Hotels That Really Roll Out the Red Carpet for Pets
PetSmart Terry McManus / PetSmart
Several years ago, when my wife and I were moving from Chicago to Phoenix, we took our Schnoodle, Cash, for his first extended road trip. Somewhere in Oklahoma, we had to check into a hotel for the night. The first couple of places we inquired about did not take pets; so, thoroughly wiped out from driving, we made a command decision: sneak Cash into the third hotel - also pet-hostile.
Inside the car, my wife put a blanket around Cash and slung him on her shoulder, as if carrying an infant, and we dashed about 20 yards into the hotel room. If our bundle of joy barked or otherwise let on that he was very much a dog, well, we’d have to deal with the shame and possible banishment from the premises. Amazingly, we got away with our little stunt, even managing to walk Cash outdoors late at night. Even so, this was not the shining moment in our marriage, and we felt like idiots for our sloppy planning.
Please, don’t do what we did. Innkeepers have their reasons for keeping pets out of their rooms, and Pet Parents should respect them. Fortunately, plenty of chains and individual hotels can accommodate you. Here’s a sampling:
Although most hotel chains will take pets for a fee, only a few cater to people who travel with their four-legged buddies. Kimpton, an upscale “boutique” chain with roughly 50 hotels located mostly in larger North American cities, really throws out the red carpet for pets. Its Hotel Palomar Arlington, near Washington, D.C., for example, offers the Paws Pet Package, which includes a pet bed, treats, a personalized pet tag and a toy to take home—all for $299 a night.
You won’t necessarily find the same offering at Kimpton hotels in San Francisco or Chicago, though.
Fortunately, each Kimpton hotel displays an online “menu” of its pet-related services. Depending on the locale, you may find dog-walking services, dog food, and directions for finding dog parks, doggie-treat bakeries, dog and cat massages and even pet-friendly restaurants in the area.
Loews Hotels also embraces the pet lifestyle. The chain offers a standardized "Loews Loves Pets" program at its 16 locations across the U.S. and in Canada, although each location reserves the right to say no to what they consider aggressive breeds. (Call ahead to find out if your dog falls into this special category.)
Guests receive a welcome note from the general manager with a listing of the property’s pet services, which include dog-walking routes, veterinarian information, pet shop and grooming locations, pet attractions, pet-sitters, pet-friendly restaurants, and other resources. It’s also comforting that rooms for guests staying with pets undergo special cleaning procedures, such as the use of specially filtered vacuums to remove pet allergens.
Need more information before you hit the road? Here are five Web sites that will help you research hotels, campgrounds and other locales that welcome pets.