When it’s the school holiday season and you want to take the kids for a trip, what do you do with the pets?
It’s fine if you have a helper or relative who can look after your home and the pets in your absence. That’s probably the best option for the pet too except that they’ll miss you while you’re away.
Otherwise you can put the dogs in a boarding kennel or the cats in a cattery. But you know some of those places that board pets are not good. The worst ones, often located above or at the back of pet shops, just keep them locked up in a cage for nearly the whole day and don’t give them any cuddles or attention.
How can you enjoy your holiday when you know that Rover or Tabatha is suffering a stretch in jail?
Some other kennels do a better job and let your pet play in an enclosure inside their premises for a few hours a day. It doesn’t suit all dogs though and there is usually no outdoor exercise provided.
If you have no money problems there is the luxury kennel experience like Doghouse Broga, where pets have their own villas, there is an indoor and outdoor play area, a swimming pool, grooming services and a pet taxi for pick up and drop off.
This is like a canine country club but not everyone can afford it.
So the only alternative is to take the pet(s) with you. Trouble is, Malaysia is not renowned as a pet-friendly nation, particularly for dogs.
Pets are banned from nearly all hotels surely? Yes, that is correct but there are more pet-friendly hotels in Malaysia than you might imagine.
Hotel rules vary but for most you have to make a request in advance if you plan to bring a pet.
Some hotels apply an extra charge but for others pets are free. Dogs have to be well behaved and not the sort who will bark a lot and disturb other hotel guests.
Size matters. You are more likely to be accepted with a cute miniature poodle than with a Great Dane. Owners should bring food, bowls, towels and bedding for the pets and keep them off the hotel’s beds.
Dining areas of the hotel will be off limits and dogs should be kept on leashes when not in the rooms. Common sense and consideration for other guests is the order of the day.
Penang appears to be a pooch-friendly island. There are a number of good hotels that accept pets:
- Muntri Grove Hotel
- Muntri Mews
- Noordin Mews
- Noordin Street House
- Lost Paradise Resort, Batu Ferringhi
- Capri by Fraser (cats only – fees apply)
- Sri Tiara Residences (minimum seven nights)
- Marc Residence KLCC
- Adelia Hill Farm, Kalumpang, Kerling
- Ohana House
- Ohana House 2
- Desa Damai Chalet, Pantai Pengkalan Balak
- Hotel Centre Point, Tampin
- The Dusun
- Awan Mulan
- 206 Sweethome
- City Star Hotel, Kulai
- Sea Gypsy Village Resort & Dive Base, Mersing (Dogs are allowed to sleep on the verandah, but not in the room).
- Ruby’s Resort, Cherating
- Valley View, Cameron Highlands
- 27 Concubine Lane, Ipoh
The following hotels on Langkawi Island would make a great holiday for your pet but remember you have to get there first. Ferry or airplane are the only choices and these methods of transport have their own pet policies (unless you have your own private plane!).
- Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi – only for the most pampered of pooches and cats.
- Temple Tree @ Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi.
- The Kebun Residences, Kuching
- Kingwood Boutique Hotel, Miri
- Treetops Lodge, Miri
- North Borneo Biostation Resort, Kudat
In addition to the above hotels, there are numerous homestays and private residence-style accommodation that accept pets. You can find a list of such places on booking.com if you google “pet friendly hotels in Malaysia”.
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com