A Golden Paw-shake awaits at Lusty Beg Island.

A Golden Paw-shake awaits at Lusty Beg Island.

November 27, 2019 Off By Barking Mad

When you arrive, you know you’ve arrived!  That’s the feeling you get when you arrive at Lusty Beg Island Resort in Co. Fermanagh.

I had my first experience of Lusty Beg Island during the summer months when I took Georgie on a mini-break to the island.  Immediately the stresses of city life were left far behind, as the sense of serenity and relaxation took over.   Accessing the island is via a short ferry crossing which takes 5 minutes.  I likened the scenery to Canada with the tall trees and tranquillity of Lough Erne.  Think Dirty Dancing the movie, and the scenery, and that’s what you will enjoy when you land at Lusty Beg.

This recent trip was a work based visit.  I was meeting with Nina Kelly, Sales and Marketing Manager for Lusty Beg Island who applied to participate in the PAW Grading Program® – (Pets Are Welcome) a rating system for dog friendly venues.  It’s similar to a star rating system for hotels, only this grading system is based on the dog friendly services and facilities provided at venues which cater for dogs.  There are three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Gold is the highest rating.  The set criteria must be achieved in order to receive the accreditation at each level following an onsite audit.   This was the reason for my visit.  Many properties claim to be dog friendly, and unfortunately they can be the exact opposite.  The significant differences in venues led to the development of the program – an intense year of research and commitment to create.   Pulling on my extensive hotel knowledge over the past 20 years along with my experience working with dog friendly venues, the program aims to give dog owners a clear reference guide when choosing a venue.

Lusty Beg Island has truly embraced the dog friendly welcome pulling out all the stops to achieve the Gold PAW rating.  The introduction of a dog wash area in the outdoor ‘Dog House’ comes supplied with dog towels for post walk dog showers.   The island is ideal for a scenic walk, and with plenty of areas for dogs to go for a paddle or swim, this facility is excellent.  Responsible dog owners don’t want to take a dirty dog back into a hotel or bedroom, so this is a very welcome addition to the dog friendly facilities.

Having spent a couple of days at the resort, in both Summer and Winter months, there are two dog friendly dining areas for guests, and plenty of other areas for their non-dog loving guests too.  The Beech room located beside reception is a super room, and overlooks Lough Erne.  Dog owning guests can dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner here, and there is a cosy log fire too!  Hand sanitisers have been placed in the room, along with a dog amenity basket, providing poop bags, spray disinfectant, and tissue should your dog have an accident.  Now, if that wasn’t enough, individual dog water bowls and blankets are also in a basket so your dog can lie comfortably beside you while you dine.

What I found to be very welcoming, were the tent cards on all the tables that say – Dog Friendly area –  They WANT us!!  As a dog owner when I enter this room, I know I’m allowed and that puts me at ease.  For too long, we tip toe in and out of venues wondering if our dog is permitted, so this is a very welcome sign.  The tent cards also include a dog dinner menu from Barkin Bistro, the nutritious and healthy dog food, produced in Kilrea, Northern Ireland.

The human food menu offers a great choice of meals.  On this visit I opted for the lasagne served with chips and salad.  It was really tasty and I wasn’t disappointed.  The last time I remember having the curry, and it was superb as well, so there is a great chef on site.   Both humans and dogs are exceptionally well catered for. 

Lusty Beg recognises the need for families and their dogs to remain together, and have a variety of dog friendly accommodation available, from one bedroom rooms, to 3 bedroom lodges.  It really is a wonderful place for a dog friendly mini-break and I would highly recommend.  There are lots of other activities to partake in while on the island too, so check out their Lusty Beg website and start thinking about your next dog friendly holiday. Plus, Lusty Beg have agreed to provide a complimentary bag of Beef Jerky from Barkin’ Bistro to Dog Friendly NI followers who book their stay when they quote Dog Friendly NI at the time of booking before 31st March, 2019.

If you are a dog friendly hotel and would like to receive a Grading, you can register online or call Jo for further details.  

To view the various levels of grading and what the criteria means click here