Dog owners used to be faced with an unhappy dilemma when it came to travelling: leave their pups behind or stay in flea-bitten accommodations. Not anymore. Today, it’s pretty easy to find pet-friendly hotels in California—in fact, many of the best hotels offer luxurious pet amenities like custom dog beds, dedicated happy hours and canine-focused dinner menus. Spend a few nights at these hotels, listed north to south, and your pooch will be so spoiled that they may not want to go home.
Beachcomber Motel and Spa on the Beach, Fort Bragg
Whether you head to Mendocino’s wind-swept shore for relaxation or adventure—kayaking through wave-soaked sea caves or hiking the California Coastal Trail—you’ll enjoy it more with your furry best mate in tow. Fort Bragg prides itself on being a pet-friendly destination, and for a $20 nightly rate per pet, the Beachcomber keeps tails wagging with a special welcome kit, an onsite dog park and easy beach access. Rent a bike to explore town and cycle across the Pudding Creek Trestle, a mighty former railroad bridge, then retreat to your room for sunset views while you cook up something tasty on the outdoor grill.
Sea Ranch Lodge, Sea Ranch
Overlooking the Pacific in Sonoma County, this 19-room lodge with rustic architecture blends beautifully with the wide-open landscape, crisscrossed with hiking tracks and sea breezes. For a onetime fee of $75, canines are received with open arms: comfy beds, tasty treats and a local activity guide. Stop at pup-friendly wineries like Mutt Lynch or Kunde Family Winery on the way north from San Francisco, then spend your days at Sea Ranch traversing the trails or hitting the dog-friendly beach just beyond the door.
Claremont Club & Spa, Oakland
An adorable face greets guests and their pets inside this grand hotel at the foot of the Oakland Hills. Edie, a boxer mix, serves as the resort’s ‘canine ambassador’ and works the lobby Monday through Friday (complete with name tag and dedicated email address so you can keep in touch). And she doesn’t mind running with a pack: For a $99 fee per visit, your pup can hang at the Claremont too, and should you need a bed, bowl, or biscuits (homemade by the hotel chef), just stop by the concierge desk. The hotel will also point you toward dog-friendly walks, like the thigh-burning Stonewall-Panoramic Trail, best followed by mac ’n‘ cheese on the patio at Homeroom or a pint in the backyard at Temescal Brewing.
Basecamp Hotel, South Lake Tahoe
With its reclaimed wood, picnic tables and lanterns—along with craft beer—the vibe at this hotel is summer camp for hipsters. Plaid and pups go hand in hand, so for $40 you and your sidekick can bunk in one of four pet-friendly rooms, then wander nearby hiking trails and lakeside beaches for doggie playtime. When you’re ready to kick back, canines are welcome in the Desolation Brewing beer garden, where new friends raise pints and toast marshmallows for s’mores. Basecamp also has a dog-friendly sister property, a short walk from the lake in Tahoe City.
Elizabeth Taylor spent six of her eight honeymoons here. Howard Hughes was a regular. Yoko Ono and John Lennon holed up for a week in a bungalow bed, and Maltese poodle Maf (short for Mafia) used to visit the Pink Palace accompanied by his famous owner, Marilyn Monroe. Officially or not, the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel has long welcomed hounds. Today, they’re guests of honour, and for a $35 daily pet fee your pup gets to snuggle in a monogrammed bed and indulge in custom bone-shaped cookies hand-decorated with his or her name. Nearby, the Peninsula Beverly Hills also offers pooches all the comforts of home (with a nightly rate of $35), as well as a special menu of protein-packed treats. If your full schedule means missing your dog’s regular walk, the hotel’s Peninsula Pages will even step in to take your fur baby for a stroll.
Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point
Perhaps because canines are such social creatures, this swank hotel set above a crescent of Southern California sand hosts a monthly Yappy Hour during the summer for dogs and their two-legged dates. While pups lap up flavoured water (say, bacon or beef), their owners enjoy wines by Mutt Lynch. Check the calendar for this year’s dates, or reserve a dog-friendly room for Yappy Howl-o-ween, when costumed canines compete for prizes and your Instagram followers are the real winners. No matter when you arrive, the Ritz’s Posh Pooch program coddles pets with a full suite of amenities for a $50 nightly fee.
Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach
Your pup might become fast friends with Lago, the French bulldog pet concierge, when you walk into this ocean-view property in the very pet-friendly Surf City. The hotel, which features a Balinese-inspired spa and awesome rooftop bar among other luxury amenities for guests‚ also offers plush beds, food and water bowls and clean-up bags for dogs upon request (fees may apply). Steps outside the hotel and you have access incredible shopping for both humans and canines at Pacific City. Treat your best friend to treats at Top Dog Bakery or shop for new doggie clothes. Bonus: Paséa is also conveniently located close to Huntington Dog Beach.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe
Thirty minutes north of La Jolla, this Forbes five-star retreat nestled among 45 acres of gardens and olive groves extends the same hospitality to its four-legged guests as it does their human companions. That means welcoming pups with plush beds, pet-friendly walking trails and a room service menu of doggie tapas fresh from the hotel kitchen. If shepherd’s pie with ground beef, pureed potatoes and peas sounds a bit decadent, it should. Sparky’s on vacation, after all.
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