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Every year in the town of Binche, Belgium, the Binche Carnival offers an endless array of vibrant local traditions. Thousands of clown-like performers called Gilles have the honor of marching through the city, donning amazing wax masks, costumes, and sticks to ward off spirits.
Considered one of the top events in all of Europe, the Carnival of Basel is held between February and March in Basel, Switzerland. Over 18,000 Fasnächtler participate by dressing up in an incredible variety of masked costumes and parading through the city with candy. The old town of Central Basel is completely taken over with the festivities, as spectators are free to run through streets and restaurants, confetti swirling in every direction.
The Fairmont Santa Monica is well known for offering oceanfront luxury to its human guests, but it’s the P.A.W. (Pets Always Welcome) program that will please even the most discerning of your furry family members. If Princess would like some pampering, sign her up for a blueberry facial or a manicure. Later, she can snack on complimentary treats in a special bowl, and then take a nice nap on a plush doggy bed. Did you forget one of her favorite chew toys at home? (Silly human!) Fairmont customers are given a 10 percent discount at Healthy Spot of Santa Monica.
Do you dream of spending an afternoon in the tropical sun, relaxing on a beachside hammock? In this dream, is there a furry, four-legged friend lying next to you? If so, you should book a stay at Florida’s TradeWinds Resort, where the pet-friendly accommodations also include a Pet Play Zone, a Doggy Accessory Center, and the Paw Court Bistro, a special room service menu for your pooch.
If being eco-friendly without sacrificing luxury is top on your priority list, you won’t want to miss the Bay Area’s Cavallo Point. And the best part? You can bring your four-legged friend along with you for a little green getaway. After a romp around the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, your pooch will appreciate the Eco Luxe Pups program, which provides locally made lush bedding, a quick-dry towel, custom food and water bowls, and plenty of treats and cookies (organic, of course).
Both humans and their pets are pampered at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Your dog is sure to appreciate the personalized towels and plush doggy beds, and when meal time comes around, your foodie pooch can order off a special menu that includes gourmet dishes like the “Bow Wow Beef Burger” and the “Spot’s New York Strip.” Thinking of ordering a late-night drink to the room? Don’t forget to get your pup his own martini (made with beef bouillon, of course).
Swanky accommodations? Check. Luxury shopping nearby? Check. Pet massage and acupuncture services? Check and check. Yes, the Muse is not only a top-tier hotel for humans, it is also one of the most lavish places for pets to take a much-needed vacation (making sure the mailman is on his game is hard work, ok?). Ginger, a teacup pomeranian and Louis Vuitton aficionado, is the resident Director of Pet Relations, in charge of making sure your four-legged pal is getting the most out of his or her time in the Big Apple.
The seaside of Maine is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places to unwind in New England, and for more than a decade, the Inn by the Sea has been making it possible for you to have your R&R without leaving your four-legged family members behind. Dogs have the full run of the place and can go anywhere (as long as they are leashed) except the spa and the restaurant. But don’t worry -- if Fido would like a massage, it can be arranged in the room, and if you’d like a scenic view while you eat together, there is a paws-welcome outdoor patio (and a special room service menu for pets if you’d rather stay in). The staff are also happy to help you find ways to explore the best of pet-friendly Maine (think: lobsters, hikes, and strolls on the beach).
The Affinia Dumont is one of New York’s leading pet-friendly hotels, where both you and your four-legged companion can be assured a full big city experience. Have the front desk reserve a pet taxi to get Fido to the spa or call in the resident pet psychic if you want to get better in touch with his needs. Later, when you finally get what your furry pal has been trying to tell you all these years ("ruff bark bark" = cake, please), the front desk will order you the doggy-approved baked goods he's been dreaming of.
The Loews chain is known not only as a top-tier hotel group for humans, but also for being one of the most pet-friendly in the nation. The Coronado Bay Resort caters to your pawed family members by providing gourmet room service, lavish swag like collars and bedding, and a number of luxury goodies, like catnip, scratching posts and delicious (or so we’ve heard) dog treats. The most unique feature of this San Diego area hotel is the surfing, not just for humans but also for your beach-loving dogs. Pups can brush up on their hang ten skills with the “Su'ruff Camp” and then compete in the annual Surf Dog Competition.
Hotel Monaco Portland not only invites your four-legged family members into its plush hotel rooms, but the staff also make sure that Fido will be able to experience all that this diverse city has to offer without leaving your side. Timmy, a yellow lab and the resident Director of Pet Relations, is said to be an expert at sniffing out pet-friendly Portland spots, including local breweries. The concierge can also arrange a walk for your pooch if you’ve had a few too many beer samples to make it around the block.
Humans aren’t the only ones that like to work hard and play hard. The Topnotch Resort in the stunningly beautiful Stowe, Vermont, is a perfect place to take your four-legged family member for a rigorous hike, especially during the fall when you both can admire the scenic rust-colored foliage. When you come back exhausted, sign your pooch up for a Rover Reiki Massage. Looking for something a little more romantic? The resort also has Valentine’s Day packages for you and your furry someone special, complete with breakfast in bed.
Honest Burgers may be based on an American fast food concept, but the food is British through and through. The aged beef is sourced from a local farm that specializes in high-quality rare breeds, and the toppings feature unique British touches, like the cheese selection - mature cheddar, Leicester and Stilton - and red onion relish. Because of the restaurant’s skyrocketing popularity and no-reservations policy, you might have to wait in line for these, but for the perfectly juicy and truly British burger and the reasonable price, you won’t regret it.