Hotel Review: Powerscourt Hotel

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The Powerscourt Hotel was once a luxurious getaway for the well-heeled traveler. Stories of debauchery at the hotel abound, including one of developer Johnny Ronan whisking Miss World Rosanna Davison off to to Morocco on his private jet after a night of drinking in McGill’s lobby bar. Johnny’s son James held his own 21st birthday party bash at the hotel, and the soiree was said to have been fit for a Saudi prince.

Opened in 2007 as a Ritz-Carlton, occupancy rates at the hotel were never high. Sadly, after the hotel maintained an average of 40% occupancy for several years the hotel was finally sold and the debts wiped clear.

Now it’s a Marriott property, as one of their Autograph collection hotels. Pricing for a recent Friday night was so low, at just 130 EUR. I booked a room and was curious to see the hotel for myself.

It took about 45 minutes by car to reach the hotel from Dublin Airport.

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Small quiet residential roads led the way, and then all of a sudden there it was rising in front of me like a mansion. For good reason too, as it was a private estate belonging to Lord Powerscourt prior to becoming a hotel.

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Parking was easy with plenty of spots just outside.

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The lobby was huge, with several fireplaces and couches.

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Complimentary citrus water was just off to the side of the check-in counter though I didn’t take any. I was the only one checking in and was helped immediately.

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I was invited to enjoy afternoon tea in the Sugar Loaf Lounge, which the hostess said was a very popular event. Since it was just about to end and I was a bit tired I declined.

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A trolley piled high with boxes and bags was just behind me, and the hostess said that they were actually quite full for the weekend since they were hosting a fashion show the next day. Models, TV crew and media were all present.

She gave me my room key for a Premium room on the 6th floor, and said that since the lobby was located on floor 4 I’d just take the elevator two floors up. There were 7 floors total with 200 guest rooms, and the 7th floor was the Presidential suite.

I thanked her and was on my way. The Palladian design in the hallways was grand, with chandeliers every few feet.

However, since the property was full I was counting on having a small room in the lowest category there was.

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I was pleasantly surprised.

The room opened into a small foyer, with a huge walk in closet to the right.

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Right next to the door was a touchscreen panel that controlled all sorts of items in the room such as lighting. I tapped the picture of the lamp and voila! The lights switched on.

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The room itself was 700 square feet and even though it was categorized as a Premium room it certainly could have qualified as a Jr Suite.

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Closets.

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Entryway.

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A separate sitting area was on one side of the room, with a desk in the middle and the bed on the other side. The sitting area held the minibar, and on the table was a welcome amenity of a letter and some brightly colored French Macarons. I unwrapped the Macarons eagerly and took a bite. They were freshly made, and delicious.

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Seating area.

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couch

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The minibar had a fancy container that looked like lead crystal.

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A teapot was nearby and so were some coffee cups.

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minibar

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minibar drawers

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I opened the drapes using the control panel, and went to check out the balcony.

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The patio looked down on a quiet courtyard.

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I could see the parking lot clearly, but when the patio door was shut there was no noise.

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Balconies for the rooms were separated by large planters which also shielded from view the other areas.

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It was a windy day, and I stood transfixed for a few minutes, watching the tall trees sway. If it had been warmer, a couple of loungers were provided though the parking lot was in view as well.

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The wind whistled through the trees.

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The desk’s top drawer on the left opened up to reveal a charging station, so that worked perfectly to plug in all of my items.

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A drawer opened up on the desk to reveal outlets.

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desk

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desk

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I went to turn on the lamp, and found that the switch didn’t work. Since the control panel had worked magic in the foyer, I went searching for more panels. Both bedside tables had panels as well, which turned on the light. Later on I discovered that all of the panels controlled the same things, so any panel would have worked.

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There was such attention to detail taken in the room. From the pictures on the wall to the carefully designed curtains that blocked light out completely with the touch of a button, it was a place that I would have enjoyed spending several days in rather than just a single night.

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The TV swiveled from it’s fixed location so that it could be turned either towards the bed or the couch.

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ESPA amenities were featured in the bathroom.

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Extra washcloths and amenities were laid out by the tub.

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The tub was large and lovely.

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The bathroom had a TV in the mirror.

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bathroom

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A magnifying mirror was cleverly hidden in a mirrored cabinet, as was an outlet.

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shower

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shower

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toilet

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sinks

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hairdryer

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The bed duvet was very fluffy, so much so that when I flopped on the bed I sunk down quite a bit further than I had expected.

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I sat down on the bench near the bed to take off my shoes and when I looked up I was face to face with a tasseled wooden bird.

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Such fun details!

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The floor to ceiling windows offered beautiful nature views from anywhere in the room.

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In one of the beside drawers I found lighting panel instructions.

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Drawer controls.

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The spa at the hotel is huge, covering 20,000 square feet. Even though the front desk hostess had said the property was full for the weekend, it still seemed quiet. When I entered the spa I came to a book where it was requested I sign in. No one else was there at the time. Down the hall to the left were the ladies’ changing rooms, and to the right were the men’s.

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The hallways then joined together at the entrance to the pool, which was massive. Tiny lights dotted the bottom of the pool, and candles by each lounge chair gave off a warm glow.

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The pool was heated just enough so that the water was still refreshing, and the hot tub had long “couches” underwater, made up of metal bars so that the bubbles could come through, but you didn’t need to hold yourself up in the water because you could be seated comfortably.

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Pool.

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On my way out of the spa the employee smiled and handed me a price list for treatments, and even though I didn’t have time this trip I liked having the list to look over for the future.

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Breakfast was included, but because I had an early flight I had to skip it. I was so pleased with the hotel that it was disappointing to have to miss, as it seemed as though this would have been great as well.

What a gem of a property. I am not sure why there is always such low occupancy, but I suspect it is because it is far from the airport so those who do not rent a car find themselves a pricey cab ride away. Plus, the resort is in the middle of nowhere which makes it a delightful countryside retreat, but not great if you want to walk out the front door of a hotel and find shops and restaurants right there. Still, I’d love to come back to this property and think the value for money is fantastic.

Marriott Rewards Category 7, 35,000 Points needed for a free night.

Powerscourt Hotel

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Good To Go

+ Room was quiet, large and well-appointed
+ Pool was huge and clean
+ Staff was friendly and efficient
+ Wifi was fast and lighting controls were easy to use

Good To Know

- Bed was a bit soft and perhaps had an older mattress
- Property is not within walking distance to shops, restaurants or tourist attractions
- 45 minute drive to Airport and Dublin

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4.5/5 Magic Stars
  1. Larry D
    Reply

    After a few days in Dublin, my family (two rooms) and I spent a night there prior to heading back to the airport. We got a fabulous rate on a SPA package. Although I thought the Spa was a fabulous facility, I thought the personnel were average at best. Nonetheless, I agree that the hotel is breathtaking; possibly the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. We checked our bill at checkout and realized someone had charged their $300 dinner to our tab, which was removed without further question. BTW, it was about 70 euro taxi from Dublin city and about 90 euro return to the airport (via same driver).

  2. Maureen
    Reply

    Wonderful, detailed review! Will definitely include Powerscourt on my next Ireland trip

    Thanks Melinda!

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