See inside this cool, hip, hidden gem in smithfield, dublin. Filled with art and good vibes, it’s the perfect place to stay for a cultural weekend in the city …
THE VIBE: A hip, upbeat hideaway
NEED TO KNOW: Developed by Dublin Loft Company and operated by Tifco Hotel Group, The Hendrick is Ireland’s first street art hotel. The design features an open-plan entrance and lobby with concrete ceilings, stained oak flooring, banquette seating and comfy leather sofas. This area also serves as a bar and café, which leads onto a stylish courtyard.
THE ROOMS: There are 146 (no-frills) rooms spread over five floors. I stayed in a compact double room. Fortunately I travelled light (not my usual modus operandi) and was alone. Yes, it was a squeeze, but the design features, especially good lighting and creative storage, made it seem less so. The trio of a Grohe power shower, Ritual products and a King Koil mattress ensured a great night’s sleep. For friends and family, Buzz Bunk rooms combine double and single beds; accessible twin and single rooms are also available.
THE ART: The hotel collection serves as your Urban Art 101 course. There are over 270 bright, striking artworks from graffiti to stencils, and abstracts to portraits, curated by Irish street artist James Earley. Standouts include works by Greek-American graffitist Taki, and Irish artists James Kirwan, Sam Le Bas, Maser and London-based Conor Harrington, which punctuate corridor walls. A focal point is an installation from the Windmill Lane Recording Studios signed by all members of U2 during a recording session, which hangs in the lobby.
BEST FOR: A cultural weekend. Must-visits include Damn Fine Print, in nearby Stoneybatter, which offers screen printing courses, events and artist residencies. Pop into The National Museum of Decorative Arts & History to see Sir John Lavery’s paintings in the current “Studio & State” exhibition. If photography is more your medium, in Temple Bar the Photo Museum Ireland is a gem as is Black Church Print Studio, which supports contemporary artists.
FOOD: Breakfast is served buffet-style, with pastries from the Bretzel Bakery and good coffee. (I had mine to go and it was faultless). Throughout the day, wraps, sandwiches and salads are supplied by Delicious Food Co. In the evening, Smithfield has numerous restaurants to try. I recommend Bonobo for a pizza (try the potato and pancetta) before or after catching an arthouse film at the Light House Cinema (The Royal Ballet: A Diamond Celebration is on November 16). Enjoy a nightcap at Cobblestone Pub.
THE VERDICT: Cool, comfortable and convenient, overnight rates are a steal from €149. Given its handy location for music venue Vicar Street, the hotel offers a special gig package from which includes room, breakfast and pre-gig cocktail, €199. www.hendrickdublin.ie.