These dog-friendly hotels not only cater to your pup, they roll out the red carpet!
Struggling to find vacation spots that are truly dog-friendly? Melissa Halliburton, the editor of "Ruff Guide to the United States" and the owner of the dog travel directory BringFido, struggled to find dog-friendly hotels when traveling cross-country, as many hotels lacked pet policy information.
When choosing a vacation destination now, Halliburton looks for what she calls the "trifecta of pet friendliness ... great place to stay, play and eat," with plenty of options for her dogs. "I always look for destinations that offer a variety of attractions and outdoor dining establishments," says Halliburton.
Brad Waggoner, a dog trainer and the owner of Cold Nose College, looks for hotels with grass commons, complimentary waste bags and receptacles and lower pet fees. Waggoner prefers to stay in dog-friendly hotels even when not traveling with his pups. "I want to reward those facilities who are open to having pets," he says.
This list of five awesome dog-friendly hotels takes traveling in style to a new level. Not only do these hotels allow you and your pooch to stay comfortably, they've also created a five-star experience for your dog:
- Fairmont (Washington, D.C.)
Your dog will be greeted with a healthy treat, prepared by an executive pastry chef, as well as bottled water and a place mat. If you opt for the"It's a Dog's World Package," five percent of your room rate will be donated to the Washington Animal Rescue League. Pets stay at no additional charge.
You can get a special sign for your door -- the green paw means, “Please service room, animal companion exploring city.” If you flip it to the side with the red paw, it means, “Do not disturb, animal companion napping," and Spot can slumber on.
- Hotel Burnham (Chicago)
On first sight, Hotel Burnham seems too good to be true, boasting a pet-friendly policy with no size or weight restrictions and no additional charge. When you look at the details, Hotel Burnham just gets better! Your dog will be given a treat at check-in, and your room will be outfitted with a dog bed, food and water bowls with a dining mat.
Yes, turndown service is available for your pooch, and if you've forgotten any pet care products, Hotel Burnham offers a range of pet travel essentials. Dog walking and sitting services can be arranged through the concierge.
- Hotel Monaco (Philadelphia)
Hotel Monaco boasts a resident director of pet relations, a Yorkie/silky terrier mix named Mr. Hershey Diego, who greets guests at check-in and tests all pet amenities to make sure your dog has the best stay. Your dog receives his own bed, food and water bowls, plus a leash and waste bags for walks downtown. A concierge is on staff to assist with booking pet sitting, walking and grooming services.
- Loews Coronado Bay Resort (San Diego)
One of Halliburton's top four hotel stays, Loews Coronado Bay hosts a surf dog competition with Unleashed by Petco. Fun activities are just one of the many amenities Loews Coronado Bay offers dogs, part of their Loews Loves Pets program. Your dog receives a welcome package, including treats, a name tag and bowls. Your dog will settle in nicely, with his own bed and a room service pet menu (yes, pet room service!). Loews Coronado Bay will also assist you in locating dog walking routes, pet sitting or walking services and area pet-friendly restaurants.
- The Driskill (Austin)
Texas hospitality extends to your dog at The Driskill in Austin, Texas! The Driskill offers a Pampered Pet Program, where your dog will be treated to his own bed, bowls, place mat, bottled water and gourmet treats. Guests venturing out with dogs are provided recycled waste bags and a pet map of Austin, featuring dog-friendly spots.
Before You Travel
Two additional tips Waggoner offers is that pet owners should travel with their pet's vaccination records and should have their cell phone number printed on the dog's tag. "A home phone is no help if you and your pet are separated and you're traveling!" he points out.
Waggoner suggests you ask yourself if your dog is ready to travel and is comfortable meeting new people and exploring new places. If not, Waggoner says that it may be better -- for both you and your dog -- to leave him at home. But if everyone's ready, by the end of your trip, you'll be jealous of your pooch's special treatment!
For more on travel, check out these Tips for Traveling with Dogs.
Lauren B. Stevens is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia with her family, and while she's never owned a dog, she's been a pet sitter for them on many occasions. When she's not writing for work, Lauren talks about all things parenthood on her blog, lo-wren.