Galway

Luxury hotels in Galway for a celebratory mini break

So, you're looking to mark a special occasion at one of the finest luxury hotels in Galway.

We’ve put together eight of the top choices, from friendly B&B-style lodges to swish multi-room affairs, both in the county’s capital and further into the countryside. Find boutique hotels with amenity-packed spas for a hen weekend and country estates with award-winning eateries to celebrate an anniversary.

On the Scenic Wild Atlantic Way route and buzzing with live music and festivals, Galway is always a worthy choice. It’s more so now than ever with the city chosen as European Capital of Culture 2020. Find out if it really is west coast, best coast at one of its upscale hotels.

A luxury boutique hotel in Galway with a Voya spa

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A cool boutique hotel under a 15 minute drive from Galway, The Twelve is a great option for sticking close to the action while still making the most of the countryside. And while it’s a relatively small option, it punches above its weight in terms of amenities. Not only does it have a bakery and sweet shop – the organic chocolates are recommended – it also has the small but perfectly formed La Petit Spa for nature-inspired seaweed treatments by luxurious homegrown brand Voya.

Treat your muscles to a massage, then have a healing aromatherapy soak drawn up by the hotel’s bath butler. Or just rest on the super-king size bed in your room. There are 48 rooms with fun floral wallpaper and ambient lighting to set the mood. Hook your phone up to the iPod docking station to play your favourite tunes, and check out the view of Bearna’s countryside from your balcony.

If you haven’t overindulged at the bakery yet, grab a table at the hotel’s main eatery, called West Restaurant because it makes the most of the region’s ingredients. The chefs here keep things seasonal, with a special focus on fermented and foraged produce.

The Twelve Hotel

Top rated
Galway, 0.3 km to Barna
8.9 Excellent (881 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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A luxury hotel in Galway in an elegant manor house

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Formerly a private country mansion, The Ardilaun became a hotel over 55 years ago and its owners haven’t looked back since. Guests love it for its proximity to the city — it’s just a kilometre away from Galway’s centre – yet it feels like a serene rural retreat. It’s also family and pet-friendly if you want to take the whole clan away.

Celebrating an anniversary? Relax on the patio together if the sun’s decided to shine, make a splash in the swimming pool side by side, or cuddle up next to the open fire in one of the snug lounges. If you’ve booked a suite – it is a special occasion, after all – you’ll find a plush pile carpet, separate dining and lounge area, as well as a free fruit platter.

Set aside time for a meal at Camilaun restaurant with its locally inspired dishes like Dooncaster oysters and Wild Atlantic chowder. Or try the AA Rosette-winning Bistro for satisfying dishes like steak in pepper sauce with caramelised red onions. There’s a traditional carvery for satisfying Sunday roasts, too.

The Ardilaun Hotel

Galway, 4.9 km to Barna
8.0 Very good (1565 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.6 / 10
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A colourful luxury hotel in Galway City for a weekend with friends

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The chic and cheerful Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is just the thing for a girls’ weekend. Get your group together with a package that includes afternoon tea and a cocktail class in the sleek grey setting of the on-site Grain & Grill bar and restaurant. You’ll sample freshly made scones, tasty pastries and finger sandwiches – and you can switch the coffee or tea for a refreshing glass of prosecco.

This place is only 15 minutes’ stroll from the bustling pubs and clubs of Galway City’s centre. After adventure? The hotel will order you a taxi if you want to go further away – maybe to the late-night bars on Quay Street. If it’s earlier in the day, explore the chain and boutique stores of Shop Street, home of famous local retailers like Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold and the century-old Anthony Ryans.

Or you can catch up on all the gossip as you chat over the free tea, coffee and chocolates in your room. The decor here is high-end and modern – thanks to the hotel’s recent 8 million euro renovation – and livened up by splashes of bright yellow. You’ll also find a cosy robe and slippers.

Maldron Hotel Sandy Road Galway

Galway, 7.8 km to Barna
8.2 Very good (4038 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
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A luxury hotel in Galway right next to Eyre Square

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The Galmont Hotel & Spa has a prime position in Galway, a 3 minute walk from Eyre Square. Treat yourself to an Executive Room, set on the hotel’s top floor, for views of Lough Atalia and an airy interior made up of light-wood panelled walls and pastel-coloured furniture.

A buffet breakfast and access to the leisure facilities are included in your booking, so you can swim and steam to your heart’s content. Jump into the outdoor hot tub and marvel at the panoramas of the lake, or go all out with a water-therapy session at the purple-lit Thermal Suite. You’ll find heated loungers, a hammam and a rock sauna here – ideal for amping up the R&R levels ahead of a Himalayan salt stone massage in the treatment rooms.

Set practically on the water’s edge, a meal at the hotel’s Marina’s Grill is a must for soaking up the scenery. In keeping with its surroundings, it serves seafood dishes like West Coast crab claws and Clarinbridge mussels. Cooper’s Bar is a bit more casual – great for sitting under the copper lights on navy velvet stools and chatting over a couple of Irish rib-eye steaks.

The Galmont Hotel & Spa

Galway, 12.9 km to Barna
8.4 Very good (4186 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A luxury hotel in Galway overlooking the green Fields of Athenry

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You’ve got three dining choices at Raheen Woods, so make sure to turn up with an appetite! There’s Clarin Bistro, where the focus is on seasonal meat, veg and fish with a modern twist, or McHales Bar & Grill with its traditional European fare – including organic jams and fresh-baked bread at breakfast. Last but not least, there’s Trevelyan’s restaurant, where you can enjoy your food next to the white-marble fireplace in a regal purple setting.

Rooms at Raheen Woods have an old-world feel, with silky linens, cherry wood furniture and floral patterned wallpaper. Deluxe Suites – your top choice for a special stay – are filled with walnut and maple furnishings, a super-king size bed and a big marble bathroom featuring a Jacuzzi and separate walk-in power shower with space for two. You’ll also have views over the Fields of Athenry.

During downtime float in the pillar-lined 20 metre indoor pool and think about hitting the in-house gym. Then skip it – hey, you’re on holiday – and opt for a stint in the spa instead. A seaweed bath followed by a Swedish massage is worth splashing out on for a special occasion.

Raheen Woods

Top rated
Galway, 26.2 km to Barna
8.9 Excellent (276 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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A luxury castle hotel in Galway with four-poster beds

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When staying at Abbeyglen Castle, make the most of your surroundings and go for a Superior Room. Some of these refined spaces feature open fires, four-poster beds and ornate claw-foot baths, so you can really feel like you’re escaping the ordinary.

Drop off your bags after a warm welcome from the friendly staff at reception and head to the spa: the wellness centre at this hotel specialises in Elemis treatments, from facials to manicures. An Indian head massage followed by a pedicure will leave you feeling pampered from head to toe.

Abbeyglen’s also a foodie haven, with á la carte and table d’hote menus available in the restaurant. Options change daily but often include dishes like Connemara lamb and the catch of the day. Stay on a Tuesday for Irish night if you’re partial to a bit of traditional food and music. Live performances are organised now and then in the Piano Bar, too, so you can sit with a pint and listen to the tinkling of the ivories. Free glasses of bubbly and canapes are served here before dinner – just the thing for prepping your palate.

Hotel Abbeyglen Castle

Top rated
Clifden, 0.9 km to Station House Museum
8.6 Excellent (1034 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A luxury hotel in Galway with a lake-view rooftop terrace

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The wood-decked Rooftop Garden at Lough Rea with its lounge-worthy sofas is a fine place to eat thanks to having views over the lake the hotel takes its name from. You’ll see the mountains in the distance as you snack on American-inspired light bites like Louisiana chicken wings. Indoors, Abbey Restaurant and Lir Bar & Brasserie both serve Irish and European meals in opulent settings.

Soothe senses at Lough Rea’s lantern-lit Shore Island Spa, either in the adults-only Thermal Suite – complete with a sauna, steam room and tropical experience shower – or take a luxe Yon-Ka Paris treatment in one of five available rooms. The Le Grande Classique facial is popular because it includes such an in-depth, five-step cleansing routine.

Sleeping options are just as plush as the spa, with many looking out on to the water. Lake View Rooms have comfortable premium mattresses and fresh white bedding, while upgrades feature freestanding baths and rain showers. If you really want to push the boat out, the Connaught Suite has a huge four-poster bed, its own open-plan living and dining room, and a spacious private balcony.

Lough Rea Hotel And Spa

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (734 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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A luxury hotel in Galway nestled between two mountain ranges

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Book a relaxing getaway between the Maamturks and the Twelve Bens with a stay at Lough Inagh Lodge. Rooms at this country house, which was built in 1880, are comfy and cosy, with floral curtains, dark hardwood furniture and walls painted in warm colours making for a quaint decor.

A trip to this lakeside hotel lets you try out a range of country pastimes. Lough Inagh can point you in the right direction towards superb fishing spots, excitement-filled shooting ranges and world-class golf courses. Or you can simply ask for a walking guide to take you through the invigorating trails across the nearby mountains.

The restaurant at Lough Inagh Lodge really does capitalise on the fresh produce that’s readily available in Ireland. Starters and mains include ingredients like Connemara salmon and Killary lobster, while desserts run the gamut from selections such as Baileys Irish cream parfait to a cheeseboard sourced with delights from across the country. Wines come from all over, with a focus on classic Spanish and Italian bottles.

Hotel Lough Inagh Lodge

Top rated
Clifden, 8.5 km to Station House Museum
9.3 Excellent (216 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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