There is more and more demands, more and more hotels. It seems that this industry has begun to understand that there is a growing number of people wanting to travel with their pet and, indeed, it represents a new market. In spite of countries like the United States or a considerable part of EU where pet friendly hotels is a common reality, in Spain it is not so common and, until recently only a few hotel chains offered this service, as well as rural accommodations.
Unfortunately for many travellers, Spain is still one of the most backward European countries in this sense, and just 23% of accommodations accept pets, and just 3500 of them are included in the hotel category.
However, numbers increase, especially in communities in the north of Spain (Galicia, Castilla and León, Cantabria…) and also in the capital, with the emergence of entire hotel chains in Madrid accepting pets, such as Petit Palace and its different boutique hotels in the centre of Madrid: all its accommodations offer pets admittance and even a cot kit and drinking bowls for our four paws friends.
Other hotel groups, on the contrary, have stopped admitting pets to their guests: the Spanish hotel chain Confortel Hotels, for example, has decided to remove this accommodation option in their entire hotel, including hotels in the centre of Madrid, in Barcelona, Girona, Valencian Community and Andalusia, among other destinations.
Pet Friendly Destinations
Catalonia is the autonomous community with higher number of accommodations with pet admittance, with almost 700 according to the last figures provided by Affinity foundation. Andalusia is the following with 600, and Castilla y León with more than 300. These three regions are characterized for having a big nature richness and a tourism mostly targeted at enjoying these spots which are, precisely, the most attractive for those who travel with pets.
In the annual report made by Affinity, one of the most important figure is about the Balearic Islands that, despite of being one of the most visited communities of the country, is really limited in relation to accommodation facilities for pets. Besides, as we can see in the last memory, the number of accommodation and hotel accepting pet has reduced in the Balearic Islands. Even though, this tendency is changing in the islands, as Fergus Hotels demonstrate which, recently, has announced that its hotels in Majorca and accommodations in Barcelona coast, are suitable for travellers with pets. Now, you have a limit of 8 kg and, of course, you guarantee to follow the cohabitation rules in the whole hotel, especially in common spaces.
How should pet-friendly hotels be?
The first thing a pet friendly hotel should do in clearly defining its identity in order to avoid surprises. As we find people who love cats and dogs, there is a high number of people who feel uncomfortable when close to these animals or even suffer allergies. For everyone’s satisfaction, the ideal thing is to reflect these characteristics in clear way.
Another necessary question is about the facilities and spaces in these hotels where pets can have fun without needing to stay only in the room and always accompanied for their owners, Hotels in the middle of the country such as the golf resort in Jerez of Barceló chain, are a good example, since it offers the possibility of booking family villas next to the motorcycle circuit in Jerez, with direct access to the garden, terrace… Likewise, this 5 star hotel in Jerez offer special services like a pet box, with bed, drinking and eating bowls, feed package, a list of veterinary clinics and the possibility of hiring a pet companion. The basic service costs around 20 Euros per day, but the services including a pet walker, rises 75 Euros.
Hotel staff must also be prepared for understanding the needs of their four paws guests and for helping traveller and their pets to comfortably enjoy the diverse spaces and accommodation services, without affecting the environment and general well-being. Their objective must always be a guarantee of top level cohabitation among people and animals.
Most of the hotels with pet admittance in Spain usually include a series of restrictions focused on guaranteeing the best stay for both animals and guests. Thus, almost all pet friendly hotels use to define a size and weight limit for accepted pets (generally, between 6-8 kg), a characteristic that does not happen in rural tourism or rural houses, where, rooms are generally wider and more adapted common areas, size has not reasons for representing a problem.
Animal education is basic. They should not belong to dangerous races, they must always be tied and with their owner beside, not to bark so much, be specially respectful with children…
Besides, every animal must have its vaccination record, the owner must tell to the hotel staff if pet needs something special and stay always under surveillance of its master, at least in common areas.