Those who are traveling with four-legged companions sometimes find it difficult to locate quality accommodations that are also pet-friendly. Florida, however, features a number of hotels and motels throughout the state that welcome well-behaved animals, pending their owners follow a few house rules so as not to disturb other guests. These properties range from high-end to economy and appear in nearly every major metropolitan area of the state, often close to animal-friendly parks and shopping centers that sell pet supplies.
Westin Fort Lauderdale
Fifteen minutes from Fort Lauderdale International Airport, the Westin Fort Lauderdale hotel overlooks a tranquil lagoon and provides easy access to pet-friendly Riverwalk Park off Las Olas Blvd. and attractions like the Museum of Art. Pets under 40 lbs. are permitted for a non-refundable $50 fee. Guest services include a 24-hour front desk with safety deposit boxes, dry cleaning, luggage hold and a dedicated concierge that can help out-of-towners structure off-site activities. Hotel recreation ranges from a sauna and workout room to an outdoor heated pool and whirlpool. A fully equipped business center and copy/fax services accommodate corporate travelers. On-site meal options include a Mediterranean bistro with al fresco dining, lobby lounge serving lighter fare and Starbucks coffeehouse. Guests can secure a room with a lagoon view and enjoy amenities like a refreshment center, granite-topped workstation, deluxe bath products and even a signature Westin doggie bed.
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
The Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando is located at the Universal Studios Resort, where scores of nighttime entertainment venues, shops, restaurants and a world-famous theme park are just steps from the property. Pets are welcome, although no more than two may occupy any one room and each must have a health certificate from a veterinarian no more than 10 days old prior to arrival. The centerpiece of the hotel is a 12,000-square-foot pool with sand beach, two Jacuzzi tubs, volleyball court and interactive fountains for children to play in. The on-site Mandara Spa features a menu of massage and body treatments, while dining options include a steak and seafood restaurant, poolside bar and grill, and award-winning ice cream parlor. Pets are not allowed in the pool, lounge or restaurant areas. Pet-friendly rooms with either a garden or pool view are provided, and a $25 cleaning fee is charged at check-out. In-room amenities include a private safe, iPod docking station and entertainment center with 32-inch flat-panel TV.
Red Roof Inn Gainesville
Budget-conscious travelers in the Gainesville area will appreciate the reasonably priced Red Roof Inn, where pets stay free, with a limit of one pet per room. The property is just a stone's throw from local points of interest such as the Center for Performing Arts, Florida Museum of Natural History and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Plenty of free parking is available for cars, trucks and RVs, while additional amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with sundeck and complimentary wireless Internet access throughout the premises. Numerous dining options are within a mile of the motel, including Cracker Barrel and Bone Fish Grill. Spacious guest rooms feature cable TV, data ports, direct-dial phones with free local calling and coffeemakers, as well as portable cribs upon request. Kids under 17 stay free with a paying adult. Guests with pets must notify management prior to arrival, agree to cover any damages caused by the pet, and must never leave the pet unattended in the room.
Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach
The 100 percent smoke-free Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach is minutes from the Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral and several miles of white sand beaches. Doggie Care Cocoa Beach and Bow Meow Boarding & Grooming are conveniently close to the property as well. Small, well-trained pets are allowed to stay assuming they are supervised at all times, with a $100 deposit required at check-in. Guests can make use of a valet laundry service, beach-style gift shop, 24-hour business center and shuttle service that provides transportation throughout the surrounding area. The property also features a 5,600-gallon shark tank and tropical fish aquarium. The on-site Shark Pit Bar & Grill serves family-style breakfasts, gourmet dinners and pizza cooked in an open-faced oven. Cozy guest rooms offer a choice of one king or two queen beds, pay-per-view movies, a work desk and an iron with board. Guests can also request rooms with whirlpool tubs.
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