Six years ago, we adopted a pup who lives in the lap of luxury. He was given his name by a three-year-old who said to her mom with the wisdom of a sage, "Let's name him Journey, because life is a journey." The joy he brings us gives a new meaning: Traveling with Journey has become our passion, and we've been on the road with him for a while now.
For pet owners like us, the idea of leaving your pooch behind is unthinkable. Journey has been welcomed to nearly every hotel on California's central coast, stayed in San Francisco's best, placed his five-star paw print in the Beverly Hills Hotel's lobby, been served signature treats, and even had his photograph taken for some furry friends’ menus.
Here, a roundup of some of our favorite pet-friendly properties around California to bring your animals along for the journey. (Editor’s note: Many hotels have size limits, or don’t allow you to leave your pooch in the room unattended, so call ahead for restrictions and guidelines.)
This historic 606-room property first opened in 1907 in Nob Hill, but its pet policy is thoroughly modern. There are no size limits for your pup; you’re allowed to bring up to two animals, but they must be on a leash at all times and can’t be left in the room unattended. It can be an extra $75 per animal per night. The Fairmont was the first American hotel to offer a concierge, and their level of service has been forward-thinking ever since. Unexpected treats for your pup tend to show up throughout your stay.
If your pet has any sense of style, he or she will love the chic décor and aesthetics of this West Hollywood haunt. Animals are welcome at this Britain-meets-SoCal hotel. Our pup loved that there are two English bulldogs that reside on property as full-time mascots. Winston and Churchill are the hotel’s two resident bulldogs. Your furry friends can come play with the local pups in their favorite hangout, Hampton Court, or while they’re sunning at the rooftop pool.
The classic pink-and-green stylings of this Beverly Hills grand dame are unmistakable. The Pink Palace has been like a second home to young starlets and Hollywood legends for a century. But they also treat pet guests like celebs as well. The entire staff welcomed Journey with a platter of homemade organic treats. The staff member greeted us with our luggage and brought all of the best dog amenities the minute we arrived.
Ty Warner, one-time toy magnate and now hotel owner, treated Journey to a private 30-minute massage on the deck of his private suite at the famous San Ysidro Ranch. Yes, a masseuse got down on his hands and knees and gave our doggie a signature rub down. That’s because the property’s history of welcoming pets goes as far back as the mid 1930s, when former owner Alvin Weingand's famed family of dachshunds were regulars. Their VIP (Very Important Pooch) Program includes this $75 massage for 30 minutes, plush bedding, food and water bowls, a welcome cookie, an amenity bag of toys and a signature bandana, as well as access to a gourmet pet menu with vegetarian options to boot! Each pet is $100 extra per stay.
Journey had the good fortune of staying at this exquisite hotel, with an ocean view at Butterfly Beach. He was treated like a star and enjoyed yet another massage (Ty Warner owns this property as well). The treatment helps animals with blood circulation, as well as aches and pains they may endure after a long day of running.
Only a couple of years old, this Waldorf property is still shining like a new penny and is quite exquisite. The hotel charges a pet fee of $150 per stay and allows dogs up to 25 lbs. Journey's favorite spot on property was the rooftop garden, where you can dine lavishly, swim or just sit in awe of the view. Later, when we dined downstairs in the fabulous Jean-Georges restaurant, Journey had a sumptuous dinner via room service.
Photography by: Four Seasons Biltmore Photo by Barbara Kraft/Courtesy of Four Seasons Biltmore; Waldorf Astoria Photo © 2019 Hilton; All Other Photos Courtesy of Brands