Opt for one of these centrally-located hotels to relax, indulge and enjoy all that this lively city has to offer. Explore the plentiful restaurants and cafés lining the streets and expect a buzzing live music scene at the many pubs dotted in and around the centre. Afterwards, sit back and relax in idyllic rural surroundings at one of these top retreats.
5-star hotels in Galway for a glamorous getaway
A 5-star Galway hotel with unparalleled views and facilities
Gaze out upon Galway’s unspoilt landscape and the peaceful Lough Corrib around which this grand accommodation sits. Spread over 180 acres, Glenlo Abbey is an elegant 18th-century manor house situated just outside Galway city centre. Make the most of the location by exploring the nearby town. Wander along the Seapoint promenade for a glimpse of the ocean, sup a Guinness at Eyre Square, or head to a show at the Town Hall Theatre before retiring to your hotel.
Rooms at Glenlo Abbey add to the traditional yet comfortable ambience of the hotel, with every suite offering luxury furniture and fittings and plenty of individual character. There’s opulence in abundance with antique gold-gilded mirrors, glass chandeliers and four-poster beds, while the pastel and nude colour scheme completes these relaxed and inviting spaces. Choose between the Corrib Deluxe rooms which offer panoramic views of the River Corrib and Lower Lough Corrib, or the Abbey Classic bedrooms with the 18th-century Abbey and Walled Garden in sight.
This place is ideal for relaxing and spending time with friends or family, look to its outdoor pursuits for starters. The hotel boasts a 9-hole golf course and 21-bay driving range – lessons are available for beginners or players eager to improve their handicap. When the weather’s balmy, take a gentle stroll around the manor’s extensive grounds or take quiet time with a spot of fishing at the Ghillie on the lake. Even more outdoor activities can be found in the Walled Garden area which offers both falconry and archery, so prepare to hone your traditional skills.
There’s plenty to do in Galway, and the friendly staff here are happy to give recommendations for the local area. For a day of sightseeing with friends or your other half, the hotel can also arrange private guided tours to the nearby Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, and the Aran Islands.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance here is the hotel’s quirky Pullman Restaurant. This two AA rosette-awarded, fine-dining eatery comprises two former carriages dating back to 1927 that served on the Orient Express. Sit back and relax with a glass of rich rioja and imagine yourself on a voyage from Paris to Istanbul via St. Petersburg – the journey these very carriages used to make. The authentic setting features inlaid wood panelling, vintage lace curtains, fine china and original wooden seating, reminiscent of a bygone era of sophisticated travel.
In the restaurant, the chefs are proud to work with a number of local suppliers. Tuck into locally sourced Irish dishes such as Galway pollock, Castlemine lamb with baby carrots and black garlic, or succulent Irish beef fillet. Glenlo’s traditional afternoon tea is available daily, featuring elegantly presented scones and finger sandwiches, along with the most decadent of pastries, macaroons and cakes, all accompanied by loose leaf or herbal tea or coffee. For special occasions, pair with a glass of champagne or sample the Irish whiskey cream.
While on the topic of whiskey, why not take a seat in the hotel’s exclusive Oak Cellar Bar? Head across to the oak-panelled room and sample a wide selection of Irish whiskeys including Jameson, Midleton and Monkey Shoulder. Guided by a connoisseur of the beverage, learn about the history, ageing process, and distillery of each drink, while allowing the rich and smoky flavours to stimulate your senses.
For those that prefer to enjoy a French Martini or a glass of crisp Sancerre after a long day of hiking in the Connemara National Park, this cosy bar makes for a relaxing spot to wind down. The interior comprises original characterful features such as restored herringbone flooring, dark mahogany wood panelling, tartan chairs and aged leather sofas resulting in a tasteful, yet relaxed ambience. During the summer months, take your drinks outside and dine al-fresco on the Abbey terrace with views of the perfectly manicured surrounding gardens.
Glenlo Abbey Hotel
A sleek and contemporary 5-star Galway spa hotel for an indulgent getaway
For pure indulgence during your city-break to charming Galway, look no further than the luxury g Hotel with its 5-star spa by ESPA International. Elegant rooms, designed by renowned milliner and creative Philip Treacy, make for a comfortable and stylish space to rest in after a day exploring the surrounding countryside.
Born in County Galway, Treacy has taken inspiration from the scenic landscapes of his homeland, utilising tactile textures and country shades including soft russets, creams and greens. Sit back and relax in your light, airy room, complete with cosy furnishings and simple, yet elegant touches like fresh flowers and shell cushions. You’ll also find a king-sized bed and an indulgent free-standing bath.
For a special occasion book the Linda Evangelista Penthouse, which offers 120 sqm of immaculate luxury. Located on the second floor, this suite features a large lobby area, living room, dining area and butler’s kitchen for a complete home-from-home feel. There’s also a spacious, private enclosed terrace overlooking the sweeping Lough Atalia lake. If you’re with friends or family, why not take advantage of a private dining experience to celebrate a special birthday all while in the comfort of your own space.
The g Hotel is located at Wellpark, just outside the city centre, so it’s ideally positioned for exploring Galway and all the local sights including Galway City Museum and The Eyre. However, it’s no secret that the main draw of the hotel is its much-revered spa. Created by international skincare brand ESPA, the spa is set over two floors and offers an array of relaxing and pampering treatments, allowing you to fully unwind and leave rejuvenated. Switch off from the outside world and enjoy a soak in the vitality hydro pool which features water therapy jets and a Jacuzzi-like experience.
Savour a few moments of solitude in the crystal steam room and rock sauna, or take a well-deserved rest on the tepidarium heated loungers in the relaxation room overlooking the tranquil bamboo terrace. Some of the award-winning treatments on offer include a chakra balancing massage, facials for radiant skin, as well as wraps, salt scrubs and maternity treatments, plus mani and pedicures to complete your look. For those that want to balance all that relaxation with a little bit of body wellness, there’s also a full fitness studio including a range of exercise machines, resistance and free weights.
After rejuvenating mind, body and spirit in the spa, you’ll have no doubt worked up an appetite. Head to Gigi’s, the hotel’s sleek on-site restaurant and bar, for lunch or dinner. This contemporary space has a glamorous feel, with furnishings decked out in sumptuous velvets in deep purple, teal and red hues, along with low-level lighting making for a luxurious and sophisticated vibe.
Aesthetics aside, the flagship restaurant boasts two AA rosettes for culinary excellence, with chefs Jason O’Neill and Andy Lewis behind a menu of locally sourced produce from suppliers including Mary’s Fish, Burkes vegetables and Galway Goat’s Cheese. Choose from dishes including glazed fillet of monkfish, roasted duck breast with five spice jus, or roasted butternut squash risotto; all washed down with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Don’t miss the impressive Grand Salon, particularly its distinctive 300 mirrored globe light display designed by Tom Dixon, where bites like the crab salad and Irish beef burger can be sampled during the day. The Ladies Lounge meanwhile is a great spot to meet with the girls and perhaps indulge in the hotel’s full afternoon tea or freshly-baked scones with cream and jam. There’s also a cocktail bar for pre or post-dinner libations. The menu here features classic cocktails like mojitos and Manhattans to get the night off to good start, or to wind down after an evening meal, grab a Baileys and head outside to do a spot of stargazing under the clear Galway night sky.