Hounds get the five-star treatment at these hotels in Ireland, with dog beds, blankets and treats on arrival, plus mountains and mirror-like lakes to explore.
Our four-legged friends enjoy going on holiday, too – especially with their favourite humans. Hotels in Ireland have realised that and many now cater to these most important members of the family. From dog beds on arrival to pet concierges and woof-worthy walks on the doorstep, here are some of the best pooch-pleasing hotels in Ireland.
Dunmore doesn’t forget our four-legged friends. As long as they’re well-behaved, pets are allowed in the ground-floor Superior Oceanview Rooms. There are miles of country rambles and beach walks close by and plenty of places around the hotel’s grounds for your pooch to explore – including an outdoor sculpture by local artist Moss Gaynor and terraced gardens, manned by in-house horticulturalist Louise, that slope down to the Wild Atlantic Way. At night, leave Fido to sleep it off, while you sip cocktails on the terrace overlooking Clonakilty Bay, then settle in at Adrift for fine-dining dishes foraged from West Cork’s land and sea.
Loyal hounds are well catered for at Lough Eske – a castle that once housed a 14th-century Donegal clan, the O’Donnells, but now welcomes luxury-loving guests in search of a good spa. Dogs get the red-carpet treatment, too, with their own bed basket and blanket, as well as food and water bowls. The Courtyard guestrooms are ideal for pets, with direct access to the inner courtyard and the vast grounds of Lough Eske beyond.
Dogs of up to 15kg (13lb) or 38cm (15in) in height are welcome at buzzy Dublin base, the Mont. Master of op-paw-ations is resident french bulldog Monty – who occasionally can be found snoozing mid-shift (the rascal) but is otherwise on hand to help settle in four-legged pals with provided beds and blankets. If kept on a lead, well-behaved pups can visit the Sin Bin bar and other public areas of the hotel alongside their humans.
What better way to enjoy the rugged northwest coast of Ireland than with your four-legged friend? Castle Murray House lies beside the ancient ruins of McSwyne’s 15th-century castle and the village of Dunkineely, with its wild, wind-whipped bay. The Atlantic Ocean is writ large here, demanding long beach walks, sea-loving pooch by your side. The hotel has two pet-friendly rooms, and hounds are allowed in the lobby and bar area at different times of the day.
Pets are very welcome in allocated bedrooms and the front lounges of Lough Inagh Lodge. The hotel is located between the twin mountain ranges of Twelve Bens and Maumturks, surrounded by serrated scenery and laced with popular walking routes. As the hotel is located in a farming and wildlife area, pets must be well behaved on and off the grounds. If they are, though, the rewards are endless, with the waterside edges of Lough Inagh to explore and Connemara countryside calling out to you, too.
Pets are treated as part of the family at Dunloe Hotel – a five-star retreat, overlooking the Gap of Dunloe mountain pass in Killarney. On arrival, pooches receive a toy and treats, and it won’t be long until you’re both exploring the enclosed dog run, just one small part of the vast 65-acre (26ha) estate. Dogs receive a throw to cover the sofa, as well as a pet bed and can choose to sleep in one of the designated rooms or in a luxury kennel.
Dogs really are VIPs at this 18th-century Georgian house, the Rathmullan – they even have their own private entrance. A dog bed, food and water bowls are provided and will be welcome after a day of exploring the extensive wooded grounds, overlooking Lough Swilly. Humans will love hunkering down for pre-dinner drinks in the Batts Bar, dining at one of the two restaurants (the Cook & Gardener or the Taproom) and collapsing beside roaring open fires.
Pets are welcome in the Lakeshore Suites at Harvey’s Point Hotel, which have panoramic views of Lough Eske and a private outside seating area. Swiss owner Jody Gysling discovered this patch while on holiday in Ireland and claimed to have uncovered a little piece of Switzerland hidden away in the hills of Donegal, thanks to the area’s snow-capped Blue Stack Mountains and glassine lakes. There are some short walks on the grounds and beaches nearby, which are great for longer walks.
This spa-studded, restaurant-rich resort is a perfect destination for a pet’s holiday, too. Each hound receives a gift on arrival and even enjoys the benefit of a specialised concierge service. The estate has many walking and jogging trails throughout its woodlands, and nearby East Cork has a number of beaches and lakesides to explore.