Monday, May 21, 2018

Dog Friendly Hotel - AND Car

Dog friendly Canopy by Hilton, District Wharf
Hanging out in District Wharf, Washington, DC

Finding a dog friendly boutique hotel is getting increasingly easier. A new lifestyle hotel brand, Canopy by Hilton, opened its first United States iteration in the fall, in Washington, DC.

The dog friendly Hyundai Elantra
Scarlet red pearl 2018 Hyundai Elantra
The first Canopy by Hilton, in Iceland, was a bit far to bring our dog to, but the one in DC is an ideal distance away. Of course, you can't take a MegaBus, or even an Amtrak, with a Labrador Retriever, so we had to drive from Brooklyn to DC.

dog and kid friendly sunroof in the Hyundai Elantra
Open sky through the panoramic sunroof

Dog and child friendly car

We had wheels for the trip, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra. This roomy sedan got 32 miles per gallon, taking us from home and halfway back before we had to fill up. And the panoramic sunroof was a hit with the dog, who loves to feel the sun on her face. The sunroof bathes the entire car in light, and also allows fresh air to circulate.
dog friendly Canopy by Hilton
Karat with her swag, a ball from the Canopy by Hilton

This is the car I wish we had when my youngest was constantly car sick. If you have kids who don't like car travel, the issue is often access to air and light. Particularly for our third child, who was always stuck in the middle seat in her car seat, with no window.

Creature comforts

Easy to use controls on the Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra wasn't just designed for bringing along a creature like my dog. It had plenty of driver comforts like heated and cooled seats, and dual temperature controls. We happened to go to DC during the first heat wave of 2018, and opening the sunroof while cooling the seat was an environmentally friendly option.

The roomy trunk and split seat
And since my husband runs hotter than me, he could have the car cooled more on his side. In the rear seat, the vent could be moved around. We had it pointed right at Karat, who never panted during our drive.
#drivehyundai #dogfriendlytravel #canopybyhilton

More Canopy by Hilton choices

The Canopy roll out includes a second hotel now open in Bethesda, Maryland. This summer, locations in Atlanta, Dallas and Portland, Oregon open.

The DC Wharf location has valet parking, and I was glad we had such a sharp looking car. The Elantra exterior was scarlet red pearl, which set off the black interior.

Free Canopy by Hilton bicycles

Other wheels: DC by bike

The hotel has a dozen bikes, free for guests, with helmets and locks provided. These sturdy, three speed bicycles are perfect for short jaunts around town. But, they are too heavy for long bike rides. We wanted to go to Alexandria, a 16 mile round trip. But in the 91 degree heat, we kept trips short.

The Canopy hotel is on a new two-way, protected bike lane. There are also plenty of bike lanes in DC, and since traffic can be heavy, this is a great way to get around the city. My daughter met us to sightsee, bringing her own bicycle. After dinner, we drove her home. The split seat in the Elantra made it easy to fit her bike without removing a wheel. And still seat three adults.

More ways to get around town

Waiting for the valet. This is how close we were to the water
The Canopy offers a free shuttle to the National Mall and the Metro. You can also walk to the station. We walked with the dog to the National Mall in the evening. It's about a mile, and temperatures cooled off at night.

And District Wharf has a free water jitney to East Potomac Park. You can bring your dog on the boat. We didn't since Karat had never been on a boat, but we did ride with a bulldog.

There is also a water taxi to Alexandria, Georgetown and National Harbor in Maryland. No dogs allowed. Fares are $12.60 roundtrip.

Private outdoor plaza just past the hotel's restaurant; Karat laid down here while we had a free breakfast

Canopy perks

Waiting while we sampled drinks
The free breakfast had fresh fruit, flatbread pizza, Greek yogurt, cereal and several kinds of bread. We took Karat outside and ate while she relaxed at our feet. Just kidding -she tried to sample the breakfast. We could have left her in the room. Canopy provides a tag that you hang outside your door, alerting staff that a dog is inside.

Specialty cocktail, made with local vodka.
Canopy will also deliver a breakfast bag, which we tried one morning. It had a piece of fruit, a small yogurt and juice. Our room had a Nespresso maker. But if you want a heartier breakfast, or more options, go to the restaurant.

If you are around the hotel between 5 and 6pm, the restaurant also offers tastes of a specialty cocktail each evening. Perfect for when you return to the hotel to walk and feed the dog; you get a drink. Local spirits and mixers are the focus. When we were there, we tried a local vodka, District Made Vodka. Karat wasn't allowed into the restaurant, but we brought the drinks to the couches right outside.

Note: Hyundai loaned me the Elantra for this trip. Canopy by Hilton provided me with a media room. Opinions are, of course, my own.


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  2. Lovely article. I also go with my dog to the beach as long as I have a beach canopy where he can rest

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