The Marker Hotel - 5 Stars My Arse


Grand Canal Dock is a funny little area. It's starting to feel a little like London or any other European city beside the water. Because Google, Facebook and many other large tech companies are based down there the place is rammed with foreign good looking people with the odd Ringsend skanger thrown in for good measure. I've always thought the area lacks a good bar or large bustling coffee shop to bring the whole community together. You have the brilliant Ely, the lovely Herbstreet, the horrendous Ocean bar (or whatever the fuck it is called these days) and a few other smaller spots but the place has no soul. So many people with so much disposable income and all looking for a place to get pissed and have the LOLs. One new and very wise addition to the area is a 5 Star Hotel called The Marker. It's a great move because of the amount of execs and staff traveling to this busy business area and when your company earns about .50c every time one of billions of people click on the ads why not book the staff in to a luxurious 5 star hotel only a few hundred yards away from your front door.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 09.36.58I'm no design expert but the place looks well set alongside similar greenhouse style buildings in the area. I was greeted by 3 men wearing sharp suits and earpieces which was a tad over the top on a sunny day in Dublin. My mood was immediately dampened when I was told that the rooftop terrace was closed until 3. It was sunny and 27 Degrees outside. There wasn't a seat in the sun for miles around. What sort of idiotic brain dead fucking business closes their best asset during a Dublin heatwave. I'm all for keeping something exclusive but when I did get a seat beside the door I heard 50+ people ask if they could have lunch on the roof. All were politely declined and went elsewhere to spend their money. Anyway to the food. I started with what I think is an acid test for all businesses especially a 5 star hotel...A simple orange juice. I was expecting a nice big thick glass with fresh squeezed juice but got a regular old concentrate version. 5 stars my arse. Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 09.37.07Given that I was on a bit of a health buzz I went for the soup and a salad. The soup was celeriac and not bad but it would fucking want to be for €6.50. They got brownie points for using Glenilen butter and supporting a great small Irish producer in such a public way on a cute little chopping board. Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 09.42.20

So far so average. I wasn't really that bothered though because there is only so much you can make a soup 5 star. What had me massively excited was my next dish which was described as

Rainbow Carrots, Celeriac and Fennel with Boilie Goats Cheese, Sunflower Seeds, Newgrange Camelina Oil

It sounded luxurious, healthy and exactly what I would expect in the trendiest new 5 star hotel in town. What arrived was the biggest bag of shite I have ever eaten in my life. It was essentially one of those bags of spinach you get in Dunnes Stores, a small tub of shit coleslaw from Spar on top and a couple of microscopic pieces of cheese. As food goes this wasn't just bad but totally and utterly laughable.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 09.42.39The whole "meal" came to €21 and the service was decent but nothing special. I'm not joking when I say I could have gone to the salad counter in the local spar and got the same for about €7 including a soup and a drink. A bigger dissapointment for me was not hearing one Irish voice in the place from the five or six people I spoke to. I've absolutely no issue with foreign staff but at least throw in a few Paddies given that we are known as a country based on our hospitality. See the thing is I don't think The Marker are even after the local market nor do they give a shit about us. They are after the folk coming in and paying 400 quid a night and just looking for an average club Sandwich and a beer which they'll just expense back to the company anyway. I'm sure the restaurant and the cronuts they've been banging on about in all their PR are worth trying but based on my experience I wouldn't give the place 3 stars never mind 5. If you want something better try the nearby Gibson hotel or the always outstanding Merrion for some real class.

The View From Others

I am only one person eating there on one day so to give the review a little balance are are some reviews from other people who have eaten there. Irish Times Lucinda O'Sullivan Georgina Cambell Pol

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.