VENTURA BLVD. MAGAZINE/SOUTH BAY MAGAZINE: August, 2022
Lady Gaga does it. So do Donnie Wahlberg and Glenn Close. And it’s not just celebrities. So many people now travel with pets that it’s become an industry. A survey by TripAdvisor shows 53% of all pleasure travelers sojourn with snorkies and schnauzers and other four-legged friends. You don’t have to be well-heeled to treat your Fifi like royalty.
Here are five popular resorts and hotels that don’t just cater to canines; they pamper them. We’re not talking just bones and a dog bed. Think chef-created pet menus, yappy hours, even lounge seating at evening cabaret events—all designed to make pets feel like they are on an escape as well.
To say Carmel-by-the-Sea is dog-friendly is an understatement. Doris Day’s animal activism so made its mark here that seemingly everyone has a four-legged companion. Stroll the streets of this quaint village and you’ll see breeds of doodles and Danes you never knew existed. Carmel Plaza even has a designated dog drinking fountain.
At the forefront of this trend is the boutique hotel the actress owned until her death in 2019, the Cypress Inn. Guests with pups receive cozy pet blankets for relaxing on the outdoor patio and drying off after a romp on nearby, dog-friendly Carmel Beach. In the evening, enjoy live music with your pet in Cypress Inn’s 1929 Spanish-style living room, Terry’s Lounge (named for Day’s beloved son, Terry Melcher). Sofas and chairs are often occupied by blissfully calm pups curled on their owners’ laps as they enjoy everything from flamenco guitar to cabaret with vocals and piano.
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Fish Camp, California
From the moment you enter this grand lodge, set in Sierra National Forest just outside Yosemite National Park, you and your sure-footed friend have endless activities to fill your day. Tenaya Lodge has its own pet-friendly nature trail that winds through the forest and along Big Creek—a tributary of the South Fork of the Merced River. For even more water play, you and your furry companion can make the moderate 2-mile hike to Tenaya Waterfall. Dogs ride free on the nearby steam-powered Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
After a day of sightseeing, your pup can enjoy chef-made dog biscuits, a special toy, and a comfy bed for a restful sleep. In the morning, while you’re sipping coffee from the Lodge’s deli, your dog can get a free “pup cup” of whipped cream.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
When it comes to pet pampering, this island resort near San Diego doesn’t just talk the talk. Loews Loves Pets was one of the first pet-friendly programs in the industry; the resort even hosted a dog surfing competition for several years before Petco took it over. Dogs can still hang 20 with custom-engineered surfboard rentals and lessons from Coronado Surfing Academy.
On the property, Loews Coronado Bay Resort has a veritable water park full of activities for families, from pools and hot tubs to Ping-Pong and cornhole. Pets on leash are allowed in the outdoor deck areas and can enjoy gourmet treats. The on-site market and eatery, Silver Strand Exchange, has free banana-and-yogurt or pumpkin-and-cinnamon dog treats as well as pet beds, leashes, collars, doggie pickup bags, and even litter and boxes for kitties. A gourmet in-room dining menu for dogs is expected to resume soon, having been on “paws” during the pandemic.
The Resort at Paws Up
This 37,000-acre property under Montana’s big sky is an animal lover’s dream. In fact, the notion of a dog giving a human a high-five inspired the name of the resort. Guests will find endless activities for enjoying the fresh mountain air: 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding; a long, scenic stretch of the Blackfoot River for great fishing and boating; and every kind of lodging from luxury homes to safari-style glamping and their newest concept—elevated tree “hauses.”
There’s a cool list of tail-wagging amenities, too, like plush doggie beds, bowls, locally made dog treats, tennis balls, maps of the dog-friendly trails and even a welcome card from the resort’s four-legged mascot, Coco.
Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Check in at this year-round mountain resort and you’ll get an enthusiastic greeting from one of the hotel’s canine “ambassadogs,” pups trained to greet guests. Check in with your own pooch and you’ll get a dog bed, bowl and treats. The resort even has pet-friendly rooms on the elite Club Level for those discerning dogs who know luxury when they see it.
Skijoring, anyone? The exhilarating Norwegian sport where a dog pulls a skier is just one of the many winter activities in the area, along with snowshoeing, ice climbing and downhill skiing at the adjacent Beaver Creek Ski Resort. Summer activities include hiking, biking, rafting and golf. And if your pooch needs a play date, the resort has a partnership with the nearby Wanderlust Dog Ranch.