Once your pet gets a whiff of all those new and exciting vacation smells and sights, bedding down quietly and comfortably for the evening will be the last thing on his mind. But it’ll be the first thing on yours. Look into these pet-friendly hotels to help you both sleep easy during your next shared travel experience.
This chain of independent luxury hotels is studded with dog- and cat-friendly gems. One standout is California’s L’Auberge Del Mar, where resident pet “concierge” Sofie hands out cupcakes and canine treats every Friday. That’s not the only decadence. As part of the L’Petit Pooch Program, dogs (which must be less than 15 pounds) receive welcome baskets, beds, bandanas and onesies. In addition, you can arrange for a walker to take your dog for a stroll on the beach or enter the annual surf dog competition. Sofie even has her own Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Admission policies and fees vary by location and some Fairmont hotels go beyond the norm. Not only do some branches have a resident hotel dog known as a Canine Ambassador (whom you can take for walks if you left your own pooch at home), several cook up interesting cuisine: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Canada, the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, CA, and the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle offer doggie meals, such as egg and gizzard pudding, frozen yogurt and beef granola bars.
More than 90 Hyatts in the United States and Canada are pet-friendly, charging varied fees per night, though some will offer a one-time fee for longer stays. The price gets you dog beds, bowls, biscuits, a welcome letter, a dog door hanger and hotel ID tags. At the Park Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC, you can also nab a complimentary copy of the book, First Dogs: American Presidents and their Best Friends, when you reserve the Paws in the Park Package.
Indigo Hotels welcome pets at every location. Fees vary -- and some don’t have any fee at all, such as the Indigo Atlanta, which has no weight limit and hosts weekly canine happy hours during the warm weather (404-8749200). At the Indigo Columbus you’ll be greeted by the lobby pup, Miles, and can borrow a goldfish, along with a Dr. Seuss book, if you miss your own pet (812-375-9100).
All 51 of Kimpton’s boutique hotels welcome pets, providing free treats, bowls, beds toys and baggies. And if you can’t bring your own pet along, they’ll lend you one: a fish, via the Guppy Love program. Some of the chain’s branches go even further: Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Portland, OR, has a pet psychic visit once a month during wine hour. And Kimpton’s The Muse New York Hotel offers side-by-side manicures for you and your dog.
Up to 2 pets are allowed per room at all 800-plus locations of La Quinta (except for 4 venues, where city ordinances prohibit it). So while no special amenities are offered, the most important basic one is: a free stay.
You know your pet is in for a good vacation when the room-service menu features dishes developed with a veterinarian. In addition to canine- and feline-friendly grub, Loews 18 North American hotels all provide (some for a fee) amenities such as a local info packet (with dog-walking routes, pet attractions and vet info), bedding, free treats and a toy, and pet-walking and -sitting services. A nice touch: Each hotel is partnered with a local animal charity.
This chain has 2 things going for it: It’s affordable for humans … and it’s mostly free for pets. There is a fee if you and your dog put down stakes at the extended-stay Studio 6 chain. You won’t find any special amenities (maybe just treats at check-in or water dishes at some locations), but you won’t pay extra either.
Another budget motel and hotel chain, Red Roof lets pets stay for free at all 345 locations. Watch for occasional promotions, such as a recent deal that lets pet owners take 15% off the cost of the room.
Billie Cohen is a travel writer living in Brooklyn. She's covered the Northeast, the Far East and many places in between.
Photo: Annie Maldonado