does fly!
Dublin what a place . very beautiful city and also picture of hotel is very luxuries .
First stop on our year long RTW adventure is Dublin….The Dylan wouldn’t be a bad way to get the trip kicked off in fashion!! Sweeeeeet post!!
I’ve read your post and watched your blog. I have to admit that your blog is probably the best blog I’ve seen.
About Dublin I spent some dys in that beatiful city and I wrote a little guid for a 3 days visit.
I think it will be useful so I’report here the link:
Thanks fr sharing
I just stumbled across your blog while planning a trip to Ireland in November and I just wanted to say how much I adore your writing. So fun! Taking lots of notes for our trip, and I’m sure will be referencing your blog often.
Do you happen to have any itinerary recommendations for a 6 night visit to Ireland?
Hi Elizabeth! How exciting that you’re heading to Ireland. I would only spend a day in Dublin if you’re flying in there. If you’re flying into Cork or Shannon, I’d focus on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and the west coast. Dublin is just like any big city anywhere and the coast is truly spectacular. I have some posts from that region here. Hope they help!