Wednesday, November 26, 2014

City Dog: How to Stay in a Hotel with your Dog

We'll be staying in the city this Thanksgiving weekend, but for everyone else who might be traveling (with pups!) we wanted to revisit this post about what we discovered about that time we 'Played Eloise' and what we learned about staying in a hotel with dogs.

On Potty Breaks and Finding that Patch of Grass
While our pups are used to used to peeing like city dogs (we wrote more about it here), we found how important it was to have a central peeing location to limit the time spent on potty breaks. While there usually isn't much grass downtown, we were able to find a single patch on a side-street that became our dogs' go to space. We realized a lot of dogs must have frequented this spot, so it became our 'go-to' spot to keep our wandering around at a minimum.
Our dogs are also fine riding in elevators, though if your dog isn't used to confined spaces, or mirrors, it would be a good idea to request a room on a lower floor so you're able to take the stairs.

Beware of Sounds and Drain Mental Energy
Living in a multi-unit building, our pups get used to footsteps in the hallway, voices and doors shutting. Though even they were a bit alarmed with the footsteps and sounds outside the door. Our pooches aren't really barkers, though we were still afraid that if we left them alone Miss M might start singing
The first night when the pooches were still getting accustomed to everything we stayed with the pups watching movies, ordering take-out, late night room service, and picking up cheap wine from a nearby Trader Joe's.
 The second day we were able to spend a lot of time wandering around. Between the walking and the mental stimulation between the new sights and sounds (and meeting people!) the dogs were completely tired when we came back home, and they happily passed out while E and I were able to head back out for a nice dinner.

Suit Up
We knew how much the hotel loved dogs, but we know not everyone does. We know extra gear makes our pups more approachable, and since our pups were decked out in their black puffy coats and fancy snoods they were well-received by so many people. We received a 'what a handsome family' compliment, and overheard a woman saying to her husband 'Why are you in a short-sleeved shirt? Even the dogs out here are wearing scarves."

Being Respectful and Paying it Forward
We love when places are so open about involving dogs, so we always try to leave a good impression so people continue to think positively about dog owners. We worked to keep our room tidy, taking out any dog-related trash, wiping our dogs feet when we came back inside, being considerate in the elevators, and tipping well.

Finding Supportive Hotels:
We had a really great experience at the James Hotel Chicago. The hotel prides itself on being a dog-friendly hotel without breed and size restrictions. They also provide dog beds, dog bowls and treats. The staff was always beyond friendly giving the pups a pat and holding the door for us. The hotel charges a $75 dog fee for the entire stay, which was actually cheaper for us than putting the pups in boarding for the time we needed to stay. It also has a great location on Michigan Avenue in the heart of downtown with easy access for walks along the lake, great restaurants (including take-out), and right across from a Trader Joe's. They also have very reasonable weekday stays, though last minute weekends are quite pricy!
On one trip we also had a really positive experience with Drury Hotels which have several locations.
And here is our experience at Palomar Chicago, part of the Kimpton group.

We would love to hear about other people's experiences. What are some things you've learned about having dogs in hotels? And what are some of your hotel recommendations?

Sometimes it's like this though it can also get like this. Or even this.
How to catch a cab with a big dog
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog.


Two French Bulldogs said...

Wish every buddy took time with their pups as you guys do. Leave the TV on so Ms M doesn't sing. We do cause I will sing at the mail lady
Lily (& Edward)

Phyllis said...

I love your blog and have been lurking for quite some time. I leave the TV or radio on every day when I go to work for my dogs (and cats). I love how your pooches get dressed up for all the occasions! You've even inspired me to join a dog friendly hiking group! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

I brought Norman to LA last year & we stayed at Palihouse in Hollywood - It was a super cool hotel in a beautiful neighborhood, plus super dog friendly. Norman hammed it up & loved the experience.

We also stayed at a Mariott Residence Inn in Ventura. I believe they are all dog friendly. I let Norman play on the golf course after hours;)

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