So where was Elton John? Unveiled last November, the g hotel
seemed to be designed for the likes of the pop singer given its
slick architecture, shocking colors and interesting pairing of
European antiques and surreal artwork.
Based in Galway, Ireland, the g hotel is five-star eye candy. The
restaurant, spa and 101 guestrooms, carry a sense of eclectic,
The out-of-this-world interior, created by hat designer Philip
Treacy, breaks with what traditional lodging should look like.
Think Andy Warhol and Vogue, combined with Marlene Dietrich, plus a
pinch of Dr. Seuss.
When you first walk through the revolving glass doors of the
lobby, the black-and-white marble floor, dark walls, inset lights
and chrome accents scream 21st century. The g reception staff don a
signature uniform: a black jacket with a mandarin collar and
Nearby, a larger-than-life white sculpture resembling a flat piece
of curved clay stands on edge. On one wall, a built-in, narrow fish
tank with exotic seahorses entertains guests as they wait to check
On the same level, three parlors, a bar and a restaurant serving
up Italian and international cuisine beckon.
In addition, the g offers several sitting areas where guests can
chat on velvet chairs and take in Treacy’s unpredictable color
Guests’ jaws tend to drop when entering the Grand Salon, where
more than 300 silver globes hang from the ceiling like mammoth
ornaments. Nearby is the equally impressive Ladies’ Lounge with hot
pink walls, black-and-white spiral carpet, pink furniture and
glass-topped tables. Another lounge pairs blue walls with scarlet
Even the walk to the guestrooms is an experience. Black hallways
are eerily silent and dim, illuminated by lights at ankle-length
reminiscent of a dark movie theater.
While the lobby and public areas are charged with excitement, the
carefully orchestrated guestrooms draw from Galway’s reputation as
a coastal city in western Ireland. The mod bedrooms are restful,
dressed in platinum wallpaper, or as the promoters stress, “oyster”
to match the sea.
Custom pillows are shaped like nautiluses; silver door handles are
gently curved. White bedside lamps look like clam shells, and coral
sculptures and furniture also echo the ocean theme.
Technophiles will likely love the g’s gadgetry. A wall-mounted
plasma TV features hidden colored lights for mood lighting. DVD and
CD players provide additional entertainment, and travelers have
their choice of European or American outlets, as well as free
wireless Internet access. For privacy at a flip of a switch, a
button near the door controls a red light telling the outside
world, “Do not disturb.”
The bathroom in the junior suite comes with stone flooring, two
above-counter white bowl wash basins, two separate shower heads and
an egg-shaped bathtub. A pair of white, plush bathrobes with the
monogram “g” hang from the door, and the signature “g” is also on
slippers, coasters and bath products.
Over at the E’Spa, another set of designers and architects took
over the interiors to pull together a Japanese, Zen-like
The two-level facility with eight treatment rooms is also open to
the public as a day spa. The upstairs relaxation area overlooks a
bamboo meditation garden guests can enjoy through floor-to-ceiling
Downstairs, the artfully designed “vitality” pool in a darkened
setting features green neon lighting. And a flock of 250 giant
paper origami cranes float from the ceiling.
Using high-end, natural E’Spa products, this sanctuary features an
extensive lineup of treatments from hot-stone massage to
detoxifying algae wraps.
The well-trained staff won’t hurry guests out of the spa after
their treatment. Instead, clients are encouraged to relax and take
in the scenery.
It seems that with or without Sir Elton John, the g hotel puts on
a great show.
The five-star g hotel has 101 guestrooms, including three corner
suites, 26 junior suites and superior and deluxe
Hits: Edgy, contemporary styling, spacious rooms and high-tech
amenities. The g hotel is a five-minute cab ride from Galway’s
shopping, clubs and restaurants.
Misses: While the g features exquisite attention to detail,
guestrooms do not have ironing boards, irons, coffee makers or
Be Aware: Restaurant service can be slow, and without a buffet
breakfast option, folks on the go can get held up.
Plugging In: Guestrooms are equipped with wireless Internet
access. The hotel also has international electrical connectivity,
so guests can use their U.S. plugs without changing a thing.
Clientele: Mainly leisure and business travelers tired of the
“same old, same old” hotel routine.
Rates: Start at about $200 a night.
Commission: 10 percent
The g hotel
Co. Galway, Ireland