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Drive up to this elegant Regency building in the springtime, and its front is so covered in ivy, it looks like a vertical lawn with spaces cut for the windows. Inside, the decor is rather endearingly old-fashioned; neat-as-a-pin public spaces have heavy, antique-style furnishings and embroidered pillows scattered hither and thither. Guest rooms are comfortable and quiet, if a little plain, but modern bathrooms are a big plus. Some have views of the large garden, where guests can take tea—often in the company of the hotel’s friendly cat. Aberdeen Lodge is a short walk to the nearest DART station, and from here it’s a hop to the city center. Alternatively, a 5-minute stroll takes you to a pleasant walking path through a park beside the coast. If you do come this way, look for the grey stone tower stuck rather ignominiously between a public toilet and a payphone—it’s an example of a Martello Tower, a small defensive fortification built by the British to ward off a feared invasion from France in the early 19th century.