Photo: Jeanie Fang

This Swanky Hotel Is Your Gateway to a Culinary Adventure in Dublin, Ohio

Epic Stays
by Jeanie Fang Sep 17, 2023

Dublin, Ohio, is often overshadowed by its Irish namesake, though it has a special character all its own with quaint pedestrian-friendly streets, lush green spaces, and a thriving community that seamlessly blends history with modernity. To see it for yourself, it’s hard to beat staying at the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin, which is home to the city’s highest rooftop restaurant, Vaso, where visitors can experience panoramic views of the city’s green oasis.

What it’s like to stay at the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin

lobby at the ac hotel columbus dublin

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Upon entering the hotel’s lobby, I immediately felt like I was stepping into a world of luxury. European-inspired furnishings adorn the open space with low couches positioned to lead the eye directly to the lobby bar in the back. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with natural light, creating a nice contrast to the warm neutral tones of the decor. As I ventured around more of the lobby floor, inviting lounge areas unfolded, each with contemporary furniture. Mirror-like partitions, each equipped with TV screens and fireplaces, artfully divide the lounge areas to offer separate parties their own cozy sections.

The AC Hotel has 150 meticulously designed guestrooms that cater to both business travelers and leisure seekers. My journey began on the eighth floor just beneath the rooftop, where I was welcomed by spacious quarters. The room features a plush couch and a functional desk area, ideal for both unwinding and productive endeavors. Lush greenery, a serene river, and the captivating S-shaped pedestrian bridge can be seen from the floor-to-ceiling window. On the desk, a thoughtful touch awaited me: an AC Hotel placemat with a recipe for its signature gin and tonic along with ingredients for crafting the drink yourself.

Elevated dining at Vaso

roof deck restaurant dublin ohio

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Vaso, the AC Hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar, offers panoramic views of the town from an elevated position. A glass-windowed elevator provides a glimpse of the surrounding scenery as you ascend. The emphasis on natural light and large windows continues at the top with floor-to-ceiling windows and gracefully curved seating. Tables are set with silverware and vibrant red candle holders, evoking the ambiance of a swanky dinner party.

As stunning as the interior is, the exterior of the rooftop restaurant steals the show. The space has a 180-degree view of a vast expanse of greenery as far as the eye can see. Sunsets, soaring birds, and the occasional aircraft sighting made gathering on the rooftop all the more enjoyable. On the weekends, a DJ turns Vaso into a nightclub of sorts where people can dance the night away. Reservable cabanas are perfect for groups In the summer, while in winter, Vaso puts up enchanting bubble-like structures for comfortable outdoor dining that’s out of the cold.

Vaso’s staff contributes to the bar’s seasonal menu with creative cocktails that come complete with aesthetic garnishes. Drinks like the mezcal-based What’s Poppin? and vodka-and-watermelon-rind Lose Your Rind showcase the bar’s commitment to sustainability. Appetizers like the miso deviled eggs, smoked duck cannoli, and crusted olives set the tone from the start. The grilled cheese sandwich comes glazed with honey and the tender filet mignon is complemented by Brussels sprouts. The desserts — from ube cheesecake to sticky toffee date cake to churros — allow guests to round off the evening on a high note.

Things to do in Dublin, Ohio

live music at dublin ohio irish restival

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Time your visit right and you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the culture of the city’s namesake. A massive, three-day Irish festival takes place in Dublin in August. Off-beat, yet riveting, sporting events like the stone-throwing competition pit men against each other where the object in question is a 240-pound rock. Live bands play Celtic rock and traditional Irish melodies. There’s also, of course, plenty of Guinness and Irish stew to go around.

Take a Dublin food tour

pretzel dipped in cheese

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Embark on a food tour with Columbus Food Adventures. This guided walking excursion offers the opportunity to see both the historic side and the modern side of Dublin, all while savoring generous portions of food and learning about Dublin’s history. Come hungry, as the tour fills stomachs with cuisines from Japan, Vietnam, Somalia, and, naturally, Irish pub fare. During this tour, I learned that Dublin, Ohio, was originally settled by Germans, but the city’s name was suggested by a land surveyor who found similarities between this locale and his Irish hometown of Dublin, Ireland.

Explore the Dublin Market

Photo: Jeanie Fang

From May through September, start your Saturday in style at the Farmer’s Market in Bridge Park, right outside of the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin. Stretched across multiple blocks, this lively market features local vendors offering everything from fresh produce and flowers to witty shirts and home décor with humorous quotes. To top it all off, everywhere you turn you’ll see a cute fluffy dog, making the market visit a lovely way to start the day.

Taste Dublin’s sweet treats

ice cream at jeni's in dublin ohio

Photo: Jeanie Fang

As if indulging in the culinary delights of Vaso Restaurant, the Columbus Food Tour, and the Dublin Market wasn’t already a feast, there are must-try desserts to try within a short stroll from the hotel. Don’t miss bacon-wrapped dates at The Pearl that are playfully dubbed Devils in a Blanket. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a popular ice cream spot with more than 60 locations across the country, originated in Ohio and brings frozen flavors you won’t find many other places.

Walk the Dublin Link

s shaped bridge in dublin ohio

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Visit both the old and new parts of town via The Dublin Link, the world’s longest S-shaped suspension pedestrian bridge. Located a block away from the AC Columbus Dublin Hotel, this bridge offers a delightful walking experience where you can watch kayakers cruising the river below and marvel at the luminated bridge at night. Adjacent to the bridge, a communal open space gives visitors a place to unwind by a cozy outdoor fireplace.

Getting to Dublin, Ohio

dublin ohio bridge

Photo: Jeanie Fang

Getting to the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin is quite convenient. The Columbus airport is a 25-minute drive away. It’s central location makes it easy to road trip to from Ohio hubs like Dayton, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Major cities beyond the state’s borders, like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Detroit, are within a three-hour drive.

Discover Matador