The g Hotel, Galway, Ireland ****

Q: What is it? A: A hotel in Galway that looks like an electronics store on the outside but thankfully is way more pleasant on the inside. And yes, it has THAT pink lounge.

What has to be the most photographed pink lounge in the world. I mean, honestly. The entire hotel has been designed by Philip Treacy who is pretty well known for his hats. Which explains a lot of his design solutions for this hotel. What makes him a slightly cooler choice: He’s a local, born in Ahascragh, 70 km from Galway.

Can you hear the hotel investors cringing when looking at the design sketches of the futuristic curved ceiling with the built-in downlights? Three stokes on a design sketch that, ahem… affected their budget. Add to that a roomy/spacious/generous space to sleep in with massive windows and a crazy comfy bed.

OK, I’ll admit it: I have a thing for egg-shaped bathtubs. To be completely honest I rarely use them. But no hotel room would be complete without an egg-shaped bathtub. The huge shower comes with a monsoon head.

A nice fireplace but no instruction telling you how to light it up. In fact, that wasn’t their intention. You had to call a guy who moved a panel and pressed buttons and turned knobs. I guess you just can’t trust guests with operating those knobs.

Grey/brownish lounge on the ground floor. Aha, that’s another one from our friend, the milliner. You’ll find his name attached to collections from Alexander McQueen, Helmut Lang and Versace. And that would be hats. Fine hats. Funny hats. Expensive hats. Spectacular hats. And hats that deserve their own YouTube-clips. Yes, lolhats.

And here’s where you’ll buy your next inkjet printer. Or something. That’s what I thought. I drove by it several times swearing at my GPS which kept telling me ‘hey, sucker… you’re here’. No, I didn’t see the huge, shiny ‘g’ in front of the entrance. No, I didn’t expect this hotel to look like this. I simply didn’t.

Will they throw in two ink cartridges for free?
Am I supposed to stay in the Irish equivalent to BestBuy? If you ask me, this is the least probable exterior design of an Irish hotel. Off-putting, to put it mildly. And the weather – which I hereby blame the hotel for – naah… not a great start. But all that is overturned when you meet Chris. He’s one of the friendliest Irish lads I’ve ever met, which is an astonishing piece of info, as the Irish as a collective are an extremely friendly bunch. Chris gets the luggage and takes care of the car Gene Kelly-style. Yes, that means singing in the rain. Literally. I guess he’s just accustomed to the climate.

The room is among the better ones I’ve slept in this year.
It’s roomy. It has a fireplace. It has floor-to-cieling windows so that you can watch the heavy rain fall over the Irish west coast. Even the ‘g’-branded muffins on the glass table are top-notch. Irish lass: How was work today, love? Irish lad: Fine. Made 196 branded muffins for that posh hotel! And it has an egg-shaped bathtub. And a huge shower with a monsoon shower head. Everything oozes quality although some of the materials and designs are more like surplus from a Caribbean cruise-liner than the perfect match for a hotel with design ambitions. I think we can thank Philip Treacy, the milliner of Lady Gaga for that. I’m just thankful that rooms are not even remotely as colorful as the public spaces.

A moveable feast.
Until breakfast, everything at the ‘g’ is very close to perfect. The staff is outstanding and competent. The atmosphere, despite a huge wedding reception, is open and friendly. But why try to pack every guest at a fully booked hotel into a breakfast room that is clearly undersized? After a 10-minute wait someone gets the brilliant idea: Let those hungry guests have their breakfast in the lounges as well! And so it happens. A highly unnecessary case of sluggish response. That’s why this hotel is not getting the otherwise well-deserved 5-star rating I thought I would award it with. But if you’re in the neighborhood, make sure that you book yourself in. And while we’re at it – do it well in advance. Despite its size, the ‘g’ Hotel has only 98 rooms. But with that exterior I’d rather call it a Media Markt hotel than a boutique.

The g Hotel
Dublin Rd, Galway

+353 91 865 200

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