Tucked away in the Liosban Industrial Estate, off the Headford Road roundabout, is Nox. Galway’s newest hotel is a surprising oasis for visitors coming to Galway. Set back from the busy road that encircles the city, it also has the advantage of being just minutes from the centre of town.
The property has a interesting history. It first opened as a Holiday Inn Express in 1996 and rebranded as an Ibis hotel two years later. In 2008 it became Lisbrook House, a direct provision asylum seeker hostel, before closing its doors in 2012. You would never guess at its checkered past on entering it today. After significant investment into the building, it has been transformed into a sleek and contemporary budget hotel.
At Nox Hotel Galway you will find a 24-hour front desk, bar, and restaurant. A buffet breakfast is available, along with lunch and dinner menus, plus snacks on offer throughout the day.
This is no typical hotel carvery however. Instead, expect full, friendly, table service, reliable WiFi, ample free parking, and good value which has already made it a popular lunchtime choice with the local business types.
The lunch menu is served daily in the open-plan bar with wine list, cocktail menu, and the usual hot beverage options. The space is dark and restful with navy ceilings and accents of warm mustard. The team have a simple philosophy towards dining at Nox, they aim to serve contemporary food in trendy surroundings, and in this they have succeeded.
The 'create your own sandwich' menu caters to the full range of appetites with a comprehensive choice of breads including gluten free and fillings such as creamy guacamole, homemade egg mayonnaise, or artisan brie. Even more impressive is the price tag of only €5.95 including a side salad and potato chips — that’s some serious lunchtime value.
At the lighter end of the menu you will find a Caesar salad with croutons and creamy dressing or a slow cooked pulled pork bap with fries and seasonal salad, both priced at €7.50.
The mains list old favourites such as vegetarian lasagne and chicken á la king. We decided on the Nox signature steak sandwich, a perfectly cooked 6oz chargrilled minute steak served on toasted ciabatta. Topped with sauté peppers, mushrooms, and onions and served with hand cut steak fries, it was the most expensive menu item at €11.95. Equal care was shown by the kitchen to a special of delicious pan-seared salmon and sautéed potatoes. All presented by a competent and efficient staff, we were never crowded nor were we bereft of attention. There is no shortage of desserts to finish, Mississippi mud pie, dark chocolate cake, or apple tart to name just a few.
Nox’s chilled out and stylish bar is the perfect setting for a craft beer or a signature cocktail. The hotel’s jewel in the crown is most definitely its excellent staff. Nox may be a budget hotel, but it has a luxury hotel attitude.
Nox Hotel, Liosban Road, off Headford Road, Galway. Tel: 091 735555. Email: [email protected]