Want to go on holiday with your pet? Five hotels that welcome furry guests

From Radisson RED to Oyster Box, local hotels embrace the global trend of opening the doors to pets

21 June 2022 - 07:15
By Richard Holmes
SEVEN Villa Hotel and Spa.
Image: Supplied SEVEN Villa Hotel and Spa.

Sure, you could take your pets on a farm-stay in the far-flung countryside, but what if you’re hankering after a luxe city escape, or a boutique seaside break? Happily that’s becoming easier, as local hotels embrace the global trend of opening the doors to four-legged guests.


In Johannesburg, Sandton’s SEVEN Villa Hotel & Spa certainly sets the bar(k) high for taking your hound on holiday.

“We allow two small or medium pets, or one large pet, per room or owner,” says general manager Mitch Gemmell. “A welcome package is presented to each furry guest on arrival, and includes special pet amenities such as pet bedding, treats and a toy.”

What’s more, pets are welcome in all public areas, as long as they don’t disturb other guests. The hotel’s extensive gardens — including a picnic pod — are also open to guests and their pets. Which is just as well, as pets may not be left unattended in the room.

“We don’t allow that, because we love fur babies as much as you do, so we can’t have barking dogs or pets who are locked up alone in a hotel room,” adds Gemmell.

Need to go out? Not a problem. Just ask the on-site concierge to arrange a pet-sitter.

The Oyster Box Hotel, Durban.
Image: Supplied The Oyster Box Hotel, Durban.


The Oyster Box Hotel in Durban has long been famous for its furry-friendliness, and pets are welcome in all of the hotel’s Garden Villas. There is no extra cost for pets, and the room comes kitted with sleeping baskets, linen and litter boxes.

“As one of South Africa’s most distinguished hotels, we have to consider the various needs of our guests; what better way than to include their beloved pets,” says general manager Roberto Rosa.

That extends to a welcome gift set of a stylish collar and water bowl, while the concierge can book local dog-walkers, and even a collection and delivery to the local parlour.


In the heart of the new Oxford Parks development, Radisson RED is also shaping up to be a fine place for pets. Their pet-friendly offering launches in July 2022, and both cats and dogs — two per room, up to 8kg each — are welcome. Expect a curated pet’s menu, along with bowls and beds in the rooms, but note that in public areas they’re only allowed outside on the terrace at the OUI Bar + KTCHN.


Pets are welcome on the Ocean Terrace, where they’ll dig into a dedicated menu of “Woof Waffles” (with boerewors and gravy) for hounds or “Sitting By The Lake” (flaked tuna) for cats. Don’t be surprised if the hotel’s resident cat, Skabenga, comes by to say hello.

That same attention to detail applies at the hotel’s sister-property in Cape Town, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, where executive chef Christo Pretorius has created a special “Bark-A-Licious” menu for small dogs.

Pets stay for free with their owners in dedicated pet-friendly rooms, with pet beds, blankets, bowls and a “Pet in Residence” sign on the door. Well-marked trails direct from the hotel offer endless opportunity for walks, while small dogs are welcome to join their owners for sundowners at The Leopard Bar.

The Liz McGrath Collection.
Image: Supplied The Liz McGrath Collection.


Over the mountain in Constantia, at The Cellars-Hohenort, both small- and medium-sized dogs are welcome in all rooms and suites offering patios and balconies. The same service applies at The Marine in Hermanus, another property in the Liz McGrath Collection, as well as The Plettenberg.

“On arrival, we welcome our fur-guests with their own bed, dog bowls and menu. On turn down, our fur-guests receive turn-down dog biscuits and receive their own special turn down,” says Tanya Johnson, general manager of The Cellars-Hohenort. “It’s amazing to see how our guests are relaxed when they know their fur-babies are taken care of.”