Although the location on a busy road as you enter the city is surprising for a hotel of this class, and an unimpressive facade gives few clues to the originality of the interior by internationally renowned milliner Phillip Treacy, there is a view down Lough Atalia towards Galway Bay from the front of the hotel, and it is within pleasant walking distance of Eyre Square on a fine day. And, some years on, there is a definite sense that the g transcends the drawbacks of its location and has matured into one of the finest hotels in the West of Ireland.
Treacy – who is a native of Galway - was given free rein to indulge his quirky creativity, and in return he gave the western capital a stunning hotel. Eye-catching colour combinations, lighting, furniture, carpets, fireplaces make the public rooms both comfortable and delightfully varied. What might have been an intimidating (all black) lobby and reception area, is cleverly enlivened by a wall-mounted, exotic fish tank featuring the strangest creatures: sea horses, born and bred in Connemara. The original quirky Phillip Treacy “mad hattiness” and stunning interior design still tends to quicken the pulse in the knowledge that one is somewhere unique, a fact enhanced by the able and attentive staff throughout the hotel.
This Galway Hotels accommodation is luxurious, as would be expected, but, while also contemporary and with many quirky details, the suites and guestrooms are much quieter in tone than the public areas, making for a restful stay.
There is a strong emphasis on food and the g's three Signature Lounges are perfect for casual dining, with food served from 10am until 10.30pm; a wide choice ranges from small bites to main courses and tempting treats, including Afternoon Tea.
The menus are interesting and the food memorable. The culinary team is headed up by Cedric Bottarlini, a chef who cares about food, the local landscape and showcasing Irish produce with a touch of flair. He has built a strong team of similarly passionate chefs who share his culinary vision and strive for excellence in everything they craft. This includes giving guests all the information they need to make better choices, so they aim to provide the options for a healthier lifestyle without sacrificing taste or quality.
Each dish on the lunch and lounge menus has its own details printed on a little card listing not only the allergens and calories but also the carbohydrate, sugar, fibre and protein content. Total fat is listed and how much of that is saturated. Cholesterol, calcium and sodium are all included as well as vitamins A, C and D. A real help for those not just watching their weight but also those with concerns about cholesterol, sugar or salt levels. There’s no tricky maths to do, the values are presented for the full dish as it is presented to you and is consistent every time as the portions are pre-weighed. Best of all, the nutritional information is not on the menu, but available on request, so guests who prefer not to dwell on the detail when enjoying a meal out can do so if they wish. Service is impeccable as usual, the staff friendly, attentive and well-informed.
This is a fun place that brings a smile to people’s faces. Look out for Treacy’s exotic hat pictures, the Tony O’Malley painting on the way into the restaurant and the surreal replaying of the 1940’s movie Casablanca flickering on the curtains in one of the lounges.
Conferences/Banqueting (250/180); business centre, secretarial services, video conferencing, free broadband wi/fi, laptop sized safes in bedrooms. Spa; Golf & equestrian nearby. Wheelchair accessible.
Rooms 101 (3 suites, 26 junior suites, all others deluxe or superior); children welcome (baby sitting arranged); a range of special breaks is offered, notably spa breaks with treatments at the rooftop ESPA spa; B&B from about €70pps.
The stylish restaurant gigi's offers the most luxurious dining experience in Galway and the food can be very good. Dining room furnishings, in varied slightly decadent colours, contrast with the crisp, white table linen, and superior glassware and silver add to the air of opulence.
Four menus are offered daily allowing guests to choose, according to mood and budget, from the Irish Steakhouse Corner to the Indulge Menu. An à la carte dinner is also offered, as well as a table d’hôte menu; local suppliers are credited on all menus and there is a definite organic bias.
A comprehensive worldwide wine list includes over a dozen wines by the glass and good half bottles choice of wines by the carafe.
Staff smartly dressed in lavender and black outfits are extremely aware and friendly, a great asset to the G, which has achieved recognition as a restaurant as well as an hotel.
Creative promotional packages are frequently offered - a particularly successful one combines dinner and a movie: two/three courses followed by a movie at the adjacent EYE cinema, available Sunday to Thursday @ €29.50/€37 per person.