The Dean Hotel in Cork is not just a hotel for visitors, it’s one the city’s busiest hotspots to gather.
The hotel is effortlessly cool, its glossy black façade dominating its six-storey structure, with stunning views of the River Lee and the old and new Cork City.
Inside, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to its sister hotel in Dublin, also The Dean, a smaller boutique hotel that has been a city staple for dining and drinks for a while now.
Simply put, The Dean Cork is a modernised version of its older sister but on a bigger scale.
Perhaps it’s the years of watching too many episodes of Grand Designs, but I noticed the use of space and light in the lobby area is utilised to perfection.
With high ceilings, marble table tops, mirrored walls and a glass front, it’s the perfect setting to not only chill, eat and grab a drink at the bar, but there’s also a hot-desking work station for people on the go if they need to pull out the laptop and fire a few emails off.
For fitness enthusiasts, there’s also a power gym on the ground floor featuring state of the art equipment, a sauna and pool area, which is also open to public memberships.
Staying in the James Suite, the room was slick, cool and modern in design with plenty of space and an element of the fun factor to it with its colour palette and Art Deco furnishings.
I was drawn straight away to the Smeg fridge, the vinyl record player and the Marshall amp.
The bathroom is beautiful, again very spacious, and features a rainfall shower - The bed was so comfortable that I pulled back the sheet to try and figure out the maker of the mattress. It turns out all of the beds were custom made in Ireland.
All of the rooms include a Netflix-embedded smart TV on the wall, beautiful Irish art and an Irish ‘munchie tray’ — filled to the brim with homespun treats to enjoy. Additionally, there’s also Smeg mini fridges, a Nespresso machine and some pretty cool gadgets and a desk too for those staying for business.
After getting the swanky lift to up to the rooftop and restaurant bar, Sophie’s, the hotel’s infamous signature staple swings were in high demand as we exited the lift.
The most impressive feature though is the heated outdoor dining area that overlooks the River Lee, offering incredible views of Cork City. For me, it’s the most impressive aspect of the hotel.
With capacity to seat 230 people, Sophie’s features an open-plan kitchen and a centrally located bar that will entice you to order a cocktail or two.
Sophie’s features a New York Italian inspired menu that combines the most popular dishes from Sophie’s in Dublin, with new dishes created using the best of the county’s local ingredients and suppliers,
including Castletownbere crab, butter and yoghurt from Glenilen Farm in Drimoleague, and cured meats and cheese from Gubbeen Farmhouse. From wood-fire pizzas and pasta favourites at lunchtime to succulent steaks and fish specials at dinner, you won’t go hungry.
As impressive as the hotel is, hospitality to me is everything; it’s the people who really make it memorable, and I have to say the staff are a credit to the hotel. They were attentive, kind and chatty to guests — my kind of people. And the Dean is my kind of city hotel.
Prices start from €175 a night. To make a booking email email@example.com