[dropcap style=”square”]W[/dropcap]hen I travel, even for business, I look for hotels that accept dogs,” says Debra Warren. “They are happier places.” The long-time hospitality professional says her dogs are happier traveling with her, too, even if they must be crated for a couple of hours, during the day. Warren is director of Sales & Marketing for Sheraton Read House, the historic hotel in the heart of Chattanooga’s downtown. Luxury amenities set the classic hotel apart and it continuously evolves to meet the demands of travelers. Warren and General Manager, Jen Prpich have a plan to make adjustments to the enclosed ground-floor area behind the fitness center that will include a dog run for canine guests.
This article is the first in a series of four originally published in April, 2014. Photo by Big Lenz Studios.
The hotel already has a dog menu and when visitors check in they receive a bag of treats for their dogs. It will supply bags, bowls and a bed, if needed, although most guests bring their pet’s own items for comfort and familiarity.
“The kind of people that generally travel with dogs, keep them very well,” says Warren. “We rarely have any problem.” The Sheraton Read House has the amenities many of those people are looking for in a hotel. Dog owner and regional event planner, Elizabeth Fletcher, agrees.
“I love it that when I go to check in they all remember, not just my name, but my dog’s name,” says Fletcher. “On several occasions they even offered to walk him when I was out of the room for an extended time.
“Its nice to stay at a hotel that not only allows dogs but actually loves having dogs visit,” says Fletcher, who travels to Chattanooga several times a year with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Jimmy Choo. She recently brought Choo over to participate in the 50-Year Celebration of the Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll, baked in nearby Collegedale.
At the Sheraton Read House, dogs must be kept on a leash while in public areas and are not allowed in food and beverage outlets or the pool area. There is a $50, non-refundable fee to owners, who justify the cost by the savings in kennel board and in the general happiness and welfare of the pet. Read House management actively seeks ways to enhance the experience of pet owners.
The Staybridge Suites and Residence Inns at both downtown and Hamilton Place locations are also pet-friendly. In fact, accommodations in cities around the region are warming to the idea of providing amenities and even activities for traveling dogs and their owners.
Only a few blocks away from the Sheraton Read House, Chew Chew Dog Park is located on Carter Street behind the Finley Stadium.
There is another dog park at Greenway Farm in Hixson, in addition to miles of on-leash trails to enjoy. The Stringer’s Ridge Trail located on the North Shore and managed by the city, makes it possible for joggers and their dogs (on leash) to get a workout. And for casual dining, Panera Bread allow leashed dogs on the patios.
With solid preparation, traveling with one’s dog may be completely satisfying.
Sheraton Read House 827 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 266-4121 www.sheraton.com