Gone are the days of sneaking your dog into your hotel room in the dead of night. With over half of U.S. households claiming a furry family member, the hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet for dogs, with a wide range of amenities and services from plush beds to canine room service and even spa treatments.
The good news is that in many cases, pet-friendly hotels are becoming easier to find as more vacationers include their fur-babies in their travel plans.
Pet-friendly hotels in Britain
1. Goodwood Hotel, West Sussex
Dogs gain access to their very own private members’ club, The Kennels, at this sporting estate in West Sussex. There are tasty treats available on request, which may include organic pig’s ear, and walking maps outlining the estate’s most dog-friendly routes. Your four-legged friend will also be granted access to the hotel’s dining room and be permitted to sleep in your room. Regular guests may want to consider The Kennels’ Dog Membership package, which at £50 per year – 70 per cent of the fee is donated to The Kennels’ chosen charity, Canine Partner – ensures that a personalised dog bowl will kept at The Kennels for the personal use of your pampered pooch.
- On the Goodwood estate, next to the pay and play Park golf course and the Waterbeach health club and spa, both available to hotel guests. The estate’s key elements (motor racing, horse racing, flying, golf, health club) each have their own private membership and hotel guests effectively become members for the duration of their stay, also of The Kennels, a sophisticated, beautifully decorated private members club where the Dukes of Richmond’s fox hounds used to be housed (in great luxury), with show-stopping views across green fields to Goodwood House. There’s also a strange Sculpture Park lost in the woods, and a superbly stocked farm shop, including the estate’s own meat. At the historic ex-RAF wartime aerodrome, two people, for a little over £100, can take a half hour flight in a Cessna.
- Five of the 93 bedrooms, some of which are in anodyne 1970s annexes, have also been redesigned and are classy, luxurious and full of personal touches. The rest of the serviceable, if dreary Marriottesque bedrooms are to be revamped in waves.
- Formerly a Marriott hotel, it is now run by the estate. Public rooms and restaurant are already in good, stylish order.
2. Trigony House, Dumfries & Galloway
Dogs receive a warm welcome at this pet-friendly hotel in Scotland. Fido will receive a welcome pack on arrival, which includes gourmet doggy treats and a welcome note from Kit and Roxy, a miniature dachshund and golden retriever respectively, who live at Trigony House. There’s lots of countryside to explore from the hotel’s doorstep and in the evening dogs are invited to chow down on dinner with their owners in the bar.
- The Trigony House Hotel is located just north of Closeburn before the village of Thornhill, in the beautiful Nith Valley, surrounded by the rolling hills & woodland of Dumfriesshire in south west Scotland. The Hotel is situated about 200 yards from the Main Road. Some traffic noise is audible though it is not obtrusive.
- Because of the age of the house the 9 hotel rooms are all very different from each other in size and layout but all are en-suite with their own bathroom & enjoy their own character, and all have hand sprung mattresses with fine Egyptian linen and are individually furnished providing you with an excellent choice for accommodation in Dumfries.
- The larger of the hotel rooms have a small comfortable seating area and the Garden suite has it’s own conservatory. With comfort and relaxation in mind, a butlers tray is supplied with homemade shortbread and real coffee, and the toiletries are made specially for the hotel by the Caurnie Soaperie at the Organic Herb Garden in Kirkintilloch.
- Most of the rooms have views over the gardens and the Lowther hills to the east while others look over the Kier hills to the West. One of the rooms is at the back of the hotel and looks over the woodland which now covers an old Roman Fort.
3. The Milestone Hotel, London
This Kensington hotel has a dedicated Pet Concierge and on arrival your cute canine will be presented with a hamper of treats, including toys and a Milestone collar tag. Dogs also receive a special welcome letter, with tips for travelling around London and details of places to visit. After a day’s sight-seeing, your pooch can bed down on custom-made cushions, duvets or a floor mat and there’s a ‘Do Not Disturb: Pet Sleeping’ sign. There’s also a special pet menu and the hotel can arrange a special turndown-treat for your animal.
- The hotel, opened in the 1920s, takes its name from the old cast iron milestone that stands outside and comprises three tall Victorian townhouses, the first of which, No 1 Kensington Court, has fine original features, including carved window frames and a black-and-white tiled floor. It stands on busy Kensington Road, near where it becomes Kensington High Street, with views of Kensington Park opposite.
- There are 57 rooms, plus six apartments. Some are dazzling in their lavishness, but only one made me long to stay the night in it, style wise: the striking red and grey Art Deco Mistinguitt suite. Generally, ornate gilt mirrors and old-fashioned carved wooden bedheads predominate an everything is beautifully cared for. In terms of amenities, nothing has been forgotten and there are generous extras.
- The hotel is small scale: with minimal outside space, cosy public rooms, including a very pretty Victorian style sitting room, and bedrooms on five floors. The decoration, in the style of Red Carnation’s owner and chief designer, Beatrice Tollman, is expansive, generous and elaborate, spilling over into fussiness, especially in such a small space, with flowing fabrics, cushions, patterned carpets, collections of pictures on patterned walls, reproduction Stubbs paintings and a life-size jockey in the Stables Bar. For a hotel that markets itself as one of London’s greats, it feels, to me, overwrought, over the top, not very real and extremely cloying.
4. Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
This former Victorian schoolhouse-turned-inn is as stylish as Beau Brummell inside. The glorious carved oak bar dominates the main hall and apart from the malted charms of Cholmondeley Best Bitter and Merlin’s Gold, there are a staggering 200 varieties of ruinously good gin to discover. Your faithful friend will not go thirsty either, as dog beer (made from meat stock) is readily available. Food is hearty and delicious and rooms in the old headmaster’s house behind the inn are calm, civilised and comfortable. Three of them are dog-friendly, and dog beds are supplied too.
- Cholmondeley Estate is a sits on the busy A49, surrounded by rolling farmland and prosperous Cheshire villages. Cholmondeley Castle itself has beautiful gardens; there are fabulous views from nearby Beeston Castle; and pootling around the local countryside you’ll find plenty of diversions, from reclamation yards and farm shops to nature trails, fisheries and falconries. Chester is 30 minutes west; Crewe 20 minutes east.
- The shabby-chic charm continues in the six bedrooms, next door in the old headmaster’s house. This cute Victorian cottage has listed casement windows, steep pitched roofs and a vintage vibe to the rooms, with antique furnishings, Farrow & Ball paints, retro-style fabrics and deep beds topped with Egyptian cotton linens and a hot water bottle. The finishes are a little worn in places, but it just seems in keeping with the homely feel.
- Anyone who went to a Victorian school will feel instantly nostalgic when they walk into the pub, with its lofty ceilings, huge windows and chunky iron radiators. This, though, is school gone shabby chic, all big log fires, oriental rugs on stripped wooden floors, and giant mirrors reflecting the flames from countless candles.
5. Russell’s of Clapton, London
Be in the thick of edgy, vibrant, multicultural London in this pink Victorian b & b, bang on the high street. Owner Annette gives you imaginative breakfasts, there is a funky guest sitting room with vintage furniture and a resident whippet called Reggie, happy to share his treats. Annette is on hand for advice on dog walks, pubs and places to eat with your dog. The attractive, uncluttered bedrooms have good art on the walls including great Sixties and Seventies pieces. Two of the rooms are suitable for pets. There are very good cafés on the doorstep and nearby Hackney Marshes for walks.
- Russell’s of Clapton is on Chatsworth Road, a 10-minute walk from Homerton Overground station. The street is definitely more “traditional east London” than “gentrified for tourists”: I walked past council estates, kebab shops and a “sauna and massage” shop on my way from the station. But I did not feel unsafe and sensed that visitors wishing to stay here would get a better sense of living like a local than those opting for a more central, tourist-focused area.
- Russell’s has six rooms: two twin/superking rooms, one medium double, and three smaller rooms; four have en-suite shower and the others share facilities. All have covetable vintage furniture and quirky touches: the fireplace in my room held a miniature piano and a spider plant, and I loved the retro plastic-and-leather spherical chair. The essentials were spot-on: a full-throttle power shower, a supremely comfortable Sealy bed, Egyptian cotton towels, and high-thread count linen. There are no toiletries in the bathroom but a hamper on the landing is full of the necessaries, including shower gel, shampoo, shaving gel and earplugs. On the downside, the bathroom was minuscule and there was some traffic noise from the street outside.
- G-Plan side boards, a red leather sofa, and piles of books on art and travel in the guest living room help create a cool and cosy artist’s studio vibe. Thought had also been put into the smaller details, such as the tulips in a jug in the entrance hall, and the b&b immediately felt like somewhere guests would wish to return after a day pounding the streets of central London. Given that the bed was more comfortable, the decor more stylish, and the breakfast better cooked than in my own flat, it felt like more than a home from home.