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Article by Renata
Posted on 08 March 2019
From dog-themed interior design, dog treats by the door and a personalised welcome pack to each dog, to dog charity donations for every booking.
Owners Zsolt and Edit Balogh bought the hotel last May after a long period working in hospitality in Scotland and completely transformed the hotel by creating the type of experience they would love themselves, when travelling with their own pet dog.
Unlike most pet friendly hotels, The Atholl Arms doesn't see guests with dogs as the minority of their audience. On the contrary, guests who don't feel as comfortable with dogs are the ones that are informed where dogs aren't allowed in so they can fully enjoy their stay too.
Often pet friendly hotels will ask guests to leave their beloved pet in the car or in the room during breakfast, this isn't the case at this hotel as both Zsolt and Edit believe a pet dog is a family member, like someone's child. Not only dogs are allowed to join their owners for breakfast in the morning but also during the day and evening at the lounge and bar. The only area where dogs aren't allowed is the main restaurant. There is hand sanitiser available all over the property for guests and staff to use, the hotel is exceptionally clean and the atmosphere simply delightful.
It's impossible not to notice people smiling when they see new guests coming through the door with their dog beside them, you regularly find dog owners chatting to each other about their experience and how special they feel having their four-legged companion taken so seriously.
Besides the usual bed, bowl of food, blanket and treats in the room, dogs have their names added to the guest profile so that they too are welcomed by their name. When guests are regulars, their dogs receives VIP treatment too, with a bespoke welcome card and even a picture they could maybe later decide to print.
There are beautiful pictures of dogs all over the walls, dog statues and dog-themed interior design items in all public spaces, it's a dog lover haven with many scenic walks nearby to be enjoyed by humans and dogs.
It is no wonder they have been awarded "Pet Friendly Hotel of the Year" at the regional ceremony of the Scottish Hotel Awards 2019, they are competing for the national award in April.
Zsolt and Edit Balogh had a 12 years old Boston terrier named Pepa, she was an important part of their family and her pictures are seen all over the reception area as well as on Zsolt's arm, as a tattoo. Only a few weeks ago Pepa unfortunately passed away after fighting cancer, it was a very emotional period for them. Realising the heartache and struggle some dog owners go through to pay for vet bills when their beloved pet is undergoing cancer treatment, they decided to act on it and create an online fundraising campaign to get a £5000 ‘fighting fund’ to help those going through financial difficulty.
Donations can be made via Facebook by visiting this link
We can't think of any other hotel in Scotland that has gone through all this length to make sure dogs are treated as well as humans when they walk through the door. Their passion for dogs is infectious and it became their guests' passion towards their business too.
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