Originally built in 1878 as a Home for Retired Governesses, The Wilder Townhouse reopened on Dublin 2's Adelaide Road in 2018 after an extensive refurbishment. Post-sprucing, the three-story, russet-red-brick, Victorian listed building has become one of the city's most sought-after boutique hotels.
With an artisanal gin bar, spacious suites and literary leanings, The Wilder Townhouse is somewhere most would be only too glad to retire - governess, or otherwise.
All 42 accommodations, ranging from "Shoebox" rooms (perfect for solo excursions) to roomy suites with separate living and sleeping areas, come with their own en-suite bathroom (fully stocked with Replica by Maison Martin Margiela Paris products and complete with marble sinks, mosaic flooring and walk-in rain showers). Of the hotel's four suites - each named after famous governesses from history: Lady Jane, Miss Wade, Miss Sharp and Lady Audley - room 108, the Lady Jane Suite, stands out. Far from plain, this pad is bedecked with period fixtures, including a handsome fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. Berry-hued velvet armchairs and a sinkable, Matthew-Williamson patterned sofa make a strong case for staying in - particularly with piles of coffee-table books to peel through, two TVs and an endless supply of complimentary choc-chip cookies ideal for dunking into your (Barry's) tea.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is served, weather permitting, on the lovely private terrace from 7am to 11am - so whether you're a total sloth or something of an early bird, your needs will be met. If the sun is not on your side, the Garden Room is an equally appealing place to start the day. The space spreads over two rooms, in which marble-topped breakfast tables are decorated with small bouquets of wildflowers that echo those in the taller vases at the centre of buffet and vibrant tropical wallpaper panels flank raspberry-hued banquettes. When it comes to food, the continental breakfast, priced at €14.50, includes hot porridge alongside an assortment of fruits, mueslis and patisserie, and is sure to keep you full until lunchtime. For something a little heartier, opt for the cooked breakfast and take your pick from a decadent roll call of eggs royale, smashed avocado on toast or the Wilder crepes - served with a side of fruit compote and maple syrup. The full Irish - two eggs to your liking, Clonakilty sausages, back-bacon, black and white pudding, field mushrooms and vine tomatoes - is also a winning choice.
How about lunch and dinner?
There's no official dining room, so guests are limited to a bar snacks menu for sustenance. While homemade soups, tasty sandwiches and cheese and charcuterie boards are far from beggar's pickings, those after a more substantial meal should head to nearby Delahunt or Rolys.
Is there a bar?
Is the Pope Catholic? The Gin and Tea Rooms - an art-deco inspired nook - is the perfect place for an artisanal evening tipple, plus, as the Wilder is residents-only, you can be assured of a seat at the bar - or a spot on the velvet couches by the fireside.
Does free WiFi count?
Things I should know
Complimentary parking is available, but limited.
Within a short walk I can find…
Stroll along the Grand Canal towpath on a Sunday or, for a more active weekend stroll, head up towards St Stephen's Green - a five-minute walk from The Wilder Town House.