“With an excellent restaurant and impressive cocktail bar, this bold luxury hotel will dazzle and delight”
Walk in to your room and, as if by magic, your favourite tunes emanate from the Bose iPod dock. It's that kind of place. You request your favourite tracks before arrival, and they greet you - in the highest of fidelities.
Dylan Style rooms have a little more character than Dylan Luxury, while the Dylan Experience suites have separate living areas. The top-of-the-range Dylan Signature suite has a decadent super-kingsize bed and Baroque-style furniture enlivened by contemporary fabrics. The bathroom boasts a double-ended bath and an enormous shower, as well its own LCD TV.
But, in deliberate contrast to the high decadence of the ground floor, the palette is warm and autumnal; ours was all lime, silver, purple and warm red. You get the best beds we'd stayed in for a very long time: memory-foam, pocket-sprung and Frette linens. Bedspreads, though vividly patterned, are often monchrome, as are the signed prints of Dublin by Phillip Pankov. Expect custom-made chairs and sofas by award-winning designer Christopher Guy, ample wardrobe space incorporating the minibar, and signature mirrors (some of them on the ceiling).
Bathrooms are no less indulgent: Italian marble, power showers, underfloor heating, fat monogrammed towels and robes, and Mark Buxton products in abundance.
The Tavern Restaurant - one of the few rooms with a minimum of colour - is also one of the loveliest. Tall French windows face the front terrace, letting daylight stream through floor-length muslin curtains or, at night, spotlights illuminate the room from outside.
Chef Mark Brodie has a modern take on traditional Irish fare, using seasonal ingredients which we hugely enjoyed at dinner in a packed room (do book ahead). Starters included Brandy Bay oysters with cucumber dressing and Irish pork roulade with black pudding. A salt-baked sea bass for two, paired with lemon creamed potatoes and greens makes a sociable main, and desserts range from melting chocolate spheres to a theatrical fairground-style collection including toffee apple donuts and candy floss! Presentation for each course was immaculate and artistic, and there are no fewer than 230 fine wines and champagnes to choose from.
As if that's not enough, Dylan Bar serves a range of excellent (but expensive) cocktails at its spiral pewter counter. The house concoction - vanilla vodka, Galliano, crème de cacao and crème de banane topped with pineapple and grapefruit juice and fresh cream - is as flamboyant and exotic as you'd expect.
Gluttons like us will relish the buffet breakfast, served at an extra charge. There's a vast array of continental treats - croissants,cured meats, juices and smoothies - plus the option to upgrade to a grilled kippers, eggs benedict, pancakes or a traditional Irish breakfast.
Dylan is set in 'Dublin 4', a leafy, upmarket enclave about 15 minutes' walk south of the heart of the city. Once a haunt of writers such as Kavanagh, Wilde and Beckett, today it's an attractive residential and commercial mix. There's no shortage of things to do, many of them (including current concerts and events) listed in your bedside directory.
Children are welcome, and Dublin has lots to offer families, although this upscale boutique is probably not their natural environment, catering more for couples and business travellers. The concierge is happy to make recommendations and bookings for outdoor activities and shows for kids.
All room categories apart from Dylan Luxury can take an extra bed or baby cot
Babysitting available on request
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking