Many pet parents choose the pet friendly Red Roof Inn because pets stay free. It is also an inexpensive place to stay while attending a dog show. Although the Red Roof Inn advertises as a pet friendly Inn, you should know where they are falling short.
Gusto, my American Eskimo, and I had the pleasure of attending a dog show in New York. The Red Roof Inn in Cortland was recommended as the closest pet friendly place to stay for the best price.
Red Roof Inn Reservations
I went online to the Red Roof Inn website to check out their pet policy and felt I could agree to their terms. However, I wanted a discount that was not offered on their website and I could not choose the room I wanted. So I decided to call the Inn and talk to a person to be sure I could get a first floor, non-smoking room close to an exit.
The receptionist was very friendly. She answered my questions and said that in most instances I would be able to get the room that I requested. I planned to arrive in one week.
The day before I drove to New York, I called the Red Roof Inn to see if I could check in before the 3 PM suggested time and make sure I was in their system. To their credit, the Inn had sent me a number of emails confirming my stay.
First Impression of the Red Roof Inn
Gusto and I arrived on Friday about 4 PM after a 6-hour drive. I was happy that our room was right inside a back door so that we did not have to walk down a long hall.
The receptionist was quite friendly. She had just come on duty 10 minutes before and had to wait for the computer to cooperate with her request for my information. She did not ask about my dog or give me any details about their pet policy when I checked in.
There was a security system outside the door that I would be using at the opposite end of the Inn's Office so that anyone that entered the building would have to use their room card…or so I thought. I am not sure what hours that system went into effect since it didn't seem to work when I inserted my card to test it when I came back after the show that night.
I had to walk by a couple of smokers standing outside but did not see a place for them to deposit their cigarette butts and hoped that the smoke would not waft into the hallway. Thankfully, it didn't.
The grassy area outside that people were using to potty their dogs had quite a few piles that had not been picked up…obviously these earlier pet parents were not prepared. People with show dogs have pockets full of plastic waste bags to pick up their pet's poop.
The rooms have laminated floors with carpeting on the sides of the bed so it is easy for the staff to maintain cleanliness. Thankfully, the refrigerator had been turned on so I could keep Gusto's meat treats cold.
The nights were still quite cold in April. We had seen 6-foot piles of snow in Buffalo and there were smaller piles of snow still hanging around the grassy areas at the Inn. The heating unit ran all of the time, even on low but that was fine because it served as “white noise” so we were not disturbed by the people and dogs passing by our door.
The rooms also have microwaves and coffee makers. I could not get the hair dryer to work even when I pushed the reset button. Thankfully, I had packed my own. The shower was refreshing. The towels were a bit rough, but clean.
Red Roof Inn's Pet Policy
When I came back on Saturday night, I discovered this card on the floor inside my room. It had been slipped under the door while I was gone.
It basically states that pets are always free at almost 400 Red Roof locations for no extra charge.
The Pet Policy has these stipulations:
- One well-behaved family pet is permitted unless prohibited by state law or ordinance.
- Service animals are always welcome.
- Pet must be declared during guest registration.
- In consideration of all Red Roof guests, pets must never be left unattended in the guest room.
- Please keep your animal on a leash when outside your room.
- When you walk your pet on property, please be considerate and clean up after your pet. (The words bolded were actually underlined in black sharpie on the card.)
Since I wanted to get my receipt Saturday night and not in the early hours on Sunday due to an early showtime, I went to the front desk. There was a different receptionist there that was also very friendly.
The printer printed out a receipt that was blotched in black ink and did not have all the information that I wanted so the receptionist printed out a second receipt. It was also blotched heavily but I could read the necessary information.
While I was there, I told her that I had found the Pet Policy card under my door and asked if there had been any issues. She explained that a guest had complained about the bags of poop that were piling up outside the back door…so pet parents obviously were cleaning up their pet's waste in a responsible way.
Red Roof's Simple Tips For Pet Parents
On the back side of the card, Red Roof has a list of travel tips on what to bring for both your dog and cat:
- Pet carrier
- Water (ice cubes)
- Bowls for food and water
- Leash or harness (I think you need both…lol)
- Collar with tags
- Baggies for cleanup
- Chew toys for dogs
- Litter and litter box for cats
Helpful hints are also listed:
- Ensure your pet has a proper collar with up-to-date contact information
- Consider a first-aid kit with tweezers, gauze and antiseptic
- Keep a health certificate and photo of your pet with you while traveling.
- Use a travel carrier or harness. It's safest for your animal to be in a pet carrier or wearing a secured harness when traveling. Many pet-supply retailers sell seat-belt adapters, care seats and cargo barriers.
- Never leave your pet in the car unattended!
What Red Roof Failed to Tell Pet Parents
When the receptionist told me that poop bags were piling up at the back door and that she had to have the maintenance man pick them up, I smiled and asked her what pet parents using that door were expected to do. They were obviously being responsible in picking up their pet's waste.
The General Manager Jeffrey Naidoo told her to slip the Pet Policy cards under the doors of all the registered pet guests. Remember that the emphasis was on pet parents cleaning up after their pets.
The receptionist then told me that pet parents were expected to put the waste in the container near the office door. I never saw that container when I first came in and it was at the opposite side of the Inn…very inconvenient for me and others.
7 Ways Red Roof Inn Can Have a Better Relationship with Pet Parents
After speaking with other pet parents that were staying at the Inn, I heard the following suggestions:
- When Pet Parents first come in, hand them a short list of what area they are expected to use to relieve their pets and where they should be depositing the waste.
- Outside signs help to designate pet areas
- Have a Waste Container specifically for Pet Waste In the General Area of Each Door
- Understand that pet parents appreciate having a daily vacuuming of their rooms…this is why they leave the suggested tip each day…TIP – To Insure Prompt Service.
- Pet Parents appreciate clean sheets and well-made beds to sleep in after a long day at a dog show or sightseeing.
- Present a list of local or emergency veterinarians handy for the pet parents
- Offer a list of sights, parks and restaurants that are pet friendly.
Red Roof Inn Overall Review
You can read many reviews of Red Roof Inn on the Consumer Affairs site.
Overall, I was pleased with the staff and the condition of my room. I would stay in the Cortland, New York Red Roof Inn again and recommend it to other pet parents.
Hopefully, Red Roof owners will see these tips and put them into practice.
Come back for more Miracle Living With Gusto!
P.S. Have you stayed at a Red Roof Inn with your pet? What tips do you have for them? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.