Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our Best-of-Class Pick for Pet Friendly Hotels: Day 4 of Katie & Waffles' Grand Hotel Adventure

WAFFLES:  So Boss, I'm thinking we should just stay here. Like forever and stuff.

KATIE:  That's not a bad idea, Waffles. Huge windows, room service, all the comforts...

WAFFLES:  And that BED!!! Did you see the size of those pillows? Yesterday I napped on a stack FOUR HIGH of them.

KATIE:  So that's where the pillows went.

WAFFLES:  If I keep adding a pillow a day, I'll be sleeping on SEVEN of them by the time we have to go home!

Living Grand
All week we've been sharing photos of our stay at the Grand Hotel Minneapolis. It's a very special hotel to Glogirly & Gloman... it's where they stayed on their wedding night nearly 13 years ago. Just a mile or so from the Townhouse, it's a little oasis of luxury. When we all learned we'd be moving out for a whole week while the damage to our home was repaired, the first two words that came to Glogirly's mind were Grand Hotel. If you've been following along, you probably already know how special this hotel is.

We've Long Loved Kimpton 
Since we do a lot of traveling with cats we're often asked about the best pet friendly hotels to stay at. For us it's an easy answer and a very short list. Kimpton. 

Glogirly has had the pleasure of staying at Kimpton hotel properties for over 15 years. Way back before she even knew there was such a thing as a cat blog she worked for Marshall Field's, now Macy's, in the marketing department. One of her favorite perks was staying at some of the coolest boutique hotels across the country. In fact, while working on a special project one summer, she lived at the Hotel Monaco in Chicago for nearly a month. 

The First of the 'Boutiques'
Kimpton has 66 boutique hotels across the country in 30 cities. In fact, they were the first 'boutique' hotel and restaurant company in the US thanks to founder, Bill Kimpton, and his first hotel in San Francisco. When he'd say, "it's a boutique hotel," people asked, "A what??" The idea of staying in a place that was more like someone's comfortable and stylish home as opposed to an impersonal, cookie-cutter style hotel where no one really cares about you was foreign territory. 

Staying at a Kimpton hotel is more than just a comfy bed and a good night's sleep. It's an experience.

Photo: Grand Hotel Minneapolis
Historic, Modern & Chic
They are masters at taking interesting old buildings and turning them into truly great hotels. A beautiful mix of historical detail with chic, modern and often whimsical touches. Oh, and for the record, the beds and pillows are DIVINE.

Service Made Special
The inspiring environment is second only to the service. Your wish is their command. From the moment we arrived, absolutely everyone greeted us with a genuine friendliness that goes way beyond 'Minnesota-Nice.'

It's no surprise they've been named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list many times. Or that they're the only hotel and restaurant company to earn a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, 10 years and running.

They do an awesome job of hiring happy people that enjoy what they do and are passionate about doing it well.

And doesn't that just make everything more fun?

TRULY Pet Friendly
When Glogirly and Waffles stayed at 70 Park Avenue (a NYC Kimpton hotel) last fall, the manager explained how their unique pet policy came to be. Their founder loved to travel with his dog but was mostly unimpressed with how welcoming, or rather unwelcoming, many hotels were to his furry friend. So he decided things were going to be different in his hotels. And that they are.

ALL of their hotels welcome furry, feathery or even scaly family members. No matter their size, weight or breed, there's never an extra charge. Their website reads, "If your pet fits through the door, we'll welcome them in." 

They go the extra mile with unexpected amenities like beds, bowls, mats, bottled water and ... wait for it -  LITTER BOXES. There's a 'Pets at Play' door hanger to alert anyone coming to our room we've got furry family members staying with us. Pets are even welcome at the nightly complimentary wine reception. 

We were welcomed by name, including Katie & Waffles, and arrived at our room to find a personalized card with special treats for everyone - with and without fur. 

Don't Be Fooled
When Pet Friendly is Not Pet Friendly at All
Many hotels throw around phrases like 'pet friendly' as if it's something special. But in reality they're  often nothing but empty words. When Glogirly was researching places to stay during our townhouse reconstruction, she found all sorts of websites touting collections of pet-friendly hotels by location. But when she read the fine print or called a specific hotel to confirm, here's what she often found:
  • No cats. In fact most of the so-called pet friendly hotels don't allow cats. How friendly is THAT?
  • Pet fees, both per stay and daily. 
  • Additional cleaning fees.
  • Size restrictions.
  • Breed restrictions.
  • Quantity restrictions.
  • Restrictions, restrictions, restrictions.
Kimpton and IHG
A couple of our friends have asked about the recent merger of the Kimpton and IHG hotel groups and how that may or may not affect their pet policy. (IHG has properties like Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Intercontinental, etc...) We've been assured that Kimpton's hotels will continue to be just as special and pet friendly as they've ever been. This makes us VERY happy! 

Please join us tomorrow for Day Five of Katie & Waffles' Grand Hotel Adventure
Need to Catch Up?
If you've missed our previous Grand Adventure with Katie & Waffles posts, we've DVR'd them for you:
1.   Preview: Are You Ready for Katie & Waffles' Grand Adventure?
2.   Day One: Hello, Room Service?
3.   Living High Among the Skyscrapers
4.   Cocktail Lounges & Minibars

We want to thank everyone at the Grand for making us feel so special and welcome. We're devoted fans and you can bet whenever we go, wherever we go, paws crossed we'll be staying at one of Kimpton's pet friendly and people friendly hotels.


  1. Such a wonderful place to stay. It looks like you are enjoying your enforced vacation

  2. We are so ready to pack up and visit this hotel with you!

  3. That's it - I MUST stay at a Kimpton hotel one of my trips!

  4. Well this is one hotel chain Mum would love! Hiw about that PET service, your other so-called hotels are sneaky, shameful and really boringggggggg!! Katie and Waffles you and the Glofamily have landed in a paradise for paws!!!

    Harvey, Miranda, Silver and very jealous Marjorie!!

  5. Now that is a pet friendly hotel! You have had a very. Nice vacation. M wishes they had one of those in our city.

  6. The mom has never stayed at one of their hotels...but we give them big paws up for being so pet friendly.

  7. If you head to Philadelphia check out the Palomar Hotel or the Monaco Hotel. The first is near beautiful, historic, Rittenhouse Square and the Monaco is closer to historic Penns Landing and all the sports complexes. Either can make your and your four legged friends stay in Philly extra "historic". Plus, it's fun to get a photo of your pup running up the Art Museum steps a la "Rocky". Just add your own sound track.

  8. It sounds like a fantastic hotel chain! How nice to find a really nice hotel that is pet friendly too.

    The Florida Furkids

  9. I stayed in a Kimpton Hotel in Washington DC, the Hotel Carlyle. We loved it too, in the fancy DuPont Circle neighborhood, a converted apartment building. Mom thought it felt like we lived there, it was so homey and comfy. Love Dolly

  10. Boy oh boy they need to hire you as spokes cats!!!!!! I learned so much about their hotels thanks to you and I am quite impressed! Loved this part "ALL of their hotels welcome furry, feathery or even scaly family members. No matter their size, weight or breed, there's never an extra charge. Their website reads, "If your pet fits through the door, we'll welcome them in."

  11. It sure does look comfy there....and we love that they are ALL inclusive....just due to the founder saying he was making a change. Smart man....

  12. The hotel sounds lovely. Mum has made a note of the name for next time her and my dad go to the USA.

  13. Holiday Inn used to be *the* place to take a pet and all their hotels allowed any sort of pet. At some point between the 1970s and now that changed (huh? 40 years and something changed? Imagine that?!). But because of the history, hopefully Kimpton will remain as pet friendly as they are! It's way nicer than Motel 6. Sigh.

  14. That is what I call a pet friendly... no scratch that... a pet WELCOMING hotel...a pet Welcoming,LOVING hotel. It sounds like a wonderful place to stay. I wonder if IHG hotels will take note and spread a little more pet love their way. Dad stays at the Crowne Plaza every month in Louisville. Sometimes we go with dad. They are pet friendly if you want to call a $100 non refundable pet fee , pet friendly. They charged dad's company that the first time we stayed. Ma was on that like she is sushi. Pet fee was refunded. They never questioned us again.
    I have really enjoyed your stay at the Kimpton and have loved all the photos. Think it will be time to see if there is one near us to try their hotels out for ourselves.

  15. I just looked to see if one was near me and there will be one coming to Nashville! It will be opening in 2017! Ooooh! You think we could talk Blogpaws in being there again??
    I love that they have Carma rewards. I think they spelled it wrong because they spelled theirs with a K. :)

  16. Mom says that she never expected to see the phrases litter boxes and wine reception in the same paragraph EVER! The next time Mom and Dad travel, Mom's going to see if there's a Klimpton Hotel in the area, even if we aren't traveling with them. Can you say, Wine Reception? XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  17. There's a big difference between "friendly" and "pay us to be not hostile, sorta" and it sounds like you got the best end of the bargain!

  18. That sounds like a great hotel ! A great pet welcoming hotel ! Purrs

  19. It sounds like a lot of the other hotel chains do the typical "pets = dogs... but not, you know, scary dogs" thing. The head peep is sooo bummed that the Kimpton hotel in downtown Atlanta closed when she was looking into hotels in the area recently. It would have been purrrrfect!

  20. What a fantastic sounding hotel.
    We are happy your stay is so comfortable for all of you.
    It's almost like being home :)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  21. Maybe Blogpaws should look into their hotels. I’m glad you explained what a boutique hotel was. Bet it’s super expensive.

    1. Depending on the city and location, it's no more expensive than Holiday Inn Express or other comparable hotels. And you're not paying any pet fees either. They also have some awesome deals. Right now there's a double upgrade deal which can get you a super nice room!

  22. Dat's pawsum. Weez not ever had a purrawllem, but we do know dat sum peeps do. Glad yall awe enjoyin' yous stay.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  23. What a super place to stay. That they provide litter boxes and bowls too? Just in case you forgot to pack your own!

    Mum says that if she ever goes traveling with me, we will have to check this place out.

  24. This sounds like a great Hotel brand for BlogPaws to consider for a conference in the future.

  25. Great sounding hotel chain. You all look like you are having a super time.

  26. We love your adventures at the hotel and find especially interesting the explanation of their inclusive pet policies. Z-Girl hopes that Katie wasn't able to close the door to the safe--who would sing the songs of Waffles' people? And it's good to know that the cat shelves are back in place!

  27. Sounds like a lovely hotel - we've enjoyed living vicariously through your adventures! Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey Gang

  28. Sure looks and sounds like THE purrfect hotel !!



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