The Best Dog Friendly Hotel
Have you heard that new saying - plants are the new pets, and pets are the new children? Well, as a 30yr old, childless millennial, I can confirm that it feels true for myself and my husband. As a result we pretty much plan our vacations around whether or not our dog can come with us, and a trip home to my native Scotland is no different.
As a result, we are always looking for accommodation that suits both us and our border collie, Whiskey. While we can often find BnBs to suit our needs, sometimes you just want to stay somewhere a bit more luxurious, and unfortunately most luxury hotels simply don't cater for pets. Thankfully, that is not the case at the Gleddoch Spa and Golf.
When you first come up the sprawling drive, with the immaculate golf course to your left and sweeping views of the Clyde estuary and hills to your right, you immediately get the sense that you are stepping into an atmosphere of grandeur. The tartan fixtures and the decor featuring native wildlife never lets you forget that you are in Bonnie Scotland, but the first thing you will notice upon stepping into the impressive manor house is the friendliness of the staff. While our most recent stay was our first with our dog accompanying us, we have experienced the outstanding service that the Gleddoch offers on multiple visits prior to this one. That being said, we have never been offered quite as many pats on the head, ear scratches, or biscuits as Whiskey was.
Once we had checked-in, I was eager to see what the room looked like. Having stayed in multiple pet-friendly hotels before, we knew that often the rooms are slightly less well-kept and contain different fixtures to other 'standard' rooms as a way to avoid potential damage from pets or make them easier to clean. To my pleasant surprise, the room we were staying in was exactly as advertised - beautifully upholstered couches, a bed big enough for my Dutch husband to stretch his long legs, and a floor to ceiling window that our dog loved staring out of to take in the view (and no doubt watch the rabbits dart in and out of the hedgerow). Not only was the room beautifully furnished, it was also meticulously clean. Suffering from asthma, and being allergic to cats as well, I can easily sense when a room has residual dust/fur from a mile off, and I never would have guessed that this was a pet-friendly room. So, not only were the housekeeping staff so welcoming to Whiskey whenever we walked past, they also do a stand-up job of keeping each and every room spotless.
On top of cleanliness, the Gleddoch really do think of everything and offer a 'doggy box' to welcome pooches as well as owners to their hotel. Within this box Whiskey found some wet food (turkey and chicken - his favourite), a squeaky toy, poo bags (always useful), delicious treats, a treat stick, and a chew! However, given that he is a Border Collie he had eyes for only one thing - the tennis ball. A handy little note was also included with the box letting owners know the rules for having your pet stay at the Gleddoch - things like which areas of the hotel they are/aren't allowed in, and where the best places to walk are.
With Whiskey welcomed like the little prince he thinks he is, we unpacked and took him straight out a long walk. With beautiful gardens and woodland just behind the hotel, you aren't stuck for places to stretch your legs. If you want to brave the steep climb back up, you can even walk down to the banks of the river Clyde! We stuck to the woodland, and given the amount of rabbits that roam the grounds, I would personally recommend keeping your dog on a leash. The golf-course is off limits for dogs for their own safety, but Whiskey did cast some longing glances at the open stretch of grass as if to say 'you bring me all the way to this perfect field with diggable holes and then don't turn me loose on it?'.
With the dog walked, fed, and watered - it was time for us all to relax. This is the real treat that staying at the Gleddoch hotel offers pet owners - the ability to also take time for yourself. With the spa facilities just down the corridor, the golf course just outside the window, multiple bars, and a fantastic restaurant - you can truly find something for everyone. While the dog napped in the room after his walk (or more likely continued his vigil at the window), I headed to the spa while my husband made use of the gym facilities. After my massage where I promptly fell asleep and hoped that I didn't start snoring, we met in the rooftop pool to enjoy the rare Scottish sunshine that had started peeking out from behind the clouds, and began to unwind while looking at the beautiful view. Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Vista restaurant (the Belgian chocolate torte has to be one of the best things I have ever tasted) and we took a long walk the three of us, watching the sun set as we meandered through the thistles and heather, feeling like nothing can truly compare to the beauty of Scotland.
I fear that our dog will expect the star treatment everywhere he goes now! The Gleddoch Hotel always goes above and beyond for their guests, but I was so impressed with how they extended that impeccable service to their four-legged visitors as well. So if you are visiting Glasgow and are worried about finding a superb hotel with excellent amenities in a fantastic location that also treats your pets like the family members they are - look no further than the Gleddoch, because they've thought of everything.