Check In: Pet friendly hotel with the bow-wow factor in Waterford

There's even a dog-friendly welcome pack at 360 Quay Stay,  a new accommodation that has recently opened its doors in Dungarvan
Check In: Pet friendly hotel with the bow-wow factor in Waterford

Dungarvan: leading the dog-friendly pack

Are you a pooch-tolerant traveller? Or do you prefer your hotel experiences with a little less fluff? I have to admit that during my own wanderings, I’ve always considered the presence of a dog to be a pretty civilized sight. 

Whether it’s spotting a German shepherd curled up in some Alpine ski chalet or a rescue mutt joining in on ‘happy hour’ at a Manhattan bar, there’s always a touch of class to a little canine culture. Ireland too has become a lot dog-friendlier since the pandemic (and that puppy boom side-effect). 

And when it comes to hospitality offerings, Dungarvan has long been a leader in the pack. This month, 360 Quay Stay, a new dog-friendly accommodation opened its doors in the town, so I checked in with my golden retriever, Vipp, for a review — with added paw patrol.

First Impressions

360 Quay Stay is the latest brainchild from the people behind dog-friendly 360 Cookhouse, just a few streets away. 
360 Quay Stay is the latest brainchild from the people behind dog-friendly 360 Cookhouse, just a few streets away. 

Located in the impressive surrounds of Dungarvan’s former Arus Brugha hostel on Davitt’s Quay, 360 Quay Stay is the latest brainchild from the people behind dog-friendly 360 Cookhouse, just a few streets away. 

With its townhouse façade, festooned with geranium-splashed window boxes, the property almost has a continental, auberge feel at first glance. Inside, a reception area and welcome lounge has been freshly revamped with a boutique finesse; velvet sofas, print cushions, gilded mirrors offer a design nod to both the art deco and botanics looks en vogue of late. 

Owner, Mike Pettit, is on hand to welcome me and offers insight into Quay Stay’s proud and pioneering dog-friendly pedigree. “When we opened 360 Cookhouse in 2017 we researched a lot of European styles of restaurants and accommodation providers and saw that dogs were the new children,” he explains. 

“Dogs have become the core of so many households nowadays. Owners don’t want to leave them behind when travelling and they want their pets to have the same positive experiences as they do. With 360 Quay Stay, we’ve allocated a number of rooms for dogs to be allowed and we provide beds, bowls and a special ‘doggie treat bag’, full of snacks and surprises to keep them busy and, of course, a quilt provided by Timmy’s Pet Store. We also all adore dogs here, so the rest is easy.”

Suite Talk

The room was compact but comfortable.
The room was compact but comfortable.

Quay Stay offers family rooms that can sleep up to six but I was staying in one of the Quay Stay’s double rooms which are honestly pitched at the single occupancy or couples seeking an intimate getaway, market. A series of inspirational quotes lead me up the stairway towards it — not to motivate me to get there, mind, but to affirm myself and Vipp that we’re pretty fabulous. 

The room is indeed compact (Hallo, Continental vibe, once again) and is not much greater than the width of the queen bed and its bedside lockers together, with a few feet of wiggle room at the other end. The leaba itself is comfy and generously plumped with teal cushions, matching both the headboard and a scalloped velvet chair tucked in the corner. 

There’s also a small tea and coffee station which features Barry’s and local coffeebeans — a nice touch. There is also a small mounted TV which is rigged to Google Chromecast. The room’s en suite, with shower, is perhaps the chink in the design vibe and despite touch-ups since its hostel days, still feels a little more municipal than boutique. 

As for the dog-friendly factor, it’s very much the V.I.P. treatment for Vipp: he immediately gets to sniffing his bed, water bowl, and that very generous welcome pack which falls under the dog surcharge of €25.

Food & Dining

I headed to the 360 Cookhouse for dinner.
I headed to the 360 Cookhouse for dinner.

360 Quay Stay doesn’t offer a food and beverage service on-site (so no brekkie), but as it pitches Dungarvan as the hotel’s very own atrium, there’s plenty to discover within ‘walkies’ distance. For dinner, I headed for 360 Cookhouse, which even for a Wednesday night, was wonderfully electric thanks to gatherings of couples, families, friends and the restaurant’s particularly vibrant young fleet of staff. 

The food stacked up too: I enjoyed a gluten-free Greenway pizza (with homemade basil pesto and Fivemiletown goats cheese) while Vipp availed of Cookhouse’s, yes, doggie menu. It may sound gimmicky, but few things settle a dog during an evening out than a tasty bone to gnaw! 

For breakfast the next morning, we wandered down to Dungarvan’s legendary Jitterbeans which has a cool surf-shack vibe and menu options — such as my delicious Buddah bowl with avo — which are pretty rad. 

Jitterbeans was delicious.
Jitterbeans was delicious.

Elsewhere in Dungarvan, spots I love such as Merry’s gastropub and Interlude restaurant are also dog-friendly while Isabel’s Place is a design store which welcomes your pooch.

At your service

Quay Stay brands itself as Waterford’s first Automatic Hotel, which means guests have full access throughout the Quaystay with their smartphones and can also check in through their phones and their virtual key card service. This smart-style of accommodation can make the stay feel low-maintenance, or a little anonymous, depending on what your style is, but any staff I encountered were super friendly to both myself — and Vipp. 

Downstairs, you’ll find 360 Experiences, the group’s outdoor activities hub. Finn and Danny from their team talked me through their offerings, from paddle-boarding, kayaking and yoga outings to electric bike rental.

Quay Stay is a great addition to Dungarvan’s ever-ascending hospitality scene.
Quay Stay is a great addition to Dungarvan’s ever-ascending hospitality scene.

Check-out?

Quay Stay is a great addition to Dungarvan’s ever-ascending hospitality scene, complimenting existing accommodations such as The Tannery and the town’s popular Park Hotel. (Room-only rates from €140.)

Madra Escapes

Looking for more inspo? Elsewhere in Waterford, The Strand Inn in Dunmore East offers two dog-friendly rooms while in Kerry, Muckross Park hotel offers luxury dog-friendly apartments. 

The Emmet Hotel in Clonakilty makes a great boutique base in West Cork for you and your pet, where dogs are not only welcome in guest rooms, but also to dine with their owners in the Sunroom and the Emmet Garden. 

In West Limerick, The Mustard Seed makes a dream period base to stay with your pup, Gregans Castle in the Burren is a fantastic pet-friendly luxury escape, while for self-catering, book a cottage at Fuchsia Lane Farm in Tipperary.

See www.360cookhouse.ie

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