Pet-Friendly Palaces

A quarter of the worldwide hotels listed on bookings website Hotels.com are pet-friendly owing to a “huge increase in demand” of “guests wanting to travel with their animals” in recent years. And some of the services up for grabs are as baffling as they are astonishing. Vienna’s five-star Park Hyatt, for instance, offers not only a dog-walking service for its pampered pooches, but will even arrange for trips to the theatre. “If the pet wants to go to the opera by himself we will arrange their ticket,” general manager Monique Dekker tells the BBC. They’ll even ferry the hound by limo.


In the US, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle has housed every pet from pigs to goats to llamas. Basically, if you can get it there, they’ll host it. With dogs being the most popular pet visitor, they offer a special mutts’ menu that includes the likes of smoked beef marrow bones and a pig skin chew toy.


In Mexico, NIZUC welcomes cats and dogs up to 4.5kg, and also offer a pet menu along with masses of forest and beach area begging to be explored. It’s not uncommon to see owners takes their pups out on a paddleboard. Have your own horse? Consider the UK’s Coworth Park. Managed by the Dorcehster Collection, it’s one of the UK’s plushest rural retreats, with an ‘Ultimate Horse Check In’ package that sees your steed get its name on its stable door and treated to the likes of a Himalayan Rock Salt Lick and snacks prepared by a Michelin-starred pastry chef. Horsey will also be rewarded with a manicure, bubble bath and aromatherapy oil massage!


Across the ditch, one of Australia’s poshest hotels, the five-star Langham Sydney, provides luxurious lodgings for your pet cats, birds or dogs–providing they’re no larger than 20kg. Their Pampered Pets programme includes plush bedding, premium treats, a menu with the likes of sashimi and salmon (for the cats) and Angus beef (for the dogs), and a pet-sitting service.


Though we can’t promise seats at the opera, here’s a north to south run down of some of New Zealand’s best pet-friendly digs.

Wairoro Park, Bay of Islands

A premier holiday park located on a 60-hectare coastal estate near Russell, Wairoro Park has plenty of space to tire out your pet—including a private, pohutakawa-lined beach. The oceanside property, backed by native bush, offers chalets and cottages and free-to-use open-topped kayaks with ample room for paddling with your pooch, too.


Adams Accommodation, Waiheke Island

Quick and convenient getaways from Auckland don’t come much more wondrous than Waiheke Island. Adams Accommodation is a family-run set-up comprising three tropical cottages: ‘Tui’ and ‘Fantail’, both a short stroll from the cafes and beaches; and the standout ‘Island Dream’, 10 acres of Pacific-facing paradise patrolled by the likes of pukekos, alpacas and Shetland ponies.


Black Swan, Rotorua

A luxury boutique hotel on the banks of beautiful Lake Rotorua, Black Swan is bordered by an acre of manicured grounds that encapsulate lawns, a rose garden, swimming pool, sauna, a sandy beach and even a secret grotto! A float plane takes off from the private jetty and there’s  an on-site helipad that allow some quite literal high-end sightseeing of New Zealand’s geothermal heart.


U Residence Hotel, Wellington

Those wishing to take their furry four-legged friend on a sightseeing tour of the capital should consider the uber-cool U Residence Hotel, a contemporary lodging just a few minutes’ stroll from Te Papa and Cuba Street. All of its modern studios and apartment-style en-suite rooms are equipped with cooking facilities and private balconies. 


The Waters, Tasman Bay

Just minutes from Abel Tasman National Park and metres from one of Aotearoa’s most sun-kissed coastlines, The Waters is a boutique bed and breakfast whose three unique suites are set on the edge of an olive grove and graced with sea and mountain views. The super modern lodgings each also sport cantilevered decks that jut out over the property’s private pond.


The Sounds Retreat, Picton

The sumptuous Sounds Retreat is nestled among the forested fingers of the Marlborough Sounds. Overlooking the Queen Charlotte Sound and just a stone’s throw from the famous track (and close to the part where dogs may be walked), this luxurious retreat boasts decks with sea views and steaming spas. It serves as a launchpad to hiking, biking and kayaking adventures, with the likes of horseback riding and zip lining and those legendary Marlborough vineyards close by, too.


Le Petit Hotel, Christchurch

Six charming rooms and a legendary complimentary European bistro-style breakfast await at the quaint Le Petit Hotel in Christchurch, seconds from Sumner Beach (though, note that dogs are not allowed on Christchurch swimming beaches during summer months). The French-themed bed and breakfast has rooms with private terraces or balconies with sea views.


Te Wanaka Lodge, Wanaka

Doubling as a ski lodge in winter and bed and breakfast during the summer months, Te Wanaka Lodge, in the heart of pretty Wanaka, boasts a cedar garden hot tub and a roaring log fire for your dog to recline in front of. En-suite rooms sport balconies, bathrobes and natural toiletries (the lodge prides itself on sustainable practices), with afternoon tea and home-baked treats served daily.


The Barn Bed and Breakfast, Dunedin

Positioned in Waitati, a short drive from Dunedin, The Barn Bed and Breakfast is airy accommodation under a sprawling arch roof overlooking Blueskin Bay. Noted for its utter isolation, the hillside lodging sprouts from rural property with oodles of room to stretch those paws. Nearby attractions include the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, home to New Zealand’s tallest tree, and a bounty of galleries, cafes and beaches.


Hotels at Home

Barkley Manor

An Eton-like facility for pooches, Barkley Manor comprises the Grey Lynn ‘City Park’ with 2,000 square metres of indoor space akin to an adventure playground and 1,000 square metres of outdoor space, and a 150-acre ‘Country Park’, 40 minutes north. The latter is a leash- and collar-free location where hounds can tear through forests and meadows and streams and waterfalls. Services include doggy day care, overnight boarding, grooming and training sessions.


The Cat Hotel

Conveniently located in Greenlane, The Cat Hotel is a boutique lodging for felines. Established in 1979, and approved by the city council, kitties can expect private spacious runs with play areas with towers and soft toys and hidey holes and a 24-hour radio for added creature comfort.