We have lots of willing people who love to look after our pug when we travel but every now and then we like to bring him with us, especially when we are only going for a weekend and taking the car. In the summer itâ€™s simple because we typically camp and most campgrounds in Ontario allow dogs â€“ provided you keep them on leash and pick up after them. However, when we visit cities and want to stay in a hotel itâ€™s always more of a hassle. We typically donâ€™t have any trouble finding pet friendly hotels as long as we stay away from small chains or BNBâ€™s. Between Ottawa â€“ Saint John, NB and Niagara Falls we have found a significantly different message about â€śPet allowanceâ€ť.
The Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
5* Pug Rating
We stayed two nights in the Sheraton Ottawa hotel on Easter weekend. We wanted to get away and thought a drive to Ottawa to visit Parliament and check out the Rideau Canal would be fun. After four hours in the car the dog (Winston) was pretty wired and ready to run. The staff in the lobby - bellman, doorman, front desk agent - all friendly and thrilled to see Winston. They asked about his well being, gave him treats and made him feel at home the same way they did us. I filled out the waiver that promises Winston wonâ€™t tear the place up and giving them our contact numbers in case of a â€śpuppy emergencyâ€ť. Shortly after we arrived in our room, housekeeping showed up with a doggie bed and food/water bowls â€“ very special. They truly made us feel at home and welcomed our surrogate child with all the love he deserves as a guest.
The Delta Brunswick Hotel
4* Star Pug Rating
During one of those â€śhit the open roadâ€ť logic-lapses we decided to drive from Toronto to Halifax to visit family. We stopped over in Saint John, NB for a night. It took a while to find a hotel in Saint John that allowed dogs but eventually the Delta came through. While the staff we friendly enough, they didnâ€™t seem to care one way or another that we had a dog. I am pretty sure we filled out a waiver but it was really just a formality. I think I could have had six dogs with me and it wouldnâ€™t have mattered. While this may seem a disappointment â€“ no doggie bed â€“ no treats- as long as they were ok with the dog, all was well. It was a visit without any concerns and Winston loved the trees just outside the back entrance for doing his business.
Sheraton on the Falls Hotel
1* Star Pug Rating
Now I donâ€™t like to rat on Sheratons. I think they are a great hotel chain and usually I have no complaints. After the experience we had in Ottawa, I figured we were safe choosing a Sheraton anywhere we traveled with the pug. Unfortunately, this hotel was an expectation. The hotel prices in Niagara Falls are terrible no matter when you travel. I was ok with spending $250 a night if I had what I wanted. I booked a lovely room online. Two days later I got a call saying that they only allow dogs in certain room types and that my rate would be $350 a night. They said it had a view of the falls and a private balcony so I just assumed Winston was helping us to spend a little more but get a better room type. How wrong I was. We ended up in a room that looked onto a balcony with a gorgeous view of the falls but it was a balcony that covered the entire floor, was shared by all the other rooms on the floor, and was rented out for events. We saw two weddings take place right outside our window. Worst of all, the bed was a Murphy bed â€“ one that closes up into the wall and was extremely uncomfortable. They were rude at check-in and made us put a sign on the door that said we had a dog â€“ which isnâ€™t necessarily a bad idea expect it was given to us in a way that basically said â€“ you have a problem so tell everyone about it. The staff were rude other than one room service guy who actually smiled. The pug was on edge the whole trip because people were looking in our windows and drinking outside our sliding doors chatting into the wee hours. I can understand hotels that donâ€™t want pets â€“ but donâ€™t allow them if you donâ€™t want them.
All in all, traveling with a dog is always a bit of a hassle but the look on their faces when you tell them to get in the car after they have seen you pack it up is well worth the effort.