GET LEASHED’S TOP 5 PET-FRIENDLY RESORTS IN THE CARIBBEAN
FROM POSH DOGGIE CABANAS TO OSCAR DE LA RENTA DESIGNED VILLAS
There’s only one thing that can make a Caribbean getaway even better – and that’s bringing your dog! Take a look at our top 5 dog-friendly resorts in the Caribbean and start planning.
SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS:
As most of you will already know, all Caribbean islands have fairly strict policies for visiting with pets. Be sure to visit the website of your desired destination well before traveling to ensure your dog meets the Pet Passport & Import Regulations a for a visit. You will likely need to apply for an import permit and you’ll also need to ensure that you have the supporting health certificates and documentation from your veterinarian. Collecting these items and waiting for permits can take time — so be sure to plan ahead.
It’s also important to note that these rules often apply to both service and emotional support animals, along with companion animals. Always proceed with caution and do your research prior to booking your travel.
ONE&ONLY PALMILLA, LOS CABOS MEXICO
Your hotel junkie hound may not need a passport to travel to Mexico, but that doesn’t mean he’s beneath sitting pretty to get one. Think of the bragging rights round the dog park alone; your dog will be dining out on this one for a long time. When traveling to ONE&ONLY PALMILLA, your pup is greeted with glee at airport arrivals and welcomed with refreshments. Hotel staff then take your pup’s photo for a “Dog Passport” (officiated in “Paw-lish”, naturally) and marked with a One&Only Palmilla passport stamp. Once on property, your dog will find gourmet menu offerings like organic roasted chicken, beef tenderloin, and steamed Pacific salmon. Taking canine hedonism to the next level, One&Only Palmilla offers pets a rare poolside front seat – fully serviced poolside doggie cabanas!
While a stay at this posh hideaway is pricey, it delivers on its promise of whisking you away from everyday cares. After a few nights, you begin feeling like a pampered castaway at this resort, perched on the edge of the 1100-mile long Baja Peninsula, with sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez far below. As it happens, the beach by the resort is one of the few safe swim spots in the entire region; a major draw for many guests who just can’t do without a good frolic in the surf when on a coastal holiday. Commissioned in the 1950s as a discreet hideaway by the son of the Mexican President, the site was originally accessed only by yacht or private plane. John Wayne and Lucille Ball came to stay, as did Dwight D. Eisenhower, drawn by the legendary deep water sport fishing.
WOULDN’T THIS BE A GORGEOUS VIEW TO END YOUR EVENING?
Each evening, kick back and watch pooch unravel in his custom-sized dog bed and relish in a comprehensive bedtime chew toy menu. One&Only Palmilla truly excels at introducing a civilized way to welcome dogs into pool culture. Even the most pet-friendly hotels typically draw the line at furry paws by the pool. At this One&Only, your pup gets the same perks as human guests, chilling under a doggie umbrella, with his own pool floats to swan the day away. At dinner, pooch will be pleased as punch to enjoy braised beef tenderloin with crispy tortillas and cilantro rice.
TORTUGA BAY RESORT, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
TORTUGA BAY is the crown jewel within the larger Puntacana Resort & Club, reigning as a style icon of the Dominican Republic. Imagine thirteen over the top Oscar de la Renta designed beachfront villas, located in a private enclave within an already luxurious resort. The beloved native son infused his Dominican heritage into the design of each accommodation, creating an aesthetic coherence that is nothing short of sublime. Inspired by the nation’s indigenous culture, the spacious villas wrap you up in an unmistakable Dominican authenticity. Best of all, the five-star villas feature balconies with tranquil views of La Cana Golf Course or the impossibly blue Caribbean waters.
As a Tortuga Bay guest, you and your pet will be met by staff that have every detail handled from the moment you touch down at Punta Cana International Airport. The resort’s VIP Service whisks you through customs faster than a Superbowl commercial break and into a private car. On arrival at property, your personal concierge will check you in and see to your every whim for the rest of your stay.
The only AAA Five Diamond Awarded hotel in the Dominican Republic, this pet-friendly property sets new standards for chic surroundings and consummate personal service. Tortuga Bay is on the doorstep of the Punta Cana’s ultimate beach and golfing experience, with three miles of spectacular white sand beaches and 45 holes of championship golf. You are also assigned a golf cart for convenient zipping around throughout the resort, especially useful at high noon when a pooch’s tender paw pads can overheat on pavement.
Only pups on their very best behavior may get a chance to shop de la Renta on site. Tortuga Bay has the distinct honor of being home to Oscar de la Renta’s first resort boutique. The 1,000 square foot store is a fresh take on destination luxury retail; repeat guests certainly enjoy diving into the timeless vision of this legendary Dominican designer.
Come dinner time, choose between multiple AAA Three and Four Diamond Award-winning restaurants or in-room dining. Be sure to save a day to give yourself over to the master therapists at the resort’s impeccable Six Senses Spa. Holistic techniques and their unique Six Sphere Philosophy are sure to rejuvenate both mind and body.
BANYAN TREE MAYAKOBA, RIVIERA MAYA
Hola Mayan Riviera! BANYAN TREE MAYAKOBA brims with soulful hospitality, right down to welcoming pets at this breezy Caribbean eco resort. Just north of Playa del Carmen, Mayakoba is a short drive from both vibrant beach communities and secluded jungle ruins. Imagine six miles of freshwater canals connecting three top tier hotels: Banyan Tree, Rosewood, Fairmont. In a savvy move toward experiential holidays with our furry best friend, all three resorts at Mayakoba welcomes pets.
Our favorite of the three is Banyan Tree Mayakoba, a resort that sets the gold standard in eco luxury for the region. From botanical splendor both wild and strategically placed, this grand resort evokes elegance and boundless natural beauty. Sprawling guest villas are all over 3,000 square feet – lots of room for playing tug with Tank the Terrier – and open up to lush terraces with private swimming pools. This 5-star resort is conveniently located near El Camaleon Golf Club and Tres Rios Ecopark. Savor an endless choice of dining options, from shared plates at seaside Sands to sumptuous Thai dishes at Saffron, and save an evening for the striking modern Mexican cuisine at Oriente.
The resort’s complimentary beach shuttle makes getting to the surf and sand a breeze. Sample creative cocktails at one of the three lounge bars or two poolside bars. After practicing your swing on the golf course, pamper yourself with a spa splurge, as wellness innovation is one area where Banyan Tree has always excelled. As night falls, slip between Egyptian cotton sheets after an aromatic soak in the deep outdoor tub big enough for two.
THE RITZ-CARLTON GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS
Situated on 144 acres stretching sea-to-sea from the Caribbean to the North Sound, THE RITZ-CARLTON, GRAND CAYMAN certainly boasts an impressive footprint. Pets are welcome here, and catered to with aplomb. With a plum position on Grand Cayman’s infamous Seven Mile Beach, the resort has been a draw for high profile guests from its inception in 2005. Who can resist the Greg Norman-designed golf course, the Nick Bollettieri tennis program, or the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment activities? We certainly couldn’t.
We fell hardest for the hedonistic delights of this property, as opposed to the many sporty endeavors. The bodacious unraveling started with the resort’s signature restaurant Blue by Eric Ripert. This venue had us at hello, or rather, at Grilled Spiny Lobster with Green Papaya and Mango Sauce Vierge to be precise. We topped off our sensual hedonism tour with a visit to Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa, at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Be prepared, they pamper you senseless here. Without a hint of cliche, this is a spa lover’s paradise for those we-just-want-to-be-tickled types.
The resort’s stretch of beach is the perfect base for exploring the legendary gin clear waters of this island. Lucky for your pooch, hammock swaying is a perfectly acceptable alternative to water sports on the beach. Crisp coastal design and decor sets the tone for sparkling conviviality in common areas, while spacious private suites and indulgent bedding tempt you to stay in reclined in splendor. Insider tip: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will host the ninth annual Cayman Cookout January 12-15, 2017, when the luxury resort becomes the culinary epicenter of the Caribbean for four captivating days. Eric Ripert hosts a culinary clique that includes Anthony Bourdain,José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse.
BELMOND LA SAMANNA, ST. MARTIN
Accepting smaller dogs on property, your chaise lounge-loving Havanese will feel right at home at LA SAMANNA. The French side of St. Martin has a decidedly Côte d’Azur vibe, and La Samanna delivers an intoxicating blend of elegant and effortless ambiance in spades. Think top-notch service in a laid-back Caribbean wonderland. Notable guests ranging from Oprah to P. Diddy to Jackie Onassis have all let their proverbial hair down at Belmond La Samanna.
The two-story whitewashed resort overlooks one of the few private beaches on the island, perfect for strolling and sipping sundowners. All 83 guestrooms and suites here boast sea views, so rest assured you’ll get your oceanic eye candy from any vantage point. The stylistic motif of the rooms is Caribbean clean, white-on-cream accented by strategic pops of azure blue. Suites open up to a separate living room and patio, ideal for taking in the sunset with a Sauvignon Blanc from the resort’s celebrated wine list delivered to your private terrace. Indeed, attentive butler service is at the ready to take care of you and pooch – no whim is too wacky.
For adrenaline junkies, there are more activities than you can shake a stick at kayaking, snorkelling, Pilates, yoga and tennis are all included in your stay. Choose between two pools for swimming and sunbathing; if the beach is more your speed, the cabana boys are at the ready to set you up with the resort’s thatch-roofed cabanas, complete with wraparound sofas and a strong WiFi signal. Charming dining and drinking options dot the property, but the must-do is Trellis, a restaurant dramatically perched on the edge of the beach.