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Glenlo Abbey Hotel Review: Is It The Best Luxury Hotel in Galway in 2021?

Are you looking for a hotel in Galway where you can stay and dine? Are you looking for a unique experience that will create lasting memories? How does a meal onboard the Orient Express and a night stay at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, in Galway sound? The 5-star Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway is a luxury accommodation offering a unique dining experience in Galway inside The Pullman Restaurant that offers the opportunity to have dinner in two of the original Orient Express dining carriages restored and set on the grounds of the hotel.

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Before reading our Glenlo Abbey Hotel review 2021, have a look at our guide on traveling to Ireland for more information and the best itineraries.

Glenlo Abbey Hotel Location

Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

Glenlo Abbey Hotel is located in Galway along the Wild Atlantic Way; the hotel is only 4km from Galway city center, on the banks of Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib. Galway can be hectic and finding a quiet and relaxing place can be quite hard. We can confidently say that Glenlo Abbey is a great place to combine a relaxing country escape with a city break. Not only it’s close to Galway; the hotel is also close to Connemara and to the ferry and the plane to the Aran Islands, making it the perfect location for multiple activities.

Eating at The Glenlo Abbey Hotel – The Orient Express at The Pullman Restaurant

Pullman Restaurant Galway

We had the opportunity to try The Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey twice. The first time it was during a special event that took its inspiration from the cities the train passes through and specifically London, Calais, Paris, Zurich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, and Athens. The second time was during a regular summer night, where we enjoyed some of the best locally sourced foods paired with amazing wine.,

Dating from 1927 these carriages served on the Paris to Istanbul to St. Petersburg route and one of the carriages, Leona, was used in the filming of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Inside the Pullman Restaurant Galway

The experience of Dining onboard the real Orient Express is quite impressive: a romantic location, old-style dishes, and the opportunity to step back in time and eat in a 2 AA rosette restaurant while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

The followings are some of the dishes we had during our last visit:

It surely is a different kind of experience, something to do for a romantic getaway or simply to treat yourself; kids are allowed but we are not sure this is the kind of place where you want to bring your children.

The menu changes seasonally and you can also choose one of the “dine & stay” packages offered by the hotel.

More dining options at Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Aside from the Pullman Restaurant on The Orient Express, more superb dining and entertainment options for both formal and informal occasions are offered. These include the River Room Restaurant overlooking the estate, the Oak Cellar Bar, and three elegant Receptions Rooms in the Main House which exude Old World Charm, where guests can enjoy a relaxing drink, afternoon tea, or take time out to relax and read the newspapers.

During our stay, we’ve also tried the famous afternoon tea which is served every day 1 – 5 pm.: freshly baked scones, Kylemore Abbey jams, seasonal sandwiches, and decadent pastries all served with coffee or tea of any kind. No disappointment at all and from someone always ready to complain about something, this feels like a big achievement.

Afternoon tea at Glenlo Abbey

Sleeping at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Our room at Glenlo Abbey

The Pullman Restaurant is not the only reason to visit Glenlo Abbey Hotel: if you’re looking for a place where to sleep in Galway and you don’t want to be in the city center, this is definitely the right choice (of course, it’s a no if you’re backpacking, if you’re young and you want to explore Galway’s nightlife!).

Originally a mansion with its own church (never consecrated), today Glenlo Abbey Hotel is a tremendous 5 stars hotel. It lies on the Lough Corrib and it’s surrounded by a 138-acre estate where you can play golf, have a walk or simply relax. Galway City Centre is 4kms far from the hotel, a perfect gateway for a visit to Connemara.

The 50 Bedrooms and Suites have been designed with an emphasis on general space and comfort. You can choose among different types of rooms and even if the Glenlo is well known as a luxury hotel you will never feel uncomfortable; the reason being is that people choose the Glenlo Abbey Hotel to relax, eventually play some golf and have amazing food and certainly not to show off (or, at least, we didn’t notice).

The Spa at Glenlo Abbey

GLO Spa & Wellness is one of the latest add-ons at Glenlo and really lives up to its expectations. We both had an Elemis Muscle Melting Deep Tissue Massage and in truth, we didn’t have any idea on what to expect. The session was just incredibly professional but relaxing, the view from the relaxation room was superb and the quiet and tranquillity of the whole Spa area just remarkable. We didn’t bring a camera with us because we just wanted to enjoy the time we had… and we did!

The Cinema

One of the most interesting and incredible things you can do at Glenlo is booking a private cinema. You can actually book the movie theatre and enjoy one of the many films available. We did rewatch La La Land because the old-style location felt quite appropriate with the mood of the movie. Just imagine a typical Irish night or afternoon, when the weather is not that good and you don’t want to have a drink but you want to do something different while on holiday: the Glenlo cinema is the place to go!

What to really expect from Glenlo Abbey in Galway?

The entire atmosphere at Glenlo Abbey is relaxed and cozy; while we were there, a piano guy was entertaining his guests during the evening, behind the bar a cocktail guy was preparing his old-style drinks and the fireplace was up and running making the entire place even more appealing.

What we found really charming is how considerate of other people guests are when it comes to noise levels and personal space; if you’re based in Ireland or you’ve extensively traveled to Ireland, you know that this is rare in Irish hotels. No loud phone conversations, no slamming doors, no shouting across the dinner tables and in the corridors. Once again: if you want to relax without being completely far from the world, this is the best choice we can suggest in Galway.

Glenlo Abbey Hotel Galway: Prices

The Glenlo Abbey Hotel is definitely not on the cheap side but we strongly believe that you get what you pay. Hence, you may think you’re paying a lot of money but as soon as you arrive on the Estate you immediately understand the reason what you’re paying that much. The reward is even more evident the minute you go to Galway and you notice the buzz going on in the city and the noise level. We’re sure you won’t regret booking at Glenlo! A King Classic room costs 400 euro per night, breakfast included.

Glenlo Abbey Hotel: Is it Worth It?

Whether you’re Irish or you live in Ireland or you’re visiting Ireland, Galway and Connemara have a look at the Glenlo Abbey hotel website and give it a chance: you’ll be surprised by the entire hotel, its services, and the surroundings. And if you want to spoil yourself, book your table at The Pullman Restaurant for a real scoop into old times and the experience of dining in a 2 AA rosette award-winning restaurant. The Pullman Restaurant is open Tues-Sat 6.30pm-9.30pm.

Travel to Ireland: a few resources for you

If you’re planning to book a giveaway to Ireland, these are a few resources we recommend:

Best Ireland Travel Guides

If you want to plan your trip to Ireland, these are the travel guides we recommend:

Get in touch with us for customized tours, travel tips, itineraries, and everything you need for your trip to Ireland: no one better than those who live on-site can advise you and make you experience Ireland like a real local.

[DISCLOSURE: We’ve been invited to visit and stay at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and have our dinner at the Pullman Restaurant. The opinions in this article are solely ours and not influenced by the partnership with the hotel. This post also contains affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.]

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About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a freelance content marketer and digital strategist. She's an accredited journalist, a member of the British Guild of Travel Writer, and a certified sommelier. She's the co-owner of TheFoodellers and a bunch of other websites.
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