Is Your Hotel Dog-Friendly or Dog-Tolerant?
Let’s face it - dogs make the best travel companions. They never hog the sunblock. They don’t whine about long lines. They’d never make fun of you for taking the wrong exit off of Route 17.
Travel is just better with a dog.
So as some of us start dreaming of vacation, it’s impossible to imagine a holiday without them.
And one of the dreamiest vacation spots for dog lovers is Charleston, South Carolina.
Its cobblestone streets and gas lamps stitch together historic mansions, world-class restaurants, and sandy beaches - many of them open to pooches.
And when it comes to dog-friendly hotels in Charleston, your choices are downright opulent. You can choose a place that’s elegant, chic, or funky.
When you look at the fine print on their pet policies many “dog-friendly” hotels seem more dog-tolerant than dog-friendly.
Look, as a dog lover, I appreciate any establishment opening its doors to pets. Still, it might be worthwhile to get a grip on the overall “Fuss Factor” of some of the best pet-friendly hotels in Charleston before you choose where to hang your pup’s leash.
In this article, we’ll:
- Introduce you to 5 lodging options in the heart of the “Holy City.”
- Drill down on each hotel’s personality, decor, and amenities
- Weigh those perks against their pet policies.
- Look at the cost of bringing your pet there.
27 State Street B&B - Historically Dog-Friendly?
If you have a secret fantasy to own a historic home in some romantic locale, you might want to check in with your pup to 27 State Street B&B.
The stone and iron building dates back to 1814. A mix of expansive courtyards, shady verandas, and waterfront breezes create an Old World European mystique immediately.
As to location, this pet-friendly hotel is nestled snug in the heart of the French Quarter. Theatres, shopping, picturesque churches are all within 2 blocks of your own private entrance to your room.
Amenities include a gourmet continental breakfast of locally sourced fruit, pastries from neighborhood bakeries, and french press coffee served on the veranda. Drool.
So what’s the Pet Policy?
- There’s a 50-pound weight limit on all dog guests - sorry mastiff owners.
- Only one dog is permitted per room.
- Your dog must be “bathed, clean, and well behaved.”
- Fido can’t get on the furniture or the bed, and the hotel charges a fine if they find out you’ve broken this policy.
- FYI - your pet must be approved by the manager prior to making the reservation.
- Cost: $40 a night non-refundable fee.
Emeline - Where the Cool Canines Hang Out
Charleston is one la-di-da place. It’s a winding road of fabled old homes and the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages. So what the heck is Emeline doing here?
In the assortment of genteel Charleston hotels, Emeline comes across as something totally different. A boutique hotel that mixes chic modernity with a touch of funky nostalgia, it’s basically the cool new kid on the block.
Though it’s essentially in the bellybutton of Charleston’s most iconic neighborhood, Emeline has opted to represent Charleston at its hippest.
Some of the groovy details include turntables in every suite and your own collection of vinyl, bedside charging cubes, smart TVs, and a Vivreau Water Dispenser for ambient, chilled, or sparkling water!
It also represents itself as one of the friendliest dog-friendly hotels in Charleston.
Soooo is it? What’s the Pet Policy?
- Emeline only welcomes dogs under 40 lbs and, again, only one dog per room.
- A Pawesome Package is offered on arrival though. This includes a meal mat, a dog bowl, a comfy bed, and treats made by the hotel’s pastry chef! WOW.
- Emeline offers CBD-infused treats for pups with anxiety or pain issues.
- They also encourage guests to consult with their team on dog-friendly restaurants and activities in Charleston. That’s what I call dog-friendly!
- Cost: It’s a $100 non-refundable pet fee per stay. No per night charge!
The Vendue - More Art-Friendly Than Dog-Friendly
The Vendue has been called a lot of things - “refined,” “elegant,” “world-class,” and of course “dog-friendly. But I think the most surprising label is - “Art Hotel.”
You heard me. The Vendue is considered an Art Hotel.
That’s a gallery, art studio, and top-notch hotel in one.
But is it one of the truly dog-friendly hotels?
Well, first of all, The Vendue is two hotels - 19 Vendue and 27 Vendue. Both are converted from warehouses dating back to 1780 and have around 300 pieces of original art throughout.
Every room is, in fact, created to be a unique thing of beauty - exposed brick, honey-colored pine floors, textured wallpaper, sleigh beds, and other flourishes create one-of-a-kind spaces for each guest who enters.
Wine and art receptions are offered too, as well as complimentary bikes, a glorious rooftop bar, two restaurants, and milk and cookies every night.
That’s all great, buuuuut what’s the Pet Policy?
- The Vendue allows dogs under 50 lbs and allows 2 dogs per room!
- Dogs have to be in a crate or on a leash in public areas and aren’t allowed in dining areas or bars.
- Dogs have to be crated or on a leash and the owner present if hotel staff is in the room.
- Cleaning service has to be scheduled when the dog is out of the room or the owner is present.
Owners are responsible for any damage the dogs do. This is likely the case for all dog-friendly hotels - in Charleston and beyond.
- Pets are not allowed on any furniture.
- Dogs cannot be left unattended in your room.
- Cost: $95 non-refundable pet for the whole stay.
- In my opinion - this counts as a high “fuss factor” for a dog-friendly hotel.
John Rutledge House - A Landmark in Dog-Friendly Hotels
You like things historic, but your dog likes the modern amenities? No problem. John Rutledge House has got you both covered.
This genteel lodging is listed as a national historic landmark!
It boasts 19 elegant rooms - some sporting Italian marble fireplaces, some with comfy canopy beds.
Convenience and comfort still surround you in this antique setting. Flatscreen TVs, yummy bathrobes, and a cooked breakfast are brought to your room. You can enjoy complimentary afternoon tea with light hors d’oeuvres and a nightcap of sherry, brandy, or port every night.
It all gives you the sense of being cozily cared for in your own home - if you were a duke or duchess.
But how friendly is this dog-friendly hotel?
- The John Rutledge House seems to offer nearly strings-free pet-friendly accommodations. In truth, this might be the least fussy of all the dog-friendly hotels in Charleston. Way to go John Rutledge House!
- That being said, not all rooms fit this bill. Since dog-friendly rooms are limited, they do ask that you reach out directly to their concierge staff to reserve your space. Do not wait until the last minute or you could be out of luck.
- Cost: $40 a day for your pup.
Airbnb - Dog-Friendly Lodging for Less
Okay, so you might be wondering - what the heck is Airbnb doing next to these other hotels? Hear me out.
Airbnb gets a sort of Dog-Friendly Honorable Mention here.
Not all dog-lovers need turndown service. Sometimes you just need a clean place in a safe neighborhood that’s authentically pet-friendly.
To be clear, there are plenty of budget chain hotels in Charleston that score themselves as dog-friendly. But for the same pricetag you can get a place that’s a little homier and private.
If frugality is a priority to you, we encourage you to poke around Airbnb Charleston’s dog-friendly options. No point in sleeping next to the ice machine if you don’t have to.
And the Pet Policy?
Some Airbnb options have very high “Fuss Factors” for dog-friendly lodging. Many do not.
Our two cents? Pick a place that doesn’t. These simply involve a fee and some mild caveats. Easy!
Are Dog-Friendly Hotels in Charleston Really Friendly?
So. Are the dog-friendly hotels in Charleston really pro-dog?
When all is said and done, it’s a mixed bag - with Emeline and John Rutledge House enthusiastically leading the pack.
But, listen, no shame on the other hotels. It’s asking a lot of some places to be through and through dog-friendly. They don’t see what we see when we look at our pups.
For those who pay for the linens and polish the woodwork, it’s hard to see our furry bundles as anything but peeing and chewing machines. I do get it.
But even saying that - Charleston is such a gracious place. Such a true dog town.
It’s chock-full of dog-friendly beaches, restaurants, and shops. You and your pup can’t help but feel the opened arms of this glowing city when you arrive. And really, as long as you’re with them, your dog will think any hotel in Charleston is “dog-friendly” enough.
Speaking of Dog-Friendly - Tater Tot and Shadow are on the road!
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