From Fido’s Family Friendly to Best For Pet Perks, PetsPyjamas Shares 11 Winning Properties
While lockdown may have caused havoc with holidays this year, dog owners have remained resilient with their spirit for fun, adventure and togetherness, and when allowed to travel, enjoying pet getaways with leading dog-friendly holiday company PetsPyjamas.
With this is mind, PetsPyjamas feel there’s never been a more important time to shine a spotlight on the places providing their own breed of hospitality to the faithful friends who have brought comfort and companionship during this challenging year. PetsPyjamas’ 2020 Dog-Friendly Travel Awards celebrates the UK’s dog-welcoming travel industry with 11 unique awards.
- Overall winner ‘Best in Show’ – The Eastbury Hotel and Spa, Sherborne Dorset: mere minutes from the charming and historic main streets of Sherborne and the Dorset countryside, this special boutique townhouse hotel scooped the award as all round top dog. Pleasing judges were gorgeous walks from the door, a beautiful walled garden for exploring, a dine with your dog option in a special part of the hotel’s 2AA Rosette Seasons Restaurant and doggie meals expertly prepared in the kitchen and delivered to the room. Stay in one of the gorgeous potting shed rooms with garden access and also enjoy the fabulous spa within the grounds.
- Best New Dog-Friendly Stay for 2020 – The Swan Hotel & Spa at Newby Bridge, Ulverston, Cumbria: new to PetsPyjamas this year, this riverside inn impressed judges as a fantastic stay in the Lakes, packed with oodles of charm and features. Close by is Lake Windermere, Haverthwaite steam railway and a dog-friendly cruise, and back at the hotel, there’s a pool, spa and playground, as well as dine with your dog options in the bar plus homemade dog biscuits and doggie sausages for breakfast making The Swan a worthy winner of their award.
- Fabulous for Foodies – Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Malmesbury, Wiltshire: this five-star dog-friendly hotel scooped the winning foodie title thanks to their gourmet offering to pet owners. All the food at Whatley Manor is bursting with flavour and originality courtesy of their Two Michelin-star executive chef Niall Keating’s daring and innovative cooking. Dogs love it here too with 12 acres of grounds including 26 distinctive areas of the gardens.
- Fido’s Family Friendly – Bovey Castle & Spa, North Bovey, Devon: the judges acknowledged the incredible pet and child-friendly ethos bestowed on families at this elegant yet relaxed, character-filled, five-star country house hotel. Located on Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle offers families a choice of dog-friendly family hotel rooms and private lodges. There’s loads of activities to enjoy together too including archery and deer park tours, with a fun programme of activities in the school holidays, plus nature trails and walking routes within the 275 acre estate. There’s a spa also with an indoor swimming pool and a pooch parlour for furry friends to spruce up before afternoon tea in the Cathedral room.
- Best For Walkies – Robin Hood Farm B&B, Bakewell, Derbyshire: located in the Peak District, this charming Bed & Breakfast appealed for its easy reach to nearby villages, magnificent stately homes and rolling landscape affording guests an abundance of dog walks on their doorstep. The property itself has 2.5 acres of natural hillside gardens with gorgeous flowers, terraced lawns and an orchard for walks too. The B&Bs loveable resident spaniels are also on hand to provide walkie knowledge to their fellow dog-kind.
- Best for Pet Perks– Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot, Dorset: PetsPyjamas love this exquisitely elegant, Grade II Listed property in the picturesque village of Evershot for its doggy features. Their dog-friendly rooms offer a lovely dog bed to snooze in, bowls, ‘woof’ towels and a ‘dog in room’ door hanger so staff can ready themselves to welcome a four-legged friend. There’s also a dog wash station to rinse mucky pups after walks exploring the Dorset countryside and best of all, Summer Lodge offers dogs a menu with delicious Lily’s Kitchen dog food.
- Best Dog-friendly Pub with Rooms – Merry Harriers, Godalming, Surrey: a firm favourite with PetsPyjamas, Merry Harriers was the obvious winner for this category. Bursting with traditional charm dating back to the 16th century, it offers a wonderful mix of old and new decor, as well as delicious food and award-winning ales and wines, plus resident llamas who can accompany owners and well-behaved dogs on a trek in the Surrey hills. Guests can choose from Garden or Inn rooms complete with all of the modern luxuries you could wish for. Alternatively, one of their luxury dog-friendly Shepherd’s Huts makes for a fabulous quirky stay.
- Best Barking Britain Package – Lords of the Manor Hotel, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire: hundreds of hotels joined PetsPyjamas’ ‘We’re Barking Britain’ campaign but Lords of the Manor really stood out for their truly fantastic package. From just £398 per night, a dog and their owner can enjoy a 2-night stay with dog-friendly dining together over a special three-course evening meal, as well as tea and cake on arrival in front of roaring fires. Also included are walking maps of the local area – some of the most picturesque walks in the Cotswolds – welcome dog treats and a local gift for the humans too.
- Charming Canine Cottages – Combermere Abbey Estate, Whitchurch, Shropshire: with several delightful properties on the estate sleeping from four to ten, this winning and historic gem of a location charmed judges with their stunning Pleasure Gardens, Garden Wood, characterful building and beautiful landscape with 900 years of history. Located on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire, its multiple cottage options also appealed as a location to enjoy a group holiday with friends, family and four-legged ones while still allowing plenty of room to socially distance.
- Our Customers’ Favourite – St Michaels Resort, Falmouth, Cornwall: awarded Best New Dog-Friendly Stay in last year’s awards, this beachside hotel has excelled to be crowned top of the pups with PetsPyjamas’ customers. An enviable south-facing location set in sub-tropical gardens, locally-inspired décor, gorgeous coastal walks on tap and attentive staff, who go the extra mile to ensure a pet feels at home, are just some of the reasons customers love St Michaels. Doggies are allowed to join owners at mealtimes in their lounges and bar, and a dog guide, treats and bowls are provided in each dog-friendly room.
- Top Luxe Property – Homewood Hotel & Spa, Bath, Somerset: privacy, serenity and above all, luxury afforded Homewood Hotel & Spa their winning spot. Set in 10-acres of beautiful gardens and grounds, this luxe retreat provides two and four-legged guests the very best of contemporary design alongside historic elements such as wooden floors, inviting roaring log fires and antique paintings. With their dog in tow, guests can choose luxurious bedrooms and suites, and enjoy all the trapping of the relaxed restaurant and a luxury spa with a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and heated outside swimming pool.
Judged in line with the PetsPyjamas’ gold-standard of dog-friendliness, the awards were judged as follows – dog-loving atmosphere and staff at all times; three or more dog-friendly rooms available to book; four-legged access to some of the property’s communal areas and the ability to dine with their owners – special pet menu is a bonus; dog facilities and provisions such as a bed, bowls and treats in the hotel room or cottage; and nearby dog-friendly attractions such as a fabulous doggy walks or a dog-friendly beach.
Co-founder of PetsPyjamas, Denise Elphick says: “With these awards we wanted to say a really big thank you to all these wonderful properties, who have really excelled with their four-legged welcome, offering even more dog-friendly extras for our canine guests including doggie spa options, dining with your dog and their own special meals. And we are delighted to report a huge demand for these dog-friendly properties from our customers who wish to reward their pets for their devotion this year.”