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Where to stay when traveling with a furry friend

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The results of a pet travel survey of 1,200 travelers conducted by TripAdvisor indicates that the majority of animal owners feel pets make for prime vacation companions.

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The results of a pet travel survey of 1,200 travelers conducted by TripAdvisor indicates that the majority of animal owners feel pets make for prime vacation companions. Sixty-one percent of pet-owners traveled with their furry friends last year, while 33 percent often bring their pets on trips and five percent always do. Twenty-six percent consider their pet an inseparable part of the family that goes everywhere (including vacation) with them and 14 percent believe that bringing Fido is more cost-effective than using a kennel.

Though only one percent of respondents with pets cite air travel as the most pet-friendly form of mass transportation, 15 percent brought their furry friends onto a plane last year. Opinion is divided on whether or not small pets should be allowed to sit in the airplane cabin, with 57 percent of pet owners welcoming four-legged friends and 59 percent of non-pet owners frowning upon sharing cabin space with animals.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents rank allergy issues as the biggest annoyance caused by travelers who bring their pets on mass transportation, while 26 percent are frustrated by noisy pets. Travelers note that their top peeves with pet owners are not picking up after their four-legged friends (56 percent), bringing their furry companions into inappropriate settings (35 percent), and expecting others to treat their pets like people (28 percent).

Forty-four percent of survey respondents who travel with their pets cite designated green space for walking pets as the most important characteristic of a pet-friendly hotel, while 16 percent look for on-site kennels or pet daycare.

The following highly-rated hotels are recommended by TripAdvisor for their pet-friendly offerings:

1. Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
This property offers a Pampering Pet program, featuring treats upon check-in, cozy beds, and a menu of delicacies to satisfy animals’ appetites. A dog-walking service is available on site, while massage and grooming services can also be arranged. There is a nightly surcharge for pets.

2. Hotel Monaco Portland, Portland, Oregon
The pet amenity program at this boutique downtown hotel is overseen by Timmy, the four-legged “Director of Pet Relations.” Complimentary amenities and services include bowls and beds for the duration of pets’ stays, while travelers can also select the “Portland Unleashed” package, featuring a doggie makeover, a map of pet friendly breweries, and more.

3. Affinia Dumont, New York City, New York
It’s no coincidence that the bar and restaurant of this Midtown East property is called the Barking Dog – four-legged friends are welcomed with open arms at this hotel, whose amenities include plush dog beds and a travel water bowl for guests to take home. Additional services include pet taxis and even a pet psychic. A pet-surcharge is added per stay.

4. Argonaut Hotel, San Francisco, California
All creatures great and small are welcome as guests at the Argonaut Hotel, which does not restrict the type or size of pet that can stay. Travelers visiting in the fall can participate in the hotel’s annual “Pet Howl’oween” event, in which dogs showcase their creative costumes. The hotel supplies pet necessities from beds to bottled water, and all pets stay free.

5. Nine Zero Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
Located across from the Boston Common’s 50 acres of public park-land, this downtown hotel’s setting is every bit as pet-friendly as its amenities. A complimentary “In the Doghouse” pet package includes a designer pet welcome treat, in addition to an in-room pet bed and bowl, ensuring that travelers’ four-legged friends can put their paws up in style.

6. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
This property’s “Pitty Pat Pet Club” program provides bedding, bowls, and a 24-hour in-room dining menu, featuring gourmet treats for cats and dogs. While pet-walking is allowed in designated areas of the grounds, maps of local pet parks and scenic spots are also provided, ensuring that four-legged friends have the option of exercising in spectacular surroundings. A pet-surcharge is added per stay.

7. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona
This resort’s “4Paws” pet-friendly program offers numerous amenities for dogs and cats, including beds and a “Beastro” menu, featuring delicacies such as Canine Veggie Bruschetta and feline Seafood Parfait. A pet-surcharge is added per night and pets must weigh a maximum of 40 pounds (larger pets may be allowed at the resort’s discretion).

8. Hotel Solamar, San Diego, California
In addition to providing complimentary treats for pets upon check-in, as well as cozy dog beds and food and water bowls in guest rooms, Hotel Solamar’s VIP (Very Important Pet) Program can arrange additional services – from pet bonding sessions, to pet massage – ensuring both pets and their owners unwind during their stay.

9. Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington
This hotel supplies a Pet Welcome Pack, crammed with information and supplies, to any traveler checking-in with their furry companion (up to a weight of 80 pounds). Hounds can enjoy sweet dreams free of charge in an inviting Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Dog Bed, while signage noting ‘Dog in Room’ will ensure they do not receive any unexpected visitors.

10. Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, California
All pets receive edible treats, a pet tag, and bowl upon check-in – but the pet-friendly fun also extends to the sand and surf. Travelers booking the “Su’ruff Camp” package receive accommodations, a doggie surf lesson, board shorts and a bandana for their furry friend, and a Surf and Turf room service pet meal. A pet-surcharge is added per stay.

“Although 66 percent of pet owners say they don’t generally find hotels to be pet-friendly, there are many fantastic properties that cater to the needs of four-legged travelers,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “From slick city trips to beachside breaks, there’s no reason why much-loved pets should miss out on the fun of sniffing out great travel spots.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.