Lodge Overview: Is Galway’s Connacht Lodge one of the best three-star keep in Eire?

Loading ....

It is uncommon that we assessment three-star motels. Staying at The Connacht, set simply exterior Galway Metropolis, I ask myself why.

hree-stars are sometimes unflashy workhorses, holding costs eager however seldom catching the attention as innovators or tastemakers. Nicely, this is one which not solely ticks these containers, however might give most Irish four-stars a run for his or her cash, too.

Stepping by the entrance door, a ‘dwelling wall’ crawling with greenery extends to my proper. There is a swish new “library” area to my left and, past the hand-sanitisation station and clear social-distancing decals, a barista bar brewing up recent coffees. Within the hall, an art work celebrates native avenue theatre heroes, Macnas.

Parked exterior is ‘The Connacht Cruiser’, a US-style motorhome-on-steroids that sleeps eight as a self-catering choice. It is exhausting to imagine the lodge has been on the Outdated Dublin Highway for over 50 years.

Arrival & Location

The Connacht started life in 1969 because the Galway Ryan Lodge. Since then, it has been a Days Inn, a Carlton, and obtained its newest, €1.3m makeover from present house owners the Fitzgerald household (who’ve a number of hospitality companies within the metropolis).

Formed round a stack of modernist-style ‘wings’, it does as much as 1,000 breakfasts a day in regular occasions, however is clearly quieter right now. The foyer reboot creates a wise, roomy space that feels luxe with out over-egging issues in the best way motels can – avoiding “function” carpets or Insta-friendly fountains and the like. There is a welcome give attention to sustainability, too, with waste final 12 months diminished by 40laptop, furnishings reclaimed and refillable rest room dispensers reasonably than single-use objects.

Company are about 2.5km from Eyre Sq., so you will not be moseying into town in minutes, however the location supplies ample parking and room for a spacious 20m pool with excessive ceilings and plenty of mild. I take pleasure in a morning swim, although spots of fading varnish and peeling paint do jar a bit given the funding elsewhere… I am advised that is subsequent on the checklist for a bit TLC. The leisure centre is well-used by locals, and you could spot the odd Professional-14 star too – the lodge is a companion of Connacht Rugby. 7/10

Service & Type

Shut

Bar Solo at The Connacht in Galway

Bar Solo at The Connacht in Galway

Bar Solo at The Connacht in Galway

Ruth at check-in affords a heat, pure welcome – a tonic in these guarded occasions. She’s behind a Plexiglass display screen, however that does not take from the non-public contact. It seems like she enjoys her job – all the time a superb signal – and I am quickly booked in for breakfast and pool slots (the whole lot must be booked forward today). The open Wi-Fi in C Wing spends quite a lot of time buffering, so I change to the company channel (needing a password), however it all goes pretty easily. At dinner, too, there isn’t any downside with my request to have a starter from the lunch menu. It is unhappy to see among the older workers faces regulars might recognise have not returned but because of an abundance of Covid-19 warning, however their spirit of hospitality is unbroken. 7.5/10

The Rooms

Shut

A family bunk room at The Connacht
A family bunk room at The Connacht

A household bunk room at The Connacht

A household bunk room at The Connacht

A shocking 358 rooms are housed within the barely clinical-sounding ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ wings. Many have gotten mushy refurbs, all include blackout curtains and, although design is pretty generic, the vary of configurations is good. The Connacht will get plenty of repeat enterprise from households – with doubles, triples, ‘quads’ and bunk rooms (a godsend for these with the temerity to have greater than two youngsters), in addition to small flats and that Connacht Cruiser. The large RV (principally a beast of a bus) was designed to be rented with a driver, however the pandemic put these plans on maintain, and it is now booked as a stationary keep. It has its personal BBQ deck, too. eight/10

Meals & Drink

Shut

A spicy mackerel starter at The Connacht. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile
A spicy mackerel starter at The Connacht. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

A spicy mackerel starter at The Connacht. Picture: Pól Ó Conghaile

A spicy mackerel starter at The Connacht. Picture: Pól Ó Conghaile

Reuben’s restaurant and Bar Solo had been refurbed within the nick of time (the brand new, open area “gave us a preventing probability” at coping with Covid-19 restrictions, says Gross sales & Advertising Supervisor, Eveanna Ryan). I just like the bar, with its botanical wallpapers, good dividing cabinets lined with white pots of spider ferns, and a inexperienced palette that lightens because the room strikes in the direction of Reuben’s (the place breakfast is served). All of it feels cosmopolitan, however recent and pure, too.

My Tuesday night go to finds the place busy with a mixture of households, couples and after-work eats. There is a wholesome nod to native producers on the menu, and a evenly spiced mackerel starter punches above its weight, whereas a cod primary course is pretty customary – no zingers, however good worth for the star ranking, and there is a good number of pizzas too. For now, bar and restaurant use the identical menu.

Breakfast brings good gluten-free choices (together with sausages and pudding), although the buffet’s off because of Covid, and the selection of cooked choices is proscribed to a full or mini-Irish, a veggie choice or pancakes. 7/10

Insider tip

The lodge has a ‘Dine Round’ package deal, which for €40pp buys you a course in every of three sister venues within the metropolis (gin bar HYDE, 1520 and An Púcan).

Native 101

There is no spa, however the five-star g Lodge is only a quick drive (or 10-minute stroll) down the street at Wellpark. A ‘Make a Break for Galway’ marketing campaign is working for autumn. Discover the particular affords at thisisgalway.ie.

The underside line

Shut

A barista bar awaits in the lobby...
A barista bar awaits in the lobby...

A barista bar awaits within the foyer…

A barista bar awaits within the foyer…

Here is a breath of recent air – a lodge the place workers appear to be they genuinely wish to work, the place innovation and sustainability are inspired, social media is savvy, and the perspective is so as to add worth (with a free youngsters’ membership, for instance) reasonably than chopping costs and reducing the bar for high quality within the course of. That fourth star is there for the taking.

Charges

B&B begins from €99 in a double this autumn, with household bunk rooms from €149 midweek, and The ‘Connacht Cruiser’ from €700 for 2 nights. Pól stayed as a visitor of the lodge. 091 381200; theconnacht.ie

Join our free journey publication!

Like what you are studying? Subscribe to ‘Journey Insider’, our free journey publication written by award-winning Journey Editor, Pól Ó Conghaile.

Weekend Journal

 

Loading......
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *