Well, if you’re staying at any number of local hotels, it very well could be. You see, Orlando has definitely embraced the newest members of the traveling world, that being the pampered pet community. Yes, hotels have gone to the dogs. And cats. And while I hesitate to think of what other types of animals people travel with these days. . .for now, let’s just concentrate on the ‘normal’ ones and leave the exotic and creepy pets where they should stay which is in the wild, or at the very least a zoo. I mean, at home with their owners. Yeah, that’s what I meant.
So, let’s suppose you have a beloved dog or cat and can’t leave home without this pet. And let’s also assume you travel in style so, of course, Fido/Princess/Lassie/Boo would expect nothing less for his or her vacation either, right? Where to go? No seriously, where should you go, specifically here in Orlando? Believe it or not, we have plenty of choices. Some that may even surprise you.
For starters, I checked with our friends at Visit Orlando, www.visitorlando.com, who are the keepers of all sorts of lists for people who ask all sorts of questions beyond what time the Magic Kingdom opens every day of the year. They swiftly gave me a link to – I’m not kidding – no less than 58 area hotels that are pet friendly. Yep. You read that number correctly, and you can check it out yourself at http://www.visitorlando.com/blog/index.cfm/2012/5/3/PetFriendly-Options-in-Orlando/. Here’s a short list of some of the posh, upscale ones that might surprise you:
Hyatt Regency Orlando, International Drive – “Is happy to welcome your canine companions.” www.hyattregencyorlando.com
Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes – “Where your canines can experience the luxury, too.” www.ritzcarltonorlando.com
Rosen Hotels – “Pets are welcome with open paws.” www.rosenresorts.com/petpolicy/
And then there was this from Loews Hotels which in Orlando includes Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, Royal Pacific Resort and the Cabana Bay Beach Resort – “These pet-friendly digs not only accept the family pet, but they encourage their stay. Loews Loves Pets is a specially designed program that caters to the needs of cuddly creatures and their owners. The special treatment begins with a personal note from the general manager at each hotel with information on hotel pet services, local dog walking routes and area pet services like veterinarians, pet shops, groomers and more. Upon arrival, all pets receive their very own welcome amenity, including a logo bowl, placemat and special treat to start their vacation off on the right paw. Also available is a special pet menu, complete with gourmet pet food and vegetarian entrée options, specialized bedding for the furry family friend, pet videos, scratching posts, catnip, leashes and more.” loewshotels.com
And for all you non-pet owners out there who might be just a tad worried when coming face-to-face with Bowzer in the hotel lobby, rest assured that most pet friendly hotels do have Pet Policies in place, and owners/guests normally have to sign agreements at check-in (not to mention pay advance deposits to cover, well, you know. . .) that clearly state what areas are open and those that are off limits to said pets along with other ‘pet protocols’ for those four legged travel companions. This also applies to service animals, although by law, they are always allowed in public areas unless showing signs of aggression.
So, how about it? Have you hesitated to take a trip recently because you didn’t want to leave Princess behind? No worries! She can just as easily be Queen of the hotel room as she can your own home. And with all the pampering some hotels are willing to supply, Princess might even have sweeter dreams while stacking up some travel miles.