Give this posh resort on the powdery sands of eastern Mexico's Riviera Maya a “Five Woof” rating for its PetVacay Program.
Not only does the Viceroy Resort welcome you with a blessing by an honest-to-gosh Mayan shaman (priest), but if you bring Fido along your pet will get one, too. The blessing is said to “release guests (included those on four legs) from their cares and worries into a new beginning at the resort.”
What's more, your pooch can cool it in special little thatched-roof palapas (mini-huts) light enough to carry around with you. And if that doesn't make Fido or Fidelita feel like they've landed in Doggie Heaven, you can indulge your pet with “a la carte and personalized dining.” Translation: Just let the Viceroy's chefs know about your dog's favorite foods and any dietary requirements, and they'll be custom-fed like they were wearing crowns on their heads.
The charge for PetVacay services for canine guests is $50 a night, plus the cost of their chow.
Located a few miles north of Playa del Carmen, the Riviera's largest city, the Viceroy features 41 luxurious palapa-topped villas in what a brochure describes as “a lush ambiance of ferns, palms, guava trees and a friendly family of spider monkeys.”
Give another “Five Woof” rating to the nearby Fairmont Mayacoba for its “Pack for a Purpose” program. Here's how it works: While packing for their trip to the Riviera, guests of the Fairmont are encouraged to bring along doggie products such as toys, grooming aids and health supplies. The products are collected at check-in, then donated to a local organization that rescues abandoned or otherwise stray pooches and finds loving homes for them.
“As a pet-friendly hotel, partnering with Playa Animal Rescue comes natural for us...our goal is to raise awareness for a culture of non-violence towards animals, while offering an opportunity for guests to have a positive impact on the local community,” says Fairmont Mayacoba hotel manager Sven Richter.
Located in a 49-acre mangrove forest criss-crossed by canals, the AAA Five Diamond property offers 401 posh rooms dotting its lagoons and along its beachfront.
The Viceroy and the Fairmont Mayacoba are among pet-friendly hotels on the Riviera's 81 miles of beaches running south of Cancun along the Caribbean side of eastern Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Getting there: The closest jetport to the Rivera is Cancun International Airport, from which arriving passengers can take vans, limos, cabs or rental cars to the Riviera's 400-plus hotels. Global gateways to the Cancun airport include most major U.S. terminals, of which the 12 busiest – at Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, New York-JFK, San Francisco, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston and Miami – all offer nonstop flights to Cancun.