According to the U.S. Travel Association, approximately 1/5 of travelers take their pets with them on trips, and several hotels and destinations are catering to these types of travelers with special pet-friendly offerings and packages, ensuring that furry friends won't have to “ruff” it on the road.
The following hotels and destinations are rolling out the doggie red carpet to celebrate the dog days of summer, with extra-special pooch pampering, from gourmet meals and personalized amenities to luxurious spa treatments.
Sea Island, Georgia
A Forbes Five-Star destination resort located on the coast of Georgia, Sea Island offers something for everyone, including man's best friend. In addition to doggie bowls, treats and beds that are provided for all four-legged guests, dog amenities available for purchase include Sea Island's signature dog shampoo and an a la carte gourmet pet menu with organic selections prepared by room service chefs including Crazy Dog (Beef Tips braised in Veal Essence with White Rice), or for a more health-conscious pooch, the Healthy Gracie (Slow cooked Turkey, Brown Rice and Local Vegetables). For the Dog Days of Summer (through August), the Spa at Sea Island offers special weekly classes which range from doggie boot camp to pet aromatherapy. Rates from $395/night. www.seaisland.com
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
The luxurious Waldorf Astoria Chicago, located in the heart of Chicago's fashionable Gold Coast, recently launched its Waldorf Woof program. This summer, the hotel has partnered with the chic dog boutique Tails in the City to provide guests and their dogs with a doggie picnic to enjoy in one of the nearby parks. The picnic basket includes a portable dog bowl and gourmet hand-baked dog treats (with designs such as “I Heart Chicago”). Rates from $395/night. www.waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com
St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida
St. Petersburg/Clearwater boasts 361 days of sunshine per year and some of America's most exquisite beaches, including the award-winning Fort De Soto Park, Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island State Park. Unlike many other “no dogs allowed” Florida beaches, Fort De Soto Park has one of the only dog parks where dogs are allowed on the beach in a designated area. At the Loews Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach, dogs can take advantage of a gourmet room service menu and massages by a professional canine massage therapist. The TradeWinds Island Grand boasts a Pet Play Zone with doggie drinking fountain and fire hydrants, as well as a Sit. Stay. Play Pet Package which includes pet amenities galore, New Barker Magazine, gourmet treats and choice of meals from the Paw Court Bistro room service menu. St. Pete/Clearwater also has numerous pet-friendly restaurants, including Cassis American Brasserie in downtown St. Petersburg, which serves up unique doggie dishes such as “Mutt”loaf, Pup Monsieur and Bark de Triumph. www.visitstpeteclearwater.com
Gansevoort Hotel Group
Gansevoort Park Avenue and Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, two of Manhattan's sleekest and most stylish hotels, is the see-and-be-seen spot for travelers and pets alike. Both hotels are offering a “Pampering Your Pooch” package for $125, which includes premium dog treats and toys from the Barking Zoo dog boutique, as well as a dog collar tag that reads “I'm staying at the Gansevoort.” Guests can also choose to purchase additional amenities, including personalized dog beds and mats. Rates from $395. www.gansevoorthotelgroup.com