Whether you travel with your four-legged friends or miss them terribly when you travel, fear not. Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) has you covered. Among the 12 DINE inns, you’ll find a number of mascots serving as not only welcome committee but part-time pet for when you travel, and some pet-friendly room choices too. While all 12 of the inns offer up the ideal New England romantic getaway, a few among the group either offer pet-friendly rooms or loan you their feline “mascats” or pups to fill the void for your pet who stayed home.
First, let’s meet the mascots of DINE.
Reese, the cat, from the Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, VT
Reese has reigned as the Rabbit Hill Inn mascot and feline ambassador since 2009. She was named Reese for the candy because she has the blended coloring of peanut butter & chocolate. Reese is a “Torbie” (mix of Tortoiseshell & Tabby). And yet, when it comes to coloring, her claim to fame is her incredibly vivid emerald green eyes.
Reese has a sixth cat sense. She knows when to socialize and when to retreat to observe from the corner. She knows that check in time begins at 2 pm, so she’ll relax in the common rooms, or on the front porch, making herself available to arriving guests. She also knows that the pub opens at 5:30pm and promptly reports nightly to socialize over cocktails. Yes, she has her own small bar stool, but she’s a teetotaler.
This feline has an impressive fan base (of both national & international guests). She is spoiled with many fun toys and treats from adoring guests. Packages arrive often filled with yummy treats or catnip. In fact, in August, a package arrived addressed to “Wonderful Cat, Rabbit Hill Inn”. There was a sweet letter to Reese, some catnip toys, and several fancy gourmet treats. It came from guests who had only been to the inn once a few weeks prior. It amazes Leslie and Brian, Rabbit Hill Inn’s innkeepers how guests become so attached to her during their brief visit. Reese never lacks for attention. Guests are constantly luring her to their side for play or to join in a nap.
There is one couple that come to the Rabbit Hill Inn frequently whom Reese just loves. She sits outside their guestroom door and stares at it until it opens. She is frequently included in a photo session. Last month, she was included in a guest’s video call to their family back home.
Without doubt, this little inn kitty soothes the soul of many. Travelers come to Rabbit Hill Inn to relax and Reese has her special way of making that happen. Guests often comment about the added warmth and comfort they enjoy because of her.
Yoda, the “mascat” at Chesterfield Inn, West Chesterfield, NH
Yoda arrived at the Chesterfield Inn at Christmas eight years ago. He came from a farm nearby in Chesterfield. His mother was a tiger cat and the litter was mixed. Yoda received his name from innkeepers, Judy and Phil’s teenage boys, who were raised with Star Wars movies.
Yoda is always very relaxed and friendly, and happily spends his days at the inn, mostly at the front desk as the official greeter and welcoming committee. Come to the Chesterfield Inn at check-in time, and it’s likely you will find Yoda hanging out at the front desk to be the first to say hello. He likes people, and reluctantly tolerates dogs if they don’t chase him.
Yoda loves to attend weddings on the terrace at the Chesterfield Inn, and plays in the crab apple trees on the terrace when people are sitting out there. Yet the back meadow is his true domain. He loves hunting varmints in the tall grass. He likes his cat treats and prefers ice cubes in his water, which is served to him in a glass. Yes, Yoda is well taken care of and often photographed by guests.
Yoda poses each season for his quarterly photo. In fall, you’ll find him posing next to a pumpkin. In the springtime, look for him next to a vase of spring flowers. He’s not camera shy, and guests have taken many a photo with him.
Gracie, the Cliffside Inn’s mascot
Gracie is new in her role as Cliffside Inn’s mascot. With big shoes to fill after former mascot, Koty, passed away last year, Gracie is full of vim and vigor and guests adore her. Gracie arrived at the Cliffside inn on March 20th of this year, a five-month old bouncy puppy.
In late February Cliffside Inn innkeepers, Bill and Nancy, visited a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) breeder to look at “moms” for their next dog. According to Nancy, “They were all beautiful and we were enjoying meeting them when suddenly this little bundle of fur comes tearing around the corner. All ten pounds of her was fur and love. She snuggled right up to Bill and made herself at home.”
At that time, Gracie was five months old, and named Twinkle. The breeder couldn’t breed, sell or show her because she had a heart murmur and some dental issues. Nancy and Bill signed on for a potential fall puppy, but left saying that they would love to take Gracie if the Breeder’s plans with another interested family fell through. Indeed, the other family fell through, and fate had it that three weeks later Twinkle became Gracie and the Cliffside inn’s inn-dog.
Gracie turned one in September, (2017) and is now 19 pounds. True to her herding instincts and genes, Gracie will herd toys, furniture or even air molecules depending on her mood. Gracie is found at the inn almost every day when innkeepers Nancy or Bill are there. Look for her in the office when you check in. If she’s playing with a toy, it’s likely it came from a guest who adore her and send toys after their stay. Yet, it’s not just guests who love her. The staff adore Gracie too. It makes their day when she’s “working” their shift.
In addition to our mascots and “mascats”, some of the DINE inns are also pet friendly.
Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine offers five dog-friendly rooms in the Carriage House. The inn supplies guests with a personalized dog treat, dog bowls, doggy towels and sheets, and as many pick-up bags as their humans need. There’s a $30 per dog per day fee to stay with the traveler. Click here for more information on the pet policy at Captain Jefferds Inn.
The Grafton Inn in Grafton, VT also maintains some dedicated pet-friendly rooms. With an on-site pond, nearby hiking, and a charming village to explore, your pet has plenty of room to enjoy the great outdoors with you. There is a $50 per pet charge for them to stay in the room with their traveling humans. Click here to read about the pet-policy at Grafton Inn.
Chesterfield Inn offers six pet-friendly rooms, many with separate entrances, patios for the dogs and fireplaces and whirlpools for their humans. Add $25 for the pet fee when you book your room online or in person. Click here for a list of the pet-friendly rooms at the Chesterfield Inn.
It’s no surprise that Cliffside Inn welcomes well-behaved, healthy dogs (one dog per room), weighing less than 30 pounds in three dedicated guest rooms, as long as they’re traveling with their owners. A doggie welcome kit – with a water bowl, treats, clean-up bags, and a canine bed — in different sizes to ensure your dog gets a good night’s sleep too — will greet your four-legged friend upon arrival. Plus, when you and your dog arrive information on dog-friendly activities in the Newport area including shopping, specialty services and veterinarians will be waiting too. A $50 per dog fee, plus a damage deposit is asked of owners traveling with their dogs. Click here to read the Well-Behaved Dog Agreement and for a list of the pet-friendly Cliffside Inn rooms.
Whether you travel with two or four legged friends, now is the time to start planning your next New England vacation at one of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England. Plan your 2017 and 2018 getaways at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites.
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic