WHAT'S IT LIKE? The 191-room Conrad Dublin celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Modern and friendly, its large open-plan lobby features a floor-to-ceiling glass frontage, pale marble floor and wood panelling. Reception is to the left as you enter, there is a raised seating area on the right, and at the far end is Alex restaurant and bar with grand piano. A revamp of these spaces will begin next January, with the lobby being extended to create more seating, and is expected to be completed by March. The staff – many locals as well as international employees – gave me a warm welcome and were helpful throughout my stay. WHERE IS IT? Very well located on Earlsfort Terrace, a couple of minutes' walk from St Stephen's Green, and opposite the National Concert Hall. It is 14km from Dublin airport. There is underground parking if you are hiring a car. ROOM FACILITIES Rooms are set across seven floors and start from 31 sqm for Superior Kings or Twins. Premium rooms are located on the seventh floor and are the same size but also come with extra bedding, turndown service (otherwise available on request), a selection of magazines and access to a complimentary Nespresso and tea station by the lifts, which also offers cookies and fresh fruit. There is a sofa and some newspapers located here too. As part of the planned refurbishments, an executive lounge will be added to the ground floor, replacing the Iveagh meeting room. The hotel also has 15 suites, which range from the 50 sqm Junior category to the 156 sqm Presidential. As the hotel was fully occupied during my stay, I viewed only my own room on the Premium floor. It was spacious and featured neutral décor with pale green carpeting and curtains. The bed was dressed in white linens and very comfortable. There was a good-sized desk with international sockets and data ports above it, and a sitting area by the window with two armchairs. The windows opened and there was adjustable air conditioning. Other facilities – which come as standard in all categories – included a flatscreen TV, docking station, fridge, Nespresso machine, safe, trouser press and iron/ironing board. Internet access cost €5 for 24 hours; from next month all Hilton HHonors members will get it free (see news, March 7). Complimentary bottled water was refreshed at turndown, with robes laid on the bed. The bathroom had a shower over the bath and Aromatherapy Associates amenities, with guests also being able to opt for Tara Smith, Shanghai Tang or Refinery Men's toiletries via the Conrad Concierge app. A refurbishment of the bedrooms will begin in November and take until the end of the year. RESTAURANTS AND BARS Alex restaurant is open for dinner and offers seasonal contemporary Irish cuisine, specialising in steak and seafood. A good breakfast is also served here. Light dishes and afternoon tea are available in Alex bar, as well as cocktails. On the lower ground floor, Alfie Byrne's by Galway Bay Brewery is an Irish-American themed pub with an outdoor terrace. Up to 21 Irish and US craft beers are served on draught together with more than 30 whiskeys. Food is also served and it's open daily from 12pm until close. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES These are split across the ground and first floors. They comprise a ballroom (refurbished last year) that divides in three and holds 350 delegates theatre-style, a pre-function area, seven (soon to be six) further meeting rooms and a business centre. LEISURE FACILITIES There is a gym with Technogym equipment on the lower ground floor. St Stephen’s Green is close by for runners and the hotel can also provide jogging maps. VERDICT A comfortable, welcoming and well-equipped business property in an excellent location. While it's not currently the most distinctive of Dublin's hotels in terms of design, the upcoming refurbishment of the public areas and guestrooms will give it a boost in this regard. The outdoor terrace of Alfie Byrne's is a great spot for relaxing over a drink in good weather. FACT FILE
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in August started from €219 for a Superior room.
- CONTACT Conrad Dublin, Earlsfort Terrace; tel +353 1 602 8900; conradhotels3.hilton.com