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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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