Dating back to 1852, this Dublin hotel has long had a special place in the hearts of Irish people - especially the clergy and the many who regarded it as a home from home when 'up from the country' for business or shopping in Dublin - largely because of its convenience to Heuston Station.
Since the early '90s, however, it has achieved cult status through its owners - Bono and The Edge of U2 - who have completely refurbished the hotel, sparing no expense to reflect the the hotel's original arts and crafts style whenever possible.
Accommodation currently offers a combination of contemporary comfort and period style, with all the expected amenities including mini-bar, private safe, complimentary broadband and temperature control panels.
Public areas include the clublike, oak-panelled Octagon Bar, which is a popular Temple Bar meeting place, and The Study, a quieter room with an open fire.
Parking is available in several multi-storey car parks within walking distance; valet parking available for guests.
Conference/banqueting (60/70); video conferencing on request; Secretarial service; Laptop-sized safe in rooms. Beauty treatments, massage, Therapy @ The Clarence (also available to non-residents). Children welcome (Under 12s free in parents' room, cots available without charge, baby sitting arranged). No pets.
Rooms 49 (5 suites, incl 1 penthouse; 21 executive, 4 family rooms, 6 no smoking, 1 for disabled). Lift. 24 hr room service, turndown service. Room rate €340; SC discretionary.
The Tea Room:
The restaurant, which has its own entrance on Essex Street, is a high-ceilinged room furnished in the light oak which is an authentic period feature throughout the hotel.
Pristine white linen, designer cutlery and glasses, high windows softened by the filtered damson tones of pavement awnings, all combine to create an impressive dining room; there is no separate reception area for the restaurant so you will be shown straight to your table.
Head chef Mathieu Melin took the helm in the spring of 2007, and this respected kitchen continues to be a happy ship. An à la carte menu is the backbone of the food offering but the introduction of keenly-priced Market Menus at both lunch (daily) and dinner (Sun-Thu) has been a stroke of genius - at lunch time, there's even an 'In-N-Out' guarantee that groups of up to four can have a 2-course Market Menu lunch in 45 minutes flat.
The Market Menus have really livened up the dining scene at The Clarence, and Mathieu Melin shows his versatility in creating dishes for this menu. His combination plates ('a combination of 5 small dishes') offered as starter and as dessert are worth travelling for; excellent home-made breads with pesto are also superb.
A well-chosen, if expensive, wine list includes a selection of very good wines by the glass, and wine service is knowledgeable.
*Lighter menus are also available in the hotel - an informal Evening Menu, for example, and Afternoon Tea; as well as a light á la carte and a number of classic main courses, The Octagon Bar offers a great cocktail menu.
A Daytime and Evening menu is now available from 12noon – 10.15pm and is the alternative/extra option to residents and non-residents alike to the Tea Room Restaurant.