G stands for glamour at new hotel in Ireland
By Kathy Chin Leong
Where was Elton John? Unveiled last November, the g hotel (yes, lower case g and h) was made for the likes of the pop singer given its slick architecture, shocking colors, and interesting juxtaposition of European antiques next to surreal art pieces.
Based in Galway, Ireland, the g hotel is absolute five-star eye candy, a designer’s ode to independent thinking.The 101 guest rooms, restaurant, and spa each carry their own sense of eclectic dramatic flair. If you come to the g hotel, take my advice: leave the kids at home or a kid's camp, and enjoy a weekend getaway at the g.
The interior, designed by hat designer Philip Treacy, is so out-of-this-world, it seems to purposely break tradition with regular hotel expectations of what a lodging establishment should look like. Think Andy Warhol, Vogue Magazine, Marlene Dietrich, Dr. Seuss.
In the lobby, the black and white-veined marble floor, dark walls,inset lights, and silver chrome accents scream twenty-first century when you first walk through the revolving glass doors.Greeters and registration attendants from different parts of the globe don a signature uniform of a black coat jacket with a mandarin collar and matching black pants.A larger-than-life white sculpture resembling a flat piece of curved and furled clay stands on edge in the lobby. On one wall, a built-in narrow fish tank with exotic sea horses entertains guests as they wait to check in.
On the same level, three inviting parlors, a bar , and a restaurant beckon “Party here!”Jaws drop upon entering the Grand Salon where over 300 silver globes suspend from the ceiling like mammoth Christmas ornaments. Groupings of conversational sitting areas allow guests to nestle in on velvet chairs. Adjacent is the equally impressive Ladies’ Lounge with hot pink walls, black and white spiral carpet, pink couches, pink and white chairs, and glass-topped tables.
And just when your eyes get adjusted to Treacy’s unpredictable color palette, a gander into the next room reveals another lounge, where indigo blue walls are on tap along with clubby button-cushioned chairs in scarlet.
Even the walk to the guest room is an event.Black hallways are eerily silent and dim, lit by lights at ankle-length, reminiscent of a movie theater or an airplane cabin after all the lights are turned off.
While the lobby and public areas are charged with excitement, the mod bedrooms are restful, dressed in platinum wallpaper, or, as the promoters stress, “oyster” to match the sea. These carefully orchestrated rooms draw from Galway’s reputation as a coastal cityon western Ireland.
Custom pillows are shaped like a nautilus. White bedside lamps look like the top half of a clam shell. Coral sculptures and a desk chair with a shell motifs on the fabric echo the ocean theme. Silver door handles are gently curved.
Technophiles will love the gadgetry. A wall mounted plasma TV features hidden colored lights in the back so guests can select mood lighting. DVD and a CD player provide all the entertainment needed for a weekend stay.A switch near the door flips on a red indicator light which tells the outside world, “do not disturb.”Business customers have their choice of European or American plug outlets and free wireless Internet.
The bathroom in the junior suite comes with stone flooring, two above-counter white bowl wash basins, two separate shower heads, and a bathtub that’s shaped like an eggshell. A pair of white plush bathrobes with the monogram “g” hang from the door. The signature g is also on the slippers, litter baskets, coasters, bath products, and even the stickers on the toilet paper roll.
While the g features exquisite attention to detail, guests should note that the rooms do not have ironing boards,irons, coffee makers, or luggage stands. But the rooms do come with a safe, bottled water, extremely comfortable beds, and exquisite Frette bed linens.
The hotel has 101 guestrooms made up of 3 corner suites, 26 rooms are junior suites, and the remaining rooms dubbed superior and deluxe. Rooms start at approximately $200 via the Internet on competitive travel websites.
Over at the ESPA spa, another set of designers and architects took over the interiors to pull together a Japanese Zen experience. The two-level facility with 8 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 windows.
Downstairs, the artfully-designed “vitality” pool in a darkened setting is lit by green neon runway lights. And instead of mirrored orbs, a flock of 250 giant paper origami cranes float down from the ceiling directly overhead. Using high-end, natural ESPA products, this sanctuary features an extensive lineup of treatments from hot stone massage to detoxifying algae wraps. Inside the treatment rooms, clients can select their own mood color lights. Staff are well trained, professional, and courteous. Guests do not feel hurried to leave after their treatments. Spa hours run 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The five-star g hotel is aimed both at the leisure and business guest, tired of the same old, same old hotel routine. Those who appreciate edgy, contemporary styling, spacious rooms, and high-tech amenities will enjoy their stay here. The hotel is a five-minute cab ride away from town shopping, entertainment, and restaurants.
The g hotel
Wellpark, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland
Rates: Start at $180 Euro
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