Lonely Planet Writer

A Dublin hotel featured in Ulysses is set for a huge makeover

The Ormond Hotel is famous with Joyceans around the world as the scene for ‘The Sirens’ chapter of Ulysses. A landmark Dublin building in its own right, it’s set for a huge makeover after lying derelict for more than a decade.

The first look at the reimagined courtyard of the hotel. Photo by Jia-Wei Loo

The hotel is centre-stage in episode 11 of Ulysses, where Simon Dedalus drinks in a bar and talks with the bartenders, while Leopold Bloom dines in the restaurant with Richie Goulding. The Georgian building that existed in Joyce’s day has long been demolished but the new design aims to allude to its architectural history, by echoing the proportions of the nearby structures of that era, as well as being built in brick and natural stone.

The landmark hotel fell into a state of disrepair over the last decade.

Inside, the new hotel will pay homage to Joyce’s work by taking design cues from his time. New York firm AvroKO who are managing the redesign have said they are heavily influenced by the hotel’s 19th-century origins “while following Joyce’s sense of modernism to layer in furniture and fixtures inspired by Avant Garde and Bohemian artistic movements of the 1920’s.”

The reimagined restaurant where Leopold Bloom dined. Photo by Jia-Wei Loo

There will also be text from the book inlaid in bronze on the floor of the new hotel. These delights are bound to thrill literature fans; despite being fully closed since 2006, it still makes every list of essential stops for any Bloomsday tour.

The hotel’s Ulysses connection isn’t the only cultural link with the city, although it is one of the more highbrow ones. In the 1990s it was also home to Temple of Sound, a famous nightclub that hosted some of the biggest names in dance music, including the Chemical Brothers, David Holmes, Felix Da Housecat, as well as stalwarts of the Irish scene.

A rendering of the new lobby. Photo by Jia-Wei Loo

The new Ormond Hotel will have 120 rooms and is expected to open in spring 2020.