One of Ireland’s most luxurious hotels, the Merchant is a real treat. The Victorian building was once a bank, and the conversion is stunning, from the grand dining room (lacquered and gilded Corinthian columns, marble floors, ceiling friezes) to an elegant cocktail lounge (chandeliers and a gently curved, dark wood bar). Guest rooms are thoroughly modern, but ask for one with Art Deco-style decor as opposed to traditional decor—they’re larger and better designed. There’s an excellent spa, complete with hydrotherapy pool and treatment rooms and even a rooftop hot tub with a lovely city view. The Great Room Restaurant serves top-notch modern Irish cuisine. Afternoon tea is a bit of an event here, and popular, so book ahead if you want to indulge. Service is impeccable, and the staff could hardly be friendlier or more helpful.