Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Jayme Lamm

As someone who recently branched into the adventurous realm of travel writing, the one thing that makes it a little hard jet setting each and every week is leaving behind my 23lb teacup Chihuahua, Denali. And no, that is not a typo.

On the rare occasion I get to travel with Denali, a combined mix of excitement and anxiety take over every being of my soul right in the midst of packing

First it’s: Yay! Denali gets to come too! This will be a blast.

Then it’s: Crap, Denali is coming. What if he gets on my nerves or isn’t well behaved?

When it comes to traveling with pets, it may still be my first rodeo, but thankfully it wasn’t for the Hotel Palomar in Dallas, one of the friendliest and quite frankly, pet-craving Kimpton properties in the US.

The staff is just as excited to welcome you (the paying customer) inside the confines of their adorning lobby as they are your four-legged travel companions. And for good reason – numerous studies show pets make people happier as they tend to connect in profound ways – both mentally and physically. And happier travelers means they’re more apt to return for future visits. Pretty darn smart, right? According to a study by Lieberman Research Worldwide, 49% of people think about their dog “very often” when away and a whopping 94% of folks phone home to ask how the dog is doing. Thankfully, Kimpton has it rolled into one nice package making it easier and fun to take your pet on the road with you making those sad phone calls home obsolete.

Before you shake your head at the sound of another hotel claiming to offer pet-friendly services, relax. I get it. Some time ago the phrase “pet-friendly” in the travel industry became as trendy as a Kardashian TV show, but at the Hotel Palomar Dallas, pet-friendly is a way of life. Pet-friendly means dogs are welcome (and encouraged) to attend the daily complimentary wine hour in the lobby from 5-6pm. Pet-friendly means the staff will probably greet the animal either before or at the same time as they say hello to you. Pet-friendly means any number of pets, any size, any weight and for no extra charge. Finally, being a dog owner doesn’t cost you extra!

“Our goal is to ensure that every guest – whether two-legged or four-legged – is pampered in style during their stay. We’ve taken great care to make sure that guests have everything they need to keep pets happy and healthy while traveling, from dog treats in the guestroom honor bar, to food and water bowls, to easy access to pet sitting, grooming and walking services,” said Andrew Bottomley, the Chef Concierge at the Hotel Palomar Dallas.

And given his many years on the job, Andrew knows what dogs like and isn’t afraid to go that extra mile to fetch it for them. Taking every measure to make sure the stay is enjoyable for both you and your animal, the hotel even has “Pet Concierge” on speed dial on the phone in your room. I had the pleasure of chatting up Andrew while he played with Denali.

In that brief conversation with Andrew I learned something that should have been obvious. Just as guests have significantly different travel needs, so do our animals. Andrew stressed that guests shouldn’t be afraid to call ahead and ask questions – no matter how crazy the request may seem. Some dogs need doggy blankets, some need to be walked frequently, and some may even need to be given medicine. The hotel averages 15-20 pets a week so they’re well versed in specific requests. Kimpton Hotels (and specifically the Hotel Palomar Dallas) offer truly individualized care and service for you and your pet(s) to ensure your travel, whether for business or pleasure is stress free and enjoyable.

A few things to ease your mind when traveling with your pet:
If you happen to be a fairly scatterbrained pet owner like yours truly and forget to pack food, treats or even a pet bed, just call the front desk. The hotel is also happy to provide water and food dishes (free of charge) to help alleviate some of the packing stress that tends to come with frequent traveling.

Afraid your dog will start barking when you leave? Give the front desk your phone number and they’ll make a quick call to inform you they are going to bring your dog down to the front desk to hang out. Even if he’s wearing an Eagles jersey the same night they are in town taking on the home team, Dallas Cowboys. Hypothetically speaking of course.

In the midst of a heavily paved city like Dallas, you’re probably wondering where to walk your dog? Directly behind the property is a safe and well-lit pet walking area equipped with plastic pick-up bags and trashcans. As a female, safety is a huge factor in my travel needs. Each time I walked Denali at night, one of the valet attendants offered to walk with me keeping me company and making me feel safe.

And if you think having pets at the hotel is just a marketing ploy for the guest’s enjoyment, don’t forget about the staff. A number of the staff admitted to having brightened workdays just seeing the pets prancing through the lobby and hallways. They take equal note of the guest’s personalities as they do the animals.

If you’re not really into the whole pet-friendly thing, don’t fret. The hotel has designated floors for Fido and his friends and the staff uses non-allergenic cleaning supplies to help reduce those who may have pet-related allergies. They really do think of everything.

Tips for traveling with your pet to Dallas:
– Complete the confidential pet registration form before your stay.

– Traveling without a pet and feeling a bit lonely? How about a little “Guppy Love”? Simply request a complimentary pet goldfish at the front desk and you’ll have a companion to keep you company during your stay!

– Be sure to check out their website for pet-friendly deals and events including specials, pet packages and even doggie happy hours!

5300 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75206 | 214.520.7969 | Hotel Palomar

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