The only city along the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s internationally famous, not least thanks to musicians including Ed Sheeran, who have used the area in their lyrics. It hosts many significant events, such as the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Races, rugby fixtures and the Macnas Halloween Parade. Pop into one of the city’s pubs and you may find a turf fire or traditional Irish music being played live. And while there’s a plethora of activity in the centre, visitors can find another level of serenity by travelling a little further afield to the majestic mountains of Connemara.
Cashel House Hotel
Owned and managed by the McEvilly family, Cashel House has an AA Inspector’s Choice Award, along with two AA Rosettes and four stars. Its 50 acres (including award-winning gardens) border Cashel Bay on the one side and the Cashel Hills on the other. Built in the mid 19th century, the house became a hotel in the mid 20th century, offering 32 types of accommodation for guests. The decor pays homage to its Victorian roots with vintage furnishings and antique pieces throughout, while the restaurant is housed in a large Victorian conservatory. Walking trails run from the house down to the beach, winding through the estate’s charming woodland.
The g Hotel Galway
Lauded milliner Phillip Treacy was the designer behind this destination hotel. It has Galway’s only five-star spa, the deeply sophisticated ESPA at the g. Spread across two floors, this includes treatment rooms, a thermal suite and a glass pavilion overlooking the rooftop Zen bamboo terrace. g’s Signature Lounges provide expansive views across Lough Atalia and Restaurant gigi’s serves two AA Rosette-awarded food. Some of the 101 bedrooms also have lough views, while others are interconnecting, to cater for families and groups. All have luxuries like interactive suite pads, bathrobes, ESPA toiletries, RESPA beds and down pillows. Don’t miss g’s Grand Salon, with its mirrored display by lighting designer Tom Dixon.