Where to stay and what’s on offer with hotels on the West Coast
By Si Si Penaloza
Back in the day, pet owners had little-to-no options when it came to traveling with Rover. Now, we’re so past sneaking contraband pooches past the front desk under cover of darkness. With over half of U.S. households claiming a furry family member, the hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet for pets. Think plush beds, canine-savvy room service and yes, for the supremely pampered pooch, spa treatments galore. But it’s not all Milk Bones n’ honey out there. Not all pet programs are equal. So, how do you discern a truly animal-respecting hotel from a crass cash grab? This week, we focus on the West Coast’s finest – check out our “Leaders of the Pack” list of the most pet-friendly accommodations in the West. Pet fees and weight limits vary, so be sure to call ahead and always bring a copy of current vaccination records.
Montage Beverly Hills | Beverly Hills, CA
Montage Beverly Hills does a phenomenal job in the pet-worship department, keeping in tune with the pet traveler’s needs and catering to both pet parents and their precious pooches and kitties. Many amenities will be provided for pets to enjoy during their stay: Comfy beds, bowls and treats are placed in your guest room. This hotel shows a fierce commitment to delivering first- class comfort to their guest’s loyal companions. There is a $30 daily charge for animal guests.
From special snacks to a chewy ball toy, staffers offer four-legged friends fun treats, watching them wiggle and squirm with delight. Pet parents appreciate little tokens acknowledging animals as valued guests. Pets are welcome to enjoy Montage Beverly Hills just as you would, with the exception of restaurants or pool and spa areas. Special services, including sitting, walking and grooming, are available through the concierge. This is the place to check into if you’re seeking a hotel that doesn’t just bill themselves as “pet-friendly”, but has made the leap to “pet-loving”. Truly a 5-paw place (or make that a 9 tail wags)!
GL Rating: 9 Tail Wags
Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa | Sausalito, CA
Here, you can catch Casa Madrona staff playing with VIP guests and it’s all belly rubs and playful tugs. And the grown pups love it too – from the geriatric Pug to the frisky French Bulldog. The vibe is genuine and real – this is a hotel team who truly loves dogs. We suspect it might be a Northern California thing. This Bay Area luxury boutique hotel on the waterfront of Sausalito is just minutes from the Napa and Sonoma wine countries, National Park scenery and multiple waterfront towns. The last time we went to Ram’s Gate Winery, we met an apricot poodle who looked straight out of Jim Henson’s Muppet workshop, all poofy hair and endearing button eyes. As long as your dog is on his best behavior, it’s all good at Ram’s Gate. Every aspect of this new winery is a design-gasm. In the tasting room alone, three magnificent contemporary chandeliers hang from the ceiling – we won’t blame you if you want to move in. We sure did.
With its breathtaking views and ample room to roam, Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa is the perfect getaway for you and your furry companion. Complimentary dog beds and bowls are provided and your pet has access to all of the property as well as nearby pet-friendly wineries and restaurants.
GL Rating: 8.5 Tail Wags
The Residences at W Hollywood | Los Angeles, CA
The most pet-friendly pied-à-terre on the west coast has got to be The Residences at W Hollywood. We’ve never seen more pampered pets, ever. This pet utopia is so all-about-the-dogs, we wonder if it’s really the owners who are the hangers on! The Residences at W Hollywood worked closely with L.A.’s top landscape architecture firms to create a true park environment for residents. The natural vegetation includes lush energy-efficient plants, vibrant native flowers and succulents that require minimal moisture to grow. It’s an idyllic island sanctuary, soaring above the street with views of the Hollywood sign – yet steps away from everything you need at one of the hottest intersections in town.
When dog duty calls, no need to hit the street. A 24-hour rooftop dog park offers the convenience of an on-property space for morning and afternoon “walks” and you get to revel in the iconic city views. Doggie heaven? We think so. A manicured pool oasis enjoys endless views of the Hollywood Hills, downtown skyline and Century City. Cool your jets in a poolside cabana, or relax in the evening in the heated spa. Entertain your guests in one of the outdoor gourmet kitchen and dining areas. On chilly evenings, cozy up near the fireplace or fire pits and watch the sun set over the L.A. skyline.
GL Rating: 10 Tail Wags
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa | San Diego, CA
Did you just ask our dog if he’d enjoy a bit of in-room Doggie Tapas this evening? And if he’s into a heartier bite, there’s always Barnyard Chase (savory grilled chicken, steamed rice and mixed veggies) or Rin Tin Tin Tartare (seared rare hamburger patty, scrambled egg). At Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, pets are considered as part of the family and are given the same over-the-top service their humans. Don’t be surprised if Rover makes a break for it when you try to check out, wriggling his way back into the Rancho Valencia kitchen. Nearby, there are places to play, pet-friendly shopping and grooming. Upon check-in, pet guests will receive a sampling of tasty doggie treats, “clean up after your doggie” bags and a plush doggie bed.
GL Rating: 10 Tail Wags
Loews Hotel Hollywood | Los Angeles, CA
Loews calls itself the most pet-friendly hotel in Hollywood, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an utter spoil-fest for your dog as soon as you walk into the lobby, you might actually start to wonder who’s paying the bill – you or your husky Timber. All pets are showered with gifts – a pet tag, bowl and a special treat to start their vacation. Owners receive a detailed brochure with information on pet-friendly Hollywood services — such as the Loews Loves Pets room service menu prepared by their award-winning chef, local dog walking routes, local veterinarians, pet shops and groomers. The one-time cleaning fee of $25 per stay seems reasonable. Your stay comes with creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes, pet placemats, water bowls, rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles.
Your pooch is also a touch tone away from doggie spa treatments, as are a curated collection of pet videos. Loews has smartly partnered with Banfield Pet Hospital to offer furry guests a complimentary examination and a 15% discount on services during their stay. Some special packages like the “Woofie Weekend” include room service and waive the modest cleaning fee.
GL Rating: 8.5 Tail Wags
The Lodge at Tiburon | Tiburon, CA
The Top Dog Package scores major points with sporty, active types. The Lodge at Tiburon is like a honeymoon with your four-legged best friend! Your curious canine will be just as happy as you are to get out of the normal routine of things, explore and be pampered. Enjoy local outdoor activities in Marin County like hiking, biking or jogging along the many scenic areas. Overlooking the Tiburon Peninsula on the San Francisco Bay, this is the ideal place to take your pet. With access to all areas of the property and plenty pet-friendly attractions nearby, you and your dog will be happy campers.
GL Rating: 6.5 Tail Wags
The Modern Honolulu | Honolulu, HI
Perched at the edge of Waikiki, The Modern Honolulu is the ideal summer getaway for travelers who are looking to bring their dog along with them to paradise. The 353-room marina-front resort is noted for its chic design, personal, friendly modern service and smart dining. Dogs are welcome in all areas from the property, including the pool decks, except for The Spa. Centrally located and within walking distance to popular Waikiki beaches, the hotel is also near a selection of luxury boutiques and retail stores that line Waikiki’s main thoroughfare, Kalakaua Avenue. Each dog will receive The Modern Pet Basket upon arrival including treats, a chew toy and a water bowl.
GL Rating: 7 Tail Wags
The Prescott Hotel and Hotel Palomar | San Francisco, CA
The Kimpton Group was the first to offer “HosPETality,” and six of their properties even have a Director of Pet Relations, a canine ambassador who literally gives you a warm, fuzzy welcome. This hotel group welcomes any pet, regardless of size, weight, or breed for no additional fees or deposits. Yep, you read that right. Bet your tail is wagging big time. Two of our favorites are in San Francisco: The Prescott Hotel and Hotel Palomar, offering cool amenities that include beds, bowls, and treats, in addition to special options like gourmet room service or a human and dog yoga session, known as doga. Born of a love and respect for all animals, the pet program goes way beyond allowing pets to stay; they also include fun services to ensure that pet guests, as well their humans, have an incredible journey.
GL Rating: 7.5 Tail Wags