Weather delays caused me to miss the original July 16 flight to Ireland, to meet up with a guided tour group. Arriving the next day after the group had left for a daylong excursion, I was left to my own devices. I arrived at Menlo Park Hotel (adjacent to the titular park), and received a surprising welcome. Hotel staff were aware that I had missed the flight but did not know if the reason was medical or some serious injury. Everyone with whom I spoke expressed concern and welcomed me. That brightened my day! The manager had kept room 213 available for me, not knowing when I would arrive. That room has a large shower area that includes the sink. The shower has a flat but sloping floor for wheelchair access, and the shower alone is as large as some bathrooms in the US. Reminiscent of my youth in rural North Carolina, there is no closet, but instead a wardrobe—an upright piece of furniture used for hanging clothes and storing luggage.
Menlo Park Hotel is a 70-room, 3-story Tudor style constructed 60 years ago, but has undergone an extreme makeover to provide a 5-Star effect for this conference hotel. The favorite drink at Bar Beoga is a pint of Guinness stout, a beer dark as espresso with café-au-lait-colored foam that must breathe before more beer fills the pint-size glass and served. The cost is 4.1 euros, about $5.60, but subtracting a 23 percent VAT [Value Added Tax, or consumption tax] makes for a price comparable to a 16-ounce beer at a bar in the US. Think of it as a sales tax, or the government taking three eggs out of each dozen carton you buy. So much for Congress wanting to tax Americans more! Thus a meal that costs ten euros is really seven. The phenomenal restaurant where the tour group pigged out on an endless variety is Bia Beo, which is appropriately translated from the Irish language to mean “Lovely Food.”
“Lovely Food” and spacious, clean rooms that offer excellent sleep quality aside, Menlo Park Hotel offers something that can’t be found on its website, MenloParkHotel.com. That feature is a friendly, helpful staff that genuinely cares for travel weary guests and conference attendees. The restaurant manager provided an exquisite meal at no cost on my second day, as I had missed the Welcome Dinner for the tour group of 40 members. Few hotels in the States express this generosity and caring for guests. Way to go, Menlo Park!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Excellent service and a friendly atmosphere are key to the success of this 4 star hotel. It offers 70 quality rooms with 16 superior rooms. Food and beverage facilities include bar/carvery and full restaurant with the best of local produce.Meeting facilities onsite - only 10 mins walk from Galway centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Menlo Park Galway