Resort Evaluation – all aboard for a Galway getaway in five-star Glenlo Abbey- Shekhawati Rides

Have you ever learnt which you’ll be able to eat dinner on carriages from the distinctive Orient Particular in Galway? For romantic souls, rail fanatics or anyone in the hunt for a night out with a tasty side of theatre, The Pullman Restaurant may be trigger ample to e guide a carry on the five-star Glenlo Abbey Resort.

Nevertheless there’s heaps else aside from. A private residence until the Eighties, the 73-bed, Blue E-book resort has been getting hands-on TLC from householders John and Marie Lally for plenty of years now. Forking out higher than €10m since 2019, they’ve added 25 rooms, upgraded interiors with Dublin’s Millimetre Design, and added the model new Palmers Bar & Kitchen and Glo boutique spa via the pandemic.

Glenlo dealt with Covid lockdowns as an opportunity to evolve, along with an issue — and we couldn’t wait to step aboard.

Arrival & location

After navigating Galway’s notorious website guests, this grand outdated house is a welcome support coming into view off the N59. The 138-acre property lies about 4km from the city, its grounds and nine-hole golf course sprawling downhill in the direction of Lough Corrib. There’s a refreshing sense of space, and a contact of the Connemara landscapes on its doorstep.

Driving by the cast-iron gates, we had been greeted by a doorman in prime hat and tails, had our bags whisked away and, though plenty of occasions had been checking in, workers nonetheless found the time to answer questions appropriately and supplies us a short, nice tour. That made us actually really feel taken care of.

The house dates from 1740, and the precept entrance choices an imposing set of limestone steps. Guests with lowered mobility ought to call ahead about accessibility and numerous routes throughout the developing. 8/10

Service & kind


The abbey – the private church was in no way consecrated

Glenlo’s reception rooms are a warren of old-world luxurious, and delicate upgrades give its lounges new life. I snuck in a creamy pre-dinner pint by the window, surrounded by classic furnishings, duck-egg inexperienced wallpaper and a serenading pianist. The abbey itself was inbuilt 1790 as a small church nonetheless was in no way consecrated — you probably can sit inside with a drink or afternoon tea (it would even be a really perfect space for small weddings; above). Connecting corridors can actually really feel cramped, though, notably at busy events like breakfast.

Service and staffing are stretched all through Ireland, nonetheless steady teaching shone by proper right here. Staff felt additional laid-back and personable than additional formal five-stars, from the receptionist rescheduling bike rides to the staff member delivering popcorn to the small movie theatre.

Watching a private movie screening was a highlight for us. Completely different actions embrace fab falconry experiences (€75/€50pp), golf (€50 for firm) and resort bikes for a spin throughout the property paths (free). The model new Glo Spa is a neat addition, nonetheless a small one, with 4 treatment rooms, compact altering areas and Elemis merchandise. 7.5/10

The rooms


One in all many newly refurbished bedrooms at Glenlo Abbey Resort

From primary to superior and suites, all rooms have been refurbished by Millimetre. The transient was to merge primary and updated choices, and we would see that in an space mixing rich notes like damask wallpapers, gilded mirrors and brass lamps with modern orchids, a swimming-pool-sized mattress and trendy air-con and lighting that gave us administration over mood and tones.

I actually like massively thick towels in a resort, they normally had been bouncing off the rails proper right here — along with an infinite, extremely efficient bathe and Handmade Cleansing cleaning soap Agency merchandise. Bare mattress room partitions and plain toilet tiling left me craving the odd splash of paintings, however, and our tub was too small to be useful. We couldn’t help noting that noise travels inside the corridors too. 7.5/10

Meals & drink

The Pullman is the Glenlo’s X concern, a two-AA-Rosette restaurant in traditional railway carriages that starred in Murder on the Orient Particular (1974). Staff lean into the theatricality of all of it, issuing tickets as you board (“Have the benefit of your journey!”), and there are lace curtains, brass baggage racks and audio of a put together participating in beneath delicate, loungey music as you eat. Tables are tight, nonetheless it utterly oozes atmosphere.

Dinner costs €72 for 3 applications with canapés, breads and petit fours, and it’s good to see Irish parts like McGeough’s beef, Sliabh Aughty honey and Ballyhoura mushrooms infusing the menu. For me, dishes didn’t pretty hit the heights they did beneath Alan McArdle plenty of years prior to now, and an error with a gluten-free order at one stage made us nervy, nonetheless was promptly dealt with. Nonetheless it’s positively worth reserving a night away for, and bonus components for a youngsters’s menu that went previous mere box-ticking.


A waiter on the kitchen go at Palmer’s

Palmer’s Bar & Kitchen is the model new casual risk, with an out of doors terrace. A variety of large flatscreen TVs give the feel of a sports activities actions bar proper right here, nonetheless the glowing bar and leather-based cubicles add barely luxe. A slow-cooked lamb shank (€21.50) and zingy spicy hen bap (€17) went down a take care of at our desk, with a surprising Rioja wine recommendation too.

We ate breakfast inside the River Room, the place à la carte selections embrace the choice of a small or large cooked breakfast — an idea that should be customary in motels. 7/10

Insider tip

Request a room on the Pullman side for views over the put together carriages and Lough Corrib. Afternoon tea (€35) is an option to experience the resort with out in a single day funds.

Native 101

Galway’s Christmas market runs from November 12 to December 22, with its Large Wheel, carousel and wooden chalets.

The underside line

Mixing updated class with the character and splendid of an 18th-century residence isn’t easy nonetheless, 12 months by 12 months, the Glenlo Abbey retains getting increased. It seems like barely sister to Ireland’s larger, additional well-known five-stars, nonetheless has taken a world step up in changing into a member of the distinctive Small Luxurious Lodging of the World portfolio. Eleven luxurious, self-catering lodges are attributable to open in 2023. All aboard!


A Christmas market bundle deal costs from €240pp, along with B&B, an escort to the market, and a private movie. Pól was a customer of the resort. 

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