This boutique city centre hotel lives up to its cool and stylish reputation.
We checked in at 12pm as we wanted to explore all that the City of the Tribes had to offer and despite official check-in not opening until 3pm, we were accommodated by the receptionist who placed our bags in a locker room.
We returned that evening to find guests relaxing in the lounge reading, listening to a live jazz band, chatting or sipping cocktails at the bar, with others musing over dinner menus.
Four of the hotel’s suites have views over Galway Harbour, but our choice was a triple deluxe room, which, like all of the other hotel rooms, has triple glazed windows, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, free WIFI, a safe, bathrobe and slippers and even a complimentary hotel umbrella - a necessity given Galway’s temperamental weather.
The in-room mini-bar is listed as having an “honesty policy” which didn’t live up to its reputation, when, upon leaving we felt slightly interrogated with staff asking to check the mini bar before we departed.
All rooms are individually designed but the boutique feel flows through every room in the place (all 40 of them), with tastefully printed wall paper, funky bright furniture and many mirrors in the corridors and communal areas.
The huge brown and white tiled bathroom was a joy (there’s something about hotel rooms that lures me into their bathrooms first), with raised double hand basins, a bath and separate shower (with rain dance shower head), separated from the main room with a frosted green glass door.
The bed made for serious snoozing and the writing desk and chair, plush chaise longue, leather couch and satin printed curtains all fused together to create a contemporary feel.
Heads on pillows, a blissful night’s sleep followed and silence reigned in the room despite the fact that the popular residents bar downstairs serves drinks and pumps out the tunes until as long as the last resident standing wishes to partake in the fun.
Fancy an afternoon cuppa and slice of cake? The House Hotel has it sorted, with freshly baked cakes on delectable display in the lounge area.
The restaurant serves modern Irish cuisines with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce in a homely setting. Although we didn’t dine there that evening, the staff were quick to recommend a nearby eatery which met our brief.
We did enjoy the hotel's continental breakfast (served until 11am) the following morning, which included optional extras made to order such as a fry or mini fry, scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict, pancakes or porridge.
The luxury factor
The House Hotel is a cool, stylish hotel, there’s no doubt about it and the fact that it's family run just adds to its feelgood factor. A nearby beauty spa offers in-room beauty and spa treatments but during our stay opted instead to chill in The Relax Lounge on one of the many comfy couches (we tried all three of them), enjoying a bookshelf of novels and marvelling at the three different lounge areas of with a decor that was funky yet not ostentatious and bright without being loud.
What to do
A stone’s throw away from the buzz of Quay Street, The House Hotel is located in Galway’s Latin Quarter, just five minutes from Spanish Arch. Such a city central location comes with a one drawback though – there’s with no hotel parking on site but guests get discounted parking at the nearby Hynes Yard multi-storey car park - €8 for 24 hours.
The hotel’s cocktails are infamous and go down a treat with the trendy guests while the Outback Terrace looks like a great setting for al fresco get-togethers.
Check out Shop Street’s boutiques and shops while Quay Street’s eateries and trad music sessions in pubs are buzzing with people and a good vibe that spills onto outdoor seating areas.
A one-night stay midweek in a standard room costs from €119 per double room and includes breakfast. Check the hotel’s website for ever updated offers.
The House hotel, Spanish Parade, Galway. Tel. (091) 538 900. http://www.thehousehotel.ie