In the heart of Dublin’s oldest neighbourhood, the Hyatt Centric Dublin is a contemporary hotel that manages to keep its eye firmly on the present while remaining connected to the city’s storied history.
A New Hotel on a Lot of History
From the moment I arrived, something was different. The Hyatt group has over 800 properties worldwide and its name is a guarantee of a certain style and quality – whether you’re in Dublin, Denver or Darwin.
But a quick look at the walls revealed that this Hyatt Centric could only exist in the Liberties. The ‘history wall’ just beyond the lobby, where historian Liz Gillis has curated a timeline of 1,000 years of Dublin and Liberties history dating back to Viking times.
The art installations by Irish artist Vivienne Roche, which play on the historical connections. The Whiskey Wall, which pays tribute to the Liberties’ long distilling tradition (and you can sample its wares in the bar).
And then there was the friendliness.
A Country Hotel in the City
As a rule, Dublin hoteliers are a friendly bunch. But the welcome here was extra warm. The staff were all smiles and quick to enquire after my well-being – and before I knew it, we were chatting about the day and the changing seasons. It felt like we’d known each other far longer than just three minutes.
But it was when general manager Declan Curtis described the Hyatt Centric Dublin as “a country hotel in the middle of the city” that it all made sense. The Hyatt Centric is managed under franchise by Athlone’s Hodson Bay Group, which also owns the Galway Bay Hotel. Yes, I was in the heart of big and busy Dublin, but it felt like I was in a small country town, where everyone knows everybody else’s name and there’s always time for a chat.
The Hyatt Centric Dublin has 234 rooms, and each is decorated in that contemporary business style that is the hallmark of the Hyatt brand. The standard rooms are huge at 25msq and instantly appealing: Hyatt Rest Beds, elegant furnishings with art deco touches and – best of all – luxuriant rain showers.
As someone who spends a lot of time in hotels, I’m a stickler for plugs and how they’re positioned, so am happy to see that double charge points are on either side of the large bed and there’s a few more by the large desk so I can plug in my laptop and various other electronic bits I invariably carry with me every time I travel.
The menu in the Liberties Gate restaurant is full of comfortingly familiar options, from Caesar salads to a succulent burger, made with beef sourced from Gilligan’s Farm in Roscommon and served on a brioche bun.
I opted for the smoked BBQ chicken wings and then followed it with one of the tastiest steaks I’ve had in a long time – a 10z rib eye served with grilled tomatoes, crisp smoked onions and chunky fries.
Despite my friendly waiter’s best efforts, I was too full to try one of the desserts, although when I go back I will definitely order the Liberties Gate brownie, which comes with salted caramel ice cream and toffee popcorn.
Plan My Hyatt Stay
The Hyatt Centric brand is designed to be more than just a hotel where you can sleep and eat. The well-designed public areas are deliberately comfortable to encourage get togethers – you don’t even have to be a hotel guest to enjoy a drink at the bar or a meeting over coffee from the designated coffee dock.
But the real clincher for me is its activity booking site for guests. Designed and developed during lockdown, Plan My Hyatt Stay is a dedicated guide to everything there is to see, do, eat and drink in the local area. It also allows guests to avail of discounts to 50 local attractions – make your booking, pop in the discount code and you can save up to 20%.
This ingenious and brilliant new service also lets you to pre-book a range of in-house activities, from dining to gym sessions, history tours and more.
Other hotel groups take note: this is very much the way forward for hotels that want to offer their guests more than just a place to sleep.
Making its Own History
The Hyatt Centric Dublin has only been open a couple of years – and was closed for much of that time because of the pandemic – but already it feels embedded in the neighbourhood. Which, in a traditional spot like the Liberties, is no mean feat.
The Hyatt Centric also manages that neat trick of being an internationally recognised brand that still manages to be a very Dublin hotel.
It does this by paying careful attention to detail – from the tribute to history and local grace notes in the public areas to the stylish décor and carefully appointed bedrooms.
Add some genuine warmth and friendliness and you’ve got a hotel that will stand the test of time.