Did you know that one in three Aussies chooses to stay home with their pets instead of going on holiday? Now hotels across Melbourne are loosening ruff no-pet policies and welcoming dogs. There's never been a better time to staycation in the city with your four-legged best friend. Here’s where to book, and what to do nearby. Thanks to Life of Jinkee for modelling, and to Sofia Levin for translating Jinkee's staycation ideas for us.

Ovolo Laneways

Adorably dubbed the V.I.Pooch package, design hotel Ovolo Laneways invites guests to bring their dog. For a fee per night, your pooch gets a plush dog bed, food and water bowls on a custom mat and a designer doggy bag. The latter is stuffed with toys, snacks and quintessential poop bags for park walkies and inner-city adventures.

To do: Check out our guide to Melbourne's best street art and take your bestie on a tour of the must-see murals. There's plenty of corners to pee on along the way.

A dog standing in front of a street art mural
Explore street art with your pup in tow

The Langham Melbourne

The luxury is five-star at the Langham Melbourne, and the hotel rolls out the same high-end treatment for its furry guests. For a $150 fee, you can share your holiday with your cat or dog. The Langham's Pampered Pets Staycation package includes a welcome pack with a bowl and cosy bed for pooches that have had a ruff day. Satisfy rumbling tummies with treats from the private dining pet menu.

To do: leash up for a stroll along the river on Southbank. Swing by the Arts Centre forecourt for a lobster roll and truffle fries from the luxe Lobster & Co pop-up. Just look for the vintage airstream caravan.

Two dogs with their tongues out on a pink dog bed.
The Langham Melbourne

Marriot Melbourne

Every room at Marriott Melbourne has a private courtyard, perfect for its Dog Days Staycation package. Expect food and water bowls, a plush bed and treats and a tennis ball upon arrival. Walkies are made easy with a map of local parks. There’s an in-room doggy dining menu available (we recommend poached chicken and sweet potato in a rice bun). For snacks, consult the mini bar full of pet treats. Inside you might find whole deer antlers, pooch-friendly rocky road or turkey-flavoured popcorn.

To do: Marriott is moments away from the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens, home to a Victorian-era fountain, tree-lined paths, grassy lawns and lakes. Stroll past the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and IMAX Cinema before settling in for a picnic with your pooch. Top tip: grab a takeaway pizza from SPQR on the way.

A dog smiling in front of a train station
All aboard the toy poodle express

QT Melbourne

If your pup is less than 20 kilograms, it’s welcome with open paws at QT hotel. The pet-friendly rooms here have a mini bar packed with pup treats. There’s a designer dog bed by Nice Digs for sweet dreams and doggy room service, designed by QT “Head of Treats”. The team can also book your fluffy friend in for a pupQ grooming service, subject to availability.

To do: Food crawl along Hardware Lane, making the most of the outdoor tables that line the pedestrian street. Try Pho Thin for award-winning Vietnamese. Stop at Miznon for Israeli food. There’s Korean-inspired sandwiches at Dari Korean Café and Bar, plus Malaysian at Lulu’s Char Kway Teow. For dessert, swing by Piccolina for gelato, then plant yourself at Kirk’s Wine Bar for European drinks and nibbles.

A dog sitting at a table
No wine for me thanks - I'm driving

Citadines on Bourke Melbourne

Citadines on Bourke has a dog-friendly rooftop courtyard, set right in the heart of the city. For the pups there’s a soft bed, food and water bowls. Beyond the basics, there’s a welcome pack with treats, toys and other goodies. Ask staff about adventure walks by Tom and Captain and pooch-appropriate winery tours and high teas. The hotel’s sister property, Somerset on Elizabeth Melbourne, is also dog friendly. 

To do: Riverside open-air gin bar Pilgrim doesn't just allow dogs, it encourages them. Or take your four-legged friend to Il Bacaro for a pooch-friendly feast.

Zagame's House

Located at the city end of Lygon Street, boutique hotel Zagame's House is a fetching option for fur-babies. They go out of the way to provide a bag of goodies upon arrival. Dogs can dine from an in-room pet menu (holistic chicken and lentils or 'roo with ancient grains, anyone?). Watch the Furry Movie of the Month as part of the free film selection or bond with Hugo the hotel groodle. Plus access dog walkers, groomers and even pup personal trainers. 

To do: Treat your little pal to a luxe dinner at Zagame's. The hotel is hosting a four-course Pup and Pinot Wine Dinner on 19 November with a matching human and dog menu. Pooch-friendly venue Vincent the Dog has plenty of outdoor seating. It’s also only one-kilometre from Zagame's House. Vincent serves specialty coffee, bagels, eggs and waffles.

Sofia Levin is a freelance journalist based in Melbourne and the founder of Seasoned Traveller. Jinkee is her toy poodle sidekick.

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