Illustration by Scott McPherson; Photos in order: Aefa Mulholland; Courtesy Hotel Victor; Laura Pavey
Story by Aefa Mulholland
There are an increasing number of pet-friendly
hotel and motel chains. But we want them to be gay-friendly and
pet-friendly. To save you barking up the wrong tree next time you’re
in Miami, check out our recommendations and you won’t be chasing your
tail next time you want to know where to stay, play, eat, and meet when
traveling with four-legged friends.
Where to Hang Your Leash
Most rooms at the dramatic, Jacques Garcia-designed Hotel Victor (1144 Ocean Drive; 305-428-1234; $319+) have ocean or pool views and half have private terraces; even the standard rooms make good use of space thanks to an open plan with curtains to divide bed and bath. The pool is small but pretty, and flanked by a comfortable patio café. Small pets are allowed for a cost of $150 and they have a Sunday evening yappy hour from 5-7 in the Lobby Garden. Let the mutts romp as you order another Salty Dawg or Dalmation.
The Tides (1220 Ocean Drive; 305-604-5070 or 866-438-4337; $475+) has been meticulously restored into an elegant hotel of choice. Rooms are large (the 45 units were created from 150 original rooms), and the decor is stylish and inviting. Dogs up to 35 pounds are allowed to accompany you for $50 a day. You can arrange to have dogs walked by the bellman. Cats are welcome, too, and litter boxes can be provided.
The stylish, affordable Aqua Hotel
and Lounge (1530 Collins Ave.; 305-538-4361 ;
$135) is only a block away from the beach in a fabulous location, and
has a very friendly staff and a relatively low-key atmosphere. It’s
within easy walking distance of a slew of dog-friendly open-air cafés
on Lincoln Road, as well as SoBe’s Dog Bar, a 24-hour
pet department store. Book the pet-friendly package ($135). The price
includes gourmet dry food, a chewy bone, and bottled water.
Chow… dog-friendly spots to grab some kibble
China Grill (404 Washington Ave, at 5th Street; 305-534-2211 ; $28-79) is an epicenter of the straight celebrity dining scene. Like its Manhattan sibling, it serves Pacific Rim modern cuisine, and manages to be intimate despite its enormousness. The dress and atmosphere tend to be dark New York chic. There are doggie menus, play areas, and a puppy lounge at Dogs Gone Wild on Sundays from 5-10p.m.
The always-open News Café (800 Ocean Drive; 305-538-6397; $11-27) is a good see-and-be-seen place when you and your pet are looking fit. When craving Japanese or Thai, the gay crowd with pets in tow heads to World Resource Café (719 Lincoln Rd; 305-535-8987 ; $10-14). Both have ample outside dining for people watching. Van Dyke Café (846 Lincoln Rd; 305-534-3600; $16-26), from the owners of News Café, has a similar menu without the chaos of the Ocean Drive location. Dogs are welcome on the patio.
Run, Dog RunFlamingo Bark Park (999 11th St.) is one of three designated dog parks within Miami Beach. There are two gated dog runs, as well as running water and training equipment. You can't visit Miami and not head to its beautiful beaches. Visit Rickenbacker Causeway Beach -- it extends the length of the Rickenbacker Causeway from downtown Miami to Key Biscayne. Your furry buddy is allowed along the entire stretch. Located at Kennedy Park, Dog Chow Dog Park’s (2400 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove; 954-570-9507) off-leash areas include a separate section for small dogs. Let your four-legged friend frolic with other pets or just take in the rays at Amelia Earhart Bark Park (401 East 65th St.; 305-755-7800).