Photo: Ritz Carlton San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco Is the Ultimate Luxury Hotel for a Dog-Friendly Vacation

San Francisco Epic Stays
by Becca Blond Aug 14, 2023

My dog Poppy was begging me for a pampered, luxe vacay, so I took her to The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco in the heart of the Nob Hill neighborhood to experience the storied hotel’s “Love Your Pup” package. From the moment we checked in to our room on the club level, we were impressed.

Poppy is a Chiweenie, and even though she’s small, she loves to explore and has bountiful energy. So, when considering a dog-friendly holiday, I also wanted a city that had dog-focused amenities. San Francisco is a great choice for its walkability, myriad ocean front parks and hikes, and dog friendly bars, restaurant patios, and boutiques.

Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s Love Your Pup Package

The Love your Pup package and includes plethora of amenities and a portion of proceeds are donated to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a local non-profit senior dog rescue that also offers hospice care to ailing homeless doggos. Upon checking in, we were greeted with a welcome gift bag filled with treats and toys, including a fun doggie Champagne bottle toy, a plush dog bed, dog bowls, and best of all a gourmet “cake” by another San Francisco dog brand, MISHKA.

The company, which has two stores within a few miles of the Ritz-Carlton, has a clothing line and makes all sorts of tasty organic treats and meals including lamb candies, heart and pineapple shaped meat cakes, and homemade meat balls. The main boutique also has a room for dog birthday parties, which can be a fun way to celebrate with a group of friends and their pups.

dog pup package at Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

The Love Your Pup package features a gourmet pet menu (for an extra fee) created by the hotel’s executive chef Patrick O’Sullivan. The menu features everything from raw chopped beef tenderloin with boiled sliced baby carrots to sauteed lamb loin with steamed white rice. A pet-cleaning fee and the option to arrange a special rate for an in-studio professional pet photo session from Sarah Zemunski Photography is also included.

Poppy was in heaven. She couldn’t get enough of the MISHKA lamb candies and kept begging for more meat balls. And although she’s usually not really a dog bed kind of pup, she enjoyed rolling around on the plush bed.

As great for people as it is for dogs

the lounge at Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco offers more than just dog friendly amenities, it is also a great hotel for humans. The five-star property has an ideal location in posh Nob Hill, just half a block from a cable car station that will take you to the famed Fisherman’s Wharf area. It is also just two blocks from the designer shopping and theaters of Union Square and minutes from Chinatown.

Unlike so many city hotels, this Ritz-Carlton is an elegant, low-profile hotel. It occupies a landmark neoclassical building from the early 1900s that was originally designed to be the Pacific Coast headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. It first opened as the Ritz in 1991 and today retains its stately marble and 17-column exterior.

junior suite at ritz carlton san francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

Inside, the hotel tells a much more modern story. The rooms and suites are done up in white, gray, and blue hues with fabulous textured accents like velvet-esque headboards and blue patterned rugs. The décor is at once classy and contemporary.

The public spaces are filled with oversized vases of fresh flowers, gleaming marble floors, and crystal chandeliers. There is a red-brick courtyard with decorative fountains and chiseled hedges, that is the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail, a book, and of course your pup.

courtyard terrace at Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

I stayed on the club level, which offers access to complimentary premium drinks and snacks throughout the day in the lounge. I had a late evening flight out of San Francisco, so it was super handy to be able to relax here after checking out.

Other hotel amenities including a clothing boutique and a perfume shop. If you need a new scent, the famed German perfume house of Krigler has an outpost here and custom scents can be created.

Dine and drink with your pup

the lounge at ritz carlton san francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

While there are many things that make this hotel the perfect stay for you and your dog, the on-site restaurant is a particular highlight.

Lunch and dinner are served in The Lounge, on the lobby level adjacent to the Lobby Bar. Service dogs are allowed in (as well as at Parallel 37), and Poppy was offered a spot under my table. The ambiance is buzzy, and I loved the casual elegant vibe, red leather banquettes, and city views. Don’t skip a cocktail from the bar that’s inspired by San Francisco’s neighborhoods—the Emerald Fog is delicious.

parallel 37 Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Photo: Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

Breakfast is served daily in the Parallel 37 restaurant, and you shouldn’t miss the eggs Benedict with Dungeness crab.

If you want to taste limited-edition wines, head to the JCB Tasting Lounge, which is curated by French vintner Jean-Charles Boisset. The ambiance is over-the-top and literally dripping in leopard print, gold trip, crimson and eggplant hued velvet, and crystal.

Many bars and restaurants around San Francisco also welcome pups on patios. The famed Toronado beer bar in the Lower Haight is one option. There are more than 40 beers on tap, a good jukebox and indoor and outdoor seating. Dogs are welcome in both.

At ROOH, dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area, but tired dogs can stay in the room if you want to dine indoors. The restaurant is well worth a visit either way. Michelin-guide recommended, it cooks up progressive Indian fare with bold flavors that blend perfectly and are beautifully presented.

Begin with the Chili Cheese Kulcha with shishito pepper and shredded Manchego cheese. The edamame kebab and dahi puri were also excellent starters. I loved the Black Sheep Keema Masala main, which was made with plant-based lamb. If you do eat meat, the lamb pepper fry and butter chicken are two popular mains.

Exploring San Francisco with your dog

San Francisco is a very dog friendly city, and you’ll see pups everywhere. From pup friendly beaches to restaurant patios and dog boutiques like MISHKA, there is much to sniff out here. Poppy and I enjoyed just walking. The Ritz-Carlton’s location makes it very strollable and if you don’t mind climbing up and down hills, you can spend days exploring on foot.

There are other nearby locations that are easily accessible for a change of scenery:

Fort Funston: You’ll need to hop in an Uber or drive to reach Fort Funston, but this is one of the best areas for dogs that enjoy a mix of beach and hiking trails. Dogs are allowed off leash here (if under voice control) and you can either chill on one of the 200-foot-high sandy bluffs and watch the hang gliders soar on sunny days or hoof it down to the beach on one of the hiking trails.

Ocean Beach: Another top destination for local doggos, the 3.5-mile-long beach isn’t the prettiest when it comes to views, but it does have amazing sunsets. And since dogs don’t really dig views anyway, this is where to bring your pup that wants to frolic in the surf or just pick up speed and run with other dogs in the sand.

Lands End: If your dog needs to up their TikTok or Instagram game, take them to Lands End, where the trail winds around craggy cliffs facing the ocean and you can get some stellar photographs or videos. This is one of the most compelling urban hikes in the city, and although the trail can be very steep at times, it is worth the effort for the views.

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel for a dog-friendly vacation, I can’t recommend the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco enough. Dogs are treated like royalty and so are humans. And San Francisco itself is a great place to vacation with dogs. There is much for your pooch to sniff out, and this is especially true if you doggo enjoys ocean swims or long runs on the beach.

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