A 19th-century building on the River Liffey, the Clarence is known for its impressive stained-glass windows as well as being the hotel of choice for musicians and creative types. U2’s Bono and The Edge first injected the old building with a dose of urban cool in 1996, and the improvements keep coming, most recently the addition of Cleaver East, run by Ireland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef, Oliver Dunne. A sociable stay for sure, The Octagon Bar—so-called for the Art Deco octagonal dome that caps it—still has one of the cozier snugs (the much coveted corner booth) in the city, while the basement Liquor Rooms keep the craft cocktails flowing all night. The rooms are fairly sparse, minimalist before the Scandinavians made it fashionable, yet all are equipped with the essentials, like the softest bathrobes you could imagine.

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