The Four Seasons Hotel sits dominantly overlooking the picturesque Loch Earn in St Fillans, Perthshire. If it is accommodation with a view that you are looking for then booking one of their loch facing rooms or chalets would be enough of a reason to stay. However, I was there to not only admire the views (which are stunning) but also check out their pet friendly credentials, or rather my furry companion Willow was going to run the hotel through it's paces.
It is hard to find a truly dog friendly hotel in Scotland, believe me after 20 years as a dog owner who travels I have tried many to various degrees of disappointment. I understand not all hotels and their guests want to embrace travellers with a furry companion but those that claim they do often fail on the most basic levels. I'm glad to say that The Four Seasons passed every dog and human test with flying colours and at last I feel as if I have found a hotel that truly welcomes humans and dogs with equal measure.
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised as owner Andrew Low is himself a dog lover and boss to the resident canine reservation managers, Sham and Pagne (it took me a while to get the connection, perhaps Andrew's favourite tipple?). It is also a wedding resort...for dogs and yes they have had a canine wedding, can you get any dog friendlier than that?!
Before we even arrived I was impressed by the pet concierge service on the website with options to book a pet walker/sitter, groomer and order from a canine menu. As I was planning to take advantage of dinner at the hotel's Meall Reamhar Rosette Restaurant I decided to call and inquire about the pet sitting service. A quick phone call back confirmed that the local pet sitter Norma was booked at the time requested and myself and Mr Adventures Around Scotland could enjoy a relaxing, romantic meal for a change, now I was getting excited, this seemed to good to be true!
I was also delighted to see that they didn't charge any pet supplements on to their rates, usually an excuse to bump the price up for the privilege of bringing your dog, how is that ever pet friendly?
On arrival the whole family was warmly greeted and while I was busy admiring the STUNNING VIEWS from our room, Willow was delighted to discover a Bonio on the bed. A handy list of walks in the area suitable for humans and dogs was a useful addition to our welcome pack along with bottled water and homemade shortbread for the humans.
The bedroom and bathroom looked as if they had been recently partly refurbished and I was delighted to find Arran Aromatics products in the bathroom to pamper myself with!
The hotel is a mix of modern bright decor with quirky objects decorating the corridors and walls which owner Andrew has picked up on his many exotic travels. I loved wandering around admiring his eclectic acquisitions from around the world and there is a very interesting guest lounge with an opium bed imported from Bangkok which was not what I expected in a lochside hotel in Scotland!
The hotel also has six separate dog friendly chalets onsite which would be ideal for families.
I did mention the STUNNING VIEWS didn't I? A dog friendly room with a prime position was a real treat and we were all enticed to go outside and enjoy the scenery with a walk along the River Earn.
After a relaxing meander in the warm Spring sunshine we returned to the hotel and had just enough time to get ready for dinner when our Fairy Godmother aka Norma the local pet sitter arrived. I can't recommend her highly enough, she has such a warm personality and is very experienced with dogs, more importantly she genuinely loves them and Willow instantly loved her too. My mind was at complete ease and I was able to enjoy my wonderful dining experience safe in the knowledge that my pooch was in Norma's safe hands as they set off for a long walk together.
The Meall Reamhar Rosette Restaurant features an award winning Two AA Rosette Menu and I was impressed to see lots of local and Scottish ingredients being used, there is also an extensive drinks menu with a fine selection of wines being a specialty of the hotel. Myself and Mr Adventures Around Scotland thoroughly enjoyed our food and the service was friendly and efficient and did I mention the STUNNING VIEWS? Watching the sunset over the loch just added to our delicious dining experience.
Andrew was also on hand to personally check with all the guests that everything was to their satisfaction which I thought was a nice touch.
We were able to finish our coffees in the little residents bar which meant we could let our Fairy Godmother Norma away and bring Willow down to join us. We were also offered the option of eating breakfast there in the morning rather than the dining room so we didn't have to leave Willow in the room or car. It is details like this that really made The Four Seasons head and tails above the other pet friendly hotels that I've stayed at. Our cooked breakfasts were to the same high standard as dinner and having Willow with us meant we didn't feel rushed to get back to the room.
The hotel also has an informal bistro dining option and outside seating area. There is free WiFi throughout although there are also some designated mobile phone free areas to encourage guests to relax and switch off, no bad thing! Guests also have access to a library, bar and lounge.
Easily reached from Glasgow, Perth or Edinburgh, this makes an ideal scenic getaway from the city. St Fillans is a typically pretty Perthshire village with the bonus of having an even prettier lochside location. There are walks on the doorstep ranging from easy meanders along the river to more strenuous Munro climbs. Whatever direction you head in there are outdoor trails of every variety and on this trip we also explored around Glen Ogle and Killin, the last time we were in the area we discovered Glen Lednock near Comrie in the other direction.
Whatever way you choose you are guaranteed beautiful scenery, forests, mountains and lochs.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Four Seasons and I felt totally relaxed by the time I left. It was a real treat to not feel as if I had to sacrifice any human comforts to have my dog join me on my travels. I can honestly say that this is the first truly dog friendly hotel I have stayed at. and I did mention the STUNNING VIEWS didn't I?
To find out more or book a stay at The Four Seasons, visit their website at
I was invited to review this hotel, however as always all opinions and experiences are my own and I only ever recommend places that I personally, genuinely enjoyed and in this occasion one that I will definitely return to!
Follow me as I search for the best and most original travel experiences in Scotland.