Travel Blog

Now checking in: Pampered Pets

Now checking in: Pampered Pets

by Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times on September 19, 2013

Shortly after arriving at the new Viceroy Riviera Maya in Mexico, dogs are blessed by a shaman as he circles them with burning incense. Afterward, the dog receives a garland of shells and flowers and can retire to a miniature palapa.

At the Essex Resort and Spa near Burlington, Vt., new canine theme weekends allow guests to spend the days hiking woodsy trails with their pets and learning how to bake. (Dog biscuits, that is.)

One could go on, particularly in New York: the new pet pedometers at theMuse Hotel, the imminent pooch minibars at the Benjamin, the Lacoste polos for dogs coming soon to the Gansevoort hotels.

As pets have evolved into family members — a trend market researchers refer to as “humanization” — it is hardly surprising that people want to take them along when they travel. And more and more hotels are happy to oblige. A higher percentage of properties than ever permit pets (61 percent, up from 52 percent in 2010), according to a 2012 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. And the ones that do are ratcheting up their amenities to befit pet owners who long ago traded Kibbles ‘n Bits for gluten-free organic meals served with carob-peanut butter brownies, and au naturel paws for those finished off with nail polish.