Hmm, let’s see: the confines of the kennel, or sun and fun on the Vineyard? If the family dog was included in vacation planning, he would no doubt choose the latter. And, fortunately for Fido, more and more inns, hotels, and bed and breakfasts on the Island are accepting four-legged guests.
However, policies and restrictions are as varied as the accommodations themselves, and many places have limits to how many pets they’ll accept, so always call ahead and plan well in advance.
Keep in mind that dogs unaccustomed to staying in strange places can tend to bark when left alone. Noisy dogs, like noisy guests, are never welcome and, at some places, the owners will be asked to leave after only one barking incident.
Two of the largest inns on the Island recently started welcoming pets. The Mansion House on Main Street in Vineyard Haven has added eight ground-floor rooms that are all pet friendly. The rooms have double beds (and dog beds), balconies, and hardwood floors. Some have sitting areas. There is a $50 pet fee per stay. For more information, call 508-693-2200 or visit mvmansionhouse.com.
Last summer The Harbor View Hotel and the Kelley House (both in Edgartown) debuted their Vineyard VIP (Very Important Pup) policy. Dogs are now welcome for an added charge of $50 per night, per dog, available for up to two pups of any size. Right across the street from the historic Harbor View is a path to the Edgartown Lighthouse and a small dog-friendly beach. The two hotels offer a pet amenity pack for an additional charge. Call 508-627-7000 or visit harbor-view.com for more information.
The M.V. Surfside Hotel in Oak Bluffs has always been a pet-friendly establishment. All of the hotel’s 40 rooms will accommodate dogs (or cats) and they will even call in a local pet lover who can be hired to sit in your room with your dog. Pet fee is $10 to $15 per night. The town beach, just steps away, is off limits to dogs during the day, but open to all before 8 am, after 5 pm, and anytime in the off season. Scenic Ocean Park, a popular spot for dog romps, is close by. Call 508-693-2500 or visit mvsurfside.com for more information.
While the hotel at The Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama does not cater to dog owners, at least a dozen of their 80 private townhouses are pet-friendly and dogs are allowed in certain areas on the expansive grounds.
“We’re a family friendly resort, and we try to cater to everybody,” says marketing director Susan Thompson. But she reminds people that dogs are not allowed on South Beach at any time, from Memorial Day to Labor Day except for a small area by Norton Point. She suggests instead that pet owners enjoy a walk on the bike path, which is located right in front of the property. The town houses are rented by the week and there is an addition $99/week pet fee. Call 508-310-1733 or visit winnetu.com for more information.
The Vineyard Vacation Homes compound in Edgartown is a mini resort made up of four houses on two shared acres of land. All are pet friendly (cats welcome) but, to respect the other guests, the owner is very strict about issues like pet hair on linens or upholstery and keeping the grounds free of dog waste.
A $150 returnable deposit is required to cover any damage or additional cleaning costs. There are dog-friendly wooded trails behind the property. The pet fee of $22 a night ($100 max) is waived for stays of one week or more. Visit vineyardvacationhomes.com or call 508-299-3291.
The Island Inn on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs is an ideal spot for dog owners. All of the inn’s self-contained suites are pet friendly and open out onto the grounds. There’s plenty of space for dogs to romp in and the bike path out front extends along the ocean to a public beach within easy walking distance (beach open to dogs during limited early morning and evening hours in-season). The only areas restricted to doggy guests are the pool and the flower gardens. No additional charge for pets.
More than half of the accommodations at The Beach Plum Inn and its neighboring sister the Menemsha Inn in Chilmark are dog-friendly. A number of the cottages with patios and also some rooms in the main building with outdoor access are available to pet owners. Between the two inns there’s plenty of open and wooded ground for leashed dogs to cover and there are lots of trails behind the property, one of which leads to the dog friendly Menemsha Beach. For more information, 508-645-9454; beachpluminn.com.
Vineyard Square Hotel and Suites (formerly the Colonial Inn) in downtown Edgartown has two dog friendly suites out of their 34 rooms. They have allowed pets for 11 years and have hosted everything from a teacup chihuahua to a great Dane. There is no additional charge for pets. Call 508-627-4711 or visit vineyardsquarehotel.com.
Other hotel options
Hob Knob Eco-Boutique Hotel, Edgartown. 508-627-9510; hobknob.com.
Victorian Inn, Edgartown. One pet-friendly room available in the shoulder seasons. No additional charge. 508-627-4784; thevic.com.
Dog friendly B&Bs
Brady’s NESW, Oak Bluffs. Three rooms, all dog-friendly. Open year-round, no extra fee. 508-693-9137; sonsol.com/bradys/
Tivoli Inn, Oak Bluffs. Six rooms, all dog-friendly. Year-round. $10 pet fee per night. 508-693-7928; tivoliinn.com.
Kathleen’s Cottages, Oak Bluffs. May to October. Four rooms, all dog-friendly. $25 pet fee per night. 508-863-2734; kkonmv.com.
SummerStone, Vineyard Haven. Three rooms, all pet-friendly. Fenced-in yard, no extra fee. 508-696-3963.
This article was updated on March 25. The Mansion House in Vineyard Haven charges $50 per stay, not $50 per night, for pets.