Everyone knows that the brits are bonkers about dogs and many people choose to holiday in the UK just so that they can have their beloved family pet with them.

Of course the introduction of dog passports massively broadened the options for those who want to go away with their dog, France being the easiest overseas destination to get to.

But what of dogs in hotels? Up until 9 years ago, when I took delivery of my Flat Coated Retriever puppy, Billie, I had spent my entire life terrified of dogs; it was a genuine phobia. My wife Debbie talked me into getting a dog and it changed my life.

However before that point in time, I was completely opposed to the idea of dogs in hotels (or pubs for that matter) and would have avoided dog-friendly places like the plague. That all changes when you become a ‘dog person’ and hoteliers have a big choice to make; to be or not to be dog friendly?

The competition in the hotel business is tougher than ever so it begs the question for hoteliers, “Can I afford not to be dog friendly?”

There are some hotels in rural parts of the UK whose businesses partly depend on accommodating shooting parties and so the decision is made for them; they have to accept dogs (Michelin starred Tyddyn Llan, one of the hotels I look after in North Wales, being an example – though only in a few carefully selected rooms).

Others, however, have to choose: Will being dog friendly generate more business then I would lose from alienating those who avoid dog friendly places?

A lot of country house hotels compromise by only allowing dogs in certain rooms, usually on the ground floor and, ideally, with their own door directly out to the hotel’s grounds for their late night business!

Cottage Lodge in the New Forest and the Pilgrim Country House Hotel in Herefordshire, two other (excellent) hotels I look after, both do this.

Cottage Lodge has easy-to-clean hard floors in the dog-friendly rooms and the Pilgrim even has a separate, dog-friendly lounge so that those who want to avoid dogs in other public areas and the main bar can do so; a good solution.

Personally speaking, there is something really enjoyable about taking the dogs (we have two now) away with you for a long weekend in a dog-friendly hotel, especially if the hotel is in lovely walking territory which Tyddyn Llan (Snowdonia), Pilgrim Hotel (on the Herefordshire Trail) and Cottage Lodge (New Forest) all are.

If you haven’t been away for a weekend with your dog, give it a try; you’ll not do it just once.

Related Links
Tyddyn Llan
in North Wales
Cottage Lodge in the New Forest
Pilgrim Country House Hotel in Herefordshire