A turquoise light beams from behind the reception desk. Artist Tracey Emin's instantly identifiable scrawl reads: "I Fell in Love Here."
Romantically minded or not, it's wise to get used to The Dean's signage and slogans from the get go; they are abundant. There are memos on the bed ("you are here") and signs on the chair ("sit with me"), while "you look gorgeous, Netflix and chill?" teases from beside the TV. It's borderline PS I Love You (minus Gerard Butler's dodgy Irish accent). But, if twee Irish bolthole is what you're conjuring, The Dean is not that place. Let us spell it out for you.
More like a friend's flat than a boutique hotel, all variations of house guest are welcome at The Dean. Whether you're the type who pops by for that 7AM Clement & Pekoe coffee and a quick hello or the one who's overstayed their welcome by about two weeks (read: creative freelancer hot-desking and soaking up free WiFi), the space is to be shared by those who want to use it. The Dean's friendly, no fuss, no formalities approach fills the gap between Dublin's city-centre landmark hotels and B&B options and makes a case for Irish hospitality for the millennial set. For revellers looking to bed down or soldier on into the early hours, The Dean's low-key party hotel rep is an easy sell.
The beds here are particularly squidgy. The modern, boutique style rooms range from the small to the very, very large. There's the Mod Pod, the Punk Bunk (someone on staff is good with rhyming), the Superoom, the Hi-Fi… it goes on. All rooms are decked out with Marshall amps, Smart TVs (with Netflix at the ready), mini SMEG fridges filled with snacks and loads of classic vinyl for your Rega turntable. Punchy shades of mustard and petrol blue dominate and original contemporary Irish art hangs above the velveteen headboards. Furnishings are all about geometrics, from the hexagon-shaped, marble-topped tables to the linear rugs.
Check out is not until 12pm so be sure to set your door sign to "Feck off and don't disturb."
What's for breakfast?
Pancakes with maple syrup and extra bacon. Breakfast is available in-room but with Sophie's rooftop restaurant only a couple floors up, it's hard to resist 360 views of the city. On Saturdays and Sundays brunch is served from 11am.
How about lunch and dinner?
Sophie's Rooftop Restaurant features an impressive menu of Italian-American tastings. It's hard to look beyond the array of wood-fired oven pizzas - the pork cutlet with chorizo is pretty great too.
For a change of scene, there's also the option of eating in The Lobby, where a full food menu is available. If you fancy something grab-and-go, granola bars and fresh pressed juices are stocked by the coffee bar.
Is there a bar?
Head to The Lobby for craft bottles and cocktail compilations - this is a great spot for mellow mid-week drinks. Rev it up a couple of gears at Sophie's rooftop cocktail bar, where the in-house mixologist will stir you up something strong - Sophie's Swizzle is lethal. The Highline - a late bar with no cover charge - is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and has become a bit of a thing in the city. If it's crowded (or unusually sunny) head to the terrace and nab a spot under the heaters, blankets in tow, for a cosy evening.
The entrance hall transforms into a co-working spaces of sorts during the week with freelance creative types. There is no gym/fitness centre onsite but guests staying at The Dean can access Raw Gym for €9 per day.
Things you should know
In the basement, there is a rollick of a club, Everleigh. Noise control is pretty good but there's always a bit of a buzz around the area (particularly at weekends). Being your earplugs and/or you dancing shoes.
Within a short walk I can find…
Located on Harcourt Street (Dublin's main nightlife stretch) The Dean is right on the cusp of Coppers, a lauded end of the night, last-call institution for a pint (and perhaps to pull, if you're having that kind of evening). A quick five-minute walk in the opposite direction will take you to the top of St Stephens Green, ideal for shopping expeditions and some great lunchtime deviations (provided you head off the main stretch).