For many of us, pets — particularly our pooches — are family. We love them, care for them, pamper them, and some of us even travel with them!
I love hitting the road with my dog, but it can get expensive depending on where we stay. Just because a property is pet-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean it’s budget-friendly. Those extra cleaning fees that come with having your pup tag along can really add up.
But there are some great hotel chains out there — from value-conscious to luxe level — that won’t just welcome your dog, but will welcome them for free.
In celebration of National Dog Day, here are nine options you might want to consider the next time you hit the road with your furry or fluffy best buddy.
1. Kimpton Hotels
I recently had the chance to stay in Milwaukee’s Kimpton Journeyman Hotel. While I was without my Cavalier King Charles spaniel Marvel, I saw plenty of other four-legged friends at the property. That’s because each of its 68 locations allow precious pups — and any other pet — to stay for free.
The property had large, lovely rooms with plush high-end amenities, and I delighted to see a charming and adorable ceramic bull terrier standing guard over a corner in my suite. Several people brought their puppies to the nightly wine reception, which made me miss my Marv even more! Kimpton really rolls out the welcome mat for doggos with extras including plush pet-bed loaners, food and water bowls with mats, and some locations even have a Director of Pet Relations in residence! There’s nothing cuter than an in-person (or in-paws) ambassador.
One more recently added perk: Kimpton offers guests a free month of Wag! Premium, a service that gives on-the-go pets and their owners everything they need while traveling — from dog walking to vet access. The membership gives you discounts for services booked, waived booking fees, and 24/7 access to advice from licensed veterinary professionals through the Wag! app.
Kimpton provides boutique-level rooms and service, and it’s all the sweeter knowing your dog will be catered to and cared for during your stay!
2. Four Seasons
The Four Seasons brand is well-known for its posh accommodations. It turns out that at many properties, those perks extend to pooches at no extra charge. At the Four Seasons in Austin, Texas, pups are invited to join their owners for outdoor dining, and may even order off a special gourmet puppy menu. The chain’s Washington, D.C., location also allows dogs to stay for free, and they’re welcomed with pet beds, bowls, and even personalized treats made by the hotel’s pastry team — yum!
And at the Four Seasons Hotel The Surf Club in Surfside, Florida, resident lab mixes Hank and Freddy keep staff and guests delighted, while the dogs staying at the property can enjoy two designated dog parks — both enclosed in greenery and outfitted with pet stations! Keep in mind, you’ll want to call ahead to see exactly which Four Seasons locations have gone to the dogs — and to get an exact feel for their amenities.
3. Magnolia Hotels
Another boutique hotelier that has your pup’s best interest at heart is Magnolia. Part of the Marriott brand, pets of all sizes and breeds are welcomed at the chain’s six locations at no extra cost. Magnolia’s half-dozen hotels are housed in grand, historic buildings in terrific cities, and all are close to cultural hotspots and other tourist attractions.
Expect a treat bag for your dog once you walk in the door at check-in and expert assistance from the concierge who can assist you with finding dog-friendly places nearby. Magnolia staffers adore pups, and it shows. Your buddy is guaranteed to get lots of special attention, including plenty of head-pats and belly rubs during your stay.
4. Virgin Hotels
Virgin, the booming travel brand built by Sir Richard Branson, has a suite of seven hotels located in the U.S. and the UK. All will welcome both you and your dog with open arms. Virgin encourages its four-legged guests to sniff out the surroundings — and they will stay for free with zero breed or size restrictions.
Upon arrival, dogs can expect treats, lots of love, and even a Virgin-branded bandana! When you and your best bud reach your chamber, you’ll find a comfortable pet bed, bowls, clean-up bags, and even a ceramic canine standing watch! It’s everything you need for a posh, luxe, and comfortable stay with your pup.
5. Element By Westin
Element by Westin, a hotel brand focused on eco-conscious and healthy extended stays, welcomes dogs weighing up to 40 pounds at all of its 60-plus locations around the world. Many of them are fee-free!
Each Element room offers an in-unit kitchen and plenty of space in an airy, neutral design. There’s lots of room for you and Rover to make yourselves at home for the short or long term. There’s a focus on well-being here as well, with bikes to borrow and nutritious options for breakfast. And as part of their Love That Dog program, Element provides a signature dog bed, food and water bowls, clean-up supplies, and more for visiting pups! It all adds up as a great option to consider when traveling with your best furry friend.
Aloft — the funky, fun, and tech-forward brand in the Marriott portfolio — is a place where your pup might be able to stay without those pesky pet fees. Many of Aloft’s 163 locations across North America offer fee-free stays, including those in great cities such as Orlando, New York, New Orleans, and Miami. You’ll still want to call ahead as the fee policy and weight limits do vary across individual Aloft properties.
ARF — or “Animals Are Fun” — is Aloft’s pet program. It truly rolls out the red carpet for your pup. Aloft is committed to making the pups who visit feel as great as the people. Dogs under 40 pounds will get a branded bed and bowls, clean-up bags, plus treats and toys all for free! That’s some serious swag.
7. Red Roof Inn
Budget-conscious travelers take note: Red Roof, with more than 670 properties in the United States, Brazil, and Japan — across four separate brands — provides a caring, clean, and comfortable environment for all of its guests, including doggos! There are no additional charges associated with bringing a well-behaved dog along during check-in. Red Roof is a great no-fuss road-trip option, as many locations are situated off interstates and provide easy access to them. So no matter if it’s a quick overnight stop while you’re on your way, or your extended home away from home while on your vacation, Red Roof will have you and your dog covered!
8. Motel 6
Motel 6 is well-known for keeping the lights on for you, and they’ll also keep them burning bright for your fur baby, too. Dogs stay free at the value-priced chain’s properties, and have been doing so since Motel 6 was founded back in 1962! So if you’re hitting the open road with your pack, you might want to consider one of its 14,000 motels or studios located across the U.S. and Canada. The rooms are comfortable and a welcoming place to rest your head — and paws — after a day of adventure.
In fact, Motel 6 loves dogs so much, it’s partnered with Patriot PAWS to sponsor the training of service dogs for disabled veterans. That’s something both you and your pooch can be proud of when you stay at the chain!
9. Best Western Hotels And Resorts
Best Western has more than 1,600 pet-friendly hotels across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, and many of them do not charge extra fees for bringing along your dog. Some locations offer dedicated places for walking and potty stops, and will provide recommendations on pet-friendly parks, stores, and even pet-friendly restaurants! It all adds up to a tail-wagging good time for you and your favorite pup.
Pro Tips: Traveling With Your Dog
A few other things to keep in mind as you venture out on vacation with your dog: Always declare them at check-in, even though they get to stay for free. Many properties have pet-friendly rooms to protect all guests, particularly those who might have pet allergies. Make sure you’re in one of them!
No matter how well trained your dog might be, it’s just not a great idea to leave her or him unattended in a hotel room. Travel can be stressful on all of us, and anxious barking from a left-behind dog can disturb (and tick off!) nearby guests.
A favorite blanket or bed is a must when you hit the road — the smell of home is comforting to even the most seasoned canine travelers. And finally, it’s good to remember that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, there’s never a charge for service animals, anywhere you choose to stay.
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