San Diego's Pet-Friendly Hotels
Approximately 45.6 million households in the United States have dogs. Of those households, 21 percent travel with their canine. An increase in pup pampering has fueled the travel industry to embrace these scruffy scions. Pooch parents no longer must compromise their blissful vacations to accommodate the hound. Upscale hotels roll out the red carpet for Fido, offering toys, spa treatments and pup-sitting services. So, pack your buddy's leash and check out one of these stellar San Diegobeauties.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Loews Coronado Bay Rd. Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 424-4000
Loews is the proverbial poster child for pet-friendly hotels and is rumored to be the catalyst for the canine craze at upscale establishments. The hotel’s five wings are splayed on a 15-acre private peninsula surrounded by water. Pooches of any size are permitted in any room, with only a $25 cleaning fee. Loews “Su’ruff Camp” exemplifies their VIP (Very Important Pet) attitude. The one-night package includes K9 surfing lessons at Coronado Dog Beach a few miles from the hotel, as well as board shorts or bandana for Bowser, a copy of “The Dog’s Guide To Surfing” and a surf ‘n’ turf supper for pups. Star students can “hang ten” in the hotel’s annual surf dog competition held every June.
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
5480 Grand Pacific Drive Carlsbad, CA 92008 (760) 827-2400
Guests young and old, two and four-legged, will love this 56-acre retreat located only three miles from the Pacific Ocean. Flanked by LEGOLAND theme park and The Crossings Golf Resort, a visitor’s main conundrum is fitting in both activities. Pooches are not only welcome here, the hotel indulges them with an “It’s A Dog’s Life” package, which includes a toy, a pet-themed movie every night, the Sweet Sleeper dog bed, bowls and a Sheraton collar tag in case Rover roams. There is no pet fee, and pet sitting and walking are available. The rules state no dogs over 80 pounds are welcome, but personnel has seen Great Danes stroll the property.
The Sofia Hotel
150 West Broadway San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 234-9200
Originally open in 1927 as the Pickwick Hotel, the Sofia’s Neo-Gothic architecture stands out among nearby newer structures. The brick facade displays the original windows and wrought-iron fire escape. Inside, a complete remodel morphed the property into a unique fusion of history and modernity. The Sofia’s homeyness is conducive to guests and pets alike. The Pampered Paws Package welcomes pooches for a two-night stay in a deluxe suite, including a pet pillow, bowls and a spa day at nearby Dogs And The City. For those who choose to forgo the package, there are “a la carte” stays for a $25 per day fee. Bring bowls, as food paraphernalia is not provided. Fourth floor rooms are allocated for furry guests, who often convene in the hallway for introductory sniffs. Currant American Brasserie is the hotel’s culinary superstar. Located on the ground floor’s bustling Broadway Avenue, the streetside café is perfect to watch the world zoom by. The wait-staff caters to pets with fresh bowls of H2O and extra bread.
Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
5921 Valencia Circle Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 (858) 756-1123
Fashioned after a California hacienda, discreet luxury comes in the form of adobe casitas with hand-painted tiles. Forty-nine villas dot the property. They charge pooches $75 per stay. A pet policy letter given at check-in summarizes dog-friendly areas. Special gifts await pups: a nylon portable water bowl, a tennis ball on a rope and Greenie chew bones. Mother Nature’s artistic talent can be viewed on the Sala Terrace as two and four-legged visitors snack on appetizers and sip fruity cocktails. The concierge will arrange a pet-sitter, allowing guests to dine at The Restaurant at Rancho Valencia, rated “one of the top ten in San Diego” by Zagat. Fido may have a meal prepared and delivered via room service.
723 Felspar Street San Diego, CA 92109 (866) TOWER23 (869-3723)
South Beach meets San Diego at this minimalist, contemporary property. The Four Star hotel in Pacific Beach nuzzles the ocean, living the location, location, location axiom. Different colored neon lights play a large decorating role in the hotel, whose name is derived from a nearby lifeguard tower. Pet-friendly rooms are on the second floor with access to the Tower Deck overlooking the beach. Pooch patrons take their meals either here or in-room. Dog bowls and beds are not available, so Fido will be sharing your Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress. A one night fee of $75, or $150 for multiple evenings, is charged for pets no larger than 25 pounds.
509 9th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 727-4000
The East Village newcomer gives canines carte blanche; no size restriction, no off-limit areas and no pet fees. Resident dogs, Sandie who claims GM Chris Jones as Dad, and Buckeye, the sales and marketing director’s pooch, meet and greet four-legged guests. Canine Cocktails, held monthly on the 9th floor terrace overlooking PETCO Park, is a huge success welcoming 50-100 people with their hairy heartthrobs. Partnership with City Dog, FIT gym and Downtown News for the event only adds to the community camaraderie. Phi, the lobby bar and bistro, is another hot-spot for coddled critters and cohorts.