“Go West!”, The Pet Shop Boys urged, and so we did. Though we’ve taken lots of trips to Galway in our time, when we moved to London there was a period of about four years that we hadn’t been back to Galway. So we took a long-overdue trip west and if, like us, you’re looking for a hotel that combines luxury, comfort, style and service in Galway, we have to recommend The G Hotel.
Image (c) Edward Hotel Group
Galway’s only five-star resort and spa, The G Hotel is part of the Edward Hotel Group, which also run sister hotel The D Hotel in Drogheda (Patrick’s hometown) and Galway’s Hotel Meyrick right off Eyre Square. The 100-room G Hotel opened in late 2005 on the edge of Lough Atalia and quickly became one of Ireland’s most popular spots for a weekend getaway as well as being one of Connaught’s premier wedding and event venues.
Celebrated milliner – and Galway’s own – Philip Treacy acted as design director for the hotel, deriving inspiration from childhood trips to the Salthill shoreline with the wild Atlantic crashing against it. Milliner to both royalty and Hollywood A-list stars, Treacy’s particular signature of playful surrealism is evident in every curve, line and corner of the space, from floor-to-ceiling fashion portraits to opulently-designed jewel-toned lounges and couture swirled Cairney door handles.
It’s elegant with just a dash of enfant terrible, luxury with just a whiff of edge. The next stop after Connemara on the western edges of Galway is America itself, so there’s a clear touch of Hollywood glamour to The G Hotel, but served with Irish charm and warm hospitality at its heart, of course.
You can’t miss reception with its black lacquer walls, huge fish tank and seashell-shaped concierge desk. Continuing through to the Grand Salon, a double-height lounge area in soothing taupe with hot pink accents, you’ll spot the 200 twinkling mirrored lights representing the bubbles in water whilst the silver tiles on the back wall by the lifts represents sand grooves and ripples on the water’s surface.
The Philip Treacy touch continues through to the guest rooms, though it’s softer and less dramatic. Bedrooms run the gamut from ‘Superior’ to ‘Suite’; ours was the one-upped ‘Luxury’ room. Light-filled and spacious yet cosy in soft colours, it had a super king and a dedicated ‘living’ area with a long couch with exceptional sinkability.
We spent a good hour or two each evening lazing on it watching Netflix – House of Cards on the 42″ plasma was a step up from our usual viewing situation in our tiny London flat. We may or may not have ordered a glass or two of wine at the bar and brought it up to curl up to, too!
Regarding the rooms, here’s what you need to know: massive marble and tile bathrooms with freestanding bath, double walk-in rain showers and his ‘n’ his (double) sink. Fluffy fresh towels, naturally, complement the fluffy bathrobes and slippers (more on those in a second). Large windows looking out onto an urban view into a zen-style interior garden space, sandwiched with heavy drapes.
There’s also a hefty work desk (free fast Wi-Fi throughout the hotel), fridge, laptop safe and tonnes of storage space (in case you want to hang or in case you want to move in, trust us, you’ll have the urge). Oh, there’s a turndown service each evening, signed, sealed and delivered with a little chocolate each on the bed!
Now what about all those fluffies we mentioned? Well for an hour before we checked out on the final morning we lazed about in the Thermal Suite of the hotel’s luxury spa, ESPA at The G.
Situated over two floors with lots of varied treatments available, we just had access to the Thermal Suite which is a dark, relaxing sanctuary complete with vitality pool, crystal steam room, rock sauna and tepidarium heated loungers.
If you’re a long-time reader you know we go ‘all-in’ on trips and we’re usually working non-stop trying to get around and corral together tonnes of content, so it was a real treat to be able to relax, de-stress and unwind – even if the hour did go by in what felt like ten minutes! Worth noting: the ESPA Thermal Suite is complimentary access when you book a treatment, but you can pay €10 (€30 for non-residents) for access if you like.
Now, to the food! We were so surprised at the incredible continental breakfast spread laid out each morning, whilst once you’re seated you can choose from a nicely curated hot food menu.
The full Irish fry is delicious, and an ideal portion size, whilst we highly recommend the porridge too – expertly made and would definitely be Goldilocks-approved! The eggs benedict was a massive highlight too – one of the best we’ve ever tasted!
On one of our two evenings us pair of ‘GGs’ dined at the hotel’s own Gigi’s Restaurant – you couldn’t make this stuff up! Just for the name alone we had to sample it, but not only that it’s also been awarded the ‘Best Hotel Restaurant in Galway’ at the Irish Restaurant Awards. Safe to say, it got our stamp of approval; we were absolutely blown away and we’re not surprised locals (and even tourists staying at other properties) flock here to dine.
There’s some serious talent in the kitchen and the dishes are plated so prettily, we went for the ‘Divine Menu’, a set menu with some really good value and choice. To start, we had the braised short rib of beef and the wild Irish game terrine; for mains we had pan-fried fillet of hake in a rich seafood escabeche with Gubbeen chorizo, and pan-roasted saddle of venison with smoked parsnip purée; and finally for dessert (which we had zero room for but we couldn’t say no) we had the blackberry parfait and the creme brûlée. Sensational!
Finally, the three signature lounges on the ground floor double up on duty, offering a stylish afternoon tea service and casual dining space during the day whilst when the sun goes down it’s the perfect space to enjoy an expertly-crafted cocktail. We couldn’t resist a cocktail stop after dinner…
The G Hotel is about a 15 minute walk away from the centre plaza of the city, Eyre Square, or a mere five minute drive. To be honest, we couldn’t think of a better hotel in Galway to stay in…
*Disclaimer: Somewhat sponsored, we stayed at The G Hotel on a B&B press rate, but the marketing manager did offer us one complimentary evening meal at GiGi’s and one hour’s access to the ESPA spa. This doesn’t affect our views or opinions, as you’ve read above.