dog friendly

At the dog friendly MLK Memorial
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TMOM

Years ago, on a family trip to Washington, DC, we ‘discovered’ the Hotel Palomar, in Dupont Circle. It was the ideal kid friendly hotel: outdoor pool, free milk (and coffee) in the lobby every morning, blocks from a huge playground in Rock Creek Park.

Turns out, many of these same amenities are important when bringing your dog – or your teenage kids.

I confess I turned my children on to joys of a fresh brewed cup of coffee, and this is how they greet the day. At the Hotel Palomar, as at all Kimpton Hotels, there is a coffee bar every morning. This one even offered hot chocolate, mini marshmallows and chocolate shavings, but my kids have progressed beyond that and require a cup of joe to start the day.


Note for late risers: the coffee technically ends at 10:30, but if your kids sleep past then, someone is happy to fetch a cup of coffee.


DC in the polar vortex
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TMOM

Family friendly Kimpton Hotels are also known for their evening social hours, featuring drinks and snacks. While my kids couldn’t enjoy the free wine and hot toddies, they did get warm apple cider (adults could have their’s with bourbon – I highly recommend it). There are also crackers and olives, and one evening, free pizza from the excellent hotel restaurant, Urbana.

Our puppy was thrilled with the social part of the happy hour, greeting other dogs and drinking from the communal water bowl. There is also a bowl of dog treats, and the friendly hotel workers greeted our dog by name, scratching her ears and rubbing her belly.

The dog friendly boutique hotel also offers food bowls and dog beds, though the one size fits all dog bed was not suited to a petite lab. Luckily, we had our puppy’s bed with us. We forgot poop bags – but the hotel provided them, too.


President on President’s Day Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TMOM

Oh – and Kimpton doesn’t charge extra when you bring a dog. We have not stayed at many dog-friendly hotels, but in researching them, I found that many charge $25-50 per night, per pet. That adds up quickly.

That local park was a great place to visit with the dog while our kids slept, but the excellent Sunday farmer’s market was not – unlike NYC Greenmarkets, dogs are banned here. So we took turns walking through, sampling artisan cheeses and homemade soups and buying pickles, bread and fruit.

We couldn’t use the Palomar’s outdoor pool, but my teens are now old enough, and motivated enough, to frequent fitness centers, and they loved this one. There was plenty of floor space to spread out mats, stability balls and bosu balls, plus free weights and cardio machines. And there was a bowl of fruit for a post-workout snack.

I’m also a big fan of Kimpton’s loyalty program, InTouch. During every stay, you get free WiFi, a $10 mini bar credit (which doesn’t go very far, but still) and points towards a free stay.

Note: we received a special media rate for our Hotel Palomar stay. Opinions are my own.