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Alexandria hotel tailors stay to dogs as industry leans into pet-friendly accommodations

Hyatt Centric Old Town now has an option to spoil your pooch with its “Bark, it’s your Birthday!” package (courtesy of Nano Betts)

(updated at 4:45 p.m.) While more than half the hotels in Alexandria are pet-friendly, one hotel has added a package to go above and beyond for your furry friend.

The “Bark, it’s your Birthday!” package from Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria figuratively rolls out the red carpet for your pooch.

The package that comes at a price of $250 ensures Fido’s favorites are awaiting him at your hotel stay. Ahead of check-in, the hotel will call the dog parents and ask about all the pet’s tail-wagging favorites from treats to toys, and deck out the room with the assistance from local “bonetique” The Dog Park. Also included in that additional fee is a pet-friendly itinerary created by the hotel.

Visit Alexandria says that there are more than 2,000 pet-friendly hotel rooms in the city. And there’s plenty for owners to do once they do get to Alexandria with their best furry friend from pet-friendly patios, dog happy hours, pet salons and doggie gyms.

Alexandria is known for its pet-friendly accommodations. U.S. News and World Report lists the top four hotels in Alexandria for Fido as The Lorien Hotel & Spa, The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Morrison House Autograph Collection and the Westin Old Town Alexandria. Hyatt was not included — Perhaps next year.

The U.S. News list includes hotels where pets stay for free by taking into account “amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings,” according to its website.

Hotels nationwide are embracing amenities that cater to dogs. During the Covid pandemic, many people stuck at home adopted pets and many in the travel industry, eager to capture an increased demand, have leaned into making it easier for people to travel with pets.

“The pandemic created just the right recipe for an uptick in pet-travel,” a spokesperson for the Hyatt stated. “Starting with the puppy adoption boom during the initial weeks of lockdowns and the stay-at-home orders that followed, parting with a pet seemed more dreadful than ever. On top of that, COVID led to a decline in air-travel, the most difficult type of pet-travel, and an increase of more accommodating modes of transportation such as road trips.”

Hilton’s CEO said on an earnings call last year that he hoped the surge in pet ownership would help the hotel chain appeal to those would be customers through a partnership it announced with Mars Petcare in an effort to make its hotels more pet friendly, according to the Washington Business Journal.

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