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in Dog Friendly San Diego, Traveling With Dogs

Hotel Z: San Diego’s most dog friendly hotel. Impressions and Review

  • November 16, 2019
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Hotel Z:  San Diego’s most dog friendly hotel.  Impressions and Review

I spent my first twenty years in the travel industry so by default I’ve spent a lot of time in hotel rooms.

I left that career to work for myself because I got tired of living in hotel rooms. Because we bought a house. Because we got dogs.

But ironically now that I work out of my house … I will occasionally miss that old hotel life, the feeling of escaping into another reality, and that’s when I say, “Time to book a staycation!”.

After doing my normal trip advisor research I selected the Hotel Z – a Staypineapple Hotel for our stay. They were kind enough to host me and my dog family for two nights in November.

Below you’ll find my impressions and review.

You can view Hotel Z’s rates by visiting this link: Hotel Z – Staypineapple

Spoiler Alert: Top 5 Reasons I love Hotel Z

1. Truly Dog Friendly
2. Unbeatable Location
3. Insanely Comfortable Bed
4. Quiet Room
5. Goldilocks Amenities – not too much, not too little … it was just right

Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review
King Suite has Sofa which is also sofa bed

Introducing Hotel Z – a Staypineapple Hotel

For a city hotel it feels remarkably cozy, unpretentious and real. And it doesn’t feel “corporate” nor does it feel like a “chain” hotel.

The staff wear shirts “Less Coconut. More Pineapple” which can’t help but put a smile on your face. Pineapples have long been known as the symbol of hospitality and the staff felt warm and genuine.

I’ve been to other brand hotels where I felt the front desk agent was a robot. And would even forget which part of the check in process they were conducting.

Not at the Hotel Z. The staff got to “YES” at every chance. I had a few questions about this and the other, and it was clear in the way they answered me that they were accommodating me. Whomever was making the hiring decisions was doing it correctly.

Other reasons to love Hotel Z

1. Affordable rates for its location
2. Unlimited water. Thank you for not charging me $8 a bottle like other hotels do
3. Bikes that you can utilize to explore the city
4. City mini golf cart shuttle (check with the front desk on the schedule because currently it runs Thursday through Sunday at the San Diego location)
5. Room comes with a microwave and mini fridge

Room Types

Hotel Z sits in the mid-range category, but it’s upgraded king suites (such as the one we stayed in) are surprisingly affordable, and could easily be a justifiable splurge that won’t break the bank for budget travelers.  We were in room 401 and it had tall ceilings which really made a city hotel room feel bigger than normal.  For a little more money, the King suite has extra space to truly unwind in. If you have a dog this extra space gives them enough reason to do zoomies which you can see my two did in the following video.

Truly Dog Friendly

The way to show a person you love them is to show affection for those they love. If they are a parent – bestowing kindness to their children is a sure way into to their heart.

If they are a dog owner like myself, showing love and care for my dogs will in turn, endear me to you.

And that’s what the staff at Hotel Z did during our stay. They showed genuine interest for the girls. Maggie and Orbit are hams, forever loving any chest rubs, so any attention bestowed upon them makes them feel they are God’s gifts on earth (which they are by the way).

I’ve stayed at more hotels who’s version of being dog friendly is having me fill out a form without even glancing at my dogs. I always felt those hotels should be called dogs allowed because they were missing the friendly part.

I didn’t get that feeling from Hotel Z.

In fact they took it a step further, they allow you to leave your dogs in the room. Unheard of in the hotel industry.

They even provide you with dog specific door tags to indicate to the staff if you’ve left the dog in the room by themselves or if you’ve taken them with you.

Because of their downtown location I can see when this would be useful especially if you’re wanting to visit some nightclubs or bars which aren’t dog friendly.

In our case it didn’t matter because we take our dogs everywhere, but it was nice to know we had the option.

The room came equipped with a dog bed each, complete with poop bags, bowls, and treats!

Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review
Stay Z has a hotel shuttle that runs Thursday through Sunday (call the front desk to verify run times)

Unbeatable Location

Given that San Diego downtown is known for the Gaslamp District I knew that walkability was a factor.

I also know downtown pretty well being that I used to live there and I knew which parts of town I wanted to avoid.

Hotel Z is on sixth street closer to Petco Park. It’s close enough to everything I wanted to walk to but far enough from the *boom boom of the night clubs. I have stayed at other hotels downtown only to wake up when the clubs started to get busy.

For this staycation I wasn’t planning on leaving the Gaslamp. I wanted to savor and enjoy my town in one area instead of trying to spread my energy too thin.

It was also important that I could be close enough to grassy areas to walk the girls and yet still feel safe when walking there.

Petco park is three blocks away while the grassy park area down by the Gaslamp sign was about six or seven. Not too far at all.

Most of the shops were on Fifth and the restaurants that interested me were either on Fifth and Sixth.

If you have a few hours, you could easily walk past the Gaslamp and cross over to the Convention Center and then explore the Marina and Seaport Village.

Where Did We Eat?

There are so many great restaurants to choose from downtown. Most with patio seating allow dogs. We didn’t really do the yelp thing. We just walked around until we encountered restaurants that caught our eye.

The first night we ate at Barley Mash. The main reason we chose it was because it was Monday night and we had to watch football. The Brussels Sprouts macaroni was good enough for us to note we’d go back just to order that same dish again.

We also had wings and loaded fries (calorie bombs I know, but it’s a staycation). We barely made a dent in it, so we took it back to the room to store in the fridge. I’m not sure I’d order either again it wasn’t bad, just not memorable.

The next day we did walk around town to grab a donut at the Donut Bar because it was on our bucket list for years. We both realized fancy donuts weren’t our thing and a good old fashioned or glazed donut was our first choice. So unless you’re seeking the unicorn donut or some other fancy looking donut… not a place I’d go back to.

For an early dinner we tried Union Tap. They had a happy hour and we tried the mushroom / arugula flatbread. Topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. It was a hit and I’d go back for that alone also.

Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review
The bedding is so comfortable I considered buying it for my own home

Insanely Comfortable Bed

We stayed in a King Suite – room 401. Lighting was soft, yet bright enough. The two dogs had enough space to run around and did Zoomies.

There was a small sofa in the room which we later learned could be a pull out bed.

And the room felt cozy. The kind of room you don’t mind spending a few hours in.

It invites you to pull off your shoes and settle in.

Let’s talk about the “Naked Experience” – excerpt below is from their own website.


A cozy, fresh, cuddly, luxurious, sleep-so-well, you-don’t-remember-it night. Go ahead, Fall “In Sleep” With Us.

  • EVERYTHING that touches you is freshly-laundered. Sleep naked, it’s that clean.
  • Cloud-like European-style individual duvets, so you don’t fight over the covers.
  • Designed to enhance your “something” quotient. Whatever that “something” is for you.
  • Restful bliss so you wake up on the Pineapple side of the bed.
  • Wrap yourself with big thirsty towels. All the way around.
  • Signature lightweight, cozy robes so you don’t answer the door naked.

Anyway… least to say … the way the bed is made at Hotel Z, their individual European style blankets truly invite you to get into your cozies get comfy. I actually did that one morning and worked off the bed for a few hours while the two pups napped.

In fact the beds and bedding were so comfortable my boyfriend remarked on them again when we were going through the photos I took during our stay.

Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review
Bedding is truly over-the-top luxurious sheets, blankets, duvets and pillows.

Quiet Room

We stayed on a Monday and Tuesday night which are typically quiet times in the city. On our last night … there were some vacationers that had gone out to eat, to return to the hotel in a loud and happy state.

I heard one of them calling to her friend and I stuck my head out of the door to investigate what was going on only to realize they maybe just had one glass of wine too many. They were on vacation after all.

But in that process I also realized… my tv was on and possibly too loud while inside.

I’m also always sensitive to how loud my dogs might be while they play. They tend to run around and play bark and I never want to be “that hotel guest next door who is being loud”.

So in the process in peeking out at the loud guest I questioned how much noise I myself was creating.

I had a hunch though that when the doors were closed my neighbors couldn’t hear me.

In any event I tested my hypotheses by closing my hotel door and assessing how much of my TV I could hear from the hallway and was pleasantly surprised that I couldn’t at all.

So I further surmised that my neighbors probably couldn’t hear my dogs either when they were doing zoomies.

Goldilocks Amenities

I made up this phrase as I was writing this article. It’s not A Hotel Z catch phrase. My intent is to articulate that Hotel Z has just what I need without the frills.

For example, I don’t need a hotel located downtown to have a restaurant… when all the dining options are just outside the door.

Instead I wanted breakfast – which is included in the room.

I also deeply appreciated the microwave and refrigerator. This is because we ordered too much food our first evening which we brought it back and was able to eat it the next day.

Oh and the dog’s food was stored in the fridge too. Since I cook for my two it’s a deal breaker if I don’t have a way to store their food. The fridge was perfect and just what I needed.

Back to the topic of amenities. I also don’t need a huge fancy lobby.

Instead there was ample seating reading and working areas, with multiple electrical outlets so I could bring my laptop down to work for a change in scenery.

I didn’t need to be charged $8 per water bottle (like normal hotels do).

Instead I was surprised with unlimited water. I had it in my room. And downstairs I had the option to refill my own bottle or pour from the pineapple infused water station.

Oh and … I didn’t need a bellman to watch the door. That drives up the hotel cost and the hotel rate respectively.

What I did appreciate is that the hotel sliding doors locked at night and you could only get in if you had a key.

Even though the front desk is staffed twenty four seven it made me feel more secure as I went in and out in the late late evening to take my dogs to go potty.

Oh … and if you get the munchies… for $25 you can buy the snack pack. We brought this home and we dug into all the goodies inside.

Would I recommend this hotel to my family and friends?

Yes! Especially since every single one of my family members have dogs and like me never leave them at home.

There was a feeling of fluidity when I stayed at Hotel Z. A feeling of effortlessness. I didn’t have to seek service. I didn’t have to ask twice. I didn’t have to look for things. The staff were personable and outgoing. And my room was cozy.

I loved the location. I never even moved my car until I checked out.

And I’m pretty sure my two pups Maggie and Orbit loved the treats they got in the room as well as from the staff each time we would see them.

If you decide to stay at Hotel Z with or without your pup … book Direct. I can tell you that the hotel will always offer the best rates and packages when going through them directly.

Thank you Hotel Z! We had a wonderful stay!

Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review
Book the King Suite it's worth every dollar! We were in room 401
Hotel Z Staypineapple Dog Friendly Review


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By, November 16, 2019
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