On the Atlantic Coast and north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale’s easy-going atmosphere is amplified by seemingly endless sunshine, intricate canals and miles of glorious beaches. This is a perfect spot to bring your pet on holiday, but when it comes to Fido or Fifi, one person’s pet is another’s pest. Luckily, these hotels are as welcoming to your four-legged friend, as they are to you. Read Culture Trip’s guide to the city’s best pet-friendly properties.
In the northern suburbs between the airport and Pompano Beach, the Westin welcomes pets with prior notification. Its curiously angular and heated pool deck overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the leafy surrounding terrace is pleasingly designed as though part of a more substantial tropical resort. The mirrored facade won’t win any beauty awards but rooms are comfortable and contemporary.
The unexceptional tower-block exterior cloaks a slice of Lauderdale history: its pioneering owner bought a chunk of then-barren coastal strip in the 1950s and built Ocean Manor, the beachfront’s first high-rise hotel. Today’s room decor boasts sleek, efficient design with hardwood or tiled floors but the property’s strength is its embrace of the outdoors. There are private cabanas for pool- or beach-side massages and relaxation, a terrace with an Italian restaurant and a tiki bar with plenty of live entertainment. Providing they follow the rules, it’s ideal for pets that like a bit of a party.
Billed as a boutique hotel, the Fortuna has remodeled its old-school motel look in favor of a fun, almost 1950s vibe with bold colors and monochrome palettes. Two pools plus several room and apartment options cater to a broad clientele, and Lauderdale’s golden sands are barely a skip away. Las Olas, a particularly popular retail (especially the Galleria Mall) and al fresco dining area with a notably lively beach scene, lies just a few minutes south. They love animals, but only cats and dogs are allowed.
Out in the western suburbs near a vast golf course and country club, the Hyatt’s location is neither town nor country. Its contemporary rooms and plain modern exterior suggest an upscale motel, albeit one with an imposing portico. Facilities are minimal but do include a very modest pool and fitness center. For pets, dogs up to 30 pounds are indulged subject to a fee, which increases for long-stay guests.
This compact budget option stands a mere 328ft (100m) from the beach near Las Olas. Behind its faintly art deco exterior, the two houses have had a Scandinavian-style makeover with wooden floors, clean white lines and splashes of color in the furnishings and beach-inspired posters and prints. Space (and space-saving design) has been thoughtfully configured and accommodation ranges from standard rooms to an apartment and a penthouse. As with its sister, the Fortuna, they love animals, but only cats and dogs are allowed.
Overlooking New River on trendy Las Olas Boulevard, Riverside’s imposing 1930s mansion-block oozes engaging Old Florida style and pizzazz. Along with its more modern executive tower, this is a substantial property with an array of classy, faintly retro-tinged rooms and suites. There’s a heated pool alongside the river and private boat moorings; its Boathouse restaurant occupies an annex amid tropical trees and shrubs. Pets “up to 75 pounds” are welcome in certain rooms; this might be the place to take your young great dane.
Close to the city’s vital cruise terminal and a major convention center, whatever this imposing modern property lacks in engaging style is balanced by convenience. The smart, functional decor is softened with tropical touches and its pool-garden area more closely resembles that of a destination resort. Two informal restaurants and a cafe neatly skew the Renaissance away from an overly corporate atmosphere. Two pets up to 25 pounds are welcome, subject to advance notice.