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America's Best Dog-Friendly Hotels
Dogs and their owners no longer have to ruff it when
they hit the road.
Some lucky dogs not only go on vacation, they also get
in-room massages, their own seasonal room service menu, and a welcome gift that
they can chew on.
A record 65 percent of American families now own a pet, and
many are taking them on vacation. Last year, more than 15 million Americans
traveled with their pets, and 8.5 million stayed more than three times in a
pet-friendly hotel, according to Pet
Friendly, Inc. Hotels are responding to these travelers with dog-friendly
perks that provide dogs and their owners with winsome extras, like yoga classes
and practical necessities, such as clean-up bags.
According to Len Kain, cofounder of DogFriendly.com, a website that helps
connect dog owners with the most welcoming properties, hotels are becoming
increasingly accepting of dogs of all sizes. These dog-loving accommodations
don’t just tolerate dogs, they embrace them with first-class services. “Luxury
properties are creating their own high-end brand of products that appeal to
both dogs and their owners,” he says.
Hope Schultz, who has been hitting the road for the last 12
years with her dog, Max, says that’s exactly what she likes about staying at a
W Hotel. “They give you and your dog the same level of respect and are gracious
whenever you make a dog-specific request.” Schultz, who is the editor in chief
of Webvet.com, says that she and Max also
like that they both get a treat on their pillows at night—and the fact that the
hotel concierge can always lead her to a reputable dog-sitter.
In addition to what is now considered standard fare at
dog-friendly hotels—dog beds, dog bowls, etc.—certain properties are offering
dogs the chance to have the same five-star experiences as their owners. The Loews
Coronado Bay Resort in California gives
surfer dudes the chance to share the waves with their dogs during a doggy
surfing lesson—a package that also includes doggy board shorts, a surf-and-turf
dinner, and a copy of The Dog’s Guide to Surfing.
Mountain-loving dogs will no doubt enjoy the twice-daily
hikes available at the Ritz-Carlton,
Bachelor Gulch, CO,
especially since they can end their day with an in-room massage and light bath
spritz. The Ritz-Carlton also provides an extensive room service menu with
three sumptuous choices for dessert—including liver “kisses.”
After a stay in one of these canine-friendly retreats, your
dog will be begging for more than leftovers when he gets home.