|Menlo Park Hotel in Galway City |
To experience genuine Irish hospitality the Menlo Park Hotel in Galway City is the perfect to do so. Located only a stones’ throw from the bustling city center in Galway, Menlo Park is the perfect getaway for couples young and old.
Upon entering the hotel I was immediately struck by the warmth and tradition the establishment oozes. The staff manning the reception desk greeted me with the Gaelic greeting “Dia Dhuit “ (hello). I was very impressed. It was a first and I’ve visited a lot of hotels in Ireland.
The staff at Menlo go above and beyond their duty to make sure each individual guest is given the attention they deserve and I was no exception. They are knowledgeable on all local happenings and can often be over heard recommending various pubs in the city for their music or food and day trips that would interest those visiting Galway.
The large open foyer makes for great socializing. Groups of people gather at the reception area to discuss their plans for their vacation or to relive the day’s activities. I sat in one of the over sized comfortable sofas with a soda in one hand, a book in the other and watched as guests quickly became comfortable in their home for the night.
The hotel’s bilingual (Irish and English) policy has earned them the prestigious Gradam award. There aren’t many hotels on the island of Ireland that promote Irish speaking to the extent the Menlo Park does. There are little booklets in each bedroom with Irish phrases (and a phonetic explanation). It’s nice that they went that extra mile to educate tourists from visiting countries. I spoke briefly to a couple visiting on a tour from the United States (Chicago). They said they were going to bring the booklets home to their grandchildren (of Irish descent) so they could teach them the few words they picked up while staying at the Menlo Park.
For the more local traveler the Menlo Park is attractive for all of the above reasons in addition to the free parking, free phone taxi number located inside the hotel and the close proximity it is to everything.
The hotel, albeit quaint in its own right, has taken a more modern approach to tradition. The hotel boasts 70 rooms in total. Several of their extended corridors now house swanky bedrooms which comprise of enormous bathtubs (some Jacuzzis) and oversized beds. And many more bedrooms revert back to more subtle décor allowing for a different kind of experience at the hotel. I stayed in one of the newly decorated rooms and spent the remainder of my evening catching up on television, reading a book and soaking in a long bath. It was a little slice of heaven.
At weekends the hotel’s bar is abuzz with traditional Irish and folk music. Locals come from surrounding areas, tourists from other hotels stop by and guest of the Menlo Park are guaranteed to enjoy what they hear.
The food at the hotel has been nominated for food awards and it’s easy to understand why after the first bite of any main course. Their desserts, well let’s put it this way if you have a sweet tooth then your palate will be more than satisfied.
I would highly recommend a stay at the Menlo Park if you’re planning a visit to Galway City in the future. It’s a must really!