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Four of the best design-led hotels in Galway, Ireland for 2022

The Irish city cuts a colourful figure when it comes to the range of hotels on offer.

Cathedral across Salmon Weir Bridge.

Photograph by Alamy
Published 23 Nov 2021, 06:00 GMT, Updated 23 Nov 2021, 16:30 GMT

Galway has always been one of Ireland’s most exciting cities, but when it was named European Capital of Culture in 2020, it took things up a notch. Despite its small size, Galway has a clutch of small, modern places to stay that wouldn’t look out of place in any European capital.

1. The Dean
The icing on the hotel cake is the arrival of one of Ireland’s most popular hospitality groups, Press Up. This winter, the company is opening The Dean Galway, following in the footsteps of its properties in Dublin and Cork. A far cry from traditional Irish hotels, The Dean properties are fiercely modern. The Galway branch has transformed a 19th-century former post office near Eyre Square, and even incorporates some of the 1890 Galway to Clifton railway tunnel in its subterranean level, where there’s now a gym, pool and function room.

The hotel has a similar aesthetic to its Dublin counterpart, albeit with a slightly more refined, delicate touch: there’s a hint of art deco to the ribbed leather headboards, plus wood cladding and dark tiles in the bedrooms. The Dean is also the official hospitality partner of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), so expect plenty of bold, contemporary Irish art — over 300 works, in fact — lining the walls.

As for what to eat, there’s classic American fare from Elephant & Castle, as well as rooftop restaurant Sophie’s. The food at the latter is modern European, with daily pasta specials, wood-fired pizzas and a mean weekend brunch. From €150 (£128). 

The sitting room at The Stop.

Photograph by Nathalie Marquez

2. The Stop
This upmarket B&B brings a high-design feel to the West End neighbourhood. The rooms have cool modern art and colourful blankets, and there are records spinning in the communal areas. Breakfast includes local organic produce, artisan coffee and homemade baked goods. From €120 (£102), B&B. 

3. The House Hotel
Sandwiched between the docks and the River Corrib, the House’s elegant, slate-grey facade conceals a fun, contemporary hotel within. Expect patterned headboards, neatly clashing patterns and a vintage-style bar, as well as a nice outdoor area to The Yard bar and restaurant. From €69 (£59).

A beautiful corner Suite at The G Hotel.

Photograph by Andrew Bradley

4. The G Hotel
Acclaimed milliner and Galway local Philip Treacy is behind the design of this hotel on the outskirts of the city. He’s gone to town for his first hotel project, with disco ball-style globes in the restaurant, colour-swirled carpets and slashes of pink throughout. From €155 (£132). 

Published in the December 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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