AAA Traveler Worldwise
Traveling With Fido

BRING YOUR BEST FRIEND ALONG ON YOUR NEXT VACATION

San Diego’s iconic Hotel del Coronado welcomes dogs and cats with two bowls and a placemat, a weekly “Yappy Hour” and a dog-friendly beach less than a mile away.
Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Queens, New York, resident Beth Marks and her family adopted Maltese terrier Bailey last year, and they are already planning a vacation that will include the six-year-old dog. “We couldn’t imagine not bringing her with us on a trip,” Marks says. “She is part of the family, and we like to spend time with her. When we adopted her, we made a lifestyle choice to be ‘dog people.’”

For pet owners like the Marks family, a vacation wouldn’t be complete without their beloved four-legged friends. Many hotels are welcoming pets as important members of the family with amenities designed just for them. Recent research conducted by BARK, which creates dog-related products, services and content, shows that 78 percent of the more than 2,000 people surveyed want the ability to bring their dog with them on vacation. The survey also notes that 69 percent of respondents rate “hotels and travel options specifically designed for travelers with dogs” among their two most important travel needs. Marks decided on a drive vacation to a dog-friendly hotel with opportunities for outdoor adventures for her family’s first trip with Bailey. “We are planning a weekend getaway to [New York’s] Catskills and look forward to relaxing hikes with Bailey,” she says.

Dr. Aaron Vine, veterinarian with Central Veterinary Associates of Valley Stream, New York, suggests that for those people who have not traveled with their pets before, it is always a good idea to discuss any concerns first with their veterinarian. He adds that pet owners should also consider getting their pet microchipped to ensure they have identification should their pet get lost. Remember to bring such essential items as toys, bottled water, food/treats, medications and a first-aid kit, he adds. Finally, for your dog or cat’s safety, getting a carrier/crate is important for flying, car rides and hotel stays. “Let pets become familiar with the crates before a long trip to avoid stress during travel,” says Dr. Vine.

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There are more than 13,000 AAA Diamond properties that are pet-friendly. We highlight some pet-focused programs and hotels to inspire trips with furry friends.

CANOPY BY HILTON WASHINGTON D.C., THE WHARF
Canopy by Hilton Washington D.C., The Wharf is among the dog-friendly Canopy by Hilton brand hotels that have partnered with BARK for its Paws in the Neighborhood program. Dog guests receive a special BARK welcome amenity kit designed just for Canopy by Hilton that contains a BARK toy, BARK dog treats, a dog hot-spots neighborhood guide and dog waste bags. In addition, dog guests will find in their guest room a “Woof!” door hanger, food, a water bowl, a placemat and a doggie bed just for them. Canopy by Hilton’s Paws in the Neighborhood program is available at its North American properties.

Canopy
Dogs receive a BARK welcome amenity kit as part of the Paws in the Neighborhood program at dog-friendly Canopy by Hilton properties.
Photo courtesy of Canopy by hilton

HYATT CENTRIC SOUTH BEACH MIAMI
The WOOFTOP at the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami is the hotel’s own dog park located on the third-floor rear pool deck. Complimentary water bowls, toys and sanitary bags are all provided on the WOOFTOP for furry guests. Humans can enjoy their own deck time on Deck Sixteen, toasting their pups with Mutt Mojitos, Bark Collins or Wooftinis. While most Hyatt properties accept dogs, it is recommended that you reach out to individual hotels to confirm their respective pet-friendly policies.

The Hyatt Miami
Dogs can enjoy the WOOFTOP dog park, while pet parents can partake of canine-themed cocktails such as the Wooftini.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Centric South Beach

MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BOSTON
The Classic Pup Program at Mandarin Oriental, Boston gives dogs weighing up to 40 pounds a sleeping pillow, mineral water, a puppy place setting and an in-room Doggie Dining menu. A special “doggie bag” features homemade artisan biscuits and a note from the hotel’s Ambassadors of Pet Relations, Bonnie and Tara, General Manager Philipp Knuepfer’s two golden retrievers. Other pampering pup offerings include a private shopping consultation and fitting and spa time for those who truly like to indulge their beloved canines. Check with individual Mandarin Oriental properties in the U.S. regarding their pet policies.

The Mandarin Oriental
General Manager Philipp Knuepfer with his golden retrievers, Bonnie and Tara, who serve as Ambassadors of Pet Relations at Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Boston

W LOS ANGELES - WEST BEVERLY HILLS
It’s special treatment all the way with the Pets Are Welcome program for dogs and cats at W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills. Four-legged guests get a pet-friendly welcome amenity and welcome letter, a custom W Hotels pet bed, food and water bowl with floor mat, a “pet in-room” door sign and special treats at turndown. In addition, the hotel concierge is at the ready to arrange anything from dog-sitting and dog-walking services to vet recommendations and locations of the nearest dog parks and pet stores. The Pets Are Welcome program is W Hotels-wide, with pet policies varying from property to property, including pet fees and weight limits.

The W Los Angeles
Feline friends are also welcome at the W Los Angeles - West Bevery Hills.

PUPPY LOVE AT THE RITTENHOUSE
Traveling with my two daughters, ages 20 and 17, and our furry companion, I’m not sure who felt more pampered following a weekend stay at The Rittenhouse. The 118-room hotel is celebrating 30-plus years of luxury on Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, a park set in the middle of the exclusive Center City neighborhood.

Entering our large double-Queen guest room, our “Very Important Pooch (VIP)” made a beeline to a comfy dog bed, pet bowls and doggie treat awaiting him. The pup settled in for an afternoon nap in the room after our trip to the City of Brotherly Love (or perhaps I should say the City of Puppy Love). I spent the rest of the day at the hotel’s 10,000-square-foot spa enjoying an indulgent 60-minute massage while my daughters lounged at the light-filled indoor pool.

Later that day, the hotel’s superior culinary offerings were available to all of us. While my daughters and I patronized the on-site restaurants, Mushu was doing fine with his own in-room treats. Dinner at Scarpetta for the girls and me meant dining on such delights as handmade short rib and bone marrow agnolotti, filet mignon and Valrhona chocolate cake. The hotel’s Sunday Brunch buffet at the Five-Star, Five Diamond Lacroix was equally over the top, with favorites such as a raw bar, hand-carved brisket and an abundance of desserts.

The Rittenhouse
Our VIP Mushu had a picture-perfect view of Rittenhouse Square to enjoy during his meal. When he wasn’t on my daughter Tess’ bed, Mushu had a comfy place to lay his head.
photo by Tess Robin

There was no need for us to ask for a doggie bag for our buddy at either of these venues. Mushu was quite happy in our guest room chowing down on his own delicacies from the hotel’s BONE Appétit menu. They included Some-PAW-dy Loves Me (yes, he also had filet mignon; his was mixed with rice and steamed carrots), MUTT’za Balls (organic chicken and brown rice balls) and a PUP’sicle (frozen peanut butter banana bar) for dessert, all arriving in a posh puppy setup via room service.

Instead of heading to the 1,600-square-foot fitness center to work off our calories during our stay, my daughters and I had a nice workout walking Mushu through beautiful Rittenhouse Square. And though we enjoyed exploring the neighborhood streets filled with cute shops, cafes and charming brownstones together, we could have easily arranged a dog sitter or dog walker with the concierge, and I believe our VIP would have been just as happy.

AAA TRAVELING WITH YOUR PETS
Visit to view the advantages AAA offers pet owners. In addition to searching by location for hotels that welcome furry friends, the site lists pet-friendly restaurants, attractions and campgrounds as well as locations of dog parks, pet-friendly national public lands and emergency animal clinics. Other handy information includes articles offering pet travel tips and the chance to enter or just view favorite pet photos in the AAA Pet Travel Photo Contest.