The pet set: Dog-friendly properties across the Islands

The Laylow, which opened in Waikiki in March, welcomes well-behaved dogs and provides a dog bed and bowls.
The Laylow, which opened in Waikiki in March, welcomes well-behaved dogs and provides a dog bed and bowls.

When Marriott International completed a $60 million renovation and opened the Laylow in Honolulu at the end of March, it debuted with a liberal pet policy.

The new hotel on Waikiki's Kuhio Avenue, recognizing a trend of more travelers not wanting to forgo canine companionship, welcomes well-behaved dogs and provides custom amenities for the four-legged visitors.  

"We welcome pets because we know how important they are to people," said Marc Nasser, Laylow director of sales and marketing. "We provide doggy beds and bowls, not to take home of course, but we want the pet to feel just as welcome as the guest.   It's another option we offer, because we know a lot of hotels aren't pet-friendly unless it's a service animal."

More and more properties are welcoming pets, although the policies often come with weight restrictions and additional fees. Travelers with medium to large dogs (anything over 30 pounds) will have a harder time finding accommodations. Previously, most pooches without service-animal papers were canine non grata.

Now, not only are more hotels and resorts providing pet accommodations, a handful are adding special perks and treats to make sure the dogs feel at home. Most properties request that you advise them in advance if you are bringing a pet.

If you or your client are thinking of bringing a dog with them to the Aloha State from the U.S. mainland, it is important to read the quarantine guidelines well in advance. Animals that meet certain requirements of pre- and post-travel screening are eligible for immediate release at Honolulu Airport following inspection. However, travelers must arrive at a time when the inspection services are operating (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and pets that do not have the proper documentation and screening can be quarantined for up to 120 days.

In addition to the Laylow, there are properties on all of the most visited Hawaiian islands that offer dog-friendly accommodations.

The Modern: This boutique hotel near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor on Ala Moana Boulevard actively encourages guests to bring their small dogs (25 pounds or lighter). Dogs are free to enjoy the outdoor spaces (but not the pool), and the hotel provides food and water bowls and a plush pillow for the pooches. The also have a list of dog friendly public spaces and restaurants for guests. There's an additional $50 daily cleaning fee.

Paradise Bay Resort: Oahu visitors with bigger dogs should check out this resort that has a more generous 70-pound weight limit with an additional charge of $25 per night. All of the accommodations at this property on Kaneohe Bay come with a kitchenette or full kitchen and the most include a private patio.

Sheraton Kauai: There are not very many pet-friendly hotels on the Garden Isle, but the Sheraton's policy should accommodate most people traveling with their pet. The hotel in the Poipu area of the island allows dogs weighing up to 80 pounds at no additional cost and also provides its own brand of dog bed, the "Sheraton Sweet Sleeper."

Fairmont Orchid: The 32-acre luxury resort on the Kohala Coast pampers dog owners with complimentary dog bags, dishes and treats. There is an additional charge of $25 per night, and the canine guest cannot weigh more than 25 pounds.

Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast: The owners of this property near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Robert and Susan Hughes, own their own dogs and invite guests to bring their furry friends as well. A $25 nightly fee applies, and potential guests should contact the staff to make sure their pet is a good fit for the property and meets restrictions.  

Hyatt Regency Maui and Andaz Maui: These two Hyatt-owned properties on Maui are both dog friendly, rolling out the welcome mat for pets that weigh no more than 50 pounds, or two dogs that weigh 75 pounds or less combined. The Andaz in Wailea has no additional fee, while the Hyatt Regency, situated in the Kaanapali resort area, charges $150 for up to six nights and an additional $150 for nights seven through 30.

More pet-friendly properties to consider (restrictions and fees may apply): Hyatt Centric Waikiki (50 pounds), Turtle Bay Resort (25 pounds), Four Seasons Resort Ko Olina (20 pounds), Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (15 pounds), Westin Maui (30 pounds) and Sheraton Kona (40 pounds).
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