With the extravaganza of razzmatazz, glitz, and glamour that is Galway Race Week only 10 days away, Triona Barrett general manager of the g Hotel and its staff are making final touches for what promises to be the biggest and best Race Week experience at the g Hotel to date.
“I am really looking forward to Race Week,” says Triona. “It is a hugely fun time for the staff and everybody is in great form. A lot of our guests for Race Week are repeat guests; we love to see them come back and find out what they have been up to and what has been happening in their lives, exchanging tips at breakfast with staff for the races; it is just a wonderful atmosphere round the hotel.”
Preparations for the biggest week in the calendar are being finalised but as Triona reveals plans are almost a year in the making.
“After Race Week the hotel team would sit down and go through what worked and what did not work during the week, from how much staff we had, entertainment that was lined up, to the number of shuttle buses put on, every aspect of Race Week at the g Hotel is discussed. The review is broken down day by day so from Monday right through to the Sunday, each day is looked at.
“Every department is in charge of looking after their own actions so everyone will have their own review and jobs to do. Notes are then typed up and put on file. These plans will be then rolled out from around Easter.”
Staff numbers are increased for the week to 170 from 140 and Tríona believes; “It is imperative that the team are well looked after so that they are constantly fed and happy during the races; happy staff equals happy guests.”
Point your horses to the g
It is a big year for the g Hotel as it is sponsoring Ladies’ Day at the Racecourse. “We sponsored the Best Dressed Male at the RDS and it worked very well so we contacted the Racecourse around three months ago and pitched the idea of Best Dressed Male to complement their Ladies’ competition. They responded with the possibility of sponsoring the Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions.
“We had to think about it because we have a lot scheduled on at the g Hotel for Race Week, and logistics wise, we wanted to be absolutely sure that everything would be perfect and run smoothly at the hotel. But once we knew that side would be confirmed, we were delighted to accept the invitation to sponsor the Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions at Ballybrit Racecourse for the next three years.”
And the prizes for the two g Hotel sponsored competitions at the Racecourse are certainly eye catching, with the winner of the Best Hat contest winning a stay at the g Hotel worth €2,000, and first place in the Best Dressed Lady category receiving a once in a lifetime trip to the g Hotel plus a number of exclusive vouchers, up to a cool €10,000.
Ladies’ Day is the biggest day of the racing festival and for Triona it is most likely to be the busiest.
“We start early in the morning for the Tipsters’ breakfast with Ruby and Katie Walsh, which is also on Wednesday morning; tickets for this are priced at €45 and include a tasty brunch, entry to the Racecourse and shuttle bus. We will make a quick appearance there to make sure everything is running according to plan, hand over to the Duty Manager and team, and then head up for the racecourse to judge the Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat.
“When that is complete and all wrapped up, we head back to the g for the Après Racing Party for part two of our day. Our annual competitions will take place then; the annual Best Hat where the winner will receive a stunning Phillip Treacy hat, judged by the wonderful Louise Duffy who is working on our team for the day, and the Best Dressed Male competition kindly sponsored by Hanley’s Menswear who have generously given us a €1,000 voucher for a Strellson Suit. The special guest judge on the night is Galway hurler David Collins. If last year is anything to go by, it’s going to be a brilliant night.”
There will be seven days of entertainment at the g Hotel and it is something which the team at the g prides itself.
“This year in particular we have a super live music menu on offer for locals and our guests in house. It is party central here for Race Week,” says Triona. “Monday and Tuesday, we have the popular local Galway band The Supernovas playing, Wednesday and Thursday, Dublin duo, Cafolla and Engel will be headlining, on Friday Spring Break from Dublin will provide eighties style music, plus another super local band the Good Hustle perform Thursday and Saturday night, not to mention DJ’s til late throughout the week. There is something for everyone whether you want to sit, chill, and relax in the lounges or party the night away.
“It is important that we do something different every year because you want to create a new experience for the locals and your guests. For example, with Cafolla and Engel, I would have been very specific of my requirements. I wanted the DJ to be set up in the Grand Salon with the sax player roaming throughout the lounges and interacting with the customers, so if someone would like to sing along to what he is playing we will have a roaming mic so they can sing a line or two.
“The g Hotel will be the hub of activity in Galway during Race Week. We are the only five star hotel of Galway city. The hotel has a great buzz, and Race Week in particular we showcase ourselves at our best. Whether you want to pop in for lunch, afternoon tea, tapas, or a cocktail, we have a full section of delicious pre and post racing drinks and food options available so you can sit back, relax and watch people strut their stuff on the pink carpet.
“Those who have been to the g during Race Week will know how amazing it is, but if you have not been please pop in because we want people to avail of the great entertainment we have on offer. There is a superb line-up, so be sure to come along because at the g Hotel you won’t know who you will bump into.”