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Dog-friendly luxury: Relais & Châteaux hotels and restaurants

To be honest, we’re taking a (temporary, I hope) break from visiting and eating at Relais & Châteaux properties. It’s a crying shame, because R&C collects and puts its imprimatur on the finest restaurants and the most gorgeous and charming and luscious hotels around the world — and it’s a French company, so they know what they’re talking about. We’ve stayed and/or eaten in a handful of R&C properties in the U.S. and Europe and each has been divine.

I’m writing a post about Relais & Châteaux, through my bitter tears, because those of you still lighting cigars with rolled-up $20 bills may be looking for a high-end hotel and/or restaurant, and R&C is certainly a place to go for ideas.The company publishes an annual guide to its properties that you can have sent to you (it’s free, but they charge for shipping) or that you can download for free. The guide wins big points from Dog Jaunt by providing clear information about whether a property is dog-friendly or not: each property is annotated with a number of symbols, and one of them is either a dog or a crossed-out dog. How pleasant to have that part of your vacation research done for you already! (However, when you’re making your reservation, it would be wise to confirm that the property still does, in fact, welcome dogs, and to learn more about any rules they have for visiting dogs.)

[3/5/12 Relais & Châteaux properties can now be searched from the company’s website — click on “Hotels & Restaurants,” then on “Search by criteria,” and then on “Dogs allowed.]

Bon voyage! (And don’t worry a bit about us, back here in Seattle, sadly gnawing on rusks….)