Looking for a dog friendly hotel in Scotland?
When you have a four legged friend, there’s nothing better than being able to take them with you on a break. The only problem is, standards and prices vary significantly depending where you stay. In this post, I take a look at dog friendly hotels in Scotland.
Some hotels have doggy-specific rooms, which are separate from the main hotel, for example Loch Melfort Hotel in Argyll.
The hotel has a separate building which caters for dogs and they even give you a dog bowl. The best part is the room has a door which leads directly out to the back grass area, so your pooch can easily go to the loo or have some fresh air.
For you, Loch Melfort’s food and accommodation is of a nice standard. It’s not particularly modern but it’s clean, has great views and there’s a nice decking area to sit out beside the bistro. The restaurant is a bit more formal and they often run tasting menu evenings.
Another great place is Ballathie House Hotel in Perthshire. They too have a separate building with doggy rooms; the ground floor rooms lead out to the woodland path and the 1st floor rooms have balconies.
They also provide dog bowls. The walks around the grounds a fabulous, with lots of different areas to sniff about.
For you, the accommodation is more traditional, but it’s clean. The food, is wonderful! I’ve been in to the kitchen to see the chef before. The food isn’t too fussy, but they do try new things and the menu is always changing. Being in the heart of Perthshire they have easy access to Scotland’s own larder but also to some of the top suppliers in the country for dairy, game, oil, and even foraging for mushrooms.
These mid-tier hotels charge between £10 and £30 a night per dog.
Anyway. Moving on to Scotland’s top hotel, The Gleneagles Hotel, this is a different league.
You’ve got a luxury resort, in the best spot in Scotland for access to all of the best produce available.
Pooches have three options. 1. They can stay in your room with you at a cost of £100 per night 2. They can stay in the kennels on the grounds. You get a key to access the kennel and you can ‘bolt on’ walks by the staff. 3. Your pooch stays with a relative!
If you look at the international guests staying at the hotel and the wealth of those who stay for long weekends, money is no object to them. To the average person who is away for a couple of nights to recharge, the costs can fairly mount up.
The spa, in my opinion is the best in Scotland. It provides the best massages, facials and treatments, has the highest quality guest areas for changing, saunas etc but the costs demonstrate the quality you’re getting.
If you look at the activities offered by the resort, you can do everything from Segway tours, shooting, falconry and fishing to the world’s leading golf course.
The food is fantastic. You’ve got a choice of the Michelin star restaurant by Andrew Fairlie, the Strathearn, which serves the best steak diane ever, to the Dormy Clubhouse down the main drive, which serves amazing chicken (and salmon) tikka, made in a tikka oven.
Then there’s the new restaurant, I’m dying to try it! The Birnam is a French-American brasserie. It’s more chilled out than the Strathearn, ideal for suppers and brunches.
You don’t have to leave the resort for anything – it even has a stunning arcade with a hairdresser, beautician, fine jewellery, ladies and gents clothing, a whisky shop and gifts.
Back to the dog friendly hotels in Scotland…
Let’s take a look at charges and what’s fair.
First off, there are different sizes of dogs and different breeds have different coats. My dog, Eddie the miniature poodle, for example, has hair and not fur. He doesn’t shed. He also (thankfully) doesn’t smell when he’s wet.
- If dogs are going for walks then there’s a high chance they will come in the room with muddy paws, before you have the chance to grab the towel to dry them off. If like Eddie he’s a lover of beds, he’ll be up on the bed before you know it!
- Some hotels allow dogs to stay in the bedrooms alone, others don’t – for example if you’re in the restaurant having dinner. The other option is to put them in the car for the duration of your meal. Eddie loves the car and would rather be where he knows.
The cost per dog, I understand. It’s for cleaning the room to remove any trace it has been. I don’t think however that a lab which is big and casts and a miniature poodle which is small and doesn’t cast should be charged at the same price. There is much less effort involved in getting a room tidy when Eddie has been, than when my Aunt’s giant lab/retriever cross comes to stay. I spend days removing hairs from the furniture and floor.
I don’t think costs should be per breed etc, that’s too detailed and too much hassle, but there should be some of grading for size and if your dog sheds.
So, other dog friendly hotels in Scotland I’ve stayed in and can recommend:
- Balbirnie House Hotel
- Taychreggan Hotel
- Isle of Eriska Hotel and Spa
- Auchrannie House Hotel
- Hotel du Vin, Glasgow – we stayed here for two weeks in between moving house. They were so welcoming and there were great walks for Eddie, despite being closer to the city
It’s always worth telling the hotel when you’re booking and asking for a price for your furry.
Do you have any others to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!