Consumer News

Pet-friendly hotels

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wish you could take Fido or Fifi on your next vacation? According to Consumer Reports, that's getting easier to do. More and more hotels are willing to accommodate travelers' pets. But there's a lot you should know before booking your next trip.

Pet-friendly hotels run the gamut from Econo Lodge and Best Western to Hilton and Ritz-Carlton.

The price can differ a lot. Some hotels charge $25 a night for your pet, others a lot more. And there can be other hotel pet expenses, such as a refundable $100 deposit, or you may be required to accept financial liability for any damage caused by your pets. And some, like the W, charge a $100 cleaning fee.

Although many chains are pet-friendly, not all hotels within each chain accept pets. So you need to call ahead to find out whether there are any restrictions, such as weight, size, and breed restrictions. If your dog doesn't meet the criteria to stay at a particular hotel, don't give up hope. Consumer Reports advises explaining that your dog has a wonderful disposition. You never know; they might waive those restrictions. And don't forget to ask whether you need to bring proof of your pet's up-to-date vaccinations.

When booking a room with a pet, check to see whether you're allowed to leave the pet alone in the room or if your pet needs to be in a crate. Also ask about available amenities. Some hotels offer dog-sitting and walking, as well as pet massages. But, of course, check to see what the hotel charges for those extras.

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