Formerly the Great Southern, this historic railway hotel overlooking Eyre Square right in the centre of Galway was built in 1845. It has always had a special place in the hearts of Galway people.
Prior to a change of ownership in 2006, a major refurbishment programme had been undertaken, intended mainly to reinstate the grandeur and elegance of its 19th century heyday; this had been partially achieved, most notably in the public areas, where marble flooring, high ceilings, chandeliers and rich fabrics all contributed to re-creating the grandeur of old.
However, all has since been changed, and a contemporary style currently prevails. The main restaurant overlooking Eyre Square, The Oyster Grill Restaurant, and the ground floor Oyster Bar were both also re-styled, and the adjacent bar (with seoparate street entrance) renamed Fagans.
Accommodation at this Galway Hotels also had a makeover - the wide corridors (designed so that ladies in hooped dresses could pass without inconvenience) remain of course, and are especially impressive in these days of compact modern buildings. Although standard rooms have been treated in a simple modern style, the best have retained period detail and are now offered as superior rooms and junior suites; they are spacious and decorated in keeping with their stature, with bathrooms to match, and there are also some opulent ‘level 5’ suites, with access to an executive lounge.
The hotel’s Square Spa & Health Club is on the top storey, with panoramic views over Galway city and harbour from the rooftop hot tub - which are interesting rather than scenic.