Bring Spot to These Pet-Friendly Spas

by Becca Hensley

ABOVE: Las Ventanas Al Paraiso

Next time you travel, why not take your best friend with you?

You’ve pulled out the suitcase and begun filling it with neatly folded clothing. Suddenly, your cat looks up at you with ire, and stubbornly steps into the suitcase, blocking your packing efforts. Later, your dogs gather, gazing at you in wide-eyed disappointment, even sighing and pouting as they foretell your upcoming travel without them. Their attitudes stir guilt, quelling the excitement you felt when preparing for this trip. All that group despondency just makes leaving them harder.

Humans and animals share a unique connection. According to medical evidence, contact with our furry babies is not only joyful, but good for us physically, too. “Touch between a human and a dog—or cat—can have therapeutic benefits for both species. Petting a dog or cat can trigger the release of the bonding hormone oxytocin. It can also lower our heart rate and blood pressure, while calming our pets,” says Jacqueline Berry, spa director at Lake Austin Spa Resort, a pet-friendly destination retreat.

As it turns out, pets, like humans, need a break from their busy schedules. “I don’t mean sleeping—I mean, truly relaxing like we would,” says Lexi Beermann, Hollywood Pet Mom, a canine well-being expert and puppy nurse. She reminds us that pets are constantly working to please us. “Instead of always giving edible treats, bones and toys as a reward, I recommend treating your dog to a spa-like experience every now and then,” she suggests.

What if you did bring Kitty or Fido with you next time? Today, most hotels realize that pets are part of the family. Many hot spots not only accommodate and welcome our furry friends, but coddle them regally, too, with soft beds, chef-made snacks, water bowls and more. Sometimes, that pampering even extends to time in the spa. With pet-appropriate wellness experiences that run the gamut from acupuncture to manicures to massage, these hotels redefine “a dog’s life.”

LEFT: The Orlando | RIGHT: Viceroy Riviera Maya

The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch
Beaver Creek, Colorado
In-room massages and bath treatments by the Bachelor Gulch Spa are just two roads to canine repose at mountainside-perched, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. With two doggie ambassadors poised to meet your pup at the door, this ski lodge welcomes four-legged guests with overstuffed beds and chef-made, all-natural meals, not to mention a map of local dog parks and hiking trails.

The Orlando
Los Angeles, California
Head to Los Angeles’ happening Third Street District for stylish The Orlando’s “Urban Spa Getaway for Pooch and You,” a package that partners with other nearby businesses for mommy-and-me beauty fun. While puppy gets a pawdicure at Vanderpump Dogs—a rescue, grooming and retail store by Bravo’s Lisa Vanderpump—you’ll get a facial at Face Haus and (healthfully) tanned at Sugared + Bronzed. After your “catwalk” down the road, retire to your comfy room to plan tomorrow’s adventures.;

Provenance Hotels
Provenance Hotels, which includes properties such as The Heathman in Portland (Oregon) and Hotel Preston in Nashville, takes the hassle out of traveling with your fur babe. In partnership with Fido Friendly Magazine, they proffer new safety-assured, environmentally conscious pet perks, a roster that includes Eco Nap beds (made from recycled bottles and materials), food from The Honest Kitchen (made from real fruit, veggies and lean meat) and custom-made dog tags. Completing mind, body and spirit spoiling, all Provenance Hotels have pet massages, acupuncture, psychic readings and reiki treatments available en suite.

Viceroy Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Near Playa del Carmen, on a sandy sliver moon of beach, set amid a mangrove, monkey-filled jungle, Viceroy Riviera Maya draws deeply from local culture. Like their human counterparts, arriving pets will be blessed by the intimate resort’s in-house shaman, a practitioner from a local village, who descends from a long line of sacred healers.With negativity released, the pet vacay begins with the presentation of their personal, handmade pet palapa, a sheltering house that mimic’s the architecture of the pet’s master’s suite.

La Quinta Resor t
La Quinta, California

The separate casitas, private courtyards and immense acreage of iconic La Quinta ensure happy pet jaunts. But, the resort’s long-held acceptance for pet-able friends, removes all the angst masters may have traveling with their best fur ball. Its exclusive PAWS La Quinta Pet Experience provides pet placemats, door hangers and food/water bowls. A one-hour in-room dog massage option means owners can spa at the same time as their pet.

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort
Los Cabos, Mexico

Pets in the know will request the opportunity to spend their birthday at this Five-Diamond, beach-sighted resort. The dedicated “dog butlers” suites (consider the new Signature Villas) have plenty of room for butler-led “doga,” and tons of space for daily walks across the property. Tempting pets with special meals (butler-baked birthday-dog cake, anyone?), Las Ventanas, known for its prodigious spa, ensures pets have the chance to relax alongside their masters, with dog-centric acupressure and massage.

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