Flaunting a coveted city-centre postcode, The Westbury is tucked away down a side street off prestigious shopping hub Grafton Street, where chic boutiques rub shoulders with designer stores and brand outlets. From here, a labyrinth of lanes unfurls in all directions, lined with jewellery shops, art galleries and overflowing pavement restaurants and bars.
The location is impeccable: the hotel is a short stroll from the city’s museums, theatres and St Stephen’s Green, while the rest of the city’s hotspots are within walking distance – Temple Bar, Trinity College, the Gaiety Theatre. That’s not to say the hotel rests on its laurels, though: this five-star big-hitter is all about relaxed luxury, from warm and welcoming staff, who hit the right balance between helpful and discreet, to a clutch of drinking and dining venues ticking all the boxes for every social-occasion wish list.
With smartly uniformed doormen poised to whisk your bags away, The Westbury works on the premise that first impressions count – and its grand opulence more than impresses. Enter the polished lobby and ascend to The Gallery, a light-flooded space hung with original artwork and edged with wide bay windows framing city views.
Here, perched atop jewel-toned velvet chairs beneath crystal chandeliers, guests mingle alongside in-the-know locals – groups of 30-something women celebrating birthdays over afternoon tea, businessmen signing contracts and couples toasting anniversaries with glasses of champagne. Adjacent is the 1930s-style, Gatsby-esque Sidebar, an atmospheric wood-panelled haunt with Art Deco interiors; creative cocktails rustled together at the marble-topped bar (be sure to try the ginger-infused Gin Sling).
Come morning, cobwebs are well and truly blown away in Wilde, a whitewashed dining space brimming with foliage – oversized potted plants, ivy-framed windows, trailing hanging baskets, all complemented by palm-print cushions, throw-topped chairs and monochrome-tiled floors. Breakfast is a mighty affair; a heaving buffet piled high with fresh breads, charcuterie, seasonal fruits, flaky croissants and pastries, pots of yoghurt topped with muesli and berries, plus an a la carte menu of cooked-to-order dishes, all washed down with healthy juices or lashings of coffee.
Later in the day, regional-inspired plates are served up here beneath the covered garden terrace – think oysters with mignonette sauce, linguini of pan-fried Castletownbere scallops, and Irish lamb cutlets. Alternatively, diners can pick between fresh seafood and rib-eye steaks, all cooked to perfection on a Josper grill, at Balfes Bar & Brasserie, a laid-back bistro with marble-topped tables, gleaming wooden floors and a small outdoor terrace illuminated by wall lamps.
A sleek and stylish retreat cocooned away from the city buzz, spacious rooms and suites are contemporary-meets-classic in design: a cool colour palette warmed by dark wood furnishings – the understated style allowing the luxury touches to take centre stage. Expect wide wall-hung flatscreen TVs, luxurious Aromatherapy Associates products, huge beds swathed in white cottons, excellent soundproofing and lovely city views.
While there’s no spa or swimming pool on site, there is a fitness suite kitted out with Technogym equipment, plus a discounted price for a local gym, should you want to maintain your exercise regime on your travels. But the highlight here really is the little luxury extras: from the fresh aromatic peonies in reception and tray of petit fours left in your room (the macarons were melt-in-the-mouth delicious), to the smiling staff who really couldn’t do more to help (the concierge were full of tips on the best sites to see, tailored to our specific tastes).
For more information, visit www.doylecollection.com. Double rooms from €250 (£223) in low season and from €540 (£482) in high season.