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
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El Palace, Barcelona
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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 new-in-2021 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 courtesy of chef Daniel Padró.
Artist Residence Oxfordshire
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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.
Le Bristol, Paris
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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 Fa-Raon (above) is often spotted patrolling the orange-blossom-scented gardens.
Rosewood Hong Kong
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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 Four-Legged Friends programme covers owner-and-pet yoga, an in-room afternoon tea and ProVet chew toys, along with beds, treats and litter trays. Cats and dogs get gourmet menus (perhaps a four-rice risotto with salmon?), local area guides spotlight pet-friendly parks and restaurants and every booking donates to Hong Kong’s SPCA. While pets enjoy training, grooming and photoshoots, laze in the infinity pool and Asaya spa and drink in the unbelievably beautiful Victoria Harbour views.
Ace Hotel New York
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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.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Canada
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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’ – which is looking fabulously fresh after emerging from a head-to-toe makeover in 2019 – 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, FirstMate 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.
Our runner-up properties in the hotel pet packages stakes
Unleashed at Hard Rock Hotels
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Pets – like people – enjoy a spot of pampering, and Hard Rock Hotels is ready to provide them with the same luxury hotel experience that their owners enjoy. Get tails wagging with the all-new Unleashed VIP pet package, complete with pawsome perks, including sWAG bags on arrival, velvet memory foam beds (perfect for resting tired paws), toys and drool-worthy treats, plus customised in-room Spotify playlists to keep furry friends calm and happy throughout their stay.
Ultimate Dog Escape at The Lygon Arms
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This 14th-century coaching inn offers a seriously indulgent pup-pampering session for your four-legged pal. Splash out on the Ultimate Dog Escape package, where your doggy companion will be spoiled with a full body groom, clipped nails, blueberry facial, plus paw and nose balm. Top off the treatment by adding a chic hair accessory (think bow or bandana) to your pup, along with a spritz of Jimmy Chow or Jean Paw Gaultier perfume.
Learn more about travelling with your
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
Take off to destinations around the
You can now change your travel dates and destination without incurring a change fee, giving you flexibility to adapt to unforeseen circumstances