Many pet owners see little ‘Fluffy’ or ‘Duke’ as fully bona fide members of the family and, as such, appropriate fellow travelers when going for a little vacay− whether an overnighter, a weekender or a two-weeker.
At least 37 percent of pet owners, according to a recent study by the American Pet Products Association, hit the road with their pets in tow, nearly double the number from 10 years ago. And, just like many parents doting on their children, these folks want to pamper their pets and make sure they are as comfortable as can be during a trip.
Hotels have made doing that increasingly easier in recent years. Several chains are well known as being pet friendly chain-wide – Loews, Westin, Kimpton, Affinia and W – are among them.
Here is a handy-dandy sampling of some of the best pet-friendly hotels across the U.S.:
1 Resort Drive, Savannah, Georgia, 912-201-2000, 888-627-8457
Just as weary humans get to enjoy the well-known Westin Heavenly Bed Experience, so too do their pets. The Westin Heavenly Dog Bed is a handsome, plush affair your pets are sure to appreciate at this pet-friendly chain. A mat, water and food bowls are also provided, and a "visiting pet' door hanger lets staff know there are very special guest staying in your room. Doggie travelers are welcomed with a plastic bone filled with clean up baggies and, at many Westin properties, the valets offer Milk-Bone dog treats to incoming canine guest. A customized Westin dog bone is offered to guests with upper-tier service.
W Hotel French Quarter, 316 Chartres Street, New Orleans. 504-581-1200, 888-627-8260
All W Hotels participate in the boutique chain's popular Pets Are Welcome (PAW) program, though exact amenities vary a bit. If your best friend weighs 40 pounds or less, he or she gets a comfy bed and a turn-down treat at all properties. W Hotel French Quarter staff will also take you dog for a nice stroll. A $25 per day fee and a $100 non-refundable cleaning fee are required for pet at W’s.
1001 Dr., Farmington, Pa., 866.344.6957, 724-329-9663,
Guests who stay in the Select Two-Bedroom Townhomes at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which sits on 2,000 acres in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania, may bring their bestie animal in with them. Nemacolin visitors staying in any of the resort's other various lodging options may arrange for their favorite tail-wagger to stay in their own special abode in Nemacolin Wooflands Pet Care Center for an additional charge. Woofland is an award-winning full-service pet resort that features doggie daycare, including supervised outdoor play with other appropriately sized dogs. Wooflands also has a doggie spa and a training center.
The Jefferson, 1200 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-448-2300, 877-313-9749
Lord Monticello, otherwise known as Monti, is the Executive Canine Officer at The Jefferson, downtown D.C's swanky boutique hotel with Monticello-esque elements and original documents signed by the third president of the U.S. All canine guests get a chance to meet Monti and are furnished with a bed, bowls and treats. Check with the concierge for recommendations for D.C.'s dog-friendly environments. A one-time cleaning fee of $50 per dog, per stay is required.
Shelburne NYC-an Affinia Hotel, 303 Lexington Ave. at 37th Street, New York. 212-689-5200, 866-233-4642,
Another chain with a pet-friendly program at all its properties, Affinia's Shelburne NYC has an elegant, artsy neighborhood vibe in Midtown East's Murray Hill area. The VIPaws pet-friendly hotel program provides, for $50, an oversized pet bed, food and water bowls, rope toys for dogs and a toy for cats, treats and dog stairs. The Shelburne is a great option for those traveling by train as it's less than a mile from Grand Central Station.
Hyatt Regency Boston, One Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, 617-912-1234
Some Hyatt Regency hotels are quite pet friendly. Guests may bring up to two dogs, as long as their combined weight is less than 75 pounds, to Hyatt Regency Boston, where they can meet Remi, a Boston Terrier who serves as a kind of canine ambassador for the hotel. Lobster treats are offered to doggie guests, along with a letter of welcome. The cost is $100 for one-to-six-night stays.
Thompson Chicago, 21 E. Bellevue Place, Chicago, 312-266-2100
The Thompson Chicago is truly one of the very best hotels for pets. There is no additional fee and no limitations on how many or on their size – Great Danes and chihuahuas are equally welcome. An upgraded room package – the Very Important Pup package – includes a dog bed, dog toys, dog bones, coupons for a pet accessories store in the city, a "Pets in the City" guide to Chicago and a ceramic food and water bowl for your pet you can take home.
Ritz Carlton St. Louis, 100 Carondelet Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri
If you feel up to “puttin' on the Ritz” in the Midwest, The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, like most Ritz properties, offers hotel accommodations for pets. But, being the Ritz after all, they allow only "well-mannered" dogs and cats, weighing 25 pounds or less, must be either leashed or held in common areas. The $125 pet fee is for clean-up costs.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco, 1101 4th Ave., Seattle, Washington, 206-621-1770, 800-715-6513.
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is one good example of the Kimpton chain's exceptional pet-centric approach. Unlike many pet-friendly hotels, Kimptons have no size or weight limit, no limit on the number of pets allowed and no additional charge for pets. The Kimpton amenities include plush pet beds, mats, food and water bowls. Plus, there's a nightly wine reception for the two-legged guests and their pets.
Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, California, 310-458-6700, 877-879-4401.
Loews Hotels touts itself as "the first national hotel chain to launch a pet program.” The Loews Loves Pets program began in 2000 and includes a welcome letter from the general manager, pet room-service gourmet menu items for dogs and for cats, as well as rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles. Items like specialized bedding, leashes, collars and litter boxes are also part of the deal, as are amenities such as dog-walking route maps, pet placemats, water bowls and treats. Loews charges a $100 fee and limits the number of pets to two.