We recently celebrated 30 years in business.
Just a little bit about our building and history of being the 1st hostel in Galway City. When we bought it 30 years ago it was a family owned guest house. We bought it over the phone without seeing it & opened it as a hostel welcoming backpackers and tourists 5 weeks after getting the keys. Back then it was 5 punt per night, all the bedrooms and bathrooms were communal. Most people arrived on foot or by bicycle and they didn’t book in advance, just turned up. We started pre internet so our guests would hear about us from other hostels they were staying at across the Country or we used to send people up to the train station to meet the trains and give them a flyer for Woodquay hostel. We always had a mix of guests from students to Islanders (Arran) to Buskers & tourists from Europe.
Galway has changed a lot in 30 years when we first started you could still drive down shop street and the Eyre Square shopping centre was just opened. There were a lot of original Galway shops such as Taffe’s & old pubs, there were no coffee shops.
Whilst Galway has changed, Woodquay is still very much the same, a lot of the original residents still live in the area and the pubs are still there even though some of them have different names. It has always been an authentic part of the city.
The hostel has had several upgrades over the years and now has many more private rooms and en-suites than back in the 1990’s of course everyone books on line & follows you on social media, but some things are still the same, guests from all over the world still eat & socialise together in the communal areas & despite google will still ask advise about the best places to go in & around Galway.
We have loved meeting people from all walks of life and all over the world in the past 30 years and have had many returning guests, the hostel has given us numerous hilarious stories of people on their travels but one of our favourites was when a regular weekly guest from the country won the lottery whilst staying with us (half a million in old money) he still came and stayed the following weeks for 10 euro’s per night!
Technology has been the biggest change but the traditional, friendly, personal welcome still beats everything hands down and that’s what people still want and enjoy when they arrive in Woodquay. For us it’s all about the people who pass through the door, the connections you make and the people who you are still in touch with from all over the world who remain friends.