One of the most notable changes in many homes over the last two years is the increase in family pets. So when it comes to travel it’s no surprise that there is a higher demand than ever for dog friendly hotels. If you and your canine buddy might like a bit of luxury as well, Ireland is blessed with some lovely hotels where Doggies are equally as welcome as their owners. Taking your dogs bedding to make them feel just at as home as you will feel is a general prerequisite of all of these beautiful country houses and hotels.
Cashel House Hotel has been serving guests for over fifty years in Connemara and overlooks breathtaking Cashel Bay. I spoke with Brian McEvilly, the owner of Cashel House, who told me enthusiastically that the hotel now boasts 60% dog friendly rooms compared to 25% before recent renovations. With a cocker spaniel of his own he delights in finding out how his doggy guest’s manners compare to his own spaniel’s boisterous nature. In the past international guests made up an important chunk of visitors to this family run hotel but now the domestic market and repeat visitors with their canine friends are vital. Brian told me, ‘Dogs are no longer seen as an extra in the family they are very much an integrated part of the family. Pets get anxious when separated from their owners so they are welcome to stay in the same room.’
Set in front of a beautiful private beach with spectacular views of the sunset in the west, it’s the perfect place for a doggie to take a walk or swim before dinner. Afterwards a special tap has been put in place so doggies can have a wash before going to what used to be the library, and is now a special room for them and their owners. Guests can enjoy a pint while their doggy sits on one of the straw beds. One third of the hotel is kept doggy free to facilitate anyone with allergies. While owners have to pay for an overnight stay at Cashel House, with one night from €190 for two people, all doggies stay for free. www.cashelhouse.ie
Dogs are equally considered special guests at Rosleague Manor on Ballinakill Bay with 30 acres of woodland for them to explore. Bedrooms at Rosleague Manor are decorated with fine antiques and the Foyle Family maintains the character of the house with great attention to detail. Mark Foyle told me that his two dogs offer an important part of the service provided at the hotel. Some regular guests love his dog Tyson so much that they ask him to share their room with him. Dogs have a free run of the entire house apart from the dining room. For two people and one or two doggies an overnight including dinner is from €250. www.rosleague.com
If you are a foodie and want to holiday with your pet then The Mustard Seed in Limerick, a short drive from the picturesque town of Adare, may be the perfect spot for you. Restaurant Manager John Edward Joyce was recently awarded best in Munster and the restaurant is up for a Food and Wine award as best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland. It was also voted best pet-friendly hotel of the year in 2014 by Georgina Campbell. Enjoying 12 acres of woodland for your pet to roam, two rooms are specially allocated on the ground floor so your doggy has easy access to the grounds. A two night break ‘Just Pawfect’ Offer from €250 per person sharing with no charge for your dog. www.mustardseed.ie
If your doggy would like to meet new friends then a stay at Marlfield House in Wexford will be a treat. Marlfield House has a menagerie of animals from ponies, cats and dogs to ducks and resident peacock George. The perfectly manicured gardens are serene and will make a lovely walk on a lead. Food is another good reason to stay at Marlfield with their breakfasts winning several awards and the hotel voted hotel of the year in 2020 by Georgina Campbell. There is a small charge of €25 per pet but dogs have the option to stay in their own specially heated kennels. Guests staying at The Lodge can have pets stay with them and smaller dogs can stay in dedicated rooms with their owners. An autumn stay with an Ireland’s Blue Book Vouchar is from €308 for two people and includes dinner in the delicious Duck Restaurant. www.irelands-blue-book.ie/marlfield
Enniscoe House in County Sligo is a Country House Hotel where your pooch will be made to feel part of the family. Susan Kellett and her son DJ are just as happy to see doggies come through the house as their owners. With only six guest rooms this historic property is set on the shores of Lough Conn with 200 acres of woodland and nationally approved loop walks that your dog will love. If you suspect you have some Mayo blood then The Heritage Centre on site will be of special interest offering the opportunity to explore your genealogy. The archives kept on site are part of Roots Ireland, Ireland’s biggest genealogical website. Enniscoe House is in an ideal location to explore North Mayo and Sligo. Bed and Breakfast from €115 per person sharing and of course doggy guests go free! www.enniscoe.ie
For more travel ideas or details of the dog friendly hotels www.irelands-blue-book.ie