The Muse - Kimpton Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Muse is an impressively pet-friendly hotel, having hosted everything from snakes (!) to penguins (!) to a pig (!) (many of them in town to appear on television shows that tape nearby). Ginger, a teacup Pomeranian, serves as the "Director of Pet Relations," a companion to one of the hotel staff members. On most days, Ginger can be found hanging out on her leopard-print bed near the concierge. She has even done the morning-show circuit, most recently on the Today show for a segment about pet-friendly hotels. The hotel has a Pampered Pooch and a Hers and Furs package, starting at $229, which provides in-room pedicures for a guest and her dog. Pets also receive a special welcome package upon arrival, with food and treats for both the dogs and their human companions. There is no surcharge to bring a pet to the Muse, though the hotel limits guests to two pets per room. Dogwalking, sitting, grooming, and food delivery can all be arranged for an extra charge. Bryant Park is four blocks away.
The Benjamin Rating: 4.0 Pearls
If snuggling up and taking a snooze with your pooch is your idea of a vacation, the sleep-themed Benjamin Hotel (part of the pet-friendly Affinia chain) is your best bet. The hotel's "Dream Dogs" program provides a plush doggie bathrobe, a doggie DVD (to keep dogs from getting bored when alone in the room), and a dog room service menu. The doggie bed menu offers different sizes of specially-designed beds to help your pet slumber soundly.
70 Park Avenue Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
70 Park Avenue is part of the pet-friendly Kimpton hotel chain, and like at the Epic in Miami, pets get the royal treatment -- doggie manicures and pedicures, squeaky toys, robes, and a bed are all available. There are no extra fees for bringing a pet -- unlike at many hotels in New York -- but owners are responsible for any damage caused by their animal. 70 Park Avenue is a great choice for pet owners with special needs, as it is willing to accommodate pets of any weight or type. Bryant Park is three blocks away.
Affinia Dumont Rating: 4.0 Pearls
All of the Affinia hotels are pet-friendly, offering food and water bowls, doggie sidewalk bags or kitty litter pans, lists of pet-friendly restaurants and resources, and more through its VIPaws pet program. The concierge can arrange almost anything including daycare, training, grooming, dog walking, or even a pet psychic. There's a $50 fee per stay. The Murray Hill location is residential, so there will be dog-owners strolling their pets--but on concrete sidewalks, since there are no parks immediately nearby.
Affinia Manhattan Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Affinia Manhattan isn't as snazzy as its other Affinia sisters, but during the annual Westminster dog show, it becomes one of the hottest pet-friendly hotels in town. It's located just around the corner from Madison Square Garden, and although it raises its usual pet fee during the event, it does provide additional pet amenities for the four-legged competitors, including a dog run and Doggie Day salon.
Soho Grand Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Pets get special treatment at the Soho Grand--and they get it for free. There is no fee to bring a pet; the hotel asks only that visitors inform the staff ahead of time so that the reservations department can book a room on one of three pet-friendly floors and ensure that food, bowls, and a crate are available -- all at no extra charge.The hotel doesn't even put a restriction on animal size or weight -- so it's as willing to welcome a Saint Bernard as a Chihuahua hitching a ride in a handbag. The hotel is owned by Hartz Mountain Industries, and room service delivers Hartz-brand animal chow and some special treats. Dog walking, a more extensive menu, and grooming can all be arranged through the concierge for an extra fee. If guests can't bring their own pets, the hotel offers "surrogate animal companionship" in the form of a pet goldfish in your room, which you can even take home with you.
Tribeca Grand Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Like its sister hotel, the Soho Grand, the Tribeca Grand Hotel is owned by Hartz Mountain Industries, which also produces pet products. It's free to bring a pet, and four-legged friends of any size are welcome. Just notify the hotel ahead of time to get placed on a pet-friendly floor, where food, bowls, and a crate will be waiting in the room -- all at no extra charge. Dog walking, a more extensive pet-food menu, and grooming can all be arranged through the concierge for an extra fee.
Affinia Gardens Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Affinia charges a one-time $50 pet fee, but for that price your pet will get treats, food and water bowls, and (for dogs) a welcome walk as part of the VIPaws pet program. Central Park is four avenues away -- a bit far, but not too far to walk to.
Affinia Shelburne Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The quiet, upscale Affinia Shelburne draws a wide range of travelers, from business travelers to tourists in their golden years to, of course, travelers who bring their pets. Like the Affinia Dumont, it's located in the sleepy Murray Hill neighborhood and offers a variety of pet services through its VIPaws pet program.
Loews Regency Rating: 4.0 Pearls
As part of the pet-friendly Loews Loves Pets program, pets are treated to a complimentary welcome basket with a pet bowl and treats, and amenities such as cat or dog beds, scratching poles, litter boxes and food ordered off of gourmet pet room service menus are available for a fee. Unlike most hotels, which arrange dog-walking and pet-sitting through third parties, Loews provides these services in-house; dogs left in the room will be walked for $20, and the front desk will watch your pet for $10 an hour, which gives guests a lot of flexibility if they have to run some errands sans-pet. Pets are limited to two per room, but there's no weight limit and only a one-time $25 cleaning fee.
Algonquin Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Since owner Frank Case first adopted a stray cat as the Algonquin's house pet back in the 1930s, the hotel has always kept a cat, naming it Hamlet if a boy, Matilda if a girl. The current resident, probably Matilda XXXVI, stays at the hotel for free -- and so may your pet. But you'll have to sign a waiver to pay for any damage incurred. When our reporter inquired about weight limit, management said they judged it on "an individual basis" -- but have welcomed everything from Irish setters to Snowball the Backstreet Boys-dancing cockatoo. Pet owners who do participate in Algonquin's pet program receive a welcome kit with a list of services in the area, and their room will be stocked ahead of time with food and water bowls, a floor mat, litter box, and gloves and waste bags.