5 Unique Hotels for Pet Lovers

One of the things I love about traveling to a new place is the fact that I’ll see or do something I don’t get to do at home like ordering food in my rusty French or waking up in a hotel room that is completely different than any I’ve ever stayed in before. I’ve stayed in hostels and hotels that had some fun decorations, quirky staff, and themes and it adds to the vacation.

When you plan your next trip, finding a hotel based on budget is important but it is also great if you can find one that is fun! I hunted around and found some that appeal to the pet lover in me and hopefully to you too.

5 Unique Hotels for Pet Lovers

La Villa Hamster – Ever wondered what your hamster felt like jogging in that wheel? Or what it is like to drink from a water bottle with a tube? Well, now you can! In Nantes, France a very bizarre but cool hotel has rooms that resemble hamster cages. Sleep on haystacks, run in a big metal wheel, and suck water through a tube to a water bottle. It’s all very funky. Take pictures. Your friends won’t believe you.
Image from SpotCoolStuff

Dog Bark Park Inn is located in Cottonwood, Idaho and is one of the more bizarre hotels that exist. The inn is shaped like a Beagle. In fact, it is the World’s Biggest Beagle. Guests enter from a two story deck and inside there are many wood-carved pieces from local artists. The head of the beagle is another sleeping area for your kids or you and, of course, the Dog Bark Park Inn is pet-friendly.

The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge located in Eureka Springs, AR is a refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected Big Cats. There are tours everyday except Christmas and you can stay there! Yup, the refuge has lodging in cabins that are all very “wild” in their look and feel. Bamboo woodworking, wildlife art, and great views of the grounds make the trip to the refuge unforgettable. Not to mention meeting some beautiful big cats like lions, tigers, cougars, and cheetahs up close. This would be a great family vacation!

Going to Key Largo, Fl? Then think about staying at the Jules’ Undersea Lodge. Jules’ Undersea Lodge is the only underwater hotel in the United States. It is 30 feet deep on the ocean floor and guests have to scuba dive to get to their rooms. How awesome and weird is that?!

The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN is your normal looking, everyday, beautiful hotel. It doesn’t have hamster wheels, scuba diving hallways, or a wagging tail but it does have a red carpet for the ducks. Yes, the ducks. Not the people. Well, mallards to be exact. Five mallards waddle from the hotel’s fountain to its elevator and then back, across their very own red carpet twice a day. The ducks march through crowds…yes…crowds of onlookers to the tune of John Phillip Sousa’s King Cotton March.

No matter where you stay, remember to call and check the rates as they change depending on the season. Also, if you are going to travel with your pet, ask them what their policy is and what is allowed and not allowed.

Happy travels!

4 Cool Pet-Friendly Hotels with Awesome Amenities for Dogs

There are pet-friendly hotels that welcome dogs and hotels that encourage you to bring your dog on vacation. Many provide treats or a small “Welcome” package to your pets but there are a few out there that go above and beyond to make sure you and your dog spend some quality time together. They pamper your pup and make them feel like they are, well, on vacation too.

Here are 4 hotels with very cool amenities for your dog

If you find a lodging through our site, please tell them that petswelcome.com sent you!

  1. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch – located in Avon, Colorado, this hotel is the perfect place to stay when skiing is on your agenda. The lifts are just feet away from the hotel and there is a spa as well. You and your best buddy can parttake in the hikes available and end the day with a massage, for BOTH of you, as well as room service. The liver kisses are sure to make your dog happy.
  2. Madarin Oriental – located in Miami, Florida has a beauitful and lush asian motif. They even have ipads that you can use around the pool area so you can get some sun and check out what’s happening around town. As for your pup, well, they have a 25 lb. size limit but your dog can have a scheduled playdate, get some lessons from a dog trainer, and strut with a bathrobe or crystal-studded t-shirt. Does your dog need a walk while you’re out partying? Let the staff know and they will schedule that as well as a turn down service. Your dog will NEVER want to go home again.
  3. Top Notch Resorts – located in Stowe, VT, this resort and spa dogs are more than welcome here, they are pampered. Schedule a 30-minute, in-room doggie massage which is then followed with treats and even some advice if you have questions about modifying your dog’s behavior. There’s also a doggy tea-time, trails that your dog can explore with you, and if you are heading out for the evening and your dog needs some company, let them know and you’ll have a sitter who will give your dog TLC.
  4. Loews Coronado Bay Resort – located in San Diego, CA, this resort loves pets. Upon check-in your pup will receive a gift bag that has a tag, bowl, and treats. They also have doggie room service and a list of the local pet services available and places that you and your dog can explore together. If your pet needs a walk, let them know, and they’ll take care of that while you head out on your own for a little bit. Your pet will love the attention given by the staff here and may never want to leave.

No matter where you go with your pet, always make sure that the hotel you are choosing allows pets and review their policies. Don’t forget to have a copy of your pet’s vaccination records with you to show that s/he’s up to date and healthy. Also, always check that the information on the tags is current. Have a great trip!

Image from Top Notch Resorts

Glen Highland Farms: Pet-Friendly NY Getaway

Hey New Yorkers! It’s hot, really hot. Last weekend it was 97 degrees and humid. The subway stations feel like ovens, the sidewalks can fry an egg, and you and your dog are panting after walking one block to the local coffee shop to get an iced coffee.

A weekend away may be just the thing you need. There’s a great pet-friendly getaway located 4 hours outside of NYC near Utica, NY that promises fun, sunshine, and outdoor adventures called Glen Highland Farms.

>> Check out all your options for pet-friendly hotels in New York.

This dog friendly vacation spot is located in Morris, NY and was created especially for those of us who love to vacation with our pets. It’s located on 175 acres of land where you can camp, rent a tent, cabin, cottage, or RV spot. The land was once home to the Iroquois Indians. Now it’s a farm with a beautiful creek, lush wooded trails, lots of wildlife, and a 2 acre pond.

Canine Outdoor Adventure has two options for your stay at Glen Highland: Canine Country Camp or Canine Country Getaway.

The first one is called “Canine Country Camp.” You need to register early if you want to participate in the week long campout, the next dates are Sept 8-13, 2012. There are 35 spots open for each camping trip and the spots fill up quickly. The camping trip is not just fun, it’s also educational. During the week-long stay, instructors will be on hand offering tips and tricks on how to engage your dog in different types of play and lecture on topics such as canine health, nutrition, resolving behavior problems, and understanding your dog better.

Each day at the camp includes 3 meals, a morning and afternoon lecture, a group walk through one of the many trails, and opportunities to sign up and participate in sporting sessions. If your dog seems to have a knack for climbing, likes herding, or is a natural born jumper, these classes will give you and your dog the opportunity to run agility courses, herd, or rally and work with an instructor one on one to learn how to do it properly. Is your dog a water dog? Yeah, they have classes for that too.

The camp fee is $1300 per adult. It includes all meals and instructions with teachers. The cost of the lodging will vary depending what you choose: tent, cabin, or RV. All dogs who visit Glen Highland Farm must be up to date with vaccines and proof is required for each dog that visits.

The second option is called, “Canine Country Getaway.” This option is for shorter stays. You and your dog can sign up for training sessions and/or lectures at an additional cost and use the agility equipment anytime of the day. The trails that run throughout the farm were created from the owners’ dogs who ran around when they first bought the land.

Hike, run, explore, and swim in the ponds, check out the 60 acre meadow or fish. The pond is stocked with trout and bass for catch and release fishing. Bring your bike if you want to ride one of the many mapped bike trails outside of the farm. Being located at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, there are amazing beautiful, breathtaking views that you’ll want to photograph.

Remember to bring your own food which can be purchased the local grocery store in Morris or on your way up, enough food and treats for your furry buddy, and other items for your stay such as bedding, toiletries, and good sneakers. The season for staying at Glen Highland started on June 1 and runs through October 8, 2012. There is a 2 night minimum stay.

The prices start at $135 a night for a tent, $175 a night for a cabin, and $225 a night for a cottage. RV prices vary by the size and if you bring your own.

The vacation spot is owned by Lillie Goodrich and John Andersen. They were inspired by their first Border Collie, Luke, where dogs could enjoy off-leash fun, run far and wide, and love life. Glen Highland Farm is not just a vacation spot, Sweet Border Collie Rescue is also here. It has been in operation since 2001. The dogs rest and live in a 200 year old barn and run through the grassy fields, play with each other, and wait for their new forever homes. Lillie and John have placed over 900 dogs in new homes since they have started their rescue work. You may see some of these pups running around and your dog could make a lot of new friends.

To book your stay and more information, head over to their website.

Photo from Glen Highland Farms, Canine Outdoor Adventures

What’s The Most Pet-Friendly Place You’ve Ever Stayed In?

We love our pets. We love your pets too!

We want to know as you head off on adventures with your favorites furry buddy or winged companion, in what accommodation did you receive the best service and most importantly, how was your pet treated?

Cast Your Vote On Facebook

We are asking for feedback from PetsWelcome readers about the most pet-friendly places you’ve stayed. Please vote in our Facebook poll, and add a place if it isn’t on the list.

It only takes a minute and your vote contributes to helping everyone figure out where they may stay on their next road trip.

And hey, if you’re not already a fan of PetsWelcome on Facebook, why not join us there, too? We share tidbits about pet travel (and some pretty adorable animal photos) there that don’t make it onto the blog. We’d love to see you there!

Here are a few pet-friendly accommodation options we’ve spotlighted in previous articles:

Image from Best Western in Savannah, GA

On the Road

We’re planning a road trip from Connecticut to North Carolina in the next month or so, and we’re taking our two dogs, Lola and Charlie (yes we know about the kid’s show, Charlie and Lola, which is why I reversed their names here). Lola is a 12 1/2 year old Gordon Setter and Charlie (4 years old) is everything else, with long lashes that’ll make most women weep with jealousy.

When Chris and I started petswelcome.com, it was so we could find pet-friendly lodgings for ourselves and our pets and other pet owners—and 15 years ago there were only a comparative handful. Now we have almost 35,000 pet-friendly venues throughout the world.

We’re taking our laptop (and smartphones) along so we can always find a pet-friendly hotel on www.petswelcome.com.  In addition, we know if there’s a problem with one of the dogs, we can always consult our list of Emergency Vets along the way.

Our final planning will be to consult our Search by Route application on our site. All you have to do is put in your Departure city and your Destination city, and not only will it plot your trip on a map, the pet-friendly hotels will show up along the route. Our first stop will likely be Washington, DC and we’ve already found a number of available pet-friendly hotels there.

But first things first: What do we take with us to make sure our pets are safe and healthy? Here’s a partial list that everyone can use.

  • Identification on their collars, including name and contact numbers.
  • If your pet has a microchip, make sure it’s updated with your current contact information.
  • Medical Records including their current conditions and any medicines you’ll need.
  • If you have a proof of vaccinations (especially Rabies), take that along with you.
  • Collar and leash
  • Crate, if your pet still needs one.
  • Bedding and/or blankets, and towels for those rainy days or swimming in a lake.
  • Combs and brushes and other grooming supplies.
  • Toys (don’t forget that on a long trip, they’re going to get bored.
  • Food (dry and/or canned), along with their bowls. We take a mat along to go underneath the water bowls to keep the floors dry.
  • Dog ramp. Lola has trouble jumping into the back of our SUV, so I have to lift her into it. The ramp we have weighs more than she does so I’m looking for a lightweight one. (Any suggestions?)
  • Water for the car trip. We used to bring water from home when we traveled so they’d have familiar water, but as soon as we reached our destination, they’d jump into the lake, or start sipping from a puddle.
  • Appropriate first-aid kit. We have long-haired dogs so we make sure we have tweezers for those pesky ticks.
  • Don’t forget those monthly items like Heart Guard or Frontline, or whatever other protection you use.

This is just a partial list, and you have to take whatever makes sense for your dog (or cat). Hopefully we’ll have room for our own luggage—although in the last several years we only take carry-ons. (More about that in another blog.)

As we travel, I’ll try to blog about where we are and what we’re doing, and about how the dogs are enjoying the trip.

If you have suggestions about what to take with you when taking a road trip, let us know. We welcome your feedback.

Dog Friendly: Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is a beach city in southern San Luis Obispo County and has adopted the name of “Clam Capital of the World.” Every October the city holds a clam festival with food competitions and a clam-themed parade. It’s a great place to getaway from the day to day and even better, you can bring your pup!

The Cliffs Resort is located at 2757 Shell Beach Road and rates start at $180 a night. They allow up to two dogs of any size and weight to stay for $50 a pet. They even have a pet amenities package that comes with a pet bed, some treats, and a water bowl. The resort is located on a cliff 150 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The resort is 1 mile from the beach and each room has a patio or balcony to take in the view. The dog beds are big and fluffy, the room service even includes a menu for your pup, and there are puppy play rooms located in the resort for your dog to make some new friends. Your pet must be up-to-date with vaccines so don’t forget to bring a copy of your last vet visit with vaccine dates on it and make sure your dog has ID on her/his collar at all times. When making your reservation, let them know that you will be bring your dog.

For more information call (805) 773-5000.

Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa is a boutique hotel that will treat you like royalty located at 2727 Shell Beach Road. It has luxury rooms that are spacious with walk-in closets, dining rooms, and a spa that will help you get those stress tension muscle knots out. Your best buddy is welcome with an extra fee of $65 a night. Rates change depending on the season and timing, so check when making a reservation. Your pet will be spoiled while at Dolphin Bay with their own fluffy pet bed, water bowl, and special treats. While your dog is in common areas, they ask that s/he be on leash and not in the rooms when housekeeping is replacing towels and tidying up.

For more information and to reserve a room call (805) 773-4300.

Sandcastle Inn is located at 100 Stimson Ave with rates starting $140 a night. They allow up to 2 dogs of any size or weight for an additional $20 a night per pet. There are a limited number of pet rooms available, so definitely call and make a reservation. It’s a nice quiet hotel that is near several activities such as golf courses, restaurants, horseback riding, near wineries, and surfing. There is a fitness center located in the resort and it’s a great beach hotel. Dogs are allowed on the beach and in common areas as long as they are on leash. They also have a daily continental breakfast. If you’re looking for a quaint stay where you can keep it simple, this is the place!

For more information and to reserve a room call (805) 773-2422.

Photo courtesy of Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa

Pet Friendly Getaways in California

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to either get out of the cold or are itching to bust out that snowboard, there are plenty of great pet-friendly places in California to stay. When traveling with your pet, make sure to bring a pet emergency kit, updated ID tags, food, a few toys, and a copy of your pet’s vaccines. Many guest houses and hotels have policies that ask that your dog be fully vaccinated, friendly, and well-behaved. Also, don’t forget to clean up after your dog when taking her for a walk or hike.

Tahoma Bed and Breakfast is in Tahoma California and is a great place for summer or winter. It is located at 6821 West Lake Blvd. You can go snow shoeing and skiing during the winter and relax in a hot tub afterwards. In the summer, enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, and biking the mountain trails. When making a reservation, mention that you have a pet. There is a pet fee of $20 a night and they ask that your pet not be left alone in the cottages unless they are crated. All pets receive a welcome basket that has some treats and poop bags. There are plenty of fun trails to hike on with your pup and after 6pm your dog is allowed to run around on the beachfront. For more information visit their website http://www.tahomameadows.com/ or call 530-525-1553.

Pine Haven Cabin is a great place to stay and let your dog run around in Julian, Ca. at 2802 Three Peaks Lane. It’s a cabin that is surrounded and fenced in on 1.25 acres of land. Your dog can run around off leash, enjoy the mountain getaway, and then nap in front of a fireplace when the day is over. The owners are dog crazy and welcome guests with their furry friends with open arms. They ask that your dog be full vaccinated, well-behaved, and there is a $40 pet fee. Your dog will love the open space and may find some of the hidden toys that are around the area. It can be a great, safe, trip for everyone. For more information visit their website at http://www.pinehavencabin.com/index.htm or call 760-726-9888.

Cambria Shores Inn can be found at 6276 Moonstone Beach Drive in Cambria, Ca. and is one of the most pet friendly getaways around. They have a VIP program for your pup that includes a welcome basket of treats and a cover that you can put on the bed so your furry buddy can sleep on there without shedding on the covers. It’s close to the beach and they have a list of pet friendly restaurants for you so you don’t have to leave Max at home. The rooms are kept clean, the staff is friendly, and they love dogs. When you make your reservations make sure to let them know you’re bring your buddy. There is an additional pet fee and you may want to see if they have any seasonal package deals depending on the time of your vacation. For more information visit their website http://cambriashores.com/.

Logo courtesy of http://cambriashores.com/

Pet Friendly Places To Stay In Asheville, NC

Asheville is the largest city in western North Carolina and is home to the US Climatic Data Center. If you’re heading to Asheville, be sure to check out the downtown area for shopping and the eclectic street musicians and entertainment. Bring your pup too because there are some great places to stay that are pet friendly.

Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast Inn is located at 46 Cumberland Circle and has rooms that start at $165 a night plus a pet fee of $15 a night. They do not have a weight, size, or breed restriction but do require that your dog be up-to-date with vaccines and friendly. So don’t forget to bring a copy of the dates of your pet’s last vaccines with you. When you make the reservation let them know that you’ll be bringing your dog. This inn has been around since 199s and has 8 suites that come with LCD tvs, queen or king sized beds, and has a beautiful garden for you to walk around and explore. It’s also a short drive to the national parks and south of Asheville Biltmore College. To reserve a room please call: 1-800-251-2454 or visit their website: http://www.abbingtongreen.com/.

Whispering Pines Motel is located at 140 Smokey Park Highway and has pet friendly rooms. However, they only allow small dogs and you must reserve your room and let them know in advance that you are bringing your favorite furry friend. It’s just a few minutes drives to downtown Asheville and close to museums, shopping areas, and ski areas. The hotel offers free wireless internet and free parking. All the rooms have tv, coffee and tea, and a small microwave. To reserve a room and check their rates which start at $50 a night, please call: 1-877-411-3436.

1889 White Gate Inn and Cottage is located at 173 E. Chestnut Street and welcomes dog of any size, weight, and breed. Rooms start at $199 a night plus a pet fee. Dogs cannot be left alone in the suites unless they are crated so don’t forget to bring your crate, some treats, and your pup’s favorite toy. There is a lovely garden area where you can take a walk but don’t forget the bag to clean up after your pup and s/he must be on leash at all times. This bed and breakfast inn is a great getaway for a long weekend where you can take a soak in a hot tub or jacuzzi. To reserve a room please call: 1-800-485-3045 or visit their website: http://www.whitegate.net/.

A Hidden Gem in Vermont

Many years ago, when New York Magazine was still in its infancy, I had a business luncheon with one of their editors. We went to a wonderful little restaurant, located upstairs on Second Avenue above a bank of stores. As we ordered, the restaurant slowly filled up, but was never crowded. And the food was delicious. Those were the days when I would have been called a “foodie,” if that term existed back in the late ‘60s, and I recognized that this was a very unique place. I asked the editor why the magazine hadn’t reviewed this restaurant, since most of the staff ate there on a continuing basis. He said, “Once we review a restaurant, everybody comes, and we won’t be able to get in anymore.”

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to tell you about my favorite pet-friendly place in Vermont—North Cove Cottages. Fortunately, I’m good friends with the owner, Karen Rockow, and even if everyone flocks to her cabins in Spring, Summer, or Fall (there are only a few winterized cabins), our family won’t get shut out. We’ve been staying there since our daughter was a toddler (and she’s now in college).

North Cove Cottages is located on beautiful Lake Dunmore, which is a quick 10 miles outside of Middlebury, VT. There are 11 housekeeping cottages of varying sizes. During the summer there are a number of teachers who come with their families, while they are studying for various graduate degrees at Breadloaf Workshop, part of Middlebury College. They’re normally there for the 7-week summer session.  And then there are the loyal returnees of all professions, ages, and interests.

Every cabin has a picnic table and barbecue in addition to full kitchens complete with pots, pans, dishes and glasses so you don’t have to cook outside if you don’t want to.  And of course there is a great selection of restaurants in Middlebury, Brandon, or up north to Burlington.  The cottages range in size from three to seven rooms and can sleep up to five people. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and watching the sun reflect off the lake as a family of ducks slowly glides by.

Down the road is a general store, so whatever small things you need—they’re available. Middlebury (up Route 7) has two large supermarkets, a movie theater, and plenty of other shopping, including a wonderful bookstore and several gift stores. It’s about a 40 minute ride north to Burlington, if you want to spend a day shopping or visiting someone at the University of Vermont or even visiting the Shelbourne Museum and Farm. There’s nearby skiing if you venture there in the winter. There’s occasional theater in the summer in Middlebury and Weston. There are a number of restaurants in town and nearby, and you can golf on the Middlebury College Golf Course, which is open to the public.

The highest recommendation comes from our dogs. They love the place. Lola and Charlie are free to wander, especially since I know that they’ll come immediately if I call them. Many people bring their dogs—all sizes and shapes, and some are leashed, some run free. As we get out of the car when we arrive for the week, Lola immediately heads for the lake. Charlie, on the other hand, approaches cautiously, dips his toes in and then retreats to lie in the sun. On constant patrol is Karen’s Yellow Lab, Widget, who just wants her belly rubbed and is the unofficial welcome committee. And there are always a number of other dogs there, large and small. It is truly a pet-friendly place. We’ve also been getting our exercise by walking the dogs on the Middlebury College campus, and then enjoying a cup of coffee and a roll at the local Otter Creek Bakery.

If you’re interested in a week-long summer vacation with your pet, or just a long weekend to enjoy either the fall foliage or a few days on the slopes, visit the North Cove Cottages. It will undoubtedly become an annual tradition for you, your family, and your pet!

Pet Friendly Hotels in San Diego

Taking a trip to San Diego to get some sun and fun? If you’re planning on bringing your best furry buddy and need a place to stay, try one of these hotels. They are pet friendly, have some great amenities, and some charge no extra fee or a small fee.

The Sofia Hotel Downtown
150 West Broadway
San Diego, Ca

The Sofia Hotel Downtown is a pet friendly hotel that charges a nightly fee of $25 per pet. There is no weight restriction or limit to the number of pets per room. It has a yoga center, a bistro and bar, fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning services, and meeting rooms. It’s a nice chic hotel with a friendly staff. They may even have some treats for your best buddy.

Rates start at $105 a night plus the pet fee. Reservations: (800) 826-0009.

Solamar A Kimpton Hotel
435 6th ave
San Diego, Ca

This hotel is in downtown San Diego and is a hip, luxury hotel right in the Gaslamp district. They offer spa treatments, a fitness facility, and a wine hour. It’s a great spot for you, your pup, and close to a pet store and the convention center in case you are going for work and not play. They do not have a weight restriction or size restriction for your pet, nor do they limit the number of pets per room. However, they do ask that you tell them you are bringing your pet when making your reservation. You can even opt for a pet package that has a walk, some toys, food, a massage, and/or grooming for an additional fee.

Rates start at $175. Reservations: (877) 230-0300.

Vagabond Inn Point Loma
1325 Scott Street
San Diego, Ca

This hotel is located on America’s Cup Harbor at the entrance to Shelter Island. It serves a continental breakfast every morning along with the newspaper. Vagabond has a heated swimming pool, cable tv, and some rooms have kitchenettes. It’s pet friendly and doesn’t have a restriction on weight, size, or number of pets per room. There is an additional pet fee of $10.00 a night. They do not have special pet packages, and ask that you do not leave your pet unattended for long spans of time, but it is a quiet and clean hotel for you and your furry friend to stay.

Rates start at $70 a night. Reservations: (619) 224-3371.

Photo courtesy of The Sofia Hotel Downtown.