Historic Hotels going to the dogs

The Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Ariz. allows small pets. Courtesy of Historic Hotels of America

Something worth barking about is taking place at 60 vintage hotels around the nation. Pets are welcome at these Historic Hotels of America hotels.

More than a canine curiosity, yet not a flighty fact, and by no means a catty concept, it has been confirmed that the nation’s historic hotels welcomed pets of all sizes and disposition over the years. It started taking shape in the 1940s when Gene Autry arrived at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. accompanied by his faithful companion and co-star, a horse named Champion.

Today, at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, Catie Copley, a canine ambassador, meets and greets guests, and is available for runs and walks. At the Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla., two nine-foot tall mahogany birdcages with porthole windows to house finches and nightingales are displayed in the lobby. And then there are the live alligators gracing the fountains at the Jefferson Hotel’s Palm Court in Richmond, Va.

Today, individual hotels have established rules for checking in pets accompanying their human partners. It’s advisable to check with each hotel so you don’t run into an unexpected “no pets allowed” situation.

At The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., an interesting ongoing package here is the Romantic Getaway at $445 per couple. The includes accommodations in a Garden Cottage, dinner, Swedish massage and continental breakfast for two. Pets are most welcome at an additional charge of $125 (they call it a clean-up fee) and this is valid for up to a one-week stay.

In Washington D.C., the Hotel Monaco, another pet friendly destination, is featuring a “Let’s Play Ball” package until Sept. 5. The rate of $260 nightly includes accommodations and metro passes to see the Washington Nationals baseball team.

The Bishop’s Lodge Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, N.M. extends its hospitality to pets as well. It requests a fully refundable deposit of $150 for those reserving a guestroom to share with a pet.

And finally, at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Ariz., a $300 deposit is required if one brings a pet. The resort prefers small pets. Half the deposit is refundable, provided the guestroom is left in good order.

If you are planning to be Ashland, Ore. for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer, you can bring your pet to the Ashland Springs Hotel. A nonrefundable $30 deposit is required. Only small pets are allowed.

Check with Historic Hotels of America for additional pet policies and packages.

€ Historic Hotels of America: 1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-6412; 800.678.8946; www.historichotels.org; for information on international hotels go to www.historichotelsofeurope.com

Pamela Price is the co-author of Fun with the Family in Southern CA (fifth edition) published by the Globe Pequot Press. She can be reached at pamprice@dc.rr.com.