Dog Friendly Review: The InterContinental Miami Hotel

My dog friendly review of the InterContinental Miami Hotel, the highest ranking dog friendly hotel in the world, and purveyors of dog friendly excellence.

Dog Friendly Review: The InterContinental Miami Hotel
Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

It is not often that I am delighted by a dog-friendly hotel. When your job primarily consists of exhaustively certifying and then ranking the world's dog friendly hotels, you very quickly learn that most are dog-tolerant rather than dog friendly.

So when I come across a hotel like the InterContinental Miami, it does make me happy. Part of the reason I do what I do is to nudge hotels toward canine inclusivity and genuine dog friendliness, but in their case, I didn’t need to.

I did not need to suggest any policy changes or that they add any additional services in order to rank higher when I measured them, they had already won every possible point for every conceivable dog-friendly service, facility, policy, amenity and ancillary that I could think of, they were already excellent.

I created the Roch Standard, the world's first dog friendly standard and certification process, so that I could find the world's best dog friendly hotels while avoiding the bad ones, and it really works, it is how I found the IHG Miami.

It led me to this wonderful hotel and its incredible team, who work really hard to nurture nothing less than a dog-owner's paradise. They confirm that hotels this good really do exist; bonafide, naturally occurring dog-friendly excellence.

Believe me when I tell you that this is a rare gem, I have certified close to a thousand hotels and very few of them come this close to being perfect.

With that in mind, please allow me to introduce you to the real deal.

The InterContinental Miami: A Dog Friendly Review

First of all, let's cover the basics. Nobody wants to travel with a dog's bed or food and water bowls, and we want to carry a sack of dog food around even less, especially when we already have lots of heavy luggage to lug around.

The IHG Miami has you covered. They provide bowls and really good organic dog food from YumPup, and members of staff are armed with treats to win your dog's loyalty. Your dog is going to be very comfortable and seriously happy when staying here. What I like most about the IHG Miami is their obvious canine inclusivity.  

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

We try to encourage hotels to welcome dogs in all of their public areas so that we, as guests, can really enjoy the hotel. The IHG Miami hotel is a wonderfully luxurious place to stay, but what is the point of a nice lounge, a beautiful bar, or a comfortable patio if you cannot enjoy it with your dog sat next to you?

I want to be able to sit in the bar and enjoy my cocktail while my dog chews on her toy, and at the IHG Miami you can do that. Dogs are welcome in their bar, lounges, garden, and pretty much everywhere except for other people's rooms.

This inclusivity is a hallmark of dog friendly excellence, and they score top marks.

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

Their canine inclusivity extends to their policies; 100% of their rooms are dog friendly, meaning you will never struggle to find a room your dog can stay in.

They also do not have a weight limit, which means all sizes of dog are welcome.

This is honestly a big deal, you would be surprised at the number of dog friendly hotels with absurd weight limits. I am frequently denied hotel rooms I had booked and paid for because my small female labrador was inexplicably too big.

Dog walking is super easy. They have a dog park right across the street, which makes things convenient for those frequent calls of nature. They will even arrange dog walks for you if you feel like having a lazy day so your dog can explore Miami Beach with one of their trusted walkers while you are hanging out by the pool.

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

That being said why would you want to? The hotel sits right on the waterfront and offers spectacular dog walking trails with a view of the ocean. That's a luxury!

Your dog gets spoiled; it gets a custom Bark Box containing treats, toys, and a snazzy bandana so it can walk around Miami in style. They know your dog is a social creature, so they make sure your dog can be social when you stay by being the favorite meeting spot for every dog owner's group in the surrounding area.

Your dog is almost guaranteed to make some friends when they visit, especially if you stay there on a Wednesday when they hold their weekly Paws Patio on their huge patio terrace. This weekly event is a mix between a canine farmers market, a lively cocktail bar, and a dog friendly playground paradise, with splash pools, ‘cool your doggy down’ fountains, and market stalls from local vendors selling all kinds of cute dog products, like leashes, fashion, technology, treats, and food.

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

Your dog is going to freak out when they see the tasty range of dog food.

This is where IHG Miami really stands out. They have worked hard to create a vibrant local community atmosphere for dog owners, and I just love it. I love everything they do to make their hotel a top local doggy destination.

Digging into the small print, dogs can be left in the rooms on their own if you need to go out, they have a veterinarian on call in case of medical emergencies, and they even have specific canine business insurance coverage in place.

These thoughtful details ensure the wellbeing of your dog.

They do have a flat fee of $100 per stay, but I think it quite reasonable considering the services, amenities, policies, and facilities you get as a dog owner. I do not mind being charged a fee if the hotel provides exceptional dog friendliness, which the IHG Miami really does. I love the words ‘dogs stay for free’ but very often when you hear those words, it is because the hotel's services and amenities are lacking.

The trick to getting the most dog friendly out of the IHG Miami is by specifically booking their Pets & Points package, that’s how you snag your dog a Bark Box, a sweet 50% discount on that fee, and a nice little bonus of 2000 IHG reward points.

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram

The best bit about booking through this package is that a local canine charity will get a cut of the proceeds, and the IHG Miami goes out of its way to support local kennels and charities in their community and has done so for a long time.

The team at IHG loves dogs, and it shows in everything they do, every service they offer, their thoughtful policies, their useful amenities, their vibrant canine social scene, their canine fashion, and their support for local canine charities.

If I could give them a dog friendly medal, I would.

This brings us to the end of my review; I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is honestly a pleasure to write about such a delightfully dog friendly hotel, and I think it important that they are recognized for their effort. 

When it comes to dog friendly, the IHG Miami goes the extra mile, above and beyond, to the next level, and makes all the right moves where it matters the most.

Image courtesy of IHG Miami Instagram.

This hotel gets my highest recommendation. With a score of 43 out of 52 points, they easily won our A+ rank and are the most dog-friendly hotel on the planet.

IHG boss Gina Genna told me "I wanted to create a space where our own dogs would feel like they had died and gone to heaven" and I think she nailed it.

See my original ranking and review for the IHG Miami on RochDog here.

Book using this link to get 50% the pet fee and tell them you saw them on Roch!