America's Best Dog-Friendly Hotels
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.
Doggy Treats: One mini-bar is so passé. The Fairmont has two: one for humans and one for their four-footed companions. While humans can enjoy Ghirardelli chocolate and a bottle of Anchor Steam Beer, Fido can snack on cable car–decorated cookies and organic peanut-brittle treats. The dog-friendly mini-bar also includes a ceramic bowl, a blanket, a rope toy, an aromatic candle that eliminates pet odors, and a spritzer infused with lemongrass, peppermint, and cloves to help dogs sleep in their own beds.
Rates: Doubles from $279, including dog fee.
TenThousand Waves, SantaFe
Doggy Treats: This traditional Japanese-style inn offers eight ryokan-inspired houses with the ultimate dog-friendly bonus—a nice outdoor place to run around (and their own beds to relax in afterward). The houses vary in size, but each includes a dog-proof fence. Although dogs are not allowed into the hot tubs themselves, guests who rent a private tub are encouraged to bring their dogs to hang out with them on the enclosed decks surrounded by piñon trees.
Rates: Doubles from $199.
Dog Fee: $20 per night.
TrumpInternational Hotel & Tower, Chicago
Doggy Treats: Attention, power dogs: the Trump Hotel offers pooches their own bed, gourmet treats, and a water bowl (with bottled water to fill it) while they check out the city views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Owners can read up on dog-friendly places to visit in Chicago; there’s also easy access to an outdoor dog park around the Trump Riverwalk. Come back to an in-room dining menu with special dog fare like a $32 concoction of filet nips with steamed vegetables.
Rates: Doubles from $395.
Dog Fee: None.
Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT
Doggy Treats: If your dog’s a little sore after hiking around the Green Mountains, sign him up for a Rover Reiki massage treatment at the Topnotch Spa, followed by a nap in his fleece-wrapped AeroBed. And turndown service isn’t just for humans; dogs get an organic Mini-Bone treat in flavors like bacon and cheddar, carob-chip oatmeal, and liver and bacon. Take home a keepsake water bowl to remember the experience.
Rates: Doubles from $225.
Dog Fee: None.
Doggy Treats: Home to America’s Most Attractive People, Miami also encourages good-looking dogs. So at the Mandarin Oriental, pets can get into shape before hitting the beach. Choose a Play Date—exercise with a certified dog trainer—or a Training Date, which addresses problems like excessive barking or jumping. Then, adorn your pampered pet in a doggy bathrobe or Swarovski crystal–studded shirt, and go for a walk on the surrounding trail. (Feeling lazy? Hotel staff will walk your dog once a day for free.) Of course, Fido gets his own bed, complete with turndown service.
Rates: Doubles from $269.
Dog Fee: $200 ($100 is refundable).
Kimpton Hotels, multiplenational locations
Doggy Treats: It’s tough to find a hotel chain more attuned to pets. All of Kimpton’s hotels welcome dogs with beds, treats, and toys, and many properties even have their own dogs. A few, like the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, VA, host a doggy happy hour twice a week where dogs can munch on complimentary treats and sip water while their owners enjoy their choice of alcoholic beverage. Guests who check into The Muse Hotel in New York City can sign up for a pet package that includes a welcome basket of treats, a dog umbrella, and a doggy mani-pedi. Or order up a dog-centered picnic basket at 70 Park Avenue Hotel—perfect for Central Park.
Rates: Prices vary with locations.
Dog Fee: None.
W Hotels,multiple national locations
Doggy Treats: W Hotels make dogs feel at home with the P.A.W. (Pets Are Welcome) program. Every dog gets a welcome packet with a toy, treat, tag, clean-up bags, and welcome letter with local pet-friendly information. And guest rooms always include a bed, food and water bowl, pet-in-room sign (so your pet isn’t inadvertently disturbed), and a snack at turndown. The W in San Francisco adds Bowser Beer, a nonalcoholic doggy beer served at bedtime, while the Scottsdale W runs a doggy boot camp and offers doggy yoga classes—giving new meaning to the “downward dog.”
Rates: Prices vary with location.
Dog Fee: $25 per night dog fee and $100 cleaning fee.
Doggy Treats: Homemade biscuits are a great way to greet any guest, and that’s what the XV offers its canine visitors. The hotel also offers dogs a set of plush and rubber toys and a bed with turndown service that includes water and a snack. Although the hotel does not have a doggy room service menu, it does have certain prepared foods for dogs, such as the ever-popular hamburger.
Rates: Doubles from $325.
Dog Fee: $25 optional dog fee, 100 percent of which is donated to the ASPCA.
The Hyatt Regency’s 4paws program starts with an introduction to the resort by Uno, the hotel’s doggy ambassador, and continues in the room with a comfy custom-made bed and fleece-covered pet pillows. The 4paws “beastro” menu contains a veggie bruschetta (priced at a reasonable $3), chicken risotto, and for the health-conscious, organic dry dog food. But since your pet is on vacation, better to treat her to a banana-and-peanut-butter frozen yogurt and a “pupcake”—a.k.a., a frosted carrot cupcake.
Rates: Doubles from $199.
Dog Fee: $50 per day, $25 in the summer.
Ritz-Carlton,Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, CO
Doggy Treats: Go for a brisk guided hike with your pooch, then treat him to an elaborate doggy room-service menu, tailored to his age, finishing with a dessert of peanut butter cookies or liver kisses. Then give him an in-room doggy massage that concludes with a light bath spritz before he crawls into his overstuffed dog bed.
Rates: Doubles from $249.
Dog Fee: $125—$25 of which is donated to the ASPCA.
LoewsCoronado Bay Resort, CA
Doggy Treats: While all Loews hotels have an established pet program, the Coronado gives its a SoCal twist, offering an organized surfing lesson, complete with doggy board shorts or a bandanna and a surf 'n' turf meal for your dog. (If he’s a natural, sign him up for the resort’s annual dog-surfing competition, held every June.)
Rates: Doubles from $289.
Dog Fee: $25.