An exclusive hotel - or tour or
restaurant - at your next destination, that's who.
You've heard about doggie day care and pet-walking services, and
even the fact that some hotels set aside choice tidbits for their
guests' four-legged friends. But roll out the red carpet - and
treats, toys, and special menus - in the hotel restaurant? Not
A growing number of hotels, inns, and resorts are capitalizing on
Americans' love for their pets. And it doesn't make sense not to.
According to a poll by the Travel Industry Association of America,
14 percent of adults in the United States refused to leave their
best friends at home while on trips in the past three years. Almost
four in five of them traveled with their dogs (cats were a distant
second, but 3 percent took rabbits, ferrets, or fish), while 29
percent stayed in hotels or motels with their pets, the poll
To accommodate, hoteliers now pamper four-legged guests with
over-the-top services that are truly the cat's meow. Tour operators
offer dog-friendly versions of their itineraries. And at some
camps, a dog is de rigueur - don't leave home without it.
In the Vermont countryside, for instance, Camp Gone to the Dogs
(802-387-5673) offers a full plate of classes and events -
obedience classes, tail-wagging contests, even arts and crafts and
costume parties. It's a Club Med for canines. Lectures range from
behavior problems and nutrition to careers as therapy and service
dogs. (Portrait photography and canine makeovers cost extra.)
Then there's the chance to explore Europe on foot and walk the dog
at the same time. Europeds, a tour operator out of Novato,
California (800-321-9552), allows pooches on walking tours in
Provence and the Dordogne Valley of France, where guests stay in
four-star hotels. "They're amazingly popular. The dogs come to
restaurants with us, and some have dog menus - it's a hoot," says
Europeds owner David Martin.