Premier Hospitality

Marlin Hotel Dublin

Written by Roma Publications

Marlin Hotel, Dublin

Opened in August 2019, Marlin Hotel brings a welcoming common space and restful place.
This new contemporary 300-bed hotel is at the heart of the most desirable part of Dublin, tucked away at the centre of things.

Guests will appreciate the perfect essentials: A 2m squared bed, 43’ Smart TV (with Chromecast, surround sound and media hub), elegant modern bathroom, complimentary water and luxury toiletries.

PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE found out more about the hotel when we spoke to the architect, contractor and designer – Shane Crowley of Cantrell & Crowley, Cathal McAleer of McAleer & Rushe and Elaine Smyth of O Donnell O Neill Design.

Cantrell & Crowley was commissioned by the client to design the hotel. The design of the building responded to the geometry of the site as it is placed between two streets, Bow Lane, Aungier Street and another unnamed lane (‘No Name Lane’). There are protected structures to the rear of the site along Aungier Street, and certain buildings dated back to the 1600s, including some of Dublin’s oldest townhouses. Cantrell & Crowley had to approach the project sensitively.

Shane said:

“The fact that the site was wedge-shaped gave us a great opportunity to mark the corner of the building, and to provide a book end to the two streets on either side, creating a strong presence on corner,” said Shane. “The entrance was originally going to be on Bow Lane, but once the corner site was acquired by the client we were able to relocate the hotel entrance here to activate the surrounding streets and neighbouring areas.”

McAleer & Rushe was the construction company appointed for Marlin Hotel Dublin, having previously worked at the Marlin Hotel on Westminster Bridge, London. Cathal McAleer was project manager for both these projects. He told us about the meticulous planning that goes into a project like this one:

“In Ireland we start all the preparation for handover from day one, which makes it more of an efficient process. There’s more in-depth detail as to how the building has been put together, there’s photographic evidence for every element from day one of construction right through to the finish and the contractors and sub-contractors will have written reports on how it’s being put together. Managing that level of preparation was a challenge.”

Cathal continued:

“The client had a very clear idea of the type of hotel they wanted, and they were specific in regards of how they wanted the hotel to look and feel. We had to create a sample bedroom at our headquarters to allow the client to view what the bedrooms and bathrooms would look like prior to construction, but through that we got to tweak any of the designs the client wanted to change before it began. It was also very important to us to be involved in this project, as we’re in a central location, and it was amazingly designed which makes it better to be involved construction wise. The big highlight of the hotel is probably the ground floor. The specialist designers O Donnell O Neill have got involved with a great design, and the ground floor is really something else.”

Hospitality Interior Consultants O Donnell O Neill Design were brought in to design the ground floor public spaces of Marlin Hotel. The brief the award winning interior creatives was given, was to make the open plan ground floor area fun, engaging and beautiful. It needed to work as a home away from home for guests. O Donnell O Neill created intimate pocket spaces for guests to just hang out or read or to listen to music. The common area includes a pop up horse box coffee station, a formal meeting suite and a variety of bookable spaces for more informal meetings.

Elaine Smyth said: “It’s a new design direction for the Marlin Hotel Brand. They had not prioritised the F&B with their successful Hotels before so they wanted us to bring that to Marlin Dublin. The Ground floor is an open plan space and all of the elements feed into one another seamlessly. In the entrance we have a coffee space, which will serve coffee and snacks in daytime and cocktails at night. Having the coffee station near the entrance will encourage people who aren’t staying in the hotel to pop in and have a drink and then the space will become even more animated. Behind that there’s a co working space, and behind that again there’s a meeting room, so you move through the layers of the facilities naturally.

“There’s an indoor courtyard/garden with a feature olive tree. The reading lounges and bars don’t have walls subdividing them. They’re all completely open, which means guests feel more comfortable using all areas that are available to them. It optimises the space available rather than having a separate hotel bar and restaurant and a reception area no one really uses.

“The transition of spaces is quite fluid. We’ve made a point of making comfortable areas with books, cosy lounge spaces and low lighting. There is a feature wall of tables that could be used as workspaces, or we have some record players with vintage records on the wall and you can settle in and listen to music on headphones, have a meeting or have breakfast or lunch.”

Using lots of colour and natural materials, OODA has peppered lots of fun and quirky elements throughout the ground floor, from the retro photo booth, a rocking horse and little red phones that call different spots around the ground floor. These are designed to draw guests in and to have fun as well as being comfortable. It is a very social space and O Donnell O Neill Design has made sure that it has appeal for all types of different guests that will stay at Marlin Hotel. Elaine said:

“Our creativity wasn’t restricted with the space even though it was our first time working with the clients Marlin and the Contractors McAleer and Rushe. The entire project from start to finish has been a really positive experience for us. Breaking the spaces available down and making sure it didn’t just feel like a huge open space was a challenge, as we wanted to make sure that every area had its own unique identity.

“It’s very exciting, working in an area of the city that’s evolving so fast. As Designers it means an awful lot to us to be a part of that successful growth and transformation. On a personal level, being Dublin City born and bred, it means a huge amount to have an opportunity to impact on the vibrancy and social aspect of projects like this, that contribute to Dublin’s  desirability and appeal.

Marlin Hotel Dublin took about three years overall, meaning it was a time intensive project for everyone involved. Shane finished:

“The client has been very happy with the building. McAleer & Rushe have done a fantastic job delivering this project on a tight inner city site and ahead of programme.  We’re very happy with it and how its progressed and how the design has taken shape, particularly the level of accommodation we were able to secure. 300 bedrooms is quite a lot for a site this size.  Our practice does a lot of hospitality projects, it’s one of our key strengths, so it’s very important to us. Our three main building types would be hotels, offices and residential builds, so it is important to maintain that and keep progressing.”



B-Pod specialises in creating high-quality, pre-fabricated bathroom pods. B-Pod bathrooms are constructed off-site and delivered ready to install, meeting an individual clients requirements.

In operation for 7 years, B-Pod bathroom pods provide a modular solution for all types of building projects. The company’s experienced team means it is able to design and manufacture the most efficient and stylish bathrooms.

B-Pod has been involved with a number of high-profile hospitality projects and was recently tasked with delivering bathroom pods to the newly opened Marlin Hotel.

Derek O’Connor, Director, said:

“This project was special as it was the first time we had to build curved walls with our steel frame as part of the bathroom pod design. We also worked in partnership with an Estonian company that designed and moulded the curved wash hand basins in gel ceramics, which matched what the architect was after. The finished product is proving to be a lovely feature of the bathroom.

“As a company we take pride in our ability to innovate conceptual designs to produce a high-quality finished product.”

To find out more, please visit


O’Hanlon & Farrell

In operation for 30 years, O’Hanlon & Farrell specialise in electrical installations for the hospitality and commercial sectors. This includes all specialist requirements, from fire and security systems to control systems and communications.

O’Hanlon & Farrell has worked on a vast range of hotel projects for well-known brands such as Clayton, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Jury’s Inn and Premier Inn over the years establishing a strong working relationship with McAleer & Rushe.

For the new Marlin Hotel in Bow Lane Dublin, O’Hanlon & Farrell Contracts Manager Gavin McAleese was on site, managing the procurement, costs and documentation for the project.

Gavin McAleese, from O’Hanlon & Farrell, commented:

“O’Hanlon & Farrell are very proud to be associated with such a prestigious project and working with the McAleer & Rushe team again is something we are particularly proud of and we look forward to working together in the future on similar projects. ”

Gavin added:

“We pride ourselves on our track record of delivering challenging projects in all sectors, on time and within the client’s budget. O’Hanlon & Farrell provide client satisfaction and have established an understanding of their needs by continuing and developing a very successful working relationship with McAleer & Rushe carrying out these projects.”


Marlin Hotel – Bow Lane East, Dublin 2
for further information and photography please contact
O’Leary PR 01-6789888

The Deluxe Group

The Deluxe Group specialises in the manufacture and installation of bespoke joinery, solid surfacing, theme set builds and marine outfitting.

The company is currently celebrating 50 years of craftsmanship and innovation, and thanks to a steady contract pipeline the company is looking forward to many more years of local and international innovation.

The company manufactured and fitted the front of house bespoke joinery at The Marlin hotel for main contractor McAleer & Rushe, including bars, reception counters, ceiling features and wall panelling.

Richard Carron from The Deluxe Group, said:

“It is fantastic to partner with McAleer & Rushe again and even better locally as Dublin is just under two hours from our manufacturing facilities, a luxury that our fitting teams do not often get as the majority of joinery fit outs are across Britain.

“At The Deluxe Group, we revel in developing solutions for bespoke finishes for main contractors and interior designers. Thanks to our partnerships with local universities and technical colleges, we have a recognised reputation for nurturing and developing our in-house design detailing talent, which allows our company to evolve and create an encouraging and bright future”.

To find out more, please visit


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Roma Publications

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