My wife and I just completed a week in Galway as part of a wedding celebration (the couple was from Galway) and we LOVED the Park House. I will try to address some common concerns people have when choosing a hotel by topic. To begin with, we started by looking for a "higher end" hotel in Galway that was close to the heart of town. We came to either the G or the Park House and selected the latter based on recommendations from our local friends and earlier reviews on this site.
THE HOTEL/AREA: The Park House is a clean and upscale appearing hotel in the very heart of Galway (you can see Eyre square from the front step). The streets around the hotel are less impressive and fairly busy. I suppose this is something one must balance: to be close to city amenities (train station, bus station and tourist office are a 2 minute walk away, including a stop for a pint) and deal with crests of traffic at the beginning and end of the day. There are several lively bars very close to the hotel, but we felt very secure walking around very late at night; the hotel is locked before the pubs let out and you're only let in if you have a key. The evening doorman (Alex) during our stay was very friendly and helpful, often recognizing us without us showing the key (a nice touch!). The parking lot could be a tricky find, though we didn't drive. It too appeared very secure with several security cameras. A convenience store is right across the street for basic items (water, toiletries, etc) and the shopping district is a quick 5 minute walk away.
THE PUBLIC SPACES: Very well maintained, with what could be described as a classy European style. It had the feel of an old, glamorous hotel, with immaculate brass details and some marble statues. Whatever concerns you had about the place from the street disappears as soon as you walk in. The one modest strike I have against the hotel is the pervasive smell of cooked fish (a popular dish in Galway). It wasn't unpleasant or intrusive by ANY means (and totally undetectable in the room), but if you're not a fan of fish, it will get old.
THE ROOM: We had a Deluxe Room it what appeared to be the newer side of the hotel. It was immaculate and substantially larger than I anticipated (we had a tiled foyer). The bathroom was also huge by Europe's standards and very well appointed; we LOVED the towel warmer! I have a couple simple quibbles with the room though. First, there weren't enough lights near outlets, a complaint my wife was quick to share while she was trying to straighten her hair (shaver outlets only in the bathroom) or use her laptop on the desk in the room (no desk lamp or lamp near the desk). Second, the king bed seemed too firm for my liking, but my wife loved it; subjective, I know, but something I wanted to comment on. Lastly, and most American of me, the TV was an older conventional tube model. It worked just fine, but I was expecting a fancier flat screen to match the high-end room. There was always a paper delivered to our door daily and housekeeping was prompt and thorough. An iron is available upon request, but it does not provide steam (bummer). Two free bottles of water (sparkling and still) were a delightful surprise. There aren't any views to speak of, as you're in the middle of town, but the window open to let in some fresh air. We didn't see any of the other rooms, so I can't comment on the Superior level or the Suites. Free WiFi in the rooms was a great perk and fast enough for our needs.
THE FOOD: The restaurant is one of the classiest in Galway and the food does not disappoint. We ate there our first night in town with a large group and we were all quite pleased with our meals (from fish to steak). The desserts were amazing, with the Toblerone cheesecake being most decadent and probably illegal. Breakfast is included with some rates and is limited to staples (eggs, toast, yogurt, etc), but hits the spot. Service is prompt in the morning and can be faster still if you're in a rush to get to a tour (just let them know).
SERVICE: Simply exceptional. Siobhan (my Irish is bad, but phonetically "sha-VONN") was most helpful and her colleagues were quite knowledgeable about local tours/restaurants. As the hotel is basically in the middle of town, most tour companies will pick-up/stop right at the hotel; even if they don't the walk is VERY brief to the coach station or tourist office.
In summary, if you're looking for a hotel that provides great service in a premium location with the feel of a grand old hotel, this is the spot for you. We didn't get a chance to see the G, but drove past it on our way in (possibly a better pick for those renting a car and wanting to drive around, as it's a little away from city center); it looks like a classy modern hotel you could find anywhere. The Park House had that distinctly European feel that my wife and I were looking for. You won't be disappointed!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Park House Hotel, Galway is conveniently located in the heart of Galway's city centre, with private secure car-parking on the grounds of the hotel. The hotel blends the warmth and personality of a boutique hotel with the style and luxury of a contemporary 4 Star international hotel. Guest accommodation comprises of 84 rooms divided into superior & deluxe rooms, suites and serviced apartments. The award-winning Park Restaurant is a favourite with locals and guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hotel Galway