Opened just before the pandemic, The Mayson is one of Dublin's trendiest new hotels, part of the growing stable of Irish hospitality giant Press Up. Containing 94 rooms and suites and diverse options for food, drink and fitness, it's a fetching marriage of reimagined industrial heritage and contemporary cool, spanning a converted townhouse (from 1860), a warehouse (1870) and a glass and corten steel extension.
Attracting business and leisure travellers, The Mayson is on the north side of the River Liffey, neighboured by the gleaming tech and finance offices, luxury apartments, construction sites and entertainment hubs of Dublin's resurgent Docklands district ("Silicon Docks" they call it). You're a 20-30-minute riverside walk from the city centre and sights like Trinity College and Temple Bar but the travel time is trimmable with the Luas tram from The Point (one block behind the hotel) or via the rentable Dublin Bikes pod out front.
Funky tunes, friendly staff and the gurgles (and scents) of an espresso machine welcome you into The Mayson's made-to-linger lobby, where Dime coffee bar sells locally-roasted brews and smoothies to guests and passers-by. The decor here of exposed brick, brass, velvet, leather, pottery, vegetation, art from emerging Irish talents permeates much of the hotel. Also at street level, on the site of a 19th-century "spirit grocers", is The Bottle Boy, a new-but-feels-old pub with its wood panelling, snugs, roaring open fire, ales on tap, snaps of Dublin dockers of yesteryear and a retro barbers, the Green Dolphin. Hotel guests have complimentary use of the snazzy private members' Power Gym, which is hidden in the basement also offering classes (€15), spa steam room, sauna and heated mini-outdoor pool.
Across the board, rooms have lots of natural light. Typical features are hardwood floors, white linens, Netflix-enabled smart TVs, Bluetooth Marshall amps, coffee machines, Smeg fridges and blue-tiled bathrooms with walk-in rainfall power showers and Ireland's Lake House toiletries.
The 12 square-metre doubles are a tight squeeze but fine for one-night stopovers, maybe if you've a gig at the nearby 3Arena or Convention Centre or on a ferry to Britain from Dublin's port. Better for longer stays are the 22-square-metre super rooms or 50-square-metre suites. The latter come with free-standing copper tubs, armchairs, vinyl players (there's an LP rack in the lobby), cocktail shakers and include the graceful, nautical-themed, Victorian-inspired Townhouse Suite with four-poster bed, and the Warehouse Penthouse Suite with a covered terrace and jacuzzi.
I'm in roomy, moody suite 501, which sleeps up to four and has River Liffey views and sunrises, walnut-hued timber walls, Scandi-style lamps and an ultra-comfy convertible velvet sofa (which can transform the living area into an extra bedroom). It's ideal for groups and families.
The excellent full Irish breakfast at Ryleigh's will sort you out for the day, but this premium rooftop steakhouse may lure you back for lunch and dinner or sundowners on its heated terrace (glance out towards Dublin Bay and two city icons, the striped chimneys known as the Poolbeg Stacks). By the hotel's lobby, Elephant & Castle is an all-day eatery set around a gleaming brass island bar, with menus mixing Irish produce and international flavours. A speciality - and good for sharing - are the spicy chicken wings and crunchy celery sticks slathered in a blue cheese dressing.
The Mayson is a 15-minute riverside stroll to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, a top-notch high-tech attraction in a converted cast-iron tobacco, tea and spirits warehouse (epicchq.com). Alternatively, hop across the harp-shaped Santiago Calatrava-designed Samuel Beckett Bridge to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, a multi-purpose arts venue in a sublime piece of 21st-century architecture by Daniel Libeskind (bordgaisenergytheatre.ie).
The Mayson is a beautifully crafted hotel with bundles of character and creativity in a rapidly-evolving area of Dublin.
The internal courtyard evokes a south-east-Asian resort with its luxuriant living wall, 36C "relaxation pool" and palm-dotted terrace above. But The Bottle Boy is a cracker: a proper Dublin pub.
The hotel's a bit of a trek from Dublin's top tourist draws, so expect tired feet, or regular tram or taxi use. Light sleepers may be disturbed by port traffic rumbling past if you're staying in a front room or suite.
Steve McKenna was a guest of Tourism Ireland and The Mayson.