Web exclusive: Hilton offers “paws-itive” experiences

With more and more travelers taking their pets with them on their trips, Hilton’s extended-stay brands Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton have teamed up with Mars Petcare for a pet-friendly travel experience.

“We understand that pets are extensions of families and welcome the responsibility of caring for our guests, along with their pets,” said Bill Duncan, global category head, focused service & all suites, Hilton. “With more than 23 million U.S. homes welcoming a new pet since the start of the pandemic, and according to Mars Petcare research, 58% of pet owners saying they are seeking pet-friendly accommodations, there was an opportunity to expand our hospitality offerings to guests traveling with the whole family, pets included.”

Leveraging insights from Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets program, the brands will implement pet-focused programming and benefits in the U.S. and Canada. Beginning on Jan. 1, Homewood Suites joined Home2 Suites and Canopy by Hilton to become a 100% pet-friendly brand across its portfolio of hotels, with both brands introducing consistent pet fees, starting at $50 per stay.

The Better Cities for Pets program is a research-based model for pet-friendly practices and policies. The program aims to help communities become more pet-friendly by bringing the voice of pets and their owners to places of influence and advocating for fewer pets in shelters, more pet-friendly places, and happier, healthier lives for both people and pets.

“As pet ownership continues to rise, people are spending more time with pets than ever before,” he said. “Hilton and Mars Petcare are known for their industry-leading expertise in hospitality and pets respectively so there was a natural opportunity for both companies to come together in a way that anticipates and addresses the needs of pet parents to make traveling with pets more seamless and enjoyable.”

Ikdeep Singh, regional president, Mars Petcare North America, added, “We’ve seen first-hand the undeniable bond that pet parents have formed with their pets particularly over the past year, and we are more committed than ever to our purpose: A Better World for Pets. Leaning into our Better Cities for Pets program, we are honored to come together with Hilton to address a common pain point for pet parents as we continue on our mission to create a more welcoming world for people and their pets.”

The brand teams have worked with Mars Petcare to develop and deliver pet-friendly programming to ensure a “paws-itive” experience for travelers and their pets throughout their stay.

“Guests of Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton have plenty of space which makes traveling with pets a lot easier,” said Duncan. “Hotel team members are equipped to provide guests with information on local pet-friendly resources, including local dog parks, nearby vets, pet stores and any pet-friendly restaurants in the area.”

Guests throughout the U.S. and Canada can also access pet health, wellness and behavioral support through a new online platform. “The service includes on-demand articles with tips like what to pack and how to settle in as well as chat features, both online and via phone, where Mars Petcare experts can answer any pet-related questions that come up throughout the trip,” he said. “This new service, specifically tailored for on-the-go pet parents, creates a more inclusive and seamless travel experience for Hilton guests and their furry friends.”

Those looking to share a stay with their canines at Canopy by Hilton can borrow a bed, food and water bowl, while the Paws in the Neighborhood program ensures all four-legged travelers receive their own “bark bag” filled with a toy, treats, and guide to pet-friendly neighborhood activities.

Duncan said pet-friendly travel will continue to expand across its other brands. “By April of this year, all Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Tru by Hilton properties in the U.S. will also become completely pet-friendly to provide our guests with even more hotel options to consider during their travels.”