Pet-Friendly Madison Beach Hotel
A little over a year ago, my family and I got our first dog – a rescue from our local animal shelter. He’s a Yorkie terrier named Diesel, and we are in love. Who’s not obsessed with their dog? As you can imagine, we feel badly leaving him behind when we travel. Which is why I was thrilled to discover that one of our favorite places in New England – Madison, CT (see my post here)– has a pet-friendly hotel. The Madison Beach Hotel is all about dogs.
I have been to the Madison Beach Hotel a few times before during the summertime to use their beach and to dine, but I never knew about its pet-friendly policy until this past summer. I thought to myself, next time I come up I’m bringing Diesel. How much fun would we have – him including us! For as I noticed at cocktail hour, people were out enjoying the sunset on Adirondack chairs with their dogs in tow. Everyone was peaceful and happy. I knew Diesel would love it.
Flash forward to Autumn, I decided to take a girls’ trip to Madison to get away, have a much needed massage at the hotel’s spa, and enjoy the Fall light against the Long Island Sound and the hotel’s little, yet picturesque beach. Fall/early winter, as it turns out, is a great time to go. Prices are cheaper, and the setting is sublime, with the crisp air and late orange sun.
I went with a girlfriend, and we both brought our dogs, ready for the four of us to enjoy the hotel. And that, we did. Everywhere we went, our dogs were adored with love and attention. From the receptionists to the restaurant staff to even the bell hops, our dogs were welcomed with open arms. It’s clear this hotel loves pets, which made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. I guess if they didn’t, then it wouldn’t be a pet-friendly hotel!
Before I share more about our experience, it’s important to know a few things about the hotel and its acceptance of pets. Firstly, there is a fee to bring a pet – at the time of writing this post, it’s $50. There is a limited number of rooms that allow pets (mainly on the main floor) so make sure to book ahead. Also – and this is key – as it wasn’t so obvious when I first booked the room – if you’re making the reservation online, after you receive the confirmation email, make sure to call the hotel and confirm that you are bringing a pet. Even though I checked the box online, I still had to confirm with a reservationist. Lastly, there is a 75-pound weight limit to pets.
Back to our stay. After we checked in and put our things in our room, we took our dogs outside for a walk on the beach. It was about 3:00 p.m. and the late afternoon light was perfect. There is something so serene about walking along the beach on a late November day when the sun is out, but soon to set, the chill in the air. Unfortunately, Diesel could not actually “walk” (or, rather, he wasn’t allowed to walk), as he had recently torn a ligament and was under strict orders. No matter, I brought a dog sling, and like a baby in a baby bjorn, we walked together.
After our walk, I went to the spa to get my massage (make sure to request Kristina – she is amazing – best massage I’ve ever had. Also, Sandy, the Spa Director, was extremely helpful as well – incredible staff!) and left Diesel to chill on the comfy bed in our room. My friend took her dog to the bar while I got my massage. When we met back at the room, she was beaming about her bar experience with her dog Chloe. She said everyone was coming up to her and asking about Chloe, and how easy the whole thing was.
The bar is located at the Wharf restaurant, and while dogs are technically not allowed to sit inside, there is a large bar and eating area outside on the deck, where it is enclosed with heat lamps. That’s where we decided to go for dinner – outside, next to the water, and with dogs in tow. I had Diesel in my sling, Chloe was leashed to the chair, and the four of us happily dined together. One of the managers kept coming out to check on the dogs and talk to us, and the whole experience was splendid.
Later that night I chilled with Diesel in bed and watched movies with the gas fireplace going for some extra ambience. We were both in heaven. After we had fallen asleep, he did wake up a few times barking at noises, and that was the only time I was stressed about having a dog with me – I didn’t want to wake up the entire hotel! But all was fine in the end.
The next morning the four of us had breakfast on the deck, again with dogs in tow. By then they knew the routine and it was fairly easy having them by our sides (or in my case, on my lap). We only spent one night, and soon we were on our way – but what an adventure it was for Diesel.
I can’t recommend the Madison Beach Hotel enough as a pet-friendly hotel. Talk about accommodating. If you’re looking for a hotel to bring your pet in the tri-state area, definitely consider going to Madison.