Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Pet Friendly Brighton with Kate Lawler

Welcome to our first instalment of a brand new pet friendly travel feature with the lovely Kate Lawler and her two dogs, Baxter and Kevin. Over the next few issues we will be taking Kate, Baxter and Kevin on a tour of different pet friendly hotels and areas across the UK.

Meet Kate…
In January 2011 I became a dog owner. I now have two – Baxter a 1 year old Border Terrier and Kevin, a 7 month old Yorkie. I cannot imagine life without dogs now that I have them but with my job, over the past year I’ve found it quite difficult.

I’m a DJ, and at least two weekends a month I drive up and down the country to DJ at various nightclubs. It’s great fun but I also use it as an opportunity to take my dogs on a little adventure, so we can explore the beautiful english countryside, beaches and woodland together. The only downside is that I haven’t found a great deal of ‘Dog Friendly’ Hotels and most of the time, the promoter will book a hotel for me that isn’t pet friendly meaning the dogs stay at home with my partner and I travel alone. So I decided to review Dog Friendly Hotels for K9 Magazine and our first stop is BRIGHTON.

Brighton is in East Sussex, on the south coast of Great Britain. Popular with tourists and day-trippers, it offers something for everyone. Beautiful restaurants, cool and funky bars, lovely beaches and parks as well as being the shopping destination from heaven. It is also one of the most cultural cities in Europe. We are visiting The Oriental Hotel…..

Friday 7pm: Bags packed, car filled with petrol, Baxter and Kevin strapped safely in the back seat and off we go. Goodbye Birmingham, see you in a couple of days.

Friday 10pm: A pretty smooth journey, both the doggies well behaved although we’ve only had Kevin one week and he’d not been in a car before meeting us. He was a very nervous traveller and was sick just as we pulled up out side The Oriental Hotel (much to the annoyance of my other half Adam – it went all over his cardigan).

Friday 10:30pm: Sick cleaned up, car unloaded, we look as though we’re staying for a month with the amount of luggage we’re carrying! Check in was easy and the staff are very friendly. As you enter The Oriental, it’s warm and small, but not dingy. Very cosy in fact. A cute cocktail bar on the ground floor also acts as the reception area and to the left of it are around 6 tables with chairs, where breakfast is served.

Friday 12am: After returning home from a local pub with friends, we find Kevin and Baxter snuggled up on the beautiful chocolate brown suede sofa in our suite. We are in Room 7, the very top of the building. It is quiet and secluded which is perfect for us but I guess the only down side is that we’re having to go down 3 flights of stairs to take the boys out for wee wee’s. Still, every cloud – climbing stairs is good for you!

The room is spacious, and well thought out. A living area as you enter, with a gorgeous and modern red and white bathroom off of it. It’s open plan which I like and as you move in to the room to our left is a beautiful big and extremely comfortable bed. Wooden flooring is a bonus in case the doggies have any accidents. We fall asleep and look forward to walkies the next day.

Saturday 10am: The memory foam mattress was divine! We all slept well. Kevin and Baxter woke me at 8am licking my face. I popped them on their leads, guided them down the stairs and walked out of the hotel so they could pee. As I look to my left I can see the sea! A 1 minute walk down to the beach and the boys are off their leads running like lunatics across the pebbles towards the sea. Baxter braves it and enjoys a brief splash in the sea while Kevin watches with caution.

Back to the hotel and breakfast is served. Delicious. Coffee, juices, granola covered in natural yoghurt with fresh fruit followed by a full english fry up and that’s us full up for the day! We then took the dogs to a park which was 15 minutes away by foot. The park is full of dogs, playing, running, chasing squirrels it’s a lovely sunny day, blue skies and surprisingly warm for October.

Saturday 4pm: After leaving the park and walking to the beach for half an hour play with our friends 2 Staffies, Baxter and Kevin are shattered but Rhian from Brighton Dog Photography is waiting at The Oriental Hotel for todays photo shoot. Some of the shots are taken in the hotel room which is warm and comfortable, then it’s down to the pier for the final few pictures. It’s chilly but fun. I think the dogs enjoyed it.

Saturday 11pm: What a day, Adam and I have just returned from The Ginger Dog. An extraordinary Gastro-Pub in Kemp Town serving the most magnificent and mouth watering hearty and filling food. The staff were lovely and to top it off it’s a dog friendly restaurant. Kevin and Baxter did not join us tonight as they were fast asleep at the hotel. It was nice to have some alone time with Adam as well. Bed time now and I’ve never seen the doggies look so tired. Today has worn them both out but I’ve a feeling they’ve loved every minute of Brighton.

Sunday 11:30am: I was right, Kevin and Baxter were exhausted. They slept until 9am! Bliss. We took them to the beach for their walk this morning and returned to enjoy the hotels fantastic breakfast again before check out. I almost feel as though I’ve got to know the staff despite only staying for two nights. We say our goodbyes and drive home to Birmingham.

The Oriental Hotel is a more like a B&B but very Boutiquey which makes it unique and personable. The rooms are clean, fresh and modern. I’d recommend it to anyone, in fact I’ve already recommended it to my friend who’s going to Brighton next weekend with her family and they’re going to stay there. With rooms starting at around £75 you can’t go wrong and that’s including breakfast. Dogs are most welcome too which is perfect. The location gets 10 out 10 too. 5-10 minutes from Brighton Pier by foot. 2 minutes from the beach. 15 minutes from a beautiful park and shops, restaurants and bars are on the doorstep and a car park just around the corner. An incredible start to my Dog Friendly Hotel Reviews.

Article by Kate Lawler for K9 Magazine

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