Famed for its music, arts, and culture, this bohemian city combines a charming pub scene with quirky restaurants and cafes, while remnants of the medieval town walls lie in between. Nowhere is this eclectic charm radiated more than in Galway’s stunning collection of accommodation options. From contemporary boutiques to grand Victorian buildings, here are my personal favourite cool and unique hotels in Galway, Ireland...
I love this – Galway’s first-ever design-led haven right on the doorstep of the Wild Atlantic Way. While visiting, one of my favorite places was a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of Galway. The 100 rooms were a treat, decked out with modern gadgets and offering a tranquil blend of old and new.
What truly captivated me was the meticulous incorporation of historic structures. There was a two-story stone building from the 1830s and a part of the Galway to Clifden railway tunnel built in the 1890s – history seamlessly blending with contemporary luxury.
While staying at this place, I found luxurious spaces for both work and play. The options to eat and drink were impressive, featuring West Ireland’s first Elephant & Castle and the delightful Sophie’s Restaurant & Rooftop terrace. I tried them all, and each experience was exceptional.
Authentic Italian cuisine
Renovated modern boutique rooms
Housed in buildings from the 1800s
No onsite parking
Funky decor may not be for all
The g Hotel and Spa
One of my favorite places, this glamorous 5-star destination designed by the world-renowned milliner Phillip Treacy offers a truly unique experience. While visiting, a step inside transported me worlds away from the stresses of everyday life. The luxurious bedrooms made me feel like royalty. What stood out even more was Galway’s only 5-star spa, where I indulged in tailor-made treatments.
During my stay at this boutique hotel, I couldn’t resist the allure of the iconic afternoon tea served in the enchanting signature lounge. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but gaze out over the breathtaking Lough Atalia, making the experience even more magical.
For a culinary journey, I headed to the stunning restaurant Gigi’s. While dining there, I loved the mouth-watering delicacies crafted in the 2 AA Rosette-winning kitchen.
Extravagant design inspired by fashion
Signature Lounges for fine dining
Private terrace for special celebrations
One of my favorite places, nestled in Galway’s creative West End, The Stop became my ultimate sanctuary. I immersed myself in the vibrant city, exploring by foot and venturing further afield to soak up the charm of the surrounding area.
I love this contemporary boutique property, where a passion for food, music, art, and design creates a restful and inspiring ambiance. My guestroom, stylishly adorned with Irish textiles and bespoke artworks, offered a true immersion into Galway’s charming scene.
While staying at The Stop, I discovered a quaint lounge area that became my go-to spot to unwind and mingle with other travelers. The beautiful restaurant area stood out, as every dish was crafted passionately for organic Irish produce.
Housed in property from the 1930s
Breakfast made with locally sourced produce
Some rooms can be a bit small
HYDE Hotel formerly Forster Court Hotel
Nestled in the vibrant heart of Galway City Centre, HYDE Hotel became one of my favorite places as I stepped through the flower-lined entrance. It felt like entering a stylish haven adorned with quirky artwork and soothing natural hues.
During my stay, I loved the 69 guestrooms that exuded the comfort and elegance of a high-end hotel. The bright, colorful décor and the presence of large, plush beds made it a delightful retreat. The onsite bar became a personal favorite, offering an eclectic twist to my evening escapades. Its decor, featuring premium bottles and eccentric wallpaper, added to the overall charm.
The 24/7 front desk was more than just a service; it was a guide, providing unique insights into the local area. While visiting, I appreciated how HYDE Hotel served as a true city-break gem, offering a convenient platform to explore Galway’s renowned landmarks.
Trendy HYDE Bar with floral decor
Jekyll for private dining
Live music at night every weekend
Some noise from the street
No onsite parking
The Hardiman (formerly Hotel Meyrick)
I adore The Hardiman, one of my favorite places, seamlessly blending Victorian charm with modern luxury. Positioned on Eyre Square in Galway since 1852, it’s immersed in the vibrant social scene. During my stay, I explored the city’s character-filled spots, all conveniently within walking distance.
The recently revamped guestrooms are a delight, marrying old-world allure with contemporary comfort. The interplay of a sleek lighting system and Victorian windows against vintage-style furnishings creates a warm and inviting ambiance.
The hotel exudes a distinctive character, especially in the lavish dining room. I love how it harmonizes the finest Irish produce with grand features. While visiting, I relished the experience of indulging in exquisite meals that perfectly captured the essence of the hotel’s unique charm.
Established in 1852
Iconic landmark with profound history
Gaslight Brasserie for city-center dining
Renowned oyster bar
Can get booked up
Some low ceilings in bathrooms
The walls are pretty thin
Nox Hotel Galway
I love this quaint and stylish hotel—truly one of my favorite places in Galway. Nox, the Roman Goddess of Night, sets the tone for a unique and excellent hospitality experience, emphasizing sleep and dreams.
While visiting, I was captivated by the thoughtfully designed guestrooms catering to solo travelers, families, and groups. The blissful sense of relaxation enveloped me, and the comfort at the core of this place was evident in the lusciously topped mattresses and trendsetting amenities in every room.
While staying at this charming sanctuary, I couldn’t help but appreciate the all-day restaurant with its plush seating areas and ambient lighting. It became my go-to spot, offering a perfect setting to unwind. Located close to Galway City Centre, the convenience of diving straight into my West Irish adventures after check-in was a fantastic aspect of my stay.
Fork restaurant for casual dinners
Olympus meeting room for gatherings
Only one elevator in the building
Dimly lit hallways
Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Glenlo Abbey is one of my favorite places—a mesmerizing blend of five-star luxury, captivating history, and breathtaking architecture, all set in a prime location. While visiting, I fell in love with the enchanting 18th-century country house ambiance that still pulsates through the hotel’s core, beautifully complemented by its serene surroundings.
The opulent guestrooms, adorned with gold tones, deep carpets, and pristine lake views, truly stole my heart. While staying at this remarkable place, I had the pleasure of dining in two distinct rooms that cater to every taste. The Pullman restaurant, housed in two antique railway carriages, was a unique and unforgettable experience that added to the charm of my stay.
138-acre lake-side golf course
Pullman Restaurant for formal dining
Palmer’s Kitchen for casual dining
No pool on the premises
Restaurant can get busy
Skeffington Arms Hotel
Skeffington Arms Hotel in Galway’s City Centre is one of my favorite places. While visiting, I love the freedom it offers to relax in elegance. My guestroom had crisp white sheets, colorful throws, and minimalist décor, creating a warm, welcoming luxury vibe. The high-end amenities and designer bathrooms added a touch of class to my stay.
Exploring the hotel’s social spaces became a highlight of my experience. The cocktail bar, with its 10-foot-high HD screen, is truly exceptional. The Skeff Late Bar & Kitchen touted as one of the finest Gastro Pubs in the city, became my go-to spot. It’s safe to say that staying here was an exquisite and classy haven in the heart of Galway.
Disability-friendly rooms and lobby
Live Music Galway
Fine gastro pub called Skeff Bar
Can be some noise because of the nightclub
Parking is not onsite
Breakfast is not included
Harbour Hotel, one of my favorite places, welcomed me with a blend of sleek style, creature comforts, and the charming vibe of West Ireland. As I stepped through the doors, I was immediately captivated by the unique and stylish rooms, each a perfect blend of modernity and comfort.
I fell in love with the cutting-edge cuisine and crafty cocktails that made me reluctant to leave. The opulent ambiance that greeted me upon entrance seamlessly flowed into the designer guestrooms. Soft lighting, retro tones, and blackout blinds created a haven of respite that I truly appreciated.
During my stay at this remarkable place, I enjoyed trying the culinary delights at the in-house restaurant, Dillisk. The restaurant is a testament to outstanding creativity in the kitchen, offering a remarkable range of dishes that pay homage to the greatness of Irish food and culture.
Unique and stylish rooms
Outside terraces overlooking Galway
Private dining rooms are available
Dillisk on the Docks
an Irish restaurant
Guests need to pay extra for parking
Some traffic noise in the morning
The Snug Townhouse
Nestled in an iconic building, The Snug Townhouse in Galway instantly became one of my favorite places. The guestrooms are a delightful surprise, each uniquely designed with a contemporary flair that I love. The cozy atmosphere, thanks to plush linens and soft, natural hues, made my stay truly comfortable.
What sets this place apart is the staff’s charm. Their presence was not just welcoming but also helpful, providing me with top-notch guidance on exploring the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. They even crafted a personalized itinerary for me to navigate the graceful city.
Being right on Quay Street in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the hotel offered more than just a stay – it was an experience.
Heavy renovation works are done
Blend of classic and contemporary
Handpicked artwork displayed
Rooms are on the smaller side
Car parking is not free
The House Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
Nestled in Galway’s lively Latin Quarter, this boutique gem quickly became one of my favorite places. Leisure and business seamlessly blend in this exclusive hotel, where the allure of luxury meets cutting-edge amenities.
I love the contrast between the old stone building’s exterior and the contemporary, vibrant atmosphere inside. The refined decor and elegant design create an idyllic backdrop for the luxurious guestrooms.
While visiting this charming metropolis, I relished unwinding in the lavish lounge with a drink in hand. The historical cocktail bar, The Yard, right on the premises, added to the experience.
Soundproofed windows in all rooms
Chic and understated
Minutes away from Galway Cathedral
Decadent afternoon tea
Style might not suit everyone
Can get booked up
The Eyre Square Townhouse
The Eyre Square Townhouse warmly welcomed me across two floors, providing the highest standard of care and service. This newly built gem, with its minimalistic charm, enveloped me in comfort through elegant spaces adorned with quirky, hip artwork. The ten uniquely decorated bedrooms captured my discerning heart with their simplistic style and relaxing ambiance.
I loved the custom-made furniture and beds, featuring high-spec mattresses and plush linens that ensured a blissful night’s sleep. While staying at this exquisite property, I truly experienced the thoughtful design that elevated my overall comfort.
Nestled in the beating heart of the picturesque center, The Eyre Square Townhouse became my perfect base to explore the city’s extravagant cafes and artisan boutiques.
Award-winning Revive cafe
Fresh organic Food
Free on-street parking
Tourist attractions within walking distance
No elevators in the building
A little noisy because of the location
Breakfast is not included
Best Hotels in Galway Ranked
The following table assesses the Top 12 Cool and Unique Hotels in Galway based on multiple attributes.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (Per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|The Dean||Centre, Galway 80 Prospect Hill||$249-$309||Yes||2.0||3|
|The g Hotel and Spa||Old Dublin Road||$297-$444||Yes||1.9||3|
|The Stop||38 Father Griffin Road||$213||No||1.0||3|
|HYDE Hotel formerly Forster Court Hotel||Forster Street||$216-$370||No||2.1||3|
|The Hardiman (formerly Hotel Meyrick)||Eyre Square||$307-$364||No||2.2||3|
|Nox Hotel Galway||Headford Rd||$190-$287||No||2.0||3|
|Glenlo Abbey Hotel||Galway||$509-$574||Yes||4.3||3|
|Skeffington Arms Hotel||Eyre Square||$203-$227||No||2.3||3|
|Harbour Hotel||New Docks Road||$194-$204||Yes||2.0||3|
|The Snug Townhouse||Galway City Quay Street||$249||No||2.8||3|
|The House Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member||Lower Merchants Road||$216||No||2.7||3|
|The Eyre Square Townhouse||35 Eyre Street,||$326||No||2.3||3|
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
I’ve been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, express.co.uk, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and metro.co.uk. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.