dog on hotel bed
Photo courtesy of Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile
Photo courtesy of Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile

The Pets That Live in the Country’s Coziest Hotels

From dogs and cats to flamingos and mini horses, give a treat to these pets in residence during your next stay.

If you’re seeking some added cuteness during your next hotel stay, there’s no need to look further than the lobby, where it’s not uncommon to find four-legged fluff balls lounging about. Luckily for animal lovers, many hotels have not only adopted pet-friendly policies, but have taken it to the next level by keeping their very own pets who reside on the grounds. From cats and dogs that greet you at check-in, to flamingos and mini horses to admire, here are some of the furry, feathered, and friendly critters you might encounter during your next stay.

cat at Algonquin Hotel
Photo courtesy of Algonquin Hotel

Hamlet VIII, The Algonquin Hotel

New York, New York
Since 1902, the Algonquin Hotel has been the oldest continually operating hotel in New York City. But the historic hotel has another claim to fame—its feline in residence, Hamlet VIII. The beloved kitty’s Instagram, which has more followers than the hotel’s account, describes him as “an expert in residence, a real New Yorker.”

The orange tabby, who also goes by the nickname “Hammy,” comes from a long line of resident felines. The Algonquin Cat has been a tradition since the 1920s, when a stray wandered in and never left. Since then, all of the cats—including eight Hamlets and three Matildas—have been rescues. Before upgrading to his posh digs at the Algonquin, Hamlet was living in a feral cat colony on Long Island. His circumstances have certainly changed; during a recent renovation, the lobby was even redesigned with nooks and crannies to better accommodate Hamlet, along with his own house by the reception desk so he can keep an eye on things.

On top of that, Hammy has a Chief Cat Officer at the hotel who handles all his social media and daily needs. When he’s not busy running the hotel, Hamlet can be seen strutting the catwalk in the hotel’s annual feline fashion show. The event raises money for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, an organization which supports over 150 animal shelters and rescues in New York.

Photo courtesy of Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa

Vero Beach, Florida
With various locations worldwide, Kimpton has always been pet-friendly. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet one of the hotel’s Directors of Pet Relations—who get paid in treats and belly rubs—during your visit. Take, for instance, Hazel, the resort dog who resides at Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa. The two-year-old golden retriever has been “working” at the hotel since 2021, where she greets guests during the evening social hour. Other duties include chasing the ball on the beach and napping. The fashionable canine has over 30 bandanas, and it’s said you’ll win her over if you give her some watermelon—it’s her favorite treat. Apparently she’s also an avid lizard chaser.

cats at Red Lion Inn
Photo courtesy of The Red Lion Inn

Jack and Jane, The Red Lion Inn

Stockbridge, Massachusetts
The Red Lion Inn has history going back over 250 years, first opening as a tavern and stagecoach stop in 1773. But if you’re planning to book a stay at the cozy inn, be prepared to share the space with its feline Lobby Ambassadors, Jack and Jane. For years, the Red Lion Inn has had a resident male cat, but more recently decided to “shake things up” and adopt both a male and female.

Enter Jack and Jane, who were born in 2022 in Troy, New York, and rescued and brought to the inn a month later. You’ll find them lounging in the lobby and hallways—though Jack, the shyer of the pair, prefers to nap on the stairwell near the lion’s head. The cats have also on occasion slipped into guest rooms for a visit (even though they’re not supposed to). Things get even more exciting around 10 pm, when the feline duo gets hit with the zoomies. The adorable cats also have their own Instagram, so you can keep tabs on their latest shenanigans.

Cupcake the mini horse
Photo courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa

Middleburg, Virginia
Surrounded by rolling green countryside and wine vineyards, the Salamander Resort & Spa is a favorite among horse riders for its expansive equestrian facilities. However, there’s only one horse you need to be concerned about: Meet Cupcake, the miniature horse who resides at the resort. She’s beloved by her coworkers, who tell Thrillist, “You can’t stay at Salamander Middleburg without visiting the sweetest member of our team.”

12-year-old Cupcake makes a special appearance every Friday and Saturday in the living room from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm, though you can also book a private visit at the Equestrian Center for an added fee. Her favorite hobbies include taking selfies with guests, eating carrots (her favorite snack) and watching sunsets. For families visiting with children, she is also known to take smaller guests for a ride through the countryside aboard the Cupcake Express cart.

Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Palm Desert, California
First opened around 35 years ago, the sprawling JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa has nearly 70 acres of lakes—some of which are flamingo hangout spots. The bird lover’s paradise has a long history of rescuing and housing animals, which includes a newly renovated aviary with an array of feathered residents. During your stay, you can book a tour with the hotel’s Bird Chat program to learn about all the birds that call the hotel home. On a typical day, you’ll likely meet blue gold macaw Sweetie, Catalina macaw Cowboy, as well as African grey parrots Grace and Elliot, among others.

You can also make arrangements to feed the flamingos that reside in the resort lakes, or the koi fish, which were also adopted by the hotel.

dog at Park Hyatt Chicago
Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
After reopening in 2022 following extensive renovations, the Park Hyatt Chicago has also brought back everyone’s favorite staff member: Parker, the 13-year-old pug. Parker lived with a hotel employee during the renovation, and her return was much anticipated.

Adopted by the hotel in 2016 from PAWS Chicago, the one-eyed pug has become something of a local celebrity. With multiple beds throughout the lobby and treats right by the front door, you’ll find the bandana-wearing canine greeting guests as they arrive—and, of course, enjoying lots of pets. If you come during Halloween, you may even get to see her in costume.

Jasper the cat
Photo courtesy of 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Considered one of the most haunted hotels in the country, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is a hotspot for paranormal activity—an episode of Ghost Hunters was even filmed there. But more importantly, the hotel is also known for its furry feline residents. The first recorded resident cat, an orange tabby named Morris, showed up at the hotel in 1973 and ended up staying for 21 years. Over the years, the hotel has had kitties come and go. However, the hotel’s current feline is a bushy tuxedo cat named Jasper, who showed up at the hotel in October of 2009 and has more or less decided to call the place home. According to a member of the hotel staff, he can usually be found “on the back porch in the sun, in one of the chairs and couches throughout the lobby, or on his special blanket on the concierge desk.”

While you can certainly expect to see Jasper during your visit, perhaps the hotel’s haunted reputation bodes well for a feline ghost sighting or two as well.

dog at Surfjack hotel
Photo courtesy of The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Waikiki, Hawaii
A vacation at this dog-friendly hotel will certainly prove relaxing for any pups you bring along, as amenities include free lodging for dogs, puppuccinos at the on-site coffee shop, and even a play date with resident bulldog Jack. The friendly pup, who has his own Instagram profile, enjoys welcoming guests and furry friends upon check-in and making rounds at the Surfjack to ensure everyone is having fun. A model for hotel photoshoots and social media, Jack does his best to represent the hotel. On top of everything else, he also hosts his own events, like the annual Furry Friends Costume Contest on Halloween.

Alder and Brook
Photo courtesy of Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Alder and Brook, Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Union, Washington
This cozy resort has been a destination for guests and their pets since 1913. These days, the hotel has two of its own pets that roam the property: house cats Alder and Brook. Adopted by the resort in 2022, the kitties were trained as CFOs (Chief Feline Officers) for about a week and a half in the back office before being released into the lobby. The job description? Entertaining guests and being cute. The duo also loves finding sunny spots for naps in between hosting visitors. While Alder, the tuxedo, is a bit more reserved than his calico coworker, they both enjoy gentle pets and attention.

dog in hotel room
Photo courtesy of Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile

Various animals, Best Friends Sanctuary

Kanab, Utah
Want to cuddle with cute animals while also doing some good? This no-kill shelter has many adoptable pets that you can spend time with while volunteering as a dog walker or playing with one of the community cats. Surrounded by towering red cliffs of Angel Canyon, the Sanctuary has a few lodging options, including cozy cottages and cabins, as well as RV sites—all pet-friendly in case you want to bring your own furball along. Just a few miles down the road, the Sanctuary also has its own hotel, Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile, which includes two dog parks, a free grooming station, and multiple pet beds. If you don’t have a pet, you can opt to host one of the adoptable Sanctuary dogs, cats, or bunnies for a sleepover while staying at one of the above lodgings for some extra snuggles.

Dog at Bobby Hotel
Photo by Natalie Bisignano, courtesy of Bobby Hotel

Nashville, Tennessee
When visiting this boutique hotel, be sure to say hi to Zoe—that is, if she doesn’t greet you first. In partnership with the Nashville Humane Society, the hotel houses and trains an adopted pup through its Dog-In-Residence Pet Program. Once the dog is ready, it can then be adopted through Pets for Patriots by a US veteran who lives within a 40-mile driving radius of the hotel. While Zoe is just coming on board, pup in residence Hairy is now available for adoption. In the meantime, you can find Zoe, who will be available for adoption next year, sitting comfortably on her red ottoman near the fireplace.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Michelle Harris is a former editorial assistant at Thrillist.