Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Galway

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After getting the rental car out of the tiny garage at the Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin, I used Google maps to guide me out of the city and onto the highway that would take us the short drive into Galway (a little over 2 hours).

A pretty straightforward drive across Ireland's midsection

A pretty straightforward drive across Ireland’s midsection

We’d heard really mixed reviews about Galway, and were excited to explore the town for ourselves.

All was going smoothly until the home stretch into the city of Galway.

Arrival and check-in

The city is changing the entire flow of traffic, and the directions I’d pulled up were no longer accurate. One-ways were rerouted, or closed, and the road that the Radisson Blu is on (Lough Atalia) had horrible traffic. I had to figure out the reroute while driving on the left side, in a city I’d never been to… and I had to pee so bad OMG.

The roundabouts are the worst.

We finally got parked at the Radisson Blu after a few false turns. As soon as I got in, I found the bathroom, then went to check in.

There was some sort of convention there I guess, as there were all these teenagers draped and strewn about all over the lobby. But we checked in relatively quickly and the desk agent was beyond nice.

Again, we were upgraded to a “Business Class” room which included free breakfast.

Hallways of the Radisson Blu Galway

Hallways of the Radisson Blu Galway

The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the pedestrian area of town where most of the shops and restaurants are concentrated. From there, it’s another 10-minute walk to the other side of the River Corrib where the “real” Galway is located – lots of authentic pubs and shops over there.

The room

Room

Room 315

Nothing too fancy, a touch dated, but clean and a nice size. Not as updated as the Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin, but everything you need is in there. They even had a Nespresso machine, which was a nice touch.

View upon walking in

View upon walking in

Bed

Bed

Desk

Desk

Seating area

Seating area

View of the bay, and of the rerouted Lough Atalia

View of the bay, and of the rerouted Lough Atalia

View from the window

View from the window

Nespresso machine

Nespresso machine

Mini bar

Fridge

Closet, safe, ironing board, hangers

Closet, safe, ironing board, hangers

The bathroom had the usual This Works toiletries.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Toiletries

Toiletries

Overall, very clean and nice. And considering I’d paid for the 2 nights with 44,000 Club Carlson Gold Points, a total steal.

The property

Judging from the room and hotel exterior, I was expecting something a little more from this property. After all, it was the “Hotel & Spa.”

Francois from the Dublin Royal Blu told us RAW, the sushi restaurant here had some of the best sushi in all of Ireland and that we must try it.

So we did.

The sushi was no doubt beyond amazing. But the service put a damper on it.

We must’ve waited over 30 minutes to get the check. It got to the point where I considered walking out of the restaurant. While we were sitting there, both servers completely disappeared into some back service area. And getting the actual check in hand was such a procedure. So. Great food, terrible service. I hope my experience was isolated.

We made sure to explore Galway a bit. We hit up the local pubs, bought some touristy gifts for friends, and crossed the river to see the other parts of town.

The weather was on and off drizzly, but the patches of clear sky more than made up for it. We had lots of good, local craft beers and a few tasty snacks.

Around Galway

Around Galway

After a long day of exploration by foot, we decided to go back to the Radisson and have a quick bite and a lie-down. We went to the Atrium restaurant on the ground floor. I ordered the chicken tikka masala and Jay ordered… the fish and chips? Something pretty basic.

Pints came out quickly, but then we waited nearly 45 minutes for the food – again. I asked the server, “How much longer?” She said it was being plated “right now” and would be out within minutes.

15 minutes later… still nothing. I asked for the check. “It’s coming out right now!” she said again. At that point I didn’t care. I told her to cancel it and that I refused to pay for it.

If it’s gonna take an hour, just tell me an hour. Don’t tell me it’s coming out “right now” and then make me wait even longer. She said that the dish I’d ordered took a long time to prepare… apparently an hour. Yeah right. Just lie after lie from this server. WTF?

So – I tried both restaurants at the Radisson Blu in Galway. And both of them sucked. I hope others have better luck that I did!

Breakfast

The breakfast was fantastic. Lots and lots of options, ample seating, and the dishes were quickly replaced. It took a second for the servers to bring out the coffee though – what the hell is going on with the service at this hotel?

But I was glad to have free breakfast.

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits and yogurt

asdsad

Cereals

Pastries

Pastries, cakes, and rolls

Cold cuts

Cold cuts and cheese

Fruits

Fruits

Juices

Juices

My breakfast selections

My breakfast selections

A nice selection of hot and cold items, including all the Irish classics. I loved the salmon, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, and breakfast potatoes.

I believe the breakfast was 15 Euro – which might be worth it if you’re really hungry and plan to have a few coffees.

Ring the alarm

When we got to bed the first night we were there, we were exhausted from the drive and walking around all day. Around 3am, we heard a REALLY LOUD alarm go off in our room. It jolted both of us up from a dead sleep. We panicked a little, obviously, and called the front desk. All is OK, they told us. Accident.

Well, that sucked, but whatever.

The second night, it happened again. TWICE. Once at 1:30am and once at 6am. Needless to say, I barely slept, and had to drive the next day through yawns. We asked what in the actual hell is going on? Again, via phone. “Another guest keeps tripping the alarm.” Then turn it off! Or make it harder to trip. “Is this happening in every room of the hotel?” “Yes, unfortunately.”

So when I went to check out the next day, there were a lot of pissed-off looking people, including me.

After the terrible service in the restaurants and the fire alarm, I was ready to get out of there. The desk agent asked how the stay was. “Really bad,” I told him honestly. He did that thing where he pretended to listen, gave no answers, and tried to brush us off. But I insisted. “I want our points back. I wish I hadn’t stayed at this hotel.”

He gave us the email of the Customer Relations Manager, who was magically away on vacation that week.

Well, it took forever for her to respond to us. We had to follow up several times. And in the end, we got 10,000 Club Carlson Gold Points back. Whatever.

Bottom line

Nice room, good location, beautiful interior. The stay, overall, was really bad. Lots of apathetic employees, from the servers to the desk agents to the managers.

Unless they get their service act together, I can’t recommend this hotel. And again, I hope my experience was isolated. Stay at another Club Carlson property… or another hotel chain altogether.

Has anyone else stayed at this property? How does your experience compare? Would genuinely love to know.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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