Foodies will be happy with AA Rosette-awarded restaurants, lounges serving a flowery take on afternoon tea, and even sweet-scented bakeries. If you love to indulge, put your feet up (and have them pampered) in luxurious spas, or take in views of the town from the warmth of an outdoor hot tub. Chic bars mix quirky signature cocktails and a variety of gins to set the tone for a plush weekend, while live music fills traditional pubs with old-world charm.
Boutique hotels in Galway: adding a personal touch to your break
A boutique hotel in Galway for gin lovers
At the refined Forster Court Hotel, a trip to the Hyde Bar is a must. Bright and airy, the space is colourfully decorated with flowers and foliage, plush tub chairs and printed fabrics. Gin fan? You’ll be in your element in the Parlour, where there are more than 500 bottles to pick from. Choose from classic cocktails with a twist, too, alongside adventurous creations (think Irish gin with bay leaves). At the weekend, brunch is an event in itself, with the choice of adding bottomless prosecco to your breakfast of tempting treats like American pancakes with crispy rashers or striploin steak and eggs.
In soothing pastel tones, rooms here are designed to help you relax – even in the bustling city. The layout has a contemporary look thanks to the elegant lamps, crushed-velvet chairs and heavy satin curtains. If you fancy a breath of fresh air, opt for a space with glass doors that open out onto a terrace where you can sit with a warming cup of tea. Comfortable beds wrapped in soft duvets are the ideal places for recharging your batteries.
Forster Court Hotel
A boutique hotel in Galway with a craft cocktail bar
Set in Galway City’s lively Latin Quarter, the House Hotel’s on-site eatery, the Yard Kitchen and Bar, is a popular spot with locals as well as visitors. Watch mixologists create masterpieces like At the Movies, which includes unique components such as burnt butter sauce and popcorn ash. In the restaurant, you can order a laidback dinner made with locally sourced fare, like fresh fish of the day in tempura batter or Irish black Angus beef. Alternatively, watch the world go by the window from the plush velvety sofas in the contemporary-chic Lounge as you snack on pastries like almond croissants.
To help create a relaxing ambience, rooms have an understated style complemented by luxurious touches: think freshly laundered white linen sheets and Orla Kiely toiletries. Drenching yourself under the rainfall shower of your Italian-designed bathroom is just the ticket after a wander round town. Or, if you fancy kicking back and watching a film, the LCD flat screen TV gives a crystal-clear picture. Fancy reading? The soundproofed windows here mean a peaceful atmosphere.
The House Hotel
A boutique hotel in Galway with a gorgeous spa
For a real treat, spend a luxurious night or two at the g Hotel with opulent interiors by designer hat-maker Philip Treacy. The world outside is left at the door as you step into the tranquil spa. Get comfy on the cushioned loungers and lose yourself in a book, or explore the soothing Thermal Suite that features a crystal steam room and hydro pool. In the rooftop relaxation room, find your zen while looking out over the bamboo terrace before being pampered with a massage involving essential oils.
The chilled ambience is created in the rooms, too, with big bright windows and a soft colour palette. Soak in the freestanding bathtub of your Luxury Room using ESPA toiletries, or feel refreshed under the walk-in shower. Get cosy in the bathrobe and slippers, and lie back on the plump cushioned sofa or dive into your king-size bed.
The hotel’s floral afternoon tea is decadent and delicious. It’s served in the Grand Salon – all silvery oyster shades and orb lights – as well as in the Ladies’ Salon and Gentleman’s Lounge. This botanical version of a classic includes a choice of 12 teas and delicacies made with ingredients like rose petals, lavender and rosemary.
The g Hotel & Spa
A boutique hotel in Galway with an escape room
Yes – a hotel that mixes playtime with relaxation! As well as snoozing away in comfort at the Nox Hotel, you might also find yourself trapped in a bus with puzzles to solve and an ever-ticking clock about to signal your time’s up. Down in the hotel’s carpark you’ll find the Great Escape Room, where you and your team will have to work together to earn your freedom.
Before all the drama, though, you’ll have had an award-winning breakfast in the contemporary Fork restaurant with leather benches and parquet flooring. Opt for the Full Irish – with crispy rashers, hash browns and black and white pudding – it’ll set you up for the day. The dinner menu is just as tempting, with beautifully presented plates of dishes like Wild Atlantic Way Galway oysters and wooden boards stacked with hams and cheeses.
Stretch out in your stylishly decorated room with accents of rich colours, big canvases and busy prints adding character to cushioned chairs. The cotton-covered bed is ideal for resting back on to watch the plasma TV while sipping on a steamy coffee from the Nespresso machine. Modern tiled bathrooms have a serene vibe, with soft cream tones and wooden fittings alongside a spacious walk-in shower.
A boutique hotel in Galway in an ancient convent
The Residence is a former 16th-century convent transformed into a colourful contemporary hotel, found in Galway City’s well-known Quay Street. Stay in a striking room with framed film posters bringing character to the walls and cushioned headboards overlooked by artsy portraits. Dark-wood furnishings and rich fabrics add to the glamorous feel of the space, amped up by modern amenities. Pour a fresh coffee from your Nespresso machine and flick on the 40 inch smart TV to watch a film.
For something stronger, pop next door to the hotel’s lively 1520 bar. Filled with wing-back armchairs and wooden stools, it has an old-school feel with an offbeat edge – look out for the full-sized buffalo statue climbing down the wall. Order a pint of craft beer and a sharing board of tasty treats to nibble on as you watch the house musicians play traditional tunes and covers. At the weekends, the mood has a definite party spirit with a collection of Irish DJs mixing tracks until late. Fancy more of a low-key drink? The Penny Bar, found in the back of 1520, tends to be a touch quieter for refined cocktails.
A boutique hotel in Galway with in-room seaweed bath treatments
With its own bakery and confectionary shop, an intimate spa and an award-winning restaurant, you can see why The Twelve was named Ireland’s hotel of the year at the Georgina Campbell Awards. Let your mouth water at the smell of warm bread cooking and satisfy your sweet tooth with desserts like a slice of the signature choc fudge cake. Make sure you save space for fine dining in the darkly decadent West Restaurant as well. Here, you’ll be served dishes made with produce like Killary Harbour rope mussels or wild rabbit for a true taste of the region. Wash them down with a bottle from the hotel’s award-winning wine list.
Make yourself at home in one of the individually designed rooms decorated with a plush headboard, patterned wallpaper and handmade furniture by local artists. Alongside these bespoke pieces, rooms also have tech like mood lighting. Wrap yourself up in a snug goose-down duvet covered in fresh cotton linen on your king-size bed. For added luxury, arrange a pampering treatment – like a wild-seaweed bath drawn for you by a hotel butler – or book into the hotel’s La Petit Spa for a signature Hot Herbal Bag Massage with warm chamomile, fennel or peppermint.
The Twelve Hotel
A boutique hotel in Galway with an outdoor hot tub
At the Hotel Meyrick, head to the top-floor spa for a detoxing stint in the steam room and an energy-boosting session at the fitness suite. Or, step outside onto the balcony and take a seat in the Canadian hot tub for panoramas out to sea before being pampered with an organic wrap or massage.
The grand rooms will make your stay even more special, with original features like high Victorian ceilings set off by heavy drapes and beautifully carved wooden furniture. In the marble bathrooms, you’ll find a deep tub and a fluffy robe to wrap up in before sinking into a soft bed dressed in crisp cotton sheets. Wake up to views of nearby Eyre Square – check when booking to see if a room overlooking this part of town is available – through the tall sash windows.
Dinner in No 15 On The Square, with its AA Rosette and chefs whipping up gourmet dishes in an open kitchen, is a real treat. Here, classics are given a modern twist using fresh ingredients, such as sea bass marinated in miso. For more of a casual atmosphere, head to the Gaslight Bar & Brasserie for lunch or a cream-topped pint and people-watching.