On my first visit to Galway a few years back, I only stopped long enough to pick up a rental car and drive to Ashford Castle. This year’s visit I was able to enjoy more of the city with a city break stay at the Radisson Blue Hotel & Spa Galway.
After leaving our favorite Irish hotel, Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal, we set out to explore the County Galway and its barren fields, rugged coastline, stone-walled fields, stark mountain ranges, and vast boglands. After that, our CIE Tours chauffeur Liam drove us into Galway, a harbor city on Ireland’s west coast.
Although enjoyable, we were exhausted after a full day of exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. When we pulled up to the Radisson Blue Hotel & Spa Galway, we needed a break.
Arrival at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway
We stepped into a busy lobby on our late Saturday afternoon arrival. Many guests milled around, sipping cocktails in the lobby and getting ready to step out to enjoy their city break. This Galway hotel has location wrapped up in a nice package with its city centre convenience — and even includes complimentary parking.
Located on the “edge” of Galway city, guests are literally about a 10-minute walk to restaurants, traditional pubs with live music, shopping and nightlife including the Latin Quarter.
The lobby is large and full of light and just beyond guests catch glimpses of the sea views behind the hotel. The hotel is situated on the edge of Lough Atalia and overlooking Galway Bay.
Because it was a weekend evening, there was a line at check-in, so it did take us nearly 15 minutes to make our way to the beginning of the line. Then we were on our way to our room, via the elevator in the lobby.
Unfortunately, that’s where the confusion began as the floor numbers are a bit confusing, so we ended up stepping off on the wrong floor. Then waited another 5 minutes for an elevator to return (busy Saturday night) and then made it to our room. (TIP: When checking-in, ask the receptionist exactly which floor selection to make.)
Guest Rooms at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway
On the second try, we made it to our room — only to discover that the electronic room key did not work. (And no, we kept it in our hand the entire time from check-in to room door.) We returned to the front desk, but no one offered to assist us, even though we had just been there 5 minutes earlier.
Finally, a receptionist invited us to the desk and re-keyed our electronic room key. We returned to the guest room, without any problem this time.
Guests may choose from a total of 282 guest rooms ranging from standard rooms to penthouse suites, even serviced apartments. Our room was a standard room, but by European standards, a little larger than usual.
One thing to note is that the entire hotel is decorated with modern and contemporary decor. After nearly a week in Ireland, we were a bit disappointed not to continue with at least some Irish enhancements.
However, when we entered our room, we definitely felt the Irish hospitality with the bed linen and artwork bringing in the local feel. Choose a king or queen-size bed or 2 twin beds, although no king beds were available on the night we checked in. We made do with two twin beds, pushed together, as pictured below.
The mattresses were amazingly comfortable — perhaps more so after 10 hours in the van. Complimentary WiFi is also offered to guests.
On-Site Restaurants & Amenities
Once we unloaded our bags and freshened up, we met our traveling companions down in Coopers Bar & Lounge. I really liked how this lounge features an open entrance from lobby to bar. A full-service bar, we ordered a pre-dinner cocktail and enjoyed our views of Lough Atalia (Lake Atalia) with the Floor-to-ceiling windows.
Again, this was a Saturday night, so the bar was absolutely packed, and service was slow, to say the least. Even when we returned after dinner in Galway, the bartender didn’t seem to have the urgency to wait on the handful of the customers at the bar.
We didn’t dine at the on-site restaurants Marinas Grill and RAW Sushi in the Sky as both were crowded, and reservations or open tables weren’t available until late. Afternoon tea is also available in Coopers Bar & Lounge.
I would’ve totally loved to check out the sushi restaurant with such close proximity to the sea! We did stop in to catch a view from the 4th floor – WOW!
Complimentary Super Breakfast Buffet was included in our hotel room charges (European style), and it was quite a feast.
Other amenities include the complimentary use of fitness center, swimming pool (including children’s pool), Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and outdoor hot tub. Since we were only staying one night, we didn’t have a chance to check this out.
In addition, this Galway hotel offers spa facilities. The spa includes an east wing relaxation area, thermal suite, and 15 treatment rooms.
Although the hotel staff and service may not have been up to par, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa in Galway Ireland was worth the price for its convenient location to Galway city centre. The rooms were comfortable, clean — and loading up on the breakfast buffet before returning to Dublin made this Galway hotel stay worth its price.
Room Rates start at $130.