Five-Paw Stays: Pup-approved hotels that are off the chain

These five pet-friendly properties make traveling with your dog (or cat!) easy and fun
The Old No. 77 Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery

The Old No. 77 Hotel
New Orleans
Located in a historic 1854 building a few blocks from the French Quarter, this property encourages visitors to embrace the city’s mystical side. Guests traveling with pets are referred to voodoo priest Belfazaar Michael Bousum Ashantison, who will perform a psychic reading for your sidekick. Borrow a book from the hotel’s “pet spiritual menu,” which features titles on topics such as pet psychology and yoga for dogs. In the lobby, be sure to snag a complimentary treat made by local dog bakery Cafe du Bone, known for its fresh-baked “beg-nets.”

Mr. Pickles from the Park on Main

Photo courtesy of the Park on Main

The Park on Main
Highlands, North Carolina
From the moment they enter the lobby, dogs and the people who love them will feel at home at this twenty-four-room boutique inn. Dozens of paintings of man’s best friends, from Pomeranians to poodles, line the walls, and hotel mascot Mr. Pickles, a dapper Scottish terrier, greets every guest. Pups snooze in style on Orvis therapeutic dog beds and dine out of hand-painted, ceramic dog bowls. They’re welcome all over the property, but they’ll likely want to spend the most time at Mr. Pickles’ Dog Park, a fully fenced puppy playground just a block from the hotel.

The Hermitage Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel
A stay at this iconic Forbes Five Star hotel promises luxurious amenities, and with the Pampered Paws Program, your dog—or cat—can indulge, too. Skip the kibble and opt for selections from the “Paw”ticular in-room dining menu, which includes lighter fare such as steel-cut oats as well as gourmet entrees such as roasted chicken or salmon tartare. A pet massage therapist remains on call, walking services may be scheduled at your leisure, and a pet chauffeur is available to take your pup all over town—from local dog parks to grooming appointments.

Maya, the canine director of pet relations at Baker’s Cay Resort

Photo courtesy of Baker's Cay Resort

Baker’s Cay Resort
Key Largo, Florida
Sure, many resorts have a public relations manager. Less likely? A canine director of pet relations. Enter Maya, a friendly Husky, who has “worked” at the resort for two years. Meet her each evening at the oceanfront Yappy Hour, where humans sip Spicy Chihuahuas and Salty Dogs while pups enjoy yappetizers and nonalcoholic Dog Pawrignon and Bark Brews. Take advantage of the resort’s complimentary doggie camera harnesses, which capture every moment from the pet’s perspective, allowing guests to relive their stays through the eyes of their furry friends.

Two dogs at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa

Photo courtesy of Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa
Vero Beach, Florida
Technically, you can stay at this beachside resort for free. The catch? You’ll need to pay for your pup. With the resort’s Humans Stay Free package, your dog is the honored guest. Pooches can relax with a ten-minute doggie massage at the on-site spa, chow down on “muttballs” from the Wave Kitchen and Bar’s pet menu, and spend all afternoon catching Frisbees and swimming in the waves on the dog-friendly beach. After a day of pampering and play, your dog can look forward to a bone-shaped treat at turndown.

This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Southbound.