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The six most pet-friendly hotels in the world

Thanks to a boom in cat and dog adoption over the last year, hotels across the globe are creatively upping their pet-welcoming game. From five-star gastronomy for pussy cats in Paris to Hong Kong photoshoots for hounds, Isabella Noble shares six pioneering properties that put four-pawed companions front and centre stage

01/06/2021Fact-checked 08/09/2022

It’s a dog’s life at El Palace, Barcelona (Zurita)

El Palace, Barcelona

Until recently, Spain was no pet-holiday powerhouse, but things are changing. Now, small dogs (under 8kg) can soak up the all-out, Versailles-inspired opulence at one of Barcelona’s most celebrated properties. Just off Passeig de Gràcia, where architect Antoni Gaudí crafted Modernista wonders, the dazzling El Palace was founded back in 1919 as a Ritz. For its pet-stay package, an adorable chocolate-brown dachshund, Lulu, greets her guests with personalised notes, treats, bowls, toys and beds. Dogs can join owners on the dreamy rooftop garden, where a slew of activities take place – from pop-up cinemas to seasonal Catalonia-rooted meals.

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The Stable Suite at Artist Residence Oxfordshire, where pets will appreciate the cosy seating area with a log burner

Artist Residence Oxfordshire

Some of the UK’s most original pet-friendly stays await in the gold-tinged, trail-threaded Cotswolds. On the eastern fringes, the Artist Residence Oxfordshire creatively recasts a 16th-century farmhouse as a nine-room, pooch-perfect address. The brand’s boho-boutique stamp is everywhere (wooden floors, vintage furniture, Morris & Co fabrics), and the six dog-hosting rooms include the art-filled Stable Suites with roll-top baths. Paw-friendly bookings come with Lily’s Kitchen treats, rattan-style beds and Chow Bella bowls, while pets can pad alongside at the Oxfordshire-fuelled Mason Arms pub.

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The now retired Fa-Raon, pictured with his ‘staff’

Le Bristol, Paris

Cats and dogs receive a purrfectly regal welcome at this ultra-decadent icon of Parisian luxury, on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which was elegantly revamped in 2018. Overnighting paw-pattering friends at the 1925 ‘Palace’ are spoilt with homemade biscuits, luxury beds, a set of bowls and mini-carpets embroidered with their names. Though pets might miss out on Le Bristol’s exceptional restaurants (which include Éric Fréchon’s three-Michelin-star Épicure), gourmet menus cater to their culinary tastes, with local-produce dishes on offer, including steamed fish and succulent carrots. Dogwalking services keep four-legged companions content while owners savour the retro-feel indoor rooftop pool and La Prairie spa, and Le Bristol’s resident Burmese cat Socrate (son of the famous Fa-Raon, above) is often spotted patrolling the orange-blossom-scented gardens.

Plan a trip to France

Creature comforts at the Rosewood Hong Kong (also opening image)

Rosewood Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s staycation boom means pooch pampering at its famously luxe hotels is on the up – and Kowloon’s five-star Tony Chi-designed Rosewood Hong Kong, which landed in 2019, is at the forefront. The Petcation programme covers an in-room afternoon tea and chew toys, along with beds, treats and litter trays. Cats and dogs get gourmet menus, local area guides spotlight pet-friendly parks and restaurants and every booking donates to Hong Kong’s Pets Central Animal Welfare Foundation. While pets enjoy training, grooming and photoshoots, laze in the infinity pool and Asaya spa and drink in the unbelievably beautiful Victoria Harbour views.

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Medium King room at Ace Hotel New York, where small sleeping dogs can lie 

Ace Hotel New York

Treat your loyal floofball to an awesome stay at the NoMad outpost of this game-changing boutique brand, where uber-lively public spaces, Stumptown espresso and April Bloomfield’s season-fired cooking shine. Dogs under 11kg can snooze overnight at the Ace Hotel New York in the retro-chic rooms by Roman and Williams (other pets on request). As with all Ace properties, treats are on hand and furry friends are free to tag along for cold-brew martinis in the vintage-vibe, creative-crowd lobby bar. Keep an eye out for the recurring Go Fetch package, with custom-designed dog ropes and collapsible bowls.

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Elly and Ella provide a warm welcome at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Canada

Fairmont is known for welcoming canine and feline companions like old friends at its luxe North American properties, most of which have furry-family ambassadors. At Vancouver’s 82-year-old Downtown ‘Castle in the City’, two much-loved Labradors called Elly and Ella (both former trainee guide dogs) fuss over guests. This grand railway hotel’s pet-friendly package takes in homemade bone-shaped treats, food, beds, bowls and tips on exploring Vancouver with wagging tails in tow – whether you’re racing around Stanley Park or dining at Cameron Ballendine’s Notch8. 

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Honourable Mentions

Our runner-up properties in the hotel pet packages stakes

From the UK, British Airways partners with PetAir UK, which is run and owned by fully-qualified veterinary surgeons and has been flying pets all over the world since 2004, to offer BA customers a safe, comfortable and convenient way to export their pets from the UK

Learn more about travelling with your pet