The cavernous and opulent lobby, a noughties monument in wood and marble, sets the tone for the whole hotel: sizable, proud, and a little dated. The scale and splendour are best expressed in the hotel's large guestrooms – at 48 square metres, they're claimed as the city's biggest – each with a bath set in Italian marble and a walk-in wardrobe. The location is high and mighty, too, overlooking Fitzroy Gardens and close to St Patrick's Cathedral. Highlights include an alfresco breakfast, and a dip in the heated indoor pool, surrounded by tiled colonnades and Grecian murals, the experience extra luxurious as it's not overused. We like hypo-allergenic bedding on request.
Who came up with the idea of adding a steam-proof TV and a self-serve bar within range of the bath, which is big enough for two? Genius.
A new employee joined the hotel's ranks last year – Mr Walker, a golden Labrador and former guide dog who has settled into his role as hotel ambassador. So far he greets guests in the lobby, rather than offering himself for walks.
The Radii restaurant is spread over five levels, making it an energetic rather than homely environment in which to enjoy a substantial spread. Breakfast, on level seven, is formidable ($40, $32 Continental), but the cold dishes are the standout – salads, smoked salmon, meze dips – and a worthy counterweight to the eggs Benedict.
The bar at the all-purpose Radii is serviceable, but the city's stellar small bars beckon boldly. Cuba, formerly the hotel's cigar bar, has been reimagined as a private dining room.