Hats off to Philip Treacy's couture hotel
The G was designed by Philip Treacy, of the outrageous headwear (he once sent a model down the catwalk wearing a lobster/hat). Championed by überstylist Isabella Blow, everyone from pop divas (Madonna) to royalty (Camilla Parker Bowles) to socialites (Tara Palmer-Tomkinson), as well as scores of flamboyant fashionistas, have worn the Irish milliner’s extraordinary creations.
On the edge of the small but bohemian port of Galway, west Ireland, overlooking Galway Bay and Lake Atalia. Treacy’s brief was to capture the spirit of Galway, but it’s hard to spot wandering into the intimidating reception — think black, glossy floors with a cool neon artwork stating, ‘This must be the place’ on one wall and a giant fish tank bobbing with Connemara-bred seahorses on the other. But hey, this is Galway’s first five-star hotel and still damn glamorous.
The G’s all about wow-factor. A super-girlie cream tea (cakes, scones and finger sandwiches) is served in the Day-Glo Pink Salon. A mammoth Tom Dixon light installation hangs in the Grand Salon, where perspex coffee tables have been individually filled with thousands of Swarovski crystals. Your Tom Ford sunnies won’t be required, thankfully, in the bedrooms. These are all about soothing elegance – colours are neutral and the only quirks are Treacy’s hand-designed handles and bedside lamps.
It’s fabulous, if a bit incongruous. Go for tea or a Tom Collins, if nothing else.
Double rooms at The G (00 353 91 865 200; www.monogramhotels.ie) cost from £123, including breakfast. Aer Arann (0800-587 2324; www.aerarann.ie) flies from Luton to Galway. For further information on Ireland, see www.discoverireland.com.