Having recently celebrated its bicentenary – Thackeray, Dickens and Sir Walter Scott have all stayed here – the Imperial knows how to age gracefully. Public spaces resonate with period detail – marble floors, elaborate floral bouquets and more – while the 130 bedrooms feature writing desks, understated decor and modern touches including a luxurious spa and a digital music library.

Irish Free State commander-in-chief Michael Collins spent his last night alive here; you can ask to check into his room.