We had the pleasure of spending an overnight in the Connacht Hotel in Galway recently. Our annual Santa visit took us to the Aillwee Cave this year so we decided to overnight in Galway the night before.
We set off on Saturday from Dublin and were there within 2 hours. The rooms were bright, modern and very spacious. Although we were only staying for one night, there was a separate living area with a kitchen which was ideal for a longer stay. WiFi is fast and free too! We dropped the bags, decided to have a quick wander around Galway and avail of the hotel’s facilities in the evening.
The centre of Galway city is a 25 minute walk or €10 in a taxi so if you don’t fancy driving, it is easily accessible. Once you arrive in Eyre Square the lights are dazzling. Christmas market stalls are everywhere and the atmosphere is terrific. Many are happily shopping for Christmas decorations and gifts while others enjoy the hot food or mulled wine.
We decided to do all of the above! The fun fair had some great rides including a large ferris wheel as well as some money making stalls like ‘ how to knock the elf off the shelf’.
My kids were intrigued but despite watching for 15 minutes, not one person managed to do it! As the light fades the Christmas lights are even more impressive. Shop Street is pretty cool at any time of the year but at Christmas time it is magical.
After a thoroughly enjoyable few hours we went back to the hotel for a ‘promised’ swim. The swimming pool at the Connacht Hotel is fantastic. There are jacuzzis, swim lanes and ample room for adults and children to swim.
Incidentally the hotel attracts many sports groups. The Treviso Rugby team were staying there when we were there, suffice to say it is very well equipped for sports enthusiasts.
Not only is the 20 metre swimming pool impressive but they have fantastic fitness and exercise studios ( 40 classes each week) and a 24 hour gym.
The family facilities at the Connacht Hotel are excellent. There is a wide selection of activities at various times during the day. From arts and crafts to talent shows, Wii games to movies, there is plenty to keep the kids happy. The Friendly Fellows kids club opens until 10pm and there was a movie on from 8 while we were there. It’s a great option for kids who don’t necessarily want games or arts and crafts, but just want to chill out and watch a movie. There is a play area for younger kids but parents need to be present.
We dined in the hotel that evening and this was another welcome surprise. If you book a package including an evening meal, the menu is very extensive. Not a buffet in sight (my pet hate at dinner time!). Everything is included in the cost, with the exception of the 10oz sirlion steak which carries a €6 supplement. I went for the chicken curry while my husband had the beer battered cod and chips, both were really tasty. You can eat in the bar or restaurant and both have a great lively atmosphere. If you want a quiet romantic meal for two, go elsewhere! Live music started at 10pm but an Irish take on Garth Brooks wouldn’t be my choice, so we opted for an early night. Breakfast was excellent, lots of choice, pancakes to Irish pudding, we checked out quite content!
The Connacht is a great choice for a family vacation at Christmas or any time. They have large family rooms and apartments on site, a host of activities for kids and a great family fun atmosphere. For prices and availability on the Connacht hotel click here.