The name says it all for Dublin’s newest hotel; the Wren Urban Nest is a design-led hotel with bijou rooms and a sustainable ethos. The Wren Hotel is built on the site of the former Dublin off-Broadway Andrew’s Lane Theatre, and it was also the location of the well-loved Hanger night club in Dublin.
This pocket of land in the city centre now towers up with seven floors of rooms and a below ground restaurant, café and living space. Unusually for a hotel, the entrance is down a double height set of steps into the lofty living space.
Surprisingly the Wren Urban Nest has 137 rooms in this small footprint of the city centre. The location is excellent, on the doorstep of Grafton Street and Dame Street, yet hidden down a quiet lane. The views are not enchanting, but it is the city centre.
The Wren has an ethos of sustainability and this is reflected in many aspects of the hotel. Their energy is from renewable sources, there are no single-use plastics, and it is A-rated for energy use. Each floor has a filtered-water fountains for guests to replenish their bottles. Remember to bring your own water bottle.
Dining and Living
In view of the current trend of making hotels more homely for road warriors A.L.T. at the Wren is a large bar, dining, living space in the lower ground.
A.L.T. is furnished with a mixture of sofas, soft chairs, long tables, bar tables and there is a library if you want to read or borrow a book. The overall colour palette is autumn shades with a wall decorated with natural grasses. The open kitchen serves an interesting menu in the evening and it includes felafel, duck wings, Malaysian fish curry, risotto, small bites and more.
In keeping with the sustainability ethos A.L.T. has joined the Too Good To Go app, a business to consumer (B2C) marketplace for surplus food. Consumers can buy and collect food, known as Magic Bags, at a discount, from restaurants, shops and cafes, reducing waste.
Room sizes are snug and compact at 10 and 12 metres squared. Using very clever design ideas, the rooms have most everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Electronics figure largely in these rooms with controls for all aspects beside the door and the bed. You can control the air-conditioning easily and close the curtains at a touch of an LED panel. Needless to say, there is excellent wi-fi.
All beds are doubles with luxury Respa mattresses, and on raised plinths which gives a clear space for a safe and storage of travel bags underneath. Bed linens are soft white cottons with four bouncy pillows.
I loved the pull-down desk with a light and mirror for using a laptop or putting on makeup and there is a three-legged stool stored under the sink in the bathroom. Other space saving ideas were the pulldown hooks for hanging bags or jackets. While the design is Scandinavian, I also felt that there were touches of Japanese style too.
Despite the compact rooms, there is space for hanging clothes, a small fridge – not stocked at present due to Covid restrictions, but will be in the future. There is a tray with a kettle and mugs and a drawer with tea, sugar and milk. Free coffee can be collected from the café. There’s adequate shelf space above the fridge and around the television.
The large television at the end of the bed not only includes TV stations, but also Chromecast for watching your favourite movies. There is also a great map of the city centre and the Wren Guide with suggestions of places to see nearby.
The toilet and shower are separate cubicles in the room, with doors opening outward for more space. The shower has both rainforest heads and shower sprays and are nicely tiled in a creamy colour. There are no excess toiletries, just full size products from the Irish Handmade Soap Company.
Conversations and Craic at the Wren
Every month there will be a talks, music or food demonstrations, guests can attend and details are on the chalkboard in the reception area.
Rooms at the Wren begin from €99 per night, book here.