The sleek glass-and-concrete Radisson, just off South Great George's Street, offers to-the-point business and, increasingly, leisure accommodation with a dash of cool contemporary style, proof positive that it is possible to be elegant and functional at the same time. It's getting some major extensions over the next few years, adding a heap of rooms plus a spa and gym (by April 2019), but it's still a reliable choice in the meanwhile, with courteous staff, large rooms, a good bar and a quiet but central location near the castle.
There's secure parking available under the hotel, although it's not free.
Each room at the front—all clean lines and minimal fuss—has one wall that is basically a huge window, which brings light and views in. All rooms, though, are large, bright and crisp, with king-size beds and pink, purple, green and grey tones that get on harmoniously enough.
Bathrooms are grey, with separate showers and baths, which is unusual - and welcome - in Dublin.
The lobby ticks all the big hotel boxes you'd expect, with fruit flavored water in reception and double height ceilings with interesting chains of silver-y baubles for decoration, plus professional, friendly staff behind the three separate reception desks.
Have a look at the marble staircase - the glass wall alongside it features the words of the Irish proclamation of independence.
There's no pool or gym at the moment (although that will change come 2019), but guests currently have free access to the nearby Iveagh Fitness Club, which has both.
The large V'n'V restaurant has an international flavor and upscale feel, all dark wood and white tablecloths, and can provide buffet lunches for groups if required. Breakfast is a lavish spread.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel can feel a little business-y, particularly when there are large groups in town, holding meetings and using the restaurant for business lunches. But the Radisson Blu Royal Dublin does boast the well-oiled machine vibe of a good business hotel, so there are positives and negatives.
The cocktail bar Sure is a hit with the locals, and as well as cocktail carafes and other drinks, serves a tasty tapas-style business lunch too. The Waterford Crystal Vintage Whiskey Tasting Room (bit of a mouthful when you've tried a couple), tucked under a feature staircase in the lobby, is surrounded by glazed walls and the drinks are served from a crystal table.
The hotel is a short walk from the Airlink bus stop and otherwise centrally located for Dublin's attractions, although it still feels a little tucked away just behind the absolute center.
Rustic Stone (5-minute walk) is a reliably good Irish diner run by a former Masterchef judge. Or Fade Street Social (4-minute walk) is a trendy spot for food and cocktails.
The Long Hall (3-minute walk) is a gorgeous Victorian pub with bags of charm. The Bar With No Name (4-minute walk) is a cool, lively late-night option.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Radisson Blu Royal Hotels around the world deliver on comfort and professionalism, often with a dash more style than expected, and the Dublin version is no exception. It's a little pricey, but for the location and the reliably relaxing stay, where guests' needs absolutely come first, it's not really too much to ask. The soon-to-open gym and spa will add to the offer.