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The Intercontinental Hotels, most widely known for owning Holiday Inn, is pet-friendly. Our family travels with two large breed dogs — and boy-o-boy do I mean that. Roscoe is a 130 lb Rottie/hound mix and Ziggy is an 80 lb purebred Tibetan Chow Chow (larger than the Chinese Chow). Both of my babies give the Holiday Inn chain a four-paw rating.

Intercontinental Hotels offers a “trip advisor” feature on the individual web sites of their various properties where you can find which hotels welcome pets. Type in the city and state where you will be staying and give the dates of your trip. Another screen will pop up where you can “refine search results.” I always check indoor pool and pets allowed and then see what I get. The chain includes the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Suites, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites.

We four humans along with our canine babies have escaped sweat and grit of Gotham, spending several long weekends at the Staybridge Inn in Mt. Laurel, NJ. It’s a great place to unwind, while still being plugged in if you wish. The property is a short drive from Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, and Six Flags Great Adventure. There is a $75 pet fee for stays of one to six days and a $150 fee for stays with pets for over seven days. There is also a refundable $150 pet deposit, provided your animal doesn’t damage. The suites are in excellent condition. The pool, enclosed in a garden area, is heated, and is beautiful. There is a computer center, a gym room, a basketball court, a small reading room, and a laundry room. A full complementary buffet breakfast is served daily, as well as an afternoon snack. There are numerous restaurants in the area, a bowling alley, and a mall complex with a cinema. Across the street is a Barnes & Noble in a smaller mall. This is important to me, since I can’t go too long without a good murder mystery.

Not long ago, we spent a little over a week in Alexandria, VA with both dogs. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites-Historic District. There is a $50 pet fee per animal. We left our dogs in our room without incident. I notice the policy has changed. Now dogs left in rooms must be caged. Despite that, I highly recommend this hotel. Every morning we walked our dogs in Old Town, and then returned to the spacious lobby where we sat in push-upholstered chairs and drank a cup of complementary coffee with our dogs at our feet. After coffee, we brought the dogs up to our room and came down for breakfast. When we swam in their very nice indoor/outdoor pool, we were allowed to tie our dogs nearby on the patio adjacent to the pool where we could see them and they could see us. I have no idea if this is standard policy. We’re blessed with extremely well mannered animals, so we often have no problem with them in various situations, in spite of their great size. The hotel has a restaurant, fitness room, an unstaffed business center, and a laundry room. A full buffet breakfast in included in the room rate. Alexandria is charming. We took our dogs for a long walk down historic streets to the Potomac River. Along with our furry friends, we window shopped on the streets surrounding the grounds of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Union Street. Our preteen daughters sat with our dogs at tables in the Torpedo Factory Outdoor Pavilion. My husband and I went in and ordered lunch from a variety of ethnic food vendors and brought it back out. Of course, we got delish tidbits for Ziggy and Roscoe. On another evening, we returned sans the dogs and had a fabulous seafood dinner in the Union Street Public House.