Top 5 pet-friendly hotel chains in the US

As a pet parent, I understand how upsetting it is to have to leave your four-legged family members behind when going on a trip. It may make you question whether you even want to go on vacation at all. And, of course, the pain and anxiety of separation affects both pets and their owners, with pets frequently becoming anxious, depressed, or developing behavioral issues while their owners are away.

Fortunately, there is an increase in pet-friendly accommodations being offered by hospitality companies across the United States. Perhaps it’s due to the recent surge in adoptions of pandemic pups and quarantine kitties, as well as the fact that more people are working from home and developing strong bonds with their pets.

Whatever the reason, hotel chains are gradually recognizing that travelers want to bring their pets with them on vacation. Moreover, rather than losing business to Airbnb or other vacation rentals that may offer more animal-inclusive offerings, more hotel brands are expanding their “pet-friendly” approach beyond simply allowing pets in guest rooms to truly extending the red carpet to their four-legged guests.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to do your homework and double-check the pet policies of the property where you plan to stay, as individual properties may have their own set of rules that differ from the parent company’s. However, in general, the following hotel chains are among the most pet-friendly:

  1. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Kimpton Hotels, which is owned by IHG, has a broadly inclusive pet policy, inviting guests to bring their “furry, feathery, or scaly” family members—regardless of size, weight, or breed—at no extra charge. Aside from welcoming almost any type of animal companion, there is no limit to the number of pets you can bring with you. Kimpton properties provide a variety of special amenities for pets, including plush pet beds, food and water bowls, mats, poop bags, and door hangers alerting staff and guests that pets are present. The hotel chain even employs dedicated Directors of Pet Relations.

  1. Virgin Hotels

Four-legged guests are welcomed with open arms at Virgin Hotels and are invited to stay with their owner for free, with no breed or size restrictions. Pet pals receive plush dog beds, special treats, food and water dishes, clean-up bags, and a stylish Virgin-branded bandanna at each location. Its pet-friendly chambers also include a porcelain watchdog that stands guard just outside your door. The hotel chain is currently open in the United States in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, and New York City.

  1. Loews Hotels

Its “Loews Loves Pets” program demonstrates that Loews Hotels welcomes furry family members to stay with guests at its various properties. The hotel chain goes above and beyond by including treats, bowls, and placemats as standard amenities at check-in. Special pet beds, leashes, collars, pet toys, litter boxes, litter, scoopers, scratching posts, and other items are available upon request.

There are also pet-in-room door hangers to notify staff of the presence of pets, doggie pick-up bags, dog-walking route maps for owners, and connections to the best pet-walking and pet-sitting services in the area. Furthermore, Loews provides gourmet room-service menus designed specifically for cats and dogs by the hotels’ Executive Chefs.

There is a limit of two pets per room, and proof of current vaccinations is required. Individual locations may charge different fees and have different policies, so check with the property first.

  1. Marriott

According to a recent Skyscanner study, Marriott is one of the most pet-friendly major hotel chains in the United States. Pet fees, weight, and breed restrictions may apply depending on the brand and property you’re considering, and there may be restrictions on which hotel areas the pet can access. However, there are at least ten pet-friendly Marriott Bonvoy brands, and many of them provide dedicated amenities to make Fido or Fluffy feel like a VIP.

Among the notables are:

Westin hotels welcome small and medium-sized dogs and provide them with a plush Heavenly Dog Bed and other special amenities for a supremely comfortable stay.

“Arf, Animals Are Fun” is the name of Alofthotels’ pet program. Dogs under 40 pounds are welcome, and they receive an Aloft-branded bed and bowl, as well as complimentary treats and toys, during their stay.

Elementhotels accepts dogs weighing up to 40 pounds as part of its “Love That Dog” program, which includes a signature dog bed, food, water bowls, pet cleanup supplies, and other amenities.

  1. Hilton

According to a recent NerdWallet analysis, industry giant Hilton allows pets at roughly 80% of its total properties, with seven pet-friendly brands under its umbrella: Canopy, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, Embassy Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn. While all will accept guests’ animal companions, pet policies vary by location, which means they may only accept certain species, have weight or number of pets allowed per room limits, and charge different pet fees.

Depending on the property, guests may be offered pet perks such as dog treats or pet owner guides indicating where to find local dog parks and walking trails. Hilton’s collaboration with Mars Petcare provides guests staying at any of the above-mentioned branded hotels with virtual access to members of the Mars Pet Expert Team, who are available to answer questions about pets’ health, wellness, and behavior.

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