A Vacation for Dogs in Asheville, NC: Dogs Like the Aloft Asheville Downtown

Asheville, a gorgeous mountain city, nestled in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains, is a haven for vacationers. The reasons to visit this city are endless.

When I was working on a magazine piece for a national publication this summer, I interviewed local business owners in Asheville.

Jillian Kelly, a local Asheville beekeeper, and owner of the store, The Asheville Bee Charmer, told me, "You have a want for nothing in Asheville, North Carolina!"

She's right.  There is something for everyone in this mountain city. All people and their unique, individual tastes are welcome in Asheville. Whether you are an adventure traveler, foodie, or a history and culture lover, you'll feel right at home in this progressive North Carolina city.

Your beloved pets will feel welcomed, too. Just like my poodle, Andy felt on his most recent stay.

I grew up near Asheville, North Carolina, but in the past nine years, I've visited Asheville more often than anywhere else in the state. For the past two years, our poodle, Andy, accompanied us there. Traveling with a dog is like traveling with children in some ways. Both require a little extra work, but unlike the tiny humans, dogs cannot go everywhere with you, nor can they stay in all lodgings. That's why, as pet owners, it is refreshing to know before booking a trip that your four-legged family member will be welcomed, too.

Asheville is touted as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the U.S. I think that's an accurate depiction of the town. Sometimes, I saw as many dogs as people walking the streets during my visits. The Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville has the honor of being of the most pet-friendly hotels in the entire state of North Carolina, in my opinion.

The Aloft Downtown Asheville operates a popular pet-adoption program that allows a rescue dog to live at the hotel until it finds a permanent home. This program has been so successful that it has been piloted in other Aloft hotels across the United States. With its own "lobby-dog" as a hotel greeter, your pet feels like a top dog or top cat, too. That's right. I said cat, also. The hotel does not discriminate against cats when it comes to their pet policy. Cats stay free at the property, just like dogs. Cats, as you would expect, are not as visible in the public areas as dogs, but Andy met a cat guest on his stay this time. If you have cat allergies or any pet allergy, be sure to discuss that with the front desk before checking-in.

I first stayed in the Aloft Downtown Asheville, located on Biltmore Avenue, several years ago. My daughter, who was five at the time, fell in love with the hotel's lobby adoption program. Every single year, she insists that we go to the Aloft hotel lobby to see who is up for adoption, even if we are not staying in the property. In fact, I have found myself inside the hotel a lot through the years because of the hotel's superb location to Asheville's South Slope district. Will and I are avid craft beer lovers, and this section of Asheville is where we chose to spend the most time.  The Aloft Asheville is within walking distance to everything in downtown Asheville. The Biltmore area is a quick ride away.

The nightly rates for this Aloft location may seem higher than what you are used to experiencing at other Aloft Hotels in different areas. That's because the demand for Asheville hotels is very high in general, especially in the downtown area. In fact, on peak weekends, a room at the Aloft Downtown Asheville can cost travelers between $400 and $500 per night. Marriott rewards members like myself get a slight discount on those rates because of brand loyalty.

Many hotels charge a pet fee when traveling with pets, but not the Aloft Downtown Asheville. All pets stay at this property free. Parking is also at a low cost of $10 a day at the deck underneath the hotel.

Not only do pets stay free at the Aloft Downtown Asheville, but there are not any public area off-limits inside the hotel. At the Aloft Asheville, you can have an appetizer and a drink at the WXYZ Lounge, and your dog can be right there with you. It really makes you feel as if you are in your own home when staying there.  I loved it, and I think Andy did, too.

The Aloft Asheville is so pet-friendly that it sometimes hosts fun "Bow-Wow" type social events for dogs and their owners. It's fun to stay at this hotel because most hotel guests have the love for their pets in common.

In July, on my last stay, I learned that a woman had a dog back home that looked just like my Andy. It made her miss her dog. I also met a couple from New Jersey with a dog named Opie. I told them, "Opie and Andy" were the perfect combo for North Carolina. Andy Griffith TV show fans will certainly understand why.

Upon check-in at the Aloft in downtown Asheville, Andy was given a doggie care package.  He received extra pooh bags, treats, bowls for water and food, plus a massive dog bed, well at least for an eight-pound poodle. The front desk has a list of places where dogs can walk and have a good time in the city.

If you want to know more about North Carolina, be sure to sign up for my #OutaboutNC Travel Guides, coming to your inbox this fall. If you're going to book this hotel, you may begin that process here at the Marriott Bonvoy site.  When booking, type in Asheville, N.C. in the destination bar, and you will find all the Marriott hotels in this area, especially if this one is not within your budget for the season you want to visit. Feel free to email me about Asheville's lodging and locations. I've stayed in a lot through the years, and you can find those posts in my archives by searching for Asheville and hotels.

Dogs love Asheville, NC

Pet-Friendly Asheville, NC

Disclosure: My thanks to North Carolina business, Flooring by Design for being an August blog sponsor. With three locations in North Carolina, Flooring by Design is a trusted source for carpet installation in Raleigh. My blog sponsors keep me at my desk writing editorial content and OutaboutNC. The HinesSightBlog is also a Marriott Bonvoy Affiliate for bookings and referrals. We traveled during the peak summer tourism season and received a slight media discount on lodging. Opinions about the hotel are my own.

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