Though she cannot compete in size with the grande-dame hotels of bigger cities, the Imperial, which dates to 1813, plays this role with conviction, with its marble lobby and traditional concierge. That said, it's worth paying extra for one of the newer rooms—larger and quieter than the older ones. All rooms are restful, with mahogany fittings, plain walls, and large flat-screen TVs. An elaborately tiled coffee shop fronting the lobby is constantly humming, the Pembroke
Seafood Bar and Grill is spacious and contemporary, and Souths bar has kept its dignified character in spite of a modern makeover. It's a lively spot at lunchtime and on Friday nights, when there is live jazz. The penthouse suite is named for Michael Collins, who spent his last night here before being shot in an ambush in 1922.