The UK’s Best Dog-Friendly Hotels
Taking your four-legged friends away on holiday with you has never been easier, with more luxury hotels and rentals than ever catering for dog-lovers and their furry plus ones. If you’re looking for the best dog-friendly hotels in the UK, the search ends here. Kim Pearson (and dog Lily) review the best the country has to offer…
First, a few words of advice on taking your furry friend away with you. Most hotels allocate specific rooms for those bringing canines, so always ensure that you let the hotel know you’re bringing your dog with you. Remember that not everyone loves dogs (the horror) and some people are allergic to them, so be mindful of other guests. Be a good dog owner and always clear up after your hound. Don’t forget bags and a towel for cleaning muddy paws. Be aware of areas of the hotel that dogs are not allowed in. These typically include places where food is being served. If you’re not sure, ask the reception team on arrival.
The Best Dog-Friendly Hotels in the UK
Glenapp Castle – Scotland
The stunning façade of Glenapp Castle is like something out of a Disney film with its enchanting towers and turrets. Located one and a half hours from Glasgow airport or just over a 400-mile drive from London, it’s more than worth the journey. If your furry friend is happy to travel by car we recommend driving as it makes for an adventure full of breath-taking views. On arrival you’ll find the warmest of Scottish welcomes. Each of the bedrooms and suites are unique, recently renovated and capture traditional Scottish luxury perfectly. Visitors refer to the ‘Glenapp Magic’ – a feeling that starts before check in and lasts until after departure.
The dog-loving staff, who gave her endless love and attention (and weren’t in the least bit put out when her muddy paws met a pristine white shirt. She’s sorry). Dog-friendly rooms with direct access to the castle grounds. There are also star-gazing activities on offer at the hotel that you can take your four-legged friend along to.
There are extensive grounds for dogs to roam freely on but be sure to clear up after him / her. No one likes stepping in an unwelcome surprise while playing a round of croquet. The hotel doesn’t allow dogs in the castle restaurant or the drawing room where food is being served.
Palé Hall – Snowdonia
This luxury Relais & Chateaux country house hotel is positioned on the doorstep of Snowdonia National Park. Set in 16 acres of grounds, the beautifully landscaped gardens were filled with banks of daffodils when Lily visited. There are two restaurants to choose from. The Huntsman bistro, which welcomes dogs (the house cured smoked salmon started is a must) and a fine dining restaurant, offering five and eight course tasting menus. Summer 2020 will see the opening of the hotel’s new self-catering apartments featuring hot tubs and golf buggy transfers to and from the main building. The eclectic mix of design styles throughout the hotel come together to create a cosy, run from the heart ‘home from home’.
The provision of essentials left in the room including a doggy bath robe, perfect for keeping warm after baths and wet walks. Hikes in Snowdonia and offers of dog sitting and walking services. The more walks the better! And the kind staff who were never too busy to stop to shake paws and offer treats. A truly dog-friendly hotel in every way.
The hotel provides baby gates and request that dogs are kept in the bathroom (on a comfy mat provided) while you’re not with them. They ask that dogs are kept off the beds and furniture. If your dog is of a nervous disposition you can arrange for a dog-sitter to stay with them in the room while you’re not there.
Thyme – Southrop, the Cotswolds
Described as a village within a village, Thyme is located in Southrop, around 70 miles from London. It comprises a collection of restored historic buildings within an enclosed hamlet environment. The family who own this very special Cotswold destination are truly committed to environmental welfare – one of their many projects includes the beautiful planted meadow, carefully researched and curated to encourage wildlife. This and the cut flower garden are a must-see. Comprising restaurants, bars, a spa, cookery school, flower arranging classes and a farm, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Beautiful surrounding walks in the Cotswold countryside. Dog-friendly rooms with a comfy dog bed, bowls and a private garden area.
Certain areas of Thyme welcome dogs, but they’re not allowed in the main bar and restaurant. There are specific rooms set aside for dogs so be sure to request one of these upon booking.
The Scarlet Hotel – Cornwall
Set into the cliffs overlooking Mawgan Porth Beach, The Scarlet offers stunning views of the Cornish cliffs, sea and skies. The hotel has been designed to connect you with the outdoors, so if the weather is good, enjoy some fresh air poolside or the cliff-top hot tubs. When it’s not so pleasant, snuggle up in the relaxation lounges or treat yourself to a massage at the Ayurvedic inspired spa.
Leisurely afternoon strolls along Mawgan Porth’s sandy beaches. Saving space for extra toys in the suitcase thanks to the fact that drinking bowls, blankets and waste bags are provided.
There are five dog friendly hotel rooms so make sure to ask for one of these when booking. The hotel has both dog-friendly and dog free areas around the hotel, to ensure that all guests are comfortable. While The Scarlet is dog friendly, the hotel is designed for adults and doesn’t typically host under 18s. Fur babies only!
C&TH’s Top Picks
The Eastbury – Sherborne, Dorset
Pups will love this countryside hotel, located in the picturesque town of Sherborne, Dorset. There are nine cosy dog-friendly rooms available – most of which include their own private garden – with a dog bed, bowls, treats and a toy provided upon arrival. Canines are welcome to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the hotel’s award-winning Seasons restaurant, where they’ll even be treated to their own chef-made meal – chicken and rice for supper and sausages for breakfast. As for things to do, delight in the hotel’s favourite dog-friendly walk where you’ll catch sight of the 16th century Sherborne Castle, then potter through town and enjoy a wealth of quirky independent shops, historic pubs and the spectacular Sherborne Abbey. Read our full hotel review here.
One Aldwych – Aldwych, London
A recent addition to the dog-friendly hotel scene, Covent Garden’s One Aldwych – renowned for its enviable central London location and sumptuous interiors – is now encouraging guests to treat their furry friends to an unforgettable stay. Launched in partnership with dog boutique and grooming parlour Bow Wow London, the hotel offering includes a bed and bowl for pups to use throughout their stay, plus delicious treats from Bow Wow. Why not go the extra mile and book your pup in for a much-deserved pamper at the Covent Garden store? Then treat yourself to an equally-deserved treatment at the hotel’s resident Health Club.
The Kensington – South Kensington, London
There’s much for owners and dogs to enjoy at this renowned townhouse hotel – namely, the launch of its newest dog-friendly offering, ‘It’s a Dog’s Life at The Kensington’, where guests – and pups, of course – can experience a luxurious stay in a newly refurbished room or suite, including a delicious a la carte breakfast. Dog beds, blankets, food and water bowls are each provided, whilst the hotel is surrounded by a number of parks and dog-friendly spots which furry friends will love – just ask the concierge if you’re in need of a walking route. Pups are also invited to tea in the hotel’s cosy portico – the ideal spot to rest up after a day spent exploring the city.
Available until 30 December 2021. doylecollection.com
Buxton Crescent – Buxton, Derbyshire
If it’s a weekend of long walks you’re looking to enjoy with your pup, you can’t go wrong with The Peak District. Located on the edge of the national park, Buxton Crescent – an impressive Georgian Grade I listed building, having undergone an extensive hotel renovation – is an ideal dog-friendly place to stay within the country. There’s much to explore outside of the 18th century hotel, from the Peak District’s rolling hills to the charming and historic spa town of Buxton. The hotel spa is also worth noting – complete with a restored Victorian swimming pool – as well as the inviting hotel lounge and bar where pups and owners can snuggle up by the open fire.
The Egerton House Hotel – Chelsea, London
Dogs are more than welcome at Knightsbridge’s The Egerton House Hotel. The luxury five-star establishment – located just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park – even offers Doggy Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room; think chicken and beef meatloaf, homemade dog biscuits and delicious ‘doggy’ ice cream. Pups are also treated to VIP grooming, pet-friendly beer or champagne upon arrival – I say! – and custom-made pet beds. There’s even a dog walking service in case you can’t bare to leave the sumptuous confines of the hotel.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, Edinburgh – Princes St, Edinburgh
Don’t take a trip to Scotland without your furry friend in tow. The historic Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian welcomes pups of all shapes and sizes and boasts and enviable location, right at the centre of Edinburgh old town. Enjoy an array of scenic walks exploring the city, through the Royal Mile, to Edinburgh Castle and across the hilly Arthur’s Seat. Revitalise in the spa (taking advantage of the whirlpool and sauna), then enjoy a tipple at The Caley bar, a sophisticated Victorian drinking spot inspired by the Caledonian Railway.
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