ONE of the New Forest’s best-known hotels has triumphed in a contest to find the most dog-friendly businesses in the area.

The four-star Balmer Lawn, a former hunting lodge in Lyndhurst Road, Brockenhurst, has won the hotel category in the New Forest Dog Friendly Awards.

It came up against some of Hampshire’s most canine-friendly venues as businesses battled it out.

News of its victory comes just days after the Forest was named as the second best dog-walking area in the country.

The district’s canine credentials were examined by Trusted Housesitters.

The pet and house-sitting service says it analysed nearly 12,000 social media posts about dog walking in the UK over the past year. The Forest finished runner-up to the Lake District.

Balmer Lawn general manager Michael Clitheroe said: “It’s no secret that we are a very dog-friendly hotel so we’re delighted to have been recognised for this award.

“Our owner’s dogs, Sherlock and Watson, receive a lot of fuss when they’re in the building – the guests really love to see a pooch walk up and down the hallways.

“Four-legged guests receive top dog treatment when they visit us.

“From fresh fluffy towels, to sparkling water bowls and tasty treats, we make sure every dog has the same fantastic experience as their owners.”

Finalists were chosen for their ability to provide exceptional customer service.

Michael added: “With all our guests, furry or not, we go above and beyond to ensure every experience is truly relaxing, offering only the highest level of service.

“Guests who bring their dog always have a brilliant time exploring the outdoors and making the most of the New Forest walks.”

The area is preparing to stage the two-day Dogstival festival.

Hosted by Hampshire wildlife expert Chris Packham, the event will be held at Pylewell Park next month.