By Nina Ruggiero
Updated: July 02, 2019
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Courtesy of Paséa Hotel & Spa

Long gone are the days when traveling with your dog meant being forced to stay at roadside motels with stained carpets and questionable odors. Today, hotels at all price points are putting the “friendly” in pet-friendly by not only allowing dogs, but pampering them as much as (if not even more than) their humans.

At the Bobby Hotel in Nashville and Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina, a resident pooch oversees the lobby. At La Posada de Santa Fe in New Mexico and Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, New York, pups are greeted with local treats and able to frolic in private, fenced-in outdoor spaces. At the Dream Hollywood in Los Angeles, they can indulge in a box of Sprinkles Pupcakes and relax in their own mini bathrobe, and at L’Auberge de Sedona in Arizona, they can snooze by a fireplace in their plush dog bed before a day of sniffing around by the creek.

My golden retriever, Cali, spent much of her first few months of life hanging around the Travel + Leisure office, so when we set out on a cross-country road trip together, I decided it was time to put her to work. She may not be able to write a review, but if she could, I think she would agree with my conclusion that there are some key features that place the best dog-friendly hotels above the rest:

  • Proximity to parks and dog-friendly activities
  • Accessible outdoor space — bonus points if it’s enclosed and they can roam free
  • Amenities that make them feel at home, be it a dog bed and water bowl or treats and a toy upon arrival
  • A dog-friendly restaurant on site or nearby
  • A bathtub (or better yet, an outdoor shower) for when adventuring gets messy
  • A pet-loving staff

Cali tested (and, from what I can tell, highly approved of) many of the properties that made our list herself, and I learned that if you’re lucky enough to have a dog who travels well, bringing him or her along can give your vacation a huge boost. Traveling with a pet gives you a built-in excuse to talk to the locals and to spend more time outdoors exploring by foot, and it guarantees you a more enthusiastic greeting — and cuter photos — everywhere you go.

Below are Cali’s picks (and mine) for the best dog-friendly places to stay in the U.S.

Note: Some hotels charge an additional fee or deposit, block off specific rooms for guests with pets, or offer pet packages seasonally, so it’s always important to call ahead if you’re checking in with a four-legged guest. Typically, hotels do not allow pets to be left unattended, so it's important to plan pet-friendly activities as well.

Baron’s Cove: Sag Harbor, NY

Nina Ruggiero

Author John Steinbeck spent time at this cozy, waterfront Long Island retreat, and guests who purchase the Travels With Charley package will be given a copy of the novel he wrote about his own cross-country road trip with a French poodle, "Travels With Charley in Search of America," perfect for reading on your fenced-in front porch while your pup runs free. The package also comes with treats, a frisbee, a bed, and breakfast for two humans. It’s best to visit Baron’s Cove with your dog in wintertime, when Sag Harbor is crowd-free and you can sit together by the fire with a glass of wine and some water, respectively, and look out at the silent harbor. South Fork beaches are generally dog-friendly all day long in winter, the closest being Havens Beach (they're allowed beginning the Wednesday after Labor Day, until the Thursday before Memorial Day) and Montauk Brewery is a fun dog-friendly stop half an hour east.

To book: booking.com

L’Auberge de Sedona: Sedona, AZ

Nina Ruggiero

L’Auberge de Sedona is the most luxurious option near the Grand Canyon's South Rim, the perfect place to explore the iconic national park with your pet (expect views that will take your breath away and hikes that won’t). The hotel’s stunning grounds on Oak Creek, surrounded by Red Rock country, are a destination in their own right, and the "Red Rocks & Ruff" package comes with a dog bed and bowls, leash and gift bag with "pawducts" from local pet store Whiskers Barkery. The spacious and private cottages have open-air showers, ideal for a rinse should your pet get dirty on the beach below. Dogs are welcome at the scenic outdoor tables at Etch Kitchen & Bar.

Nina Ruggiero

To book: expedia.com

Bobby Hotel: Nashville, TN

Sasha, the Bobby Hotel mascot, greets guests in this super-stylish Nashville lobby and helps raise funds for the shelter she was rescued from. Rooms come with oversized balconies offering views that will keep curious pups entertained when they’re not playing with their new Nashville-themed hot chicken chew toy or ordering gourmet dog food off the room service menu. You can even bring your pup up to the rooftop lounge, where you'll sip cocktails in a retrofitted 1956 Scenicruiser bus. Riverfront Park dog park is within walking distance, and so is Broadway, the city’s main strip, filled with live music and an exuberant crowd of revelers who seriously love dogs. 

Nina Ruggiero

To book: expedia.com

Dream Hollywood: Hollywood, CA

Nina Ruggiero

The Dream Hollywood team enthusiastically greets guests with canine travel companions, whether they’re putting out a Dream-branded pet bed, serving up “pupcakes,” or helping to dress a pet in a luxurious miniature bathrobe for a ridiculously cute photo shoot. Hollywood’s star-studded sights are all within walking distance, and you can admire the surrounding hilltop homes from your bed — or shower — thanks to plenty of floor-to-ceiling windows. The Hollywood sign is directly in view from the rooftop Highlight Room grill and bar, just beyond the cabana-lined pool.

To book: expedia.com

La Posada de Santa Fe: Santa Fe, NM

Nina Ruggiero

Just steps from one of the best dog-friendly activities in town — browsing outdoor galleries along Canyon Road (although many artists will invite your furry art critic inside, as well) — La Posada de Santa Fe’s desert-chic rooms have enclosed yards and well-manicured grounds for walking, handy waste bag stations included. Pets are greeted with Santa Fe-themed treats (pictured: a chili pepper chew toy), and are allowed at the colorful outdoor patio of popular New Mexican restaurant The Shed, within easy walking distance. A 10-minute drive will take you to Frank S. Ortiz dog park, a beautiful, 135-acre expanse of desert where your dog can roam free and you can enjoy sunset views overlooking the city. Check your pet for ticks after off-leash exploring.

To book: booking.com

Cyprus Inn: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Late Hollywood icon and animal activist Doris Day was a co-owner of Northern California's Cyprus Inn, and she reportedly only agreed to purchase it if it allowed dogs. Today, the historic Cyprus Inn carried on her dog-loving legacy, offering them blankets and bowls, a patio to hang out on, and an outdoor shower just for rinsing off those four sandy legs after a romp at the beach.

To book: booking.com

Montage Palmetto Bluff: Bluffton, SC

Between Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Montage Palmetto Bluff sits on 20,000 acres of fiercely preserved Lowcountry land, making it the perfect place to get outside with your pet. Both rental homes and rooms at The Inn are dog-friendly, and dog beds, homemade treats, and bow-ties are provided to all of the "preferred pups." Deep soaking tubs will keep your pup put if you need to clean up after time in the woods, and if you're lucky, you might even be greeted by one of the hotel's canine ambassadors upon arrival. In the property's picturesque Wilson Village, Buffalo's offers pet-friendly dining on its patio and has a biscuit bar at breakfast time to cure your southern cravings.

To book: booking.com

Mandarin Oriental, Miami: Miami, FL

A peaceful retreat for owners of small dogs (25 lbs. or less) on Brickell Key, the Mandarin Oriental is a slice of luxury with a quiet community feel. Relax on a lounge chair with your pet overlooking the infinity pool and the bay, and take a stroll to Brickell City Centre, where you can shop together. Dog bowls and beds are provided, and guests can contact the hotel if interested in learning about their current pet packages, which sometimes include dog trainer or butler services.

To book: expedia.com

Pendry, San Diego

Located in the lively Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, the pup-loving Pendry has plenty to do within walking distance. Petco Park, home of the Padres and one of the most dog-friendly stadiums in Major League Baseball thanks to its Barkyard seating option, is steps away, as are breweries and picturesque Seaport Village. While in town, be sure to hit Coronado Dog Beach, and if you're both up for an adventure, you can even take your dog hang gliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla or paddle boarding with Aqua Adventures. Then, head back to the Pendry where a dog bed and bowls will be waiting.

To book: booking.com

The Gregory Hotel: New York City

The Gregory Hotel

A sleek and surprisingly tranquil spot steps from well-connected but hectic Herald Square, The Gregory Hotel is the place to stay if you’re looking to take your pet to the heart of Manhattan. The hotel has a soft spot for furry guests and has been known to host pet adoption events on site. Grab a cab uptown for a very dog-friendly brunch at Barking Dog, or take a walk down to Madison Square Park, where you'll find Shake Shack (with menu items for both of you) and a dog run.

To book: expedia.com

The Barrymore Hotel: Tampa, FL

Kimberly Moore

The Barrymore Hotel is an ideal vacation spot for dogs and their owners thanks to its pet-loving staff and perfect location. Perched on the Tampa Riverwalk and just steps from a dog park, you’ll never run out of ways to spend time outside with your pup. Pack the collapsible dog bowl provided and take a sunny stroll to Armature Works, a market and waterfront hangout spot where you can eat anything from ramen and sushi to barbecue and ice cream, and play games out on the front lawn (dogs are allowed on outdoor grounds). Or, take your pet along for a BYOB boat cruise on the Tampa Bay Fun Boat and see all of Tampa’s top sights the way they’re meant to be seen — by water.

To book: hotels.com

Paséa Hotel & Spa: Huntington Beach, CA

Courtesy of Paséa Hotel & Spa

Huntington Beach is known among Southern California pet owners for its 1.5-mile-long, off-leash Huntington Dog Beach, which even hosts an annual surf competition for dogs. But if you're coming from out of town, the Paséa Hotel has its own pup play park, Paw-Sea, complete with a lifeguard station dog house and dog-themed wall mural for photos. A French Bulldog pet concierge, Moonshine, is on hand to welcome guests with pet beds and bowls. The hotel often hosts dog-themed events, from puppy adoptions to fashion shows (do not miss the upcoming "Pupchella," a collaboration with Vanderpump Dogs.) Nearby, Gallagher’s has a Canine Cuisine menu, and Top Dog Barkery creates custom cakes for pups.

To book: expedia.com

Washington School House Hotel: Park City, UT

The Washington School House is run by dog owners, and guests will be able to tell: the boutique hotel built in an 1889 school house provides pet beds, bowls, and is happy to help accommodate a dog's needs. Steps from Main Street, it's the perfect base for exploring Park City and its many pet-friendly shops. Although the area is known for its skiing, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun in summertime too, including the ponds of Deer Valley, where you can kayak or stand-up paddleboard and then take your pup for lunch on the scenic deck at Deer Valley Grocery Café.

To book: hotels.com

The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills: West Hollywood, CA

English bulldogs Winston and Churchill greet guests at undeniably chic spot The London, which sits right on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The hotel is known for its spacious suites — a feature anyone who has shared a room (or bed) with a four-legged friend can appreciate. It boasts the largest penthouse in Los Angeles, a two-story, 11,000-square-foot "villa in the sky" that includes a rooftop deck with views for days.

To book: booking.com

St. Regis Aspen: Aspen, CO

At the base of Aspen Mountain, this popular ski destination loves its pets. The pet program includes a dog bed and bowl, plus dog sitting, walking, and bathing services can be requested. The pet menu includes a protein bowl, sushi roll, beef tenderloin, and more, and a monthly Bark'n'Brews patio "pawty" raises money for a local animal rescue. Most importantly, the hotel's Bernese Mountain Dog, Kitty Jacob Astor II, has his own Instagram and it is epic.

    To book: travelocity.com

    Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery: New Orleans, LA

    All rooms at the Old No. 77 are dog-friendly, and three pets of any size are welcome per room. Dogs are given their own beds, bowls, treats, a toy, and a custom-made name tag with the hotel's contact info, just in case. Housed in a converted coffee warehouse in the Arts District of New Orleans, the hotel has lots of artwork on display, plus Artist Loft rooms and galleries to tour nearby. And before you ask, yes, Cafe Du Monde is pet-friendly, so you can take your best friend out for chicory coffee and beignets.

    To book: expedia.com

    Wythe Hotel: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    This popular Brooklyn hotel in a converted 1901 factory defines Industrial-chic, and its spot on the waterfront means it boasts unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline from its best rooms. It's within walking distance to both the McCarren Park and Bushwick Inlet Park dog runs, and the Happy Dogs at McCarren Park daycare, should you have human-only plans on your trip. Lucky Dog is a divey bar with a backyard space and you guessed it — pups are welcome to join.

    To book: booking.com

    Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa: Hot Springs, AK

    Nina Ruggiero

    Located within Hot Springs National Park and beside its dog-friendly hiking trails, thermal waters are pumped directly into the historic Arlington Hotel's spa. Though you won’t be able to take your furry friend for a proper hot spring soak there or on neighboring Bath House Row, you can take him or her to Superior Bathouse Brewery to hang out while you enjoy a flight of local craft beers while people watching on Central Ave. The beer there is made with the 144-degree hot spring water.  

    To book: booking.com

    Under Canvas Zion: Moab, UT

    Take your pet hiking or kayaking at this 196-acre glamping site beside Zion National Park. All of the Under Canvas locations — which include Grand Canyon, Moab, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and more — are pet-friendly with the exception of Tucson, Arizona. Each glamping tent has a king bed and furnishings, a full bathroom, and some have private decks. The stargazer tent comes with a window over the bed for a direct view of the night sky.

    To book: booking.com

    Ritz-Carlton: Chicago, IL

    With oversized windows overlooking the city and Lake Michigan, the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago's swanky Gold Coast neighborhood is for dogs who expect five-star service. When the weather is nice, guests can walk their pets to many of the city's best shops or hang out on Navy Pier. In colder weather, they might opt to stay in and enjoy their spacious and recently revamped room or suite together. 

    To book: expedia.com

    Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa: Alexandria, VA

    Alexandria's Old Town is full of dog lovers and dog-loving venues, and the Kimpton Lorien, on one of its most charming brick-lined streets, welcomes breeds of all sizes at no extra charge. The outdoor terraces on its newly redesigned rooms are ideal for four-legged travelers, and each room comes with a yoga mat should either of you feel like stretching out in downward dog. Pets are invited to nightly wine happy hour and on site BRABO Tasting Room, and the concierge provides a list of dog-friendly fun to be found nearby.

    To book: hotels.com

    Inn at the 5th: Eugene, OR

    Courtesy of Inn at the 5th

    Guests at the Inn at the 5th have access not only to scenic riverside bike trails and complimentary cruisers, but Tail Wagon bike trailers too so they can bring their pets along for the ride. There's even an urban wine trail full of pet-friendly tasting rooms. Furry guests are welcomed with dog bowls, treats, and other surprises. A short drive away, the Oregon coast is full of pet-friendly trails and beaches.

    To book: hotels.com

    1 Hotel: West Hollywood, CA

    Nina Ruggiero

    West Hollywood's brand new 1 Hotel is right on the Sunset Strip, but dogs (and humans) will feel as though they've stepped into a natural oasis. The eco-conscious space is filled with native plants and reclaimed wood, and its outdoor spaces have sweeping views of Downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills. West Hollywood is one of L.A.'s most walkable neighborhoods, but there are restaurants on site, including 1Kitchen by Chris Crary's California-fresh cuisine and Alice's French fare, where dogs are welcome. Staff's attention to detail includes leaving a dog bed and bowl full of treats waiting in your room.

    To book: expedia.com

    Belmond El Encanto: Santa Barbara, CA

    Santa Barbara has long been called the "American Riviera" — and Belmond El Encanto has been one of its most luxurious retreats for 101 years. Many of the Spanish-style rooms, bungalows, and suites come with private terraces or patios, and are surrounded by lush gardens. Pets are welcomed with treats and their own beds, and they're even invited to afternoon tea. From the walkable wine tasting rooms of the Funk Zone to off-leash Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara is an extremely dog-friendly city. You can even take your pup sailing with Sunset Kidd, or out for ice cream at Rori’s Artisanal Creamery at the Santa Barbara Public Market (order the Chilly Dog).

    To book: travelocity.com

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