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These Hotels Go Way Beyond Pet-Friendly
Pet-friendly hotels: this trend has been on the rise for years, to the delight of pet owners and their vacation-craving pets.
• See the difference between truly pet-friendly and faux-friendly hotel policies
• But today we're talking about hotels that take pet-friendliness to an extreme
Right Here, Right Now: Hotels with Their Very Own Pets
Yes, critters who live at the hotel. Sometimes inside, sometimes outside. You'll see what I mean.
Keep clicking (over 30 pics!) for the most adorable or unusual animals who ever saw a wheelie suitcase roll by.
Hotels with Pets: Giraffe Manor in Kenya
Our First Pet Hotel: When You Check Into a Place Called Giraffe Manor...
You have high hopes for spotting longnecks. And this safari lodge near Nairobi, Kenya does not disappoint.
• A herd of endangered Rothschild Giraffes have free rein over the 12-acre property, set within a 140-acre wildlife preserve
• The giraffes are gentle and perpetually on the lookout for hand-fed treats
• Giraffe Manor, an atmospheric 1930s-vintage hotel, is run on an all-inclusive basis, covering rooms, meals, nature activities, transportation, giraffe snacks, and more
• Luxury Travel's story on custom tour provider EJ Africa, which arranges stays at Giraffe Manor
Hotels with Pets: Iguanas at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya
Iguanas at Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya Resort in Mexico
This hotel's pets are not usually considered cuddly critters.
• Dozens of iguana lizards live on the property of Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, where the Yucatan jungle meets Mexico's Caribbean shore
• These iguanas are not shy like many lizards. They are lounge lizards... they hover near you like city pigeons, waiting for crumbs and handouts, as you dine outdoors on Zoetry's restaurant patios
• You may think an iguana has a crush on you, but it's more interested in your tortilla chips
• Another unusual aspect of Zoetry Riviera Maya: this rambling resort is set parallel to the ocean, and every suite is beachfront
• Here's Luxury Travel's story on Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya
• And our luxury guide to Mexico's irresistible Riviera Maya
Hotels with Pets: Gemini the Terrier at Delano Las Vegas
This Little Doggie Went to Vegas
Quite a few hotel pets are of the canine variety, and you will see some darling dogs on these pages. Here's Gemini: a Cairn Terrier who loves the Las Vegas hotel life.
• He belongs to a staffer at Delano Las Vegas, and spends regular nine-to-fives at the hotel
• When he's in residence, Gemini gets the run of the hotel lobby, greeting guests -- two-legged or four -- at the pet-friendly Delano Hotel
• Luxury Travel's story about this hip hotel connected to Mandalay Bay: Delano Las Vegas
Hotels with Pets: Birman Cats at Le Bristol in Paris
These Two French Felines Are Pure Parisian Chic
Le Bristol, a legendary five-star Paris hotel, is set in the heart of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré district, renowned for its fashion couture houses.
So you won't be surprised to hear that Le Bristol's house pets are two elegant purebred felines.
• They are Birman long-haired cats who, despite their rarity, are down-to-earth and welcoming to guests
• Kléopatra, at left above, is a female Lilac Point Birman; her Pharoah, Fa-aron, is a Red Point Birman
• More reasons to visit Paris (again)
Hotels with Pets: Giant Tortoises at Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles
Imagine Living 200 Years...These Pets Do
Frégate Island Private is a hotel jewel from the Oetker Collection, like Le Bristol in Paris. Frégate is a secluded getaway (on, yes, a private island) in the serene Seychelles.
It's also a pioneering nature sanctuary. Frégate Island shelters the world's second-largest population of Aldabra Giant Land Tortoises, native to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. These gentle creatures roam freely on the island, to the delight of guests.
• The species was rescued from extinction by dedicated biologists, and a healthy colony of over 2,000 tortoises now lives and breeds on Frégate Island
• These tortoises are epic: they can weigh 600 pounds and live over 200 years
• These miraculous creatures are only one reason why Luxury Travel writer Mia Ljungberg Nevado's fantasy hotel is Frégate Island Private
Hotels with Pets: Scarlet Macaw Parrots at Live Aqua Cancun
This Hotel's Staff Speaks English, But Its Pets...Spanish!
Live Aqua Cancun is a high-end all-inclusive resort that is emblematic of the new, upscale Cancun. The challenge for guests: there's too much to do, all included!
As guests rush from beach to spa, from pools to margaritas by sunset, many stop to have a chat...with a trio of talkative hotel residents.
• These scarlet macaws are uncaged, and enjoy Cancun's tradewinds in the open
• And they will look at you just as curiously as you observe them
• About's Birds Expert calls scarlet macaws "confident and friendly" and "extremely intelligent." But, she says, "they need daily socialization and stimulation so that they stay tame"
• Luxury Travel's story about Live Aqua Cancun
• And why all-inclusives are beloved by many luxury travelers
Hotels with Pets: Saint Bernard at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado
Not Just for Bachelors
In the 1800s, Bachelor Gulch was an accurately named mining settlement. Today, along with its neighboring town, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch is one of the Rocky Mountains' premier ski destinations.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a go-to for luxury travelers. And one can't-miss at this year-round resort is its resident Saint Bernard dog.
• Need you ask? His name is Bachelor
• But he loves company. Bachelor is on-property most days, greeting guests during afternoon check-in and hosting the sunset lighting of the firepit
• From About's Dogs Expert, a look at the Saint Bernard breed
• Here on Luxury Travel, more on the towns of Bachelor Gulch and Beaver Creek
• The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is at the top our list of the best hotels in town
• Find out more about it in Luxury Travel's story on The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch)
Hotels with Pets: Ace the Gyrfalcon at Lainston House near London
Why Are Falcons Such a Legend?
In centuries past, English royals and aristocrats hunted with gyrfalcons, who'd flush game birds out of the brush and trees. Gyrfalcons were so effective, they became potent status symbols in the British Isles and in Viking lands.
Falconry thrives as an English art. Guests at Lainston House, a 17th-century country mansion an hour south of London, can take falconry lessons with the resident falconer, and get to know his impressive birds. One is Ace.
• This Gyrfalcon, bred in 2003, flaunts a four-foot wingspan and piercing gaze -- and piercing talons, too
• Fun fact: the art of falconry spread from its origins in the Arabian Peninsula. It was introduced to the British Isles by Vikings, who occupied parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland from the 700s to the 1100s
• Are they raptors or birds of prey? About's Animals Expert on falcons
• Lainston House is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. See more SLH properties here
Hotels with Pets: Wilfred the Owl at Lainston House
Some Critters Are Too Cute to Skip
It was too hard to choose between Lainston House's birds of prey: Ace the gyrfalcon (previous page) and Wilfred the Northern Hawk Owl, shown here.
• This variety of owl is not your typical nocturnal "nightowl": it is a diurnal (daytime) owl, and also the fastest-flying owl
• True to their name, Northern Hawk Owls hunt like hawks, with superlative sight and hearing
• Wilfred, born in 2013, is a very playful young owlet: he will fly to you to take food from your hand, and let you carry him back to his perch
• What does a Northern Hawk Owl eat? Mainly mice, voles, and other small rodents
• Falconry and more: see why Lainston House, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, calls itself "the home of country pursuits in Hampshire"
Hotels with Pets: Horses at Las Alamandas on the Pacific Coast of Mexico
Las Alamandas is a legendary luxury getaway on Mexico's Pacific coast. It regularly wins awards of the "world's most romantic hotel" variety.
The resort has only 17 suites -- and seven horses in residence. They were all born and raised on the rambling property
Guests are invited to saddle these gentle, responsive equines for walks along the hotel beach or on longer rides to other private beaches -- all on Las Alamandas' private estate.
• See what defines a true luxury hotel such as Las Alamandas
Hotels with Pets: Yellow Puffer Fish at Four Seasons Bora Bora
An Adorable Pet for an Amazing Hotel
At Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora on French Polynesia's most fabled island, life revolves around the South Pacific's Tiffany-hued waters.
Naturally, the hotel pet at this dreamy resort is at home in the deep: an attention-loving, foot-long yellow puffer fish, Oa'oa.
• Can you tell by her face? Oa'oa means "happy"
• Everything is more colorful in Bora Bora; Oa'oa's species of puffer fish is brown everywhere else
• Oa'oa lives in the resort's Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, a thriving aquatic preserve masterminded by French marine biologist Olivier Martin
• The lagoon shelters myriad sea creatures including several large octopus, who come and go; Oa'oa is a homebody
• Resort guests are invited to snorkel in the Sanctuary, where Oa'oa is sure to find you
• On About Honeymoons: what it's like to stay at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Hotels with Pets: Water Buffaloes at Belmond Napasai in Thailand
What Are Water Buffaloes? Thailand's Graceful Cattle
Water buffaloes are a frequent sight in Southeast Asia. Still, you don't expect to encounter them at a gracious resort on deluxe Koh Samui island. Yet these gentle water buffaloes -- a mother and daughter -- make their home at Belmond Napasai.
How did this happen? Years back, a family of water buffaloes wandered onto the property, and guests and management quickly decided they were very nice to have around.
Namsai, a female, decided to stay.
• In 2010, Namsai gave birth to a baby buffalo girl
• Her name, Frapasai, was crowd-sourced on Facebook
• The two khwai (water buffalo in Thai) hobnob with pigs and chickens in Belmond Napasai's animal roost
• Their favorite things: grazing on sweet grass, greeting guests at the resort entrance, and being tickled behind the ears
Hotels with Pets: Sofie the Poodle at L'Auberge Del Mar in Southern California
This Pretty Poodle Is a Star of the SoCal Beach Scene
L'Auberge Del Mar, A Destination Hotel is set in one of coastal California's most scenic beach towns. And Sofie, the hotel's resident French Poodle, gets her share of admiring glances.
• Sofie was born on the Fourth of July, and dons red, white, and blue on her day
• Sociable Sofie is a local celeb who boogie-boards at Del Mar's Dog Beach and serves as a judge at the Helen Woodward Center's annual Puppy Love 5K benefit run
• Her good taste inspired a classy element of L'Auberge Del Mar's pet program: food and water bowls marked "Champagne" and "Caviar"
L'Auberge Del Mar is a member of a notably pet-friendly hotel brand.
• Here's Luxury Travel's story on Destination Hotels & Resorts
Hotels with Pets: Ghiga the Tuscan Boar at Castelfalfi in Italy
Wait, a Wild Pig as a Hotel Pet?
You've heard of Italian truffle pigs. Well, here's a Tuscan hotel boar.
• As a baby, she got lost, orphaned, or abandoned, and was found by Giovanni, the gamekeeper at the Castelfalfi resort
• He named her Ghiga and raised her. Hotel employees call her "Giovanni's fiancée"
• Ghiga is now a mother, which makes Giovanni a proud grandpa
Ghiga loves everyone, especially kids and anyone who scratch her tummy and ears.
• Her favorite food is crusty Tuscan bread warm from the oven
Castelfalfi is a unique resort that occupies a restored, 800-year-old Tuscan village, Montaione, in the "Golden Triangle" between Florence, Siena, and Pisa
• Like Ghiga, the town of Calstelfalfi had been forgotten -- and like her, thrives once again
• From About's Italy Travel Expert, more off-the-beaten-path places in Tuscany
Hotels with Pets: The Peabody Ducks at The Peabody Memphis in Tennessee
Memphis Celebrities? Elvis, B.B. King, and The Peabody Ducks
Along with Donald and Daffy, The Peabody Ducks are the most beloved waterfowl in the travel world. A small flock of Mallard ducks has lived at Tennessee's most renowned hotel, The Peabody Memphis, since the 1950s.
• Every day at 11 and at 5, their Duckmaster, Anthony Cane -- friend, keeper, feeder, manager -- marches the flock through the Grand Lobby on their way to a marble fountain
• The mallards love attention, and are unfazed by camera flashes
• The Peabody Ducks have been featured in The Tonight Show, Sesame Street, Oprah Winfrey, Jeopardy, People magazine, and Sports Illustrated -- in the swimsuit issue!
• And if you're a famous person, you're sure to get tapped as an Honorary Duckmaster
• Happy fact: the hotel's Chez Philippe is the only French restaurant in the world that does not serve duck
• Why luxury travelers are drawn The Peabody Memphis and other grand hotels
Hotels with Pets: Matilda the Ragdoll Cat at The Algonquin Hotel, NYC
Matilda the Cat, a Times Square Hotel Guest Since 1932
The Algonquin Hotel, ideally set on a quiet block near Times Square, is famed for the Algonquin Round Table: a daily luncheon of New York's literary set from the 1920s through 1940s. It was here that Dorothy Parker cracked, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."
Another institution at The Algonquin is its hotel cat. A feline has been in residence since 1932, when a stray wandered in the front door and stayed.
• Matilda, The Algonquin's current cat, was adopted from the North Shore Animal League in 2010
• Matilda is looked after by the hotel's CCO (Chief Cat Officer), Alice de Almeida, a title printed on her business card
• Matilda is a purebred Ragdoll cat, and is believed to have been born in 2004
• Says About's Cats Expert: they're fluffy and big (up to 25 pounds!) More on the Ragdoll feline breed
Hotels with Pets: Roger the Marmot at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, Canada
What's a Marmot? It's a Canadian Critter
Marmots are furry forest animals closely related to woodchucks and groundhogs. Roger the Yellow-Bellied Marmot at The Fairmont Empress on Vancouver Island, Canada, is an ambassador for his breed.
• Roger lives in the hotel's waterfront garden, with one of the best views of Vancouver Island's Inner Harbour
• A natural showoff, Roger likes guests to watch him snack on leaves, berries, and oatmeal from the hotel kitchen (as here)
• Roger isn't big on cold weather. From late October through March, he hibernates in a burrow, with over a dozen other marmots
• Fun fact about marmots: their distinctive vocalizations have earned them the nickname "whistlepigs"
• Fun facts about Fairmont Empress: it was built in 1908 to honor Queen Victoria, still serves Afternoon Tea daily, and is said to house two ghosts: a pretty little girl and a hotel chambermaid
• Luxury Travel's story about what makes the Fairmont hotel brand special
Hotels with Pets: Woody Meg the Black Lab at The Woodmark in Seattle
You'll be Welcomed by Woody Meg, This Hotel's Canine Concierge
You don't have to be dog lover to fall for this face! Woody Meg is a people-person Black Labrador. And a hotel service program rolled into one captivating canine package.
• This hard-working guest-greeter is found Mondays through Fridays in the Seattle lobby of The Woodmark, a Destination Hotel
• Woody Meg is the belle of the ball at The Woodmark's dog dates: its Yappier Hour parties and annual Halloween Muttmixer
• Labradors' fur occurs in black, chocolate and yellow. About's Dogs Expert with more on Labrador Retrievers
• Luxury Travel's story about The Woodmark's pet-friendly brand, Destination Hotels & Resorts
Hotels with Pets: Elephant at Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Thailand
Where In the World Is an Elephant a Pet?
Thailand is known for its luxury resorts -- and for its exotic animal life. The two come together in the roly-poly form of Koko, an Asian elephant who lives at Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Southern Thailand.
• This playful charmer is equivalent in age to a human kindergartner, and just as curious about his surroundings
• Koko spends an hour daily on the resort's oceanfront lawn with his full-time handler, called a mahout
• Koko loves to play with human youngsters and to give them rides
• Luxury Travel's story about the exquisite Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Hotels with Pets: Kimpton Hotels' Goldfish for Guests
If You Don't Bring a Pet to Kimpton Hotels, They Will Lend You Theirs
Kimpton is one of the USA's pet-friendliest hotel brands. Even so, not every Kimpton guest brings a pet. For them, many of Kimpton's 60 hotels offer the Guppy Love program: a beautiful goldfish, brought to your room.
• Guests report that the goldfish, swishing contentedly in its glass bowl, is a natural tranquilizer and sleep-inducer
• One Fortune 500 CEO was so charmed by his room goldfish, he requested that the bowl be set on the conference table at his big meeting to help his execs relax and focus
And if you do bring your own critter to a Kimpton hotel, the brand's pet policy is extraordinary:
"(We) invite you to bring your furry, feathery, or scaly family member — no matter its size or breed -- at no extra charge. If your pet fits through the door, it's welcome
• Kimpton Hotels are cozy and quirky: true to the definition of boutique hotels
Hotels with Pets: Monty and Jonas, Bernese Mountain Dogs at Montage Deer Valley
One of These Dogs Is Not Enough, So...
Park City has a lot of character: major ski slopes, dramatic Rockies scenery, and scandalous history (it was once an anything-goes mining settlement). Now Park City is a deluxe getaway and the home of the Sundance Festival and Institute.
The resident dogs at Montage Deer Valley resort in Park City are larger than life, too. They are super-sized Bernese Mountain Dogs, native to the Alps
• Jonas (left) was born in Bern, Switzerland (the breed's cradle) and Monty in Park City
• Monty and Jonas are an intrinsic part of Montage Deer Valley life, bringing canine joie de vivre to guests
• In this photo, they're Halloween-costumed for Park City's Howl-o-ween Parade: Jonas as a War Horse Charger, Monty as the King of Hearts
• From About's Dogs Expert, more about Bernese Mountain Dogs
• Bernese Mountain Dogs are a giant breed. "When they stand and put their paws on your shoulders, they are taller than six feet," says Luxury Travel writer, Park City-based Susan Kime
• Susan's story on the best places to eat in Park City
Hotels with Pets: Holstein Cows at Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, CA
California Cow at Belmond El Encanto, Black-Tie-Ready for the Red Carpet
Since 1919, Belmond El Encanto has been Southern California's glamorous getaway spot for well-dressed Hollywood types. Just like El Encanto guests, the hotel's Holstein dairy cow, Ellie, always looks photo-ready in her Ben & Jerry's-look black-and-white coat.
• El Encanto's chefs take "farm to table" seriously: Ellie supplies the hotel's acclaimed Ellie's Cheese
• Happy cows produce the tastiest cheese. Ellie gets massages, baths, and hoof pedicures
• She's a busy bovine: in 2014, Ellie bore a calf, now a member of the hotel's family. (Though he was named for the child hero of E.T., Elliott is camera-shy.)
• Luxury Travel's story on Belmond El Encanto
Hotels with Pets: Percheron Horses at Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Canada
Big Horses that Little Guests Adore
Fairmont Manoir Richelieu offers guests a lot: is a refined luxury resort with all the civilized trappings -- and a majestic natural setting along the St. Lawrence River in the unspoiled Charlevoix region of Quebec, Canada.
Among the Manoir's rustic pleasures is the chance to get to know the property's six Percheron horses.
• The equine team is all Canadian-bred, and live on-property in stables that guests can tour (bringing, the horses hope, a juicy apple or carrot)
• The steeds' names: Sultan, Prince, Black, Cody, Taiga, and Jack (shown)
• They have their own personalities; Jack loves to nuzzle little kids, and Prince is the spotlight-happy performer
• Percherons are a very large equine breed measuring up to seven feet tall at their withers, or shoulders -- with their long neck and head above that!
• Percherons don't mind pulling, and are very calm. This makes them ideal horses for carriage or sleigh rides, offered free of charge to hotel guests -- and you don't have to be a kid to climb aboard!
• From About's Horses Expert, more about Percheron horses
• Here on About Luxury Travel, more on the beloved Fairmont Hotels brand
Hotels with Pets: Bruno the Poodle at Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City
This Hotel Security Guard Is King of the Lobby
Bruno Lebrun is the Security Director at Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City, Canada. He holds onto his job though he frequently takes naps while on the hotel clock.
Bruno is a French Poodle who belongs to the hotel's owner.
• Bruno is often found (as here) in the hotel lobby's Café-Bar Artéfact, sharing the warm fireplace and cool nightly jazz with hotel guests
• Bruno is well suited to his job; About's Dogs Expert says French Poodles are "very smart" and "wonderful companions." More about poodles
• A richly historic and stylish boutique hotel, Auberge Saint-Antoine is Quebec City's only Relais & Chateaux property, and was named Canada's Top City Hotel by Travel + Leisure editors
• Luxury Travel's review of Auberge Saint-Antoine, a rare pet-friendly hotel in Quebec City
• Luxury Travel's good reasons to visit Quebec City
Hotels with Pets: Paul the Peacock at Capella Singapore
A Symbol of Elegance that Roams Around this Resort
Southeast Asia's Singapore is a dignified luxury travel destination known for spotless streets, food "hawker stalls," and imposing luxury hotels.
Set on a historic estate on the island of Sentosa, Capella Singapore is one of Singapore's most impressive hotels, with cascading pools overlooking the South China Sea.
Capella Singapore boasts a suitably opulent pet, a peacock named Paul.
• Paul has the run of Capella Singapore's 30 acres, posing regally for photo ops
• He has top billing at Capella Singapore, a five-star resort of 112 rooms (each with a private butler)
• Did you know that only male peacocks boast the breed's signature plumage?
• And that peacocks are the official bird of India, and also known as Indian Peafowl? More from About's Birding Expert on peacocks
• Here on Luxury Travel, find out more about deluxe Capella Hotels
Hotels with Pets: Carmen the Tabby Cat at Le Negresco in Nice, France
This Hotel Character Lives at the Bar
Le Negresco is the French Riviera's most famous hotel. It is fabled for its glamour, its celebrities, its priceless art collection...and for Carmen, its bar-loving cat.
Carmen showed up one day, like a guest. Unlike a hotel guest, she had no luggage. And she never left.
• Like some Le Negresco guests, Carmen spends most of her time in the hotel bar
• She likes to doze on a plush sofa, bathed in a ray of Mediterranean sunlight
• And does not complain about being petted or photographed
• Luxury Travel's description of the larger-then-life Le Negresco in Nice
Hotels with Pets: Coati at Viceroy Riviera Maya in Mexico
You May Never See This Strange Animal in the U.S.
No, that's not a raccoon. It's a coati (co-AH-tee), also called by its longer name coatimundi. Coatis are common in Mexico and Central America. And like the iguanas on page 2, they are abundant in areas where the jungle foliage meets the beach.
At Viceroy Riviera Maya in Mexico, an adults-only boutique hotel of 41 individual bohios (cottages), you'll see lots of honeymoon couples frolicking -- and coatis, too.
• Coatis are shy but become bold around food, and eat almost anything -- just like their North American raccoon cousins
• Coatis' geographical range is huge: from Arizona and New Mexico (where they're called "hog-nosed raccoons") all the way to Argentina
• Like hogs, coatis are vocal, and make grunting, snorting, and chirping sounds
• About's Exotic Pets Expert on coatis and why they're not good indoor pets
• Luxury Travel's story about this gracious, private-feeling luxury hotel set in the Mayan jungle, Viceroy Riviera Maya
Hotels with Pets: Carly & Catie Copley, Black Labs at Fairmont Copley Plaza
These Hotel Dogs Are Famous in Boston
Fairmont Copley Plaza is a Boston landmark overlooking historic Copley Plaza. The hotel's on-site Black Labrador dogs, Carly Copley (shown) and Catie Copley, are Boston institutions as well.
• Both Labs work five days a week, greeting and nuzzling guests and going for walks with them
• Carly was born in 2010 and adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston
• Her favorite thing: to ride on a rolling luggage trolley
• Catie entered the world in 2001 and started training as a guide dog, but her own eyesight wasn't quite sharp enough
• She is the subject of two children's books, Catie Copley and Catie Copley's Great Escape
• The dogs get frequent time off for visits to schools and libraries, where they guest-star in workshops on canine culture and care
• From The Seeing Eye, all about raising a guide-dog puppy (with a video)
Hotels with Pets: Swimming Pigs at Grand Isle Resort & Spa in the Bahamas
Oink-Oink, Everyone into the Water!
Deep in the Bahamas there's a secluded archipelago that feels like a remote island paradise. But it's only an hour's flight from Miami. Welcome to the Exuma Cays.
Its setting -- so close to the States, yet amidst a tropical wonderland -- is not the only surprise you'll encounter in the Exuma Cays.
At Grand Isle Resort & Spa on Great Exuma Island, you'll be sharing your beach and its crystalline waters with locals. And these Bahamians love to swim alongside guests.
Just don't mind if they oink at you: the island is home to a herd of swimming pigs.
• The splash-happy porkers love to jump the waves and back-float as much as you do
• And they're hungry for attention, so don't skimp!• These little piggies are the descendants of farm hogs who escaped to live the footloose island life
Grand Isle Resort & Spa is a popular topic on TripAdvisor.
• With 78 villas ranging from one bedroom to four, the resort is ideal for family getaways or romance
• Travel + Leisure called Grand Isle's Palapa Grill one of the Caribbean's best romantic restaurants and its SeaStar Spa one of the Bahamas' best spas
• Phone from North America: 305.351.0588