"The building is out of proportion with the area," said one Dublin architect, referring to the new Four Seasons Hotel Dublin in Ballsbridge, a tony residential sector of the city. It's true: The size and sweep of the six-story Georgian-Victorian-style edifice seem out of sync with the neighborhood. But once inside, you feel at home. After all, as a Four Seasons property it's filled with fresh flowers, dark wood, Brazilian granite, Italian marble, pastel carpeting, and crystal chandeliers.
The entire hotel—constructed on three and a half acres of the 42-acre Royal Dublin Society's show grounds—surrounds a huge inner courtyard, replete with fountain and two of the many J. Seward Johnson statues sprinkled about the premises. The lounges and Seasons restaurant all face this open area. And so do a quarter of the rooms, like Premium Suite 310. There you're offered twin entertainment centers (one in the living room, the other in the bedroom), each with CD and DVD; a fax machine in the "executive work space"; a pantry with its own door to the hallway (should you wish to cater a party); an enormous walk-in closet; and a marble bath with double vanity, oversized tub, and glass-walled shower. In the spacious bedroom, the divine Four Seasons mattress beckons the weary traveler, while blackout curtains invite sleep.
Opened in February, this newest addition to the Toronto-based company's rapidly growing family is already popular. Nearly all 259 rooms, which include 67 suites, were filled just 12 weeks later. Despite that, the hotel doesn't feel crowded, and the public areas and spa (with its 46-foot lap pool and Jacuzzi) are pristine. Aside from the fine dining, round-the-clock service, and consistent courtesy of the employees, it's the small amenities that make this hotel such a treat of a retreat for both couples on holiday and those on business: the night light under the vanity, the umbrella in the closet, the bottles of flat and fizzy water, the terry robes and luxe towels, the down duvets and pillows, the strategically located phones (though it's a mystery why one is necessary in the W.C.). Rooms, $310-$1,635; dinner, $85-$130. Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland; 800-332-3442, 353-1-665-4000.
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