What Should a Pet-Friendly Hotel Do for You & Your Dog or Cat?

  • 01 of 04

    Will Your "Pet-Friendly" Hotel Turn out to Be Faux-Friendly?

    Cute dog at Delano Las Vegas Hotel
    ©MGM Resorts International

    Truly Pet-Friendly Hotels Let You and Your Pet Enjoy Your Room

    Plenty of us luxury hotel guests require a pet-friendly hotel -- a dog-friendly hotel or cat-friendly hotel -- in order to accommodate a particular, extremely valued family member.

    We proceed in the hope that our hotel's pet-friendly policy is honestly friendly and welcoming. A sincerely pet-friendly hotel:   

    Does not levy an inflated "one-time housekeeping fee" -- sometimes as high as $250 -- on pet-owning guests.

    A sincerely pet-friendly hotel does not charge an outlandish daily pet fee, which can be $100+ per diem, and sometimes on top of the housekeeping fee.

    A sincerely pet-friendly hotel does not apply restrictive conditions on your pet or on you. (The usual such rule: that you cannot leave your pet alone in your room, and must hire and pay for the hotel's pet-sitter. Another demand: that the pet is kept in its carrier when you're out of the room.)

    Does not segregate you from the non-pet guests, and house you in the hotel's "Siberia." (At one Florida Keys resort, the pet-friendly accommodations are four blocks from the main hotel).

    Does not turn a cold shoulder on cats, and permit only dogs.

    And the ultimate pet-friendly hotels... are hotels that love pets so much, they have their own! See 29 adorable animals in TripSavvy's Hotels with Pets slideshow.

    Next: how to find a hotel paradise for your and your furry friend

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    How to Read Between the Lines & Find a Truly Pet-Friendly Hotel

    Siamese cats at pet-friendly hotel Le Square Phillips in Montreal
    ©Karen Tina Harrison

    Several Ways to Find a Truly Pet-Friendly Hotel

    If you do some homework, you and your pets will share a better vacation.

    One: A tried-and-true pet-friendly hotel brand. Go with a hotel brand that has made a strategic commitment to true pet-friendliness. The following hotel brands welcome pets with open paws (no housekeeping charge; negligible restrictions; and a per-diem pet fee not exceeding $25): Westin Hotels (expect a critter-sized Westin Heavenly Bed);
    Loews Hotels (expect a doggie, I mean goodie, bag for your pooch); Kimpton Hotels and sister brands Monaco and Palomar Hotels (they put zero restrictions or fees on pets, and furnish amenities like dedicated concierges and lobby treats).

    Two: Surf the Web. Check out various online directories (and mobile apps) of pet-friendly hotels.
    Some are merely bulletin boards for pet ads, but others, such as thejetsetpets.com, deliver real information.

    Three: Investigate the pet policy by calling the hotel. No matter what you glean from a hotel's website or an online directory, you should get the facts about a hotel's pet-friendly policy. All you need to do is call the hotel and ask for details about their pet policy. What to ask about: their per-diem charges for housekeeping; pet-in-room restrictions; and location of pet rooms. 

    Next: meet a world expert on pet travel (and her owner)

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Where to Go for the Best Pet Travel Advice

    Author Kelly E. Carter and her glob-trotting dog Lucy Carter
    ©Regina DiMartino

    We Have Some In-House Pet Travel Advisors...

    Road-warrior felines like Mingus and hotel-critic cats like Violet (shown on the previous page) know the score. But a Long-Haired Chihuahua of our acquaintance is a veteran flyer with an international perspective.

    Her name is Lucy Carter, and she is closely related to Kelly E. Carter, founder of thejetsetpets.com. Together, Lucy and Kelly (shown above) roam the world with matching passport holders, coming up with insider tips for luxury travelers...and their owners.

    "Travel with pets is one of the fastest-growing segments of the entire travel industry," says Kelly. "Hotels, airlines, and other service businesses that welcome pets are in the vanguard. The time has come. Our pets are family."

    (Sadly, Lucy Carter passed away in 2014. Her love of life, and of travel, moved everyone who met her. Lucy's legacy: a better life on the road for our beloved furry friends.)

    Next: See our picks for top pet-friendly hotels

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Some of Our Favorite Pet-Friendly Hotels

    Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe is very per-friendly
    ©Heritage Hotels & Resorts

    At TripSavvy, These Are Our (& Our Pets') Fave North American Hotels

    • Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore: tails of a historic city
    The Dupont Circle Hotel in D.C.: capital for canines
    • Turnberry Isle Miami: for Bowzer & Meowzer
    The Point Relais & Chateaux, upstate New York: the world's top all-inclusive is pet-inclusive
    • Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, LA: no charge for pets, ever
    • Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island: every day's a dog day