Nothing is more exciting than departing for a big trip away from home. On the other hand, nothing is quite so sad as leaving your pet behind. But nowadays some of the finest hotels in the world extend their hospitality to furry friends as well.
And though there are a whole host of pet-friendly hotels that Andrew Harper recommends, a few properties stand out by going above and beyond. After all, there’s a big difference between providing dog beds and bowls and lavishing pets with turndown treats and birthday parties. The following 11 hotels truly cater to four-legged friends by offering luxurious amenities befitting discerning pets, with exceptional experiences for their owners, as well.
The former residence of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness (of the iconic brewing family), this spectacular estate in western Ireland dates to the 13th century. Part of the pet-friendly Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Ashford Castle combines rich history and period furniture with modern luxuries like a spa and a 32-seat cinema. The 82-room property also offers a nine-hole golf course, a falconry school and an equestrian center. With such vast acreage, there’s no shortage of places to exercise your pup.
Pet perks: The hotel provides treats and toys, dog-walking and dog-sitting services, leashes, litter boxes and grooming. But turndown service at Ashford Castle isn’t just for humans. After a day of strolling the estate, dogs get to enjoy their pet bed, cushions, duvets and floor mats as well as a VIP treat — for Very Important Pets.
Accepts: Dogs and cats (no weight restrictions); $50 per pet per night
Kimpton Canary Hotel
Santa Barbara, California
Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, this boutique hotel showcases the Spanish and Moroccan influence of the Canary Islands with terra-cotta tiles and wrought-iron accents. Perfect for a stay with your pet, the 97-room Kimpton Canary is close to walking trails, beach boardwalks and area parks.
Pet perks: Kimpton hotels are known for being pet-friendly (a few even have dog psychics at happy hour), and the Kimpton Canary is no exception. The hotel provides food and water bowls, pet beds, treats and a dog magazine. Dogs also receive turndown service. Check-in includes a bottle of wine for owners, and reception can provide pet-sitting, dog-walking and the names of local pet services and vets if needed.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions) at no charge, but a waiver and one-day advance notice is required
You may find it hard to imagine four-legged guests trotting about the opulent Le Meurice, but this stately palace-hotel has welcomed dogs since the early 1900s. With 160 rooms combining modern comforts and Louis XVI furnishings, this lavish property also boasts the Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, which holds two Michelin stars and whose dining room was designed by Philippe Starck with the Palace of Versailles in mind.
Pet perks: Le Meurice provides a complimentary pet basket for dogs and cats, which includes a carpet with the pet’s name embroidered on it (when available), plus specialized menus and food options. Hotel grooms can guide dogs through the magic of Paris with a walk in the Tuileries Garden.
Accepts: Dogs and cats (no weight restrictions); no charge
The Devonshire Arms Hotel
Skipton, North Yorkshire, England
Located on the Bolton Abbey estate, The Devonshire Arms Hotel has been owned by the Dukes of Devonshire since 1753. The 40-room property, set beside the River Wharfe on the Bolton Abbey estate, has miles of picturesque footpaths, which attracted artists and poets, and which is now wonderful for you and your dog to explore.
Pet perks: Each dog receives a welcome pack with treats, a pet blanket, bowls and a towel. The hotel can provide details of the best walking paths on the grounds, and there’s a dog wash on-site in case too much adventure is had. A pet concierge can provide four-poster dog beds for $40 per dog per night, and extra wellies, raincoats and umbrellas are available for owners on rainy-day walks.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions); $14 per dog per night
The Plaza New York
New York, New York
With 282 rooms, The Plaza New York offers elegant details like handcrafted white marble vanities and 24-carat gold-plated fixtures and lovely afternoon tea service in its beloved Palm Court. This landmark Beaux Arts-style hotel boasts an enviable location adjacent to Central Park — perfect for getting off the pavement and on to green grass.
Pet perks: It should come as no surprise that this iconic hotel is pet-friendly; after all, it was the home of Eloise and her pet pug, Weenie. The Plaza New York is also part of the Fairmont Hotels family, which is known for its pet-friendly policies; in fact, many have canine ambassadors on staff. The Canine Companions Package offers a welcome basket for pups that includes treats, a chew toy, a leash and bowls, with dog blankets, doggie bags for walks and Plaza pillows or blankets on request.
Accepts: Dogs under 25 pounds; $250 fee
Las Ventanas al Paraíso
San José del Cabo, Mexico
At the beachfront Las Ventanas al Paraíso resort, expansive views of crystalline ocean will instantly initiate vacation mode. The 84 guest quarters, many of which come with butler service, have lavish baths and comfortable sitting rooms that open to scenic, breezy terraces. Pets can enjoy the beach as well, thanks to stellar amenities just for them.
Pet perks: The resort offers special pet menus (made-to-order and served in a metal bowl with faux gemstones) and special spa services. “Dog butlers” are available for daily walks, pet-sitting, doggie massages or “doga” classes (that’s yoga for dogs) for an extra fee. Dogs have it made in the shade here with portable pet cabanas that let them enjoy the beach out of the sun. And if you are celebrating your four-legged friend’s birthday, the dog butlers can organize a party and invite other canine guests!
Accepts: Dogs and cats up to 40 pounds; $60
The Little Nell
Service is the star at this Aspen Mountain ski-in/ski-out resort, which has its own ski concierge who can arrange lift tickets, rentals and lessons for guests. The 92 lodgings offer gas fireplaces and marble baths, and the spa and heated pool are excellent places to wind down after a day on the mountain. The Little Nell is also notable for element 47, its main restaurant, which has a 20,000-bottle wine cellar.
Pet perks: Pets are pampered with a gourmet menu of chicken, local beef or salmon, all served with carrots, brown rice and scrambled eggs in a dog-friendly bowl. They also supply beds, pet-sitters and dog walkers. The front desk will point guests toward pup-friendly trails, and upon check-in, dogs are offered a Puppy Jet Lag Kit to help them adjust to the altitude.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions); $125 fee plus $25 per night
This boutique hotel set in a Beaux Arts building, just steps from dog-friendly Boston Common, beautifully combines traditional luxury with dramatic flair. The 63 rooms of the XV Beacon feature canopy or poster beds, cozy gas fireplaces and Italian-marble baths.
Pet perks: The hotel provides homemade dog biscuits, a plush bed, “turndown water,” with available dog sitting and walking.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions); $25 fee, which is donated to reputable charitable pet organizations in your dog’s name.
This eco-friendly hotel and spa in Napa Valley is built for relaxation. Bardessono’s 62 suites offer gas fireplaces and soaking tubs, and the expansive baths are designed for in-room treatments. The property is also close to the region’s wineries, many of which are also dog-friendly.
Pet perks: The hotel provides pet bowls, pet beds and a special welcome amenity at check-in. The hotel’s “field to fork” restaurant, Lucy, has a special menu for dogs with items like dry-aged sirloin with barley, and ahi tuna with bloomed quinoa.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions), cats and birds; $150 cleaning fee
Though it just missed making the grade for Andrew Harper, the Sentinel Hotel is still a top choice in Portland, with historic architecture from its former life as an Elks Lodge and the Seward Hotel, from 1909. The marble-floored lobby with gilded ceiling is particularly impressive. Just a few blocks away from the hotel is the Willamette River, where dogs will enjoy a long walk on the Waterfront Park Trail.
Pet perks: Part of pet-friendly Provenance Hotels, The Sentinel welcomes pets with amenities like environmentally sensitive pet beds, bowls, toys, treats, a pet-friendly room-service menu and a list of local pet resources. The hotel keeps pup-centric literature on hand on subjects as varied as dog massage and pet psychology.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions); $45
The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek*
Beaver Creek, Colorado
The rustic Pines Lodge offers gorgeous views and has easy access to Beaver Creek Mountain with its 1,800 acres of ski terrain.
Pet perks: The hotel provides a map of dog-friendly hiking routes, a doggie bed, leash, bowls, nightly rawhide bone turndown service and a doggy guest book. There are also dog spa treatments available including massages, along with a bath and blowout. Guests can check out a GoPro with a harness to capture the slopes from a pup’s point of view.
Accepts: Dogs (no weight restrictions); $50 per dog per night
Before you consider taking your pet on your next vacation, be sure to check with your airline for its rules and regulations for transporting a pet. If traveling internationally, some countries may require your pet to have certain vaccinations before being allowed into the country.
While not a Harper-recommended hotel, this property has such extravagant pet amenities we thought pet owners would want to know about it.