Everyone told me I’d best pack my wet weather gear when I announced that my owners had booked a weekend away for us in Killarney, Ireland, in April. I hadn’t really taken the weather into consideration, I’d just been utterly captivated by the photographs of the stunning landscapes and rolling countryside surrounding The Dunloe – I was gearing up for three days of incredible walks! Having repeatedly checked my owners online weather app to see what we were in for – it kept updating us with the same incredible message – glorious sunshine forecast for our entire stay. We were not disappointed!
Arriving at the Dunloe Hotel in Killarney we drove down the vast, leafy driveway bordered by fields, to our delight, full of Palomino Haflinger ponies. Now, my owner loves horse riding but I think it would be much more fun if we could just chase them around which of course is a no-no. I know you fellow canines are probably of the same opinion so this means we have to be on a lead when taking walks around the hotel as the horses are often being ridden by guests. Good news for horse lovers and budding cowboys though – horse riding is a complimentary activity!
The grounds of the Dunloe are vast and truly postcard perfect – the 20 acres of gardens and fields go on and on, with a secret garden to explore and the historic ruins of MacThomas’ medieval keep onsite, overlooking River Laune. The grounds have cultivated paths around them, perfect for us pooches and if we want some off lead time there is even an enclosed dog run for throwing balls around! I never get bored of that.
The Dunloe is traditional and classically Irish with fantastic facilities including indoor tennis courts, a games room, a huge indoor pool, sauna, steam room and beauty rooms should your owner be looking for a bit of pampering. We are not allowed in the pool area but to be honest I was so much happier relaxing in our bedroom which was huge! When we arrived I was delighted to find my own bed, bowls and treats (oh and poo bags – bit embarrassing!) The balcony overlooked the fields full of ponies and in the distance the Gap of Dunloe.
I was told by my owners the food in the restaurant was second to none, with melt-in-the-mouth locally sourced steaks and fish dishes, plus a delicious dessert menu. Breakfast sounded pretty impressive too with a huge selection of cooked and continental choices and even a DIY pancake maker! Incredible!
Aside from the endless fantastic walking country, there are so many nearby attractions to enjoy including tours of the famous Gap of Dunloe which was organised for us at the hotel reception – I can highly recommend this, some of the most beautiful scenery ever. We took a jaunting car (a traditional Irish horse and trap) along the six mile pass followed by a boat trip across to Ross Castle. We also explored The Ring of Kerry and Muckross House on rental bikes. I met so many four-legged friends along the way, this really was dog country. A short drive away is Killarney town where you can really get into the swing of Ireland with traditional pubs and live music. As you can imagine, I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of all this adventuring…
What topped off this incredible stay was the welcome we received when we arrived. The team are truly dog-friendly and went out of their way to make our time special. Thank you to everyone at The Dunloe – we look forward to coming back soon! Five paw review – Woof!
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