There is a distinct difference between dog friendly and dog tolerant. We have all been to places which advertised “Dogs Welcome”, then were asked to use the rear entrance or “tie your dog to the tree over there”. Not very friendly at all, just tolerant of your dog while collecting your money. Then there are places like The Liberty Hotel where doors are open wide for your dog. Before I get right into it let me retrace our steps to The Liberty Hotel.
Recently while exploring Beacon Hill, we ran into a couple from Manhattan. They were looking for a place to eat in the area with a dog friendly patio. At first we all drew a blank, Beacon hill is short on restaurants with outdoor patios to start. Finally hit me that we had been to the Liberty Hotel for Yappy Hour where at least on Wednesdays evenings dogs are welcome. We suggested they go there and see if the staff at The Liberty Hotel would accommodate them in some way. They were off and Margie, Moose and I kept up our exploration. Finally, as we were starving and in need of a good cocktail ourselves, we decided to find out how “Dog Friendly” The Liberty Hotel really is.
To be honest, as it was not Wednesday or “Yappy Hour” I expected to be asked if we were guests at the door and turned away as we were not. Surprisingly, the doormen had the doors open and happily pat our dog on the head as we strolled on in. That was the case with everyone we passed, happy, smiling and very welcoming. We headed upstairs to the lobby scooping up our dog into my arms as we rode the escalator (fear of Moose getting an unintended nail clipping). If you have not been to the Liberty Hotel, it is absolutely beautiful. The lobby where the Liberty Bar is located is simply incredible. As far as I am concerned this is the place to stay in Boston based on the hotel’s beauty and uniqueness alone.
We sat down next to the bar in a pair of comfy leather chairs and Moose stretched himself across the carpet making himself comfortable as well. In short order the cocktail waitress made her way over to ask if we would like drinks or a menu instead of telling us to leave. I myself am now a huge fan of the “Rock Smash”, bourbon and mint, the food is fantastic as well. I am sure there are plenty of rave reviews of the food and drink you can easily find. What I will impress upon you was the number of people who came over and asked to pet our dog. Both guests and staff alike.
There was the moment when a gentleman came over and asked if he could pet Moose as he sorely missed his own dog. As he was crouched down giving Moose a good scratch we chatted about the hotel and dogs. He was staying at the hotel for three months while they shot one of the movies in Boston. His words were “If I had known how incredibly dog friendly this hotel was I would have brought my dog here as well. I never imagined how welcoming a hotel could be to a dog owner.”. After a while, when I recognized how well the staff caters to the needs of their clients is when I decided to write this article.
Many of the people here are away from their homes and loved ones. The sight of a dog curled up comfortably on the floor changes a strange hotel into a place more like home. For most of us taking a moment to scratch a dog’s head creates a break in the day, stops the stress and reminds us of the things we love. There is a reason dogs have been at man’s side for nearly 1,500 years. This lesson was taught to me over and over again during the next couple of hours while we ate, drank and socialized. I began to recognize the people just looking for a touch of home and those on business looking for a break from their thoughts.
A few days later I was able to interview Rachel Moniz, the Hotel Manager, about the pet policy at The Liberty Hotel. I wanted to make sure the experience we had was not just in my head and we had not just overstepped our bounds. Rachel is also the mastermind behind “Yappier Hour”. It turns out that our experience at The Liberty was not an anomaly but how guests are supposed to feel when staying or visiting for a little food, drink and relaxation. Here is what I learned…
First and foremost dogs, pets and their owners are welcome at the hotel. You certainly do not need to feel uncomfortable as if you are overstepping your bounds when going to The Liberty. The only place you can’t take a dog is inside the restaurants which is stipulated by state health code. However, the staff of The Liberty will do their absolute best to accommodate your needs using the lobby which has the Liberty Bar or the courtyard called “The Yard“. You do not need to be a guest to go to The Liberty Hotel for food and drink with your dog. You should also not forget about Yappier Hour on Wednesdays during the nicer parts of the Boston year.
The guest rooms and accompanying views are stunning. When you make a reservation ask for the Paw Prints Package and they will provide a dog bed, dish for food and water and even a toy perhaps. If you will be in meetings or otherwise busy during the day The Liberty Hotel has relationships with professional dog walkers and other Boston dog businesses to assist with the care of your dog when you are otherwise engaged. You will find the entire staff will know your dog’s name and perhaps yours as well; this is a trait of a true dog person in my opinion.
What impressed me the most from my conversation with Rachel was how the love for dogs was common with all the staff. The Liberty Hotel hires people for their personality first. The staff we met were fantastic, professional and most of all welcoming. I believe this is another way The Liberty Hotel has found to make their guests feel at home. The second thing that impressed me was how intertwined the staff is with the Boston dog community. As a guest this is a huge benefit to have such a knowledgeable resource at your fingertips when you need something dog related in Boston. Their dedication seems to have no bounds. The staff and management will even take the time to take a lonely dog from a room for a walk and a little playtime with others at the hotel (With your permission of course). In part this is how I feel The Liberty Hotel defines “Pet Friendly” in a world of “Pet Tolerant” hotels.
Other things you would not necessarily know if you were just visiting Boston with your dog. The Liberty Hotel is across the street from the Esplanade, a park that runs along the Charles River which is perfect for a walk or run with your dog. The Esplanade should be on your list of things to see in Boston regardless as the views are fantastic. The hotel is directly across the street form the “T” or Boston’s dog friendly public transit (MBTA). Beacon Hill is across the street and an incredible part of Boston to walk around. Beacon Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston (think cobblestones). In general Boston is a great city to go for a long walk with your dog. The Liberty Hotel is an example of Boston putting it’s best paw forward.