Skip the mini soaps and shampoos. These properties offer guests something more meaningful to take home.
They bark (or meow). They get in the way of rolling suitcases. They demand ear scratches and belly rubs.
The dogs and cats that call the following hotels home are the properties’ highest- maintenance guests. They’re also the most popular. Some are permanent residents. Others are fosters in search of forever homes. All are promoting animal rescue and adoption while bringing a smile to even the weariest traveler’s face.
WHERE: Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville’s newest boutique hotel is filled with unique details, from a renovated bus on the rooftop to the furry-faced greeter in the lobby. Sasha, a two-year-old Shepherd mix came to Bobby Hotel after she was found living under a bridge by Country Road Animal Rescue. She quickly adapted to hotel life, learning to ring a gold bell for treats. Her face also appears on bath towels in guest rooms. They’re $25 for those who wish to take one home with proceeds going to the rescue that saved Sasha.
INSIDER TIPDon’t skip the mini bars at Bobby Hotel—they’re stocked with dog treats and toys. Pups can also join parents at the rooftop lounge and order from a special gourmet dog menu.
WHERE: Asbury Park, New Jersey
Cats slide into downward dog alongside guests during special yoga classes at The Asbury, the hip hotel helping revitalize Asbury Park, New Jersey. The feline yogis are provided by nearby cat café Catsbury Park. Despite some questionable yoga etiquette, including swatting at ponytails and sinking sharp claws into plush yoga mats, the cats are a huge draw and the inaugural class sold out within minutes.
The Asbury has also partnered with Rescue Ridge, a non-profit that hosts adoption drives at the hotel several times a year. In addition, 50% of hotel pet fees are donated to Rescue Ridge.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
WHERE: Rancho Mirage, California
Forget mini soaps and shampoos, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa offers guests something much better to take home—the property’s resident pup. As part of a partnership with Palm Springs Valley veterinary clinic and no-kill shelter Animal Samaritans, the hotel has fostered more than 100 dogs that have found forever homes as a result. The resort celebrated the milestone with a Yappy Hour featuring house-made dog treats. Canine guests adopted through the program were granted Doggie VIP status.
INSIDER TIPThe hotel brand’s signature line of bedding extends to dog-tired canine guests who can rest in perfectly sized Westin Heavenly Dog Beds.
Red Mountain Resort
WHERE: St. George, Utah
Explore the great outdoors with a new best friend through the Pound Puppy Hike at southern Utah’s Red Mountain Resort. Guests are paired with a shelter pup as they hit the trails throughout Red Cliffs Desert Reserve overlooking the city of St. George. Leashes and plentiful treats are provided.
The wellness-focused resort continues to build a niche in the voluntourism vacation market with the addition of a weekly excursion to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, home to more than 1,600 animals including dogs, cats, pigs, birds, and horses. In addition to a driving tour of the facility, visitors also enjoy two guided hikes and a vegetarian lunch.
Aloft Orlando Downtown
WHERE: Orlando, Florida
The classic doghouse gets a major upgrade at Aloft Orlando Downtown. Furry fosters from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando sleep in a custom replica of the hotel, complete with swimming pool water bowl. A Plexiglas partition separates pups from the rest of the lobby, allowing guests to choose how much contact they have. Visitors can climb over and play or sign up to take the dogs on walks. The hotel also hosts Pups on the Patio, a dog-friendly event featuring drinks and local vendors with one-of-a-kind pet merchandise.
INSIDER TIPStop by the front desk for animal-friendly restaurant recommendations and to borrow supplies including dog beds.
Inn by the Sea
WHERE: Elizabeth, Maine
The ocean views and luxury accommodations at Inn by the Sea take a backseat for some guests whose first request upon arrival is to meet the hotel’s current foster dog. In the three years since the Maine hotel partnered with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, more than 125 pups have found forever homes, including senior dogs, a blind dog, a bonded pair, and a three-legged dog.
Guests can take the foster dogs to the Fireside Lounge, which boasts separate gourmet menus for people and dogs, and for walks around the property.
INSIDER TIPDog parents rejoice—Inn by the Sea doesn’t charge a pet fee. Walking and sitting services are available as are recommendations for nearby walking paths and dog beaches.
The Algonquin Hotel
WHERE: New York, New York
He’s the pet mascot with a purr-fect life. Hamlet, a curious and affectionate tabby, has called The Algonquin Hotel in Midtown Manhattan home since 2017. He’s the 12th cat to do so; the first was a stray that wandered into the property in search of food in the 1920s. An illustrated children’s book detailing Hamlet’s journey from feral feline to king of the castle was released in September 2018.
Hamlet’s duties include overseeing The Algonquin Hotel’s Annual Celebration & Cat Fashion Show. While he wears his usual fur, other cat “mewdels” (models) are dressed in bespoke costumes by animal fashion designer Ada Nieves. Proceeds go to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
Park Hyatt Chicago
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois
She’s sweet, stylish, and proof a physically imperfect dog can be a perfect fit. Parker, a one-eyed, middle-aged pug, came to Park Hyatt Chicago in 2016 when the then-manager learned of her dietary restrictions and health problems. He knew her needs would be a lot for one person to manage but that the round-the-clock team at the luxury property could handle them. Today Parker enjoys healthy meals prepared daily and greeting visitors clad in her signature Burberry scarf.
Park Hyatt Chicago is dog-friendly and donates 100 percent of pet fees to PAWS Chicago, the organization that helped place Parker. Parker also participates in the annual PAWS Chicago 5K.
INSIDER TIPPooches and parents can head up to NoMI Garden, Park Hyatt Chicago’s 7th-floor rooftop terrace, for great city views.
The Gates Key West
WHERE: Key West, Florida
Raise a Greyhound or Salty Dog to this boutique hotel with a big heart. For more than two years, The Gates Key West has been hosting monthly Yappy Hours (except when it’s too hot for four-legged friends) featuring silent auctions and themed cocktails like the two mentioned above. The guest list always includes adoptable dogs, cats, and even rabbits from the Florida Keys SPCA, an independent shelter and animal advocacy non-profit. The Gates estimates at least one animal is adopted per Yappy Hour and, overall, thousands of dollars have been raised for the SPCA.
WHERE: Denver, Colorado
Once a year, a puppy lives the “suite” life for a week at the Ritz-Carlton, Denver as part of the MaxFund adoption promotion “It’s a Dog’s Life.” Last year’s pup, Charlie, charmed guests and staff alike who cheered when he found a loving forever home at the end of the week. The pooch from the previous year, Guppy, was placed with a local family who often brings him back to the hotel to say hello.
Charlie and Guppy weren’t the only lucky dogs from their litters. Their brothers and sisters were fostered by different properties within the Colorado Marriott Business Council. The group is looking forward to welcoming another litter of pups in the spring of 2019.
INSIDER TIPThe valet team has dog treats at the ready for four-legged guests. Dog bedding and bowls are available upon request.