Close to the midpoint of the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way driving route, and with an international reputation for its vibrant culture, Galway is one of the top destinations to visit on a trip to the Emerald Isle. Accommodation options are plentiful in this compact Irish city, whether you’re searching for outright opulence or cheap and cheerful properties.
The Twelve Hotel is located in the idyllic seaside village of Barna, a short distance outside Galway city. Named after the twelve rolling peaks nearby, this hotel offers relaxation, luxury and escapism. After a busy day exploring the Irish thrills, you can indulge in this hotel’s unique charms. All on-site, you can book a body massage at Le Petit Spa, sip an Irish stout in Pins Gastro Bar or ease your pains with a seaweed bath in your room, which can be prepared by their very own bath butler.
The Galmont Hotel & Spa has a perfect location overlooking Galway Bay and is just a three-minute walk from Eyre Square. The spacious rooms vary from deluxe sea views to those with a private balcony to family rooms. There are two dining options – Marina’s Restaurant menu includes a Galway Bay smoked haddock or an Irish Rub Cap burger, while Coopers Bar & Lounge has a signature Knickerbocker Glory. There is a large heated outdoor terrace, a spa and an 18m (60ft) swimming pool.
Located in Galway’s East Village neighbourhood, the Forster Court Hotel has 50 bright, stylish, colourful, homely rooms to ensure you will have a comfortable stay. The ground floor Hyde Bar & Gin Parlour leads you through an ivy-decorated entrance into a social hangout containing a whopping 623 gins from all over the world. Locally sourced Irish food graces the menu, as do craft beers and carefully curated wines.
The Salthill Hotel lies on the stunning Salthill Promenade offering panoramic views of Galway Bay and the Clare Hills. It is a perfect place to watch a Galway sunset. In the hotel’s Blackrock Bar, you can knock back an Irish whiskey or an international cocktail. Impressively, the hotel has a leisure centre and a gym, which includes an 18m (60ft) hydrotherapy pool, sauna, whirlpool and steam room.
Located directly on Eyre Square, the Skeffington Arms Hotel is a relaxing option for young couples and those on city breaks. Resembling a pub from the outside, delve into Irish culture and hospitality here at one of the venue’s six bars. These include one with live entertainment nightly, the Premium Gin Parlour, the Whiskey Vault and even a nightclub. Chefs also dish up hearty Irish stews and steaks. All rooms are of similar, minimalistic design.
Galway Bay Hotel is in perfect surroundings for lovers of the sea, right on the water on the Salthill Promenade, looking across the bay to County Clare’s Flaggy Shore. This family-friendly establishment ranks in the top five Galway hotels on TripAdvisor, with past guests frequently applauding both its location and the high-quality service. It’s a great place to stay with kids, as not only are there plenty of activities in the vicinity, but the hotel also has its own kids’ club, and will happily arrange a babysitter for parents needing a break.
Galway’s lavish five-star g Hotel was designed by none other than superstar milliner Philip Treacy, a native of the west coast county. His concept was based around the sea, and unique maritime touches abound throughout, such as a tank of Connemara-bred seahorses in the lobby and shell-shaped handles on each bedroom door. The two-floor destination spa here comes highly recommended, as does the hotel restaurant gigi’s, which holds two AA rosettes.
Located just outside the city on the shores of Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey consists of a 138-acre (56ha) private estate, complete with a five-bay 18th-century manor house, walled gardens and a nine-hole golf course. The former seat of an Anglo-Norman French family, this is definitely the place to come if you’re looking for old-world ambience and almost regal levels of comfort – even the smallest rooms are spacious, with eye-catching views, some looking towards the lake and others towards the attached abbey.
A four-star boutique hotel with beautiful interiors, the House Hotel also has the advantage of a superb location at Spanish Parade in Galway’s Latin Quarter. This stylish spot is just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s best restaurants and bars, but with a widely celebrated cocktail bar and bistro on the premises, hosting live music every weekend, you don’t even have to venture that far. Sleeping options range from standard doubles up to extravagant suites with private balconies, and all the en-suite bathrooms have toiletries from the range by Irish designer Orla Kiely – a pleasantly patriotic touch.