There are many options to choose from when looking for a break. However, there was nowhere I would choose to be on a Friday afternoon, except driving down the N84 from Castlebar, excited in the knowledge that, in just over an hour, I would be leaving all the stresses and strains of the week behind me, soon to be arriving to an evening of indulgence at Galway city's only five star hotel and spa, the g Hotel.
Just 15 minutes walk from the centre of Galway city, the g Hotel is surprisingly easy to get to. When you arrive at the Kirwan roundabout take the seconnd exit, turn right after the Maldron Hotel onto Sandy Road, at the Joyce roundabout take the second exit (signposted Dublin ), continue down the hill, straight through the traffic lights, the g is located on the left. Once parked up in the complimentary underground car park, there are several pink signs guiding you to the guest lifts and to the luxury that awaits you. It is amazing to think that in a hotel so close to the heart of the busy and vibrant city of Galway, there awaits an oasis of calm and relaxation, all tied up with a beautiful pink bow of glamour.
Stepping out of the lift to a beautiful room with pink carpet, cream furniture, and over 200 twinkling mirrored lights, you know you have arrived somewhere special and unique. Several Philip Treacy designed rooms with different themes stretch the length of the hotel allowing you to choose the ambience to suit your mood. From the dark and intimate reception area, with black glass walls as a background to the centerpiece of a tank of Connemara-bred seahorses, all the way through to rooms of different colours and themes, all linked by the window on one side which takes up the full length of the hotel and the beautiful pink carpet which leads you through each room.
The Philip Treacy inspiration follows through to the beautiful deluxe bedrooms, with beautiful gold black-out curtains, a relaxing sofa, kingsize bed, and a luxurious bathroom with separate bath and walk-in power shower. Soft and comfortable dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
If there is one thing that you should do when staying in this magnificent hotel, it is to visit the g Hotel's amazing spa, thermal suite and relaxation lounge. I chose to have a personalised ESPA massage which turned out to be probably the best massage I have experienced, leaving me relaxed yet feeling vitalised. The key component of this was the initial consultation where my masseuse, through a series of questions picked the oil and treatment to suit my specific needs, including the strength of the massage.
Following this, I was led through to the relaxation lounge to enjoy a glass of Prosecco, while I lay back on a lounger enjoying the view of the Zen rooftop garden. Once I felt ready, I then wound my way down the staircase to cocoon myself away in the amazing thermal suite. Featuring a beautiful vitality pool, crystal steam room, lifestyle rain showers, rock sauna and tepidarium heated loungers, the g Hotel advises that it is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and revive your body and spirit. The thermal suite lived up to this promise. Choosing a heated lounger as my base, you can move through the different aspects of the suite, sitting in the vitality pool while bubbles massage your body, then on to the steam room and sauna, luxuriating under an option of showers in-between. Once completed, I felt I had left all the stresses of life outside the door and felt refreshed and relaxed.
All of this pampering and relaxation left me ready for dinner, and The g Hotel knows how to satisfy your hunger in their stunning Gigi's restaurant. A restaurant's atmosphere sets the stage. It's more than just about a dining room away from home. Factors such as service, lighting, spacing and seating combine to create an enjoyable restaurant experience, and Gigi's manages to do this. From the moment of entering, with a host of chairs of different colours, and attentive and friendly staff, the atmosphere was relaxed yet energetic. There were groups of different people in the room, from a hen party, couples, to groups, all who seemed to be enjoying the Gigi's experience. The food, however, was the element that brought the whole dining experience together. It was easy to see why the restaurant has won the "Best Hotel Restaurant in Galway" at this year's Irish Restaurant awards. With different menu options available from a two course dinner for €29.50 to the Indulge three course menu for €48, there is something to suit every taste, and there is no problem at all if you wish to mix and match the menus. I started with Thornhill Duck, Duck Pastrami and pistachio crusted rillette, Pomelo, Blood Orange Gel, followed this with the Lamb Journey, which consisted of lamb done in three ways, with the lamb cooked to perfection, and finished off with an amazing custard dessert. My partner had the 16oz black angus T-Bone steak, which he advised was again cooked exactly as he had requested it. There was nothing left on our plates at the end of the meal, which I feel is always a compliment to the chef.
Retiring to the bar, there was a lovely atmosphere with people enjoying their after-dinner drinks. The music, which consisted of various genres, added to this atmosphere, ensuring that we stayed longer than intended.
Following a very comfortable night's sleep, we returned back to Gigi's for our breakfast. You can choose from an extensive buffet or a selection of different options, which will be cooked fresh for you, from pancakes, to eggs benedict. You are made feel that nothing is too much trouble for the helpful and friendly staff. As well as the full Irish, the buffet consists of freshly squeezed juices, cereals, yoghurts, continental meats, cheese boards, smoked salmon, as well as all the little extras that make a lovely breakfast, chutneys to go with the cheese, gherkins for the cold meats, horseradish sauce for the smoked salmon.
I cannot recommend the g Hotel highly enough. The atmosphere throughout is one of relaxation and luxury. However, all this glamour does not detract from the warm and welcoming service from the g hotel staff. From the moment we arrived, to our reluctant departure, we were put at our ease from every staff member we met. Smiling and helpful, nothing was any trouble to them, and it was this that made our stay one of the most pleasant hotel stays I've had. Whether you're a couple looking for a relaxing breakaway, a family looking to celebrate a special occasion, or a group of friends looking for a fun weekend, the g hotel is the place to be.
One night stay in the g Hotel with dinner and breakfast available now from €260 per room, includes overnight accommodation with a three-course dinner with tea or coffee selecting from Restaurant Gigi's Divine menu option, full Irish breakfast, overnight parking and all taxes.