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Dog-friendly holiday: what it’s like to go on a weekend away with your four-legged friend in tow

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By Megan Burns
03rd Aug 2022
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Dog-friendly holiday: what it’s like to go on a weekend away with your four-legged friend in tow

A stay at Glasson Lakehouse in Co Westmeath was a great way to enjoy all the luxuries of a hotel break, with the added bonus of having our dog along for the fun.

Any dog owner will know that the anticipation of booking a break away, whether it’s for one night or two weeks, can often be tempered with the guilt of knowing you’ll have to leave your furry friend behind, not to mention how difficult it can be to find a place in boarding kennels at peak holiday times.

So the dog-friendly rooms at Glasson Lakehouse held a definite appeal: here was a chance to bring our dog along for the trip. I was unsure, however, how having her with us would affect our stay. After all, if it restricted what we could do too much, it would have negated the point of going away in the first place.

dog friendly hotel Ireland

However, I needn’t have worried. From the moment we arrived, us and the dog were greeted warmly. Dogs are permitted in the main reception and lobby area, so there’s no going around to an awkward back entrance, and while they’re not allowed in the main restaurant, you can still order from the same menu in the lobby, where there are comfortable chairs and a large, welcoming hearth.

The gorgeous outdoor terrace at Glasson Lakehouse is another obvious draw, and dogs are also welcome here. Looking out over Lough Ree, it’s the perfect place to enjoy drinks and watch the sun go down.

Having our dog with us also meant we got chatting to lots of the other guests, both those who had also brought their dogs, as well as those who hadn’t, which helped the overall relaxed and friendly vibe of the hotel.

And there’s plenty to appeal to those who don’t have a dog in tow. It’s great for a group, as everyone can tailor their own trip. Its lakeside setting offers plenty of opportunities to take to the water, you can play a round on the golf course, or stick to the spa and hot tubs if relaxation is the order of the day, while kids will love the heated outdoor pool and on-site playground.

The hotel also strikes the perfect balance of laid-back luxury. The rustic interiors have an elevated edge, while outdoor food trucks set the tone for a stay where you can dress up for dinner, or simply enjoy some burgers while looking out to the serene water views.


One night B&B at Glasson Lakehouse starts from €150. This summer, the Stay & Spa package includes two nights’ stay with breakfast, a cocktail at Bonnie’s restaurant, and a one-hour Swedish massage from €489 per person.