Occupying a corner block beside the River Lee, the Clarion is a pioneer of Cork's docklands development—as you enter you'll spot black-clad receptionists standing behind simple wooden desks at the far end of the vast, marble-floor lobby, the first indication that this place aspires to boutique-hotel chic. It's kitty-corner across the river from City Hall, and a short walk from the shopping district. Rooms are built around a central, top-lighted atrium, and have views
either of the river or the hotel's swanky main staircase. The stark and hard-edged rooms have stylish pale-wood trim complemented by curtains and flooring in a khaki-olive color scheme. Oysters Restaurant has a good reputation for seafood, while the less formal Kudos bar—a popular after-work watering hole—spills out onto a riverside walkway and serves Asian food from an open wok station until 8pm nightly.