By Saundra Amrhein
So you’re planning your Florida vacation, and you need to find the right place to stay that also caters to your VIP – Very Important Pet.
Throughout the Sunshine State there are plenty of pet-friendly Florida hotels and accommodations, including rustic campgrounds, budget hotels, and resorts that offer extra pampering, including massages and turndown services for your furry friends.
Be sure to call ahead to inquire about policies on weight restrictions and deposits and fees.
Here’s a list of options of pet-friendly hotels in Florida, from the ritzy resorts to the practical places to lay your head (and paws) for the night:
DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
The name telegraphs the fun that awaits guests here. The DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando is a Universal Orlando Partner Hotel, a short walk from Universal Studios Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Universal’s Island of Adventure. Universal’s Volcano Bay, the Orlando International Premium Outlets, and the Mall at Millenia are within two miles. Icon Park, SeaWorld, and all of Disney are just minutes farther. Welcome to the Theme Park Capital of the World.
You and your pets will take in grand views of the Miami River and Key Biscayne at this Kimpton hotel – which accepts any pets with no restrictions on number, weight or size and for no extra charge. Pet pampering amenities include the placement of pet bowls and beds in your room, and the availability of dog leashes and plastic bags for dog walks. Arrangements can be made with the concierge for pet grooming, pet walking, pet sitting and pet massage services.
With about two dozen locations throughout Florida, this luxury hotel allows small dogs or cats at several of its locations, including Sarasota, Orlando and Miami Beach. Policies vary though generally call for pets to be 25 pounds or smaller and limit one per room. Fees also vary by property, and in some cases include a one-time cleaning fee of $250. Be sure to check the individual site policies when making reservations.
This posh waterfront hotel on Brickell Key knows how to pamper your pets of up to 25 pounds. They receive plush beds and have special culinary choices, such as organic chicken breast. Pesky behavior issues can be addressed with a certified trainer in doggie boot camp. Dogs are walked free once a day and can unwind in style in bathrobes emblazoned with the hotel logo in blue or pink Swarovski crystals.
With no restrictions and no fees, this luxury ocean-front, Kimpton pet-friendly hotel immediately welcomes your pet at the door with treats, provides doggie beds and bowls for food and water, and is in close proximity to a dog park and stores and bakeries that specialize in homemade dog treats.
This chic, boutique hotel chain by Starwood is pet friendly at its seven Florida locations, which include two in Jacksonville, one in Tallahassee, one in Orlando and three in the Miami area. Part of the welcome package includes a special bed and bowl and a doggie bag full of treats and toys.
Policies vary on weight restrictions. Check for varying fees and deposits at specific locations.
Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, Vero Beach
With an impressive beachfront location, celebrity-owned Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel that has it all — rejuvenating spa, waterfront pool and fine-dining. Not only is this hidden jewel in Vero Beach pet-friendly, there are no extra fees for dogs, and no weight limits. Their “Party Like a Pup Star” package includes a cabana room with king-size bed, welcome mojitos, beach chairs for two, an array of dog treats and toys from a local boutique, a plush doggie bed and valet parking
Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa, Palm Beach
The only beachfront boutique pet-friendly hotel in Florida on the island of Palm Beach, Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa features an impressive location, nestled right next to the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Great news for your pooch: as is the case for all Kimpton brand hotels, there are no weight limits or fees for dogs.
Book an oceanfront room and open up all the windows to beckon the sea breeze and sounds of crashing waves. With only 134 rooms and two suites, Tideline features an intimate, escapist atmosphere. One of the best parts about staying at this property is that there is a daily free wine hour from 4 to 5 p.m. at Brandon's on the Beach and pups are welcome to join.
Alfond Inn, Winter Park
With its bricked streets lined with grand oak trees, al fresco cafés and trendy boutiques, Winter Park is one of the most dog-friendly towns in Florida. Located within walking distance to Park Avenue, the stylish and exquisitely designed Alfond Inn welcomes four-legged family members with wide open arms and a small fee ($75 per night). The “Very Important Pup” package includes a classic room, specialty dog bowl, a variety of doggie treats and toys (including a tennis ball!), personal dog walk and a donation to Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Fort Lauderdale
Situated on bustling Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, across from one of Florida’s most popular stretches of white sand, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of all the action. Be prepared for jaw-dropping ocean views from both the spacious rooms (they’re huge — about twice as big as average hotel rooms) and the pool deck. This beachfront boutique hotel is known for it’s over-the-top friendly staff and service — plus they love furry friends ($125 fee, total per stay). There’s a hidden stash of doggie treats at the concierge desk and every pup that prances through the door is lavished with attention.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Lake Buena Vista
This campground is nestled amid 750 acres of pine and cypress forest near the theme parks. Pets are allowed at some of the RV hookup sites. You can also enjoy some of the trails with your dogs, as long as they are leashed. Or they can run free at the off-leash, fenced-in Waggin’ Tails Dog Park, which is located within the campground.
Best Friends Pet Care, Lake Buena Vista
This 27,000-square-foot facility offers boarding, grooming and daycare for dogs, cats and other family pets. While you are out enjoying the theme parks, Fido could be basking in a shampoo, teeth whitening or “pawdicure.” Services for your pets also run from VIP suites to group playtime to special treats (including tuna on a Ritz for the kitties). The center is open to anyone, though Disney World Resort guests are offered special discounts.
These pet friendly hotels allow a maximum of two furry friends per room, charging a $50 pet fee per night with a maximum of $150 for three nights or more.
This pet-friendly affordable chain has hotels throughout all of Florida and allows up to two domestic pets per room at no extra charge or fee.
Here are some more accommodations where your pooch will be welcome:
‘Tween Waters Inn (Captiva Island)
Bayfront Marin House Bed & Breakfast (St. Augustine)
Boardwalk Beach Resort Hotel & Convention Center (Panama City Beach)
Casa Playa Resort (Fort Myers Beach)
Don Cesar (St. Pete Beach)
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (Manalapan)
Hilton Melbourne Rialto
Homewood Suites by Hilton Tampa-Port Richey
Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Innisbrook Resort (Palm Harbor)
Naples Bay Resort & Marina
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Perry's Ocean Edge Resort (Daytona Beach)
Lotus Boutique Inn & Suites (Daytona Beach)
Radisson Resort at the Port (Cape Canavaral)
Ramada Venice Resort
Riverside Hotel (Fort Lauderdale)
Seaside Amelia Inn
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Hollywood)
St. Francis Inn (St. Augustine)
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
Waterstone Resort & Marina Boca Raton
Wisteria Inn (Panama City Beach)
Here are even more pet-friendly places to stay all around Florida: www.bringfido.com/lodging/state/florida/