Pat fought hard to start his super little hotel amid the Regency mansions and embassies of leafy Ballsbridge. He won the neighbours over by promising to protect their peace and quiet and Aberdeen Lodge is indeed a refuge from the hullabaloo of Dublin city, yet the metro is close enough to catapult you back into the fray within minutes. Pat is a friendly hotelier, with a quiet deferential manner and his logo on the bathrobes, for whom nothing is too much trouble. His Irish staff have helpful charm, too. This modest Victorian villa has been cleverly converted into a variety of contemporary rooms with all mod cons and Egyptian cotton sheets. Candy-striped curtains remind you that the seafront is only 200 yards away and Biedermeier-style furniture adds a touch of luxury. Rooms at the back look over the good big garden onto a cricket pitch, an unusual sight in a country devoted to Gaelic football. Everything seems to run effortlessly and Pat’s partner Ann’s award-winning breakfast to piped classical music is deeply revitalising. Ideal for those wanting the best of both worlds in this fair city.