MIRAMAR BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - Mar 4, 2016) - When it comes to pet-friendly hotels, the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard is something to bark about. Not only does its pet policy welcome furry family members with open paws, but its Pet of the Month and Pet of the Year contests have created a sense of community among pet-owning guests, while its involvement with animal welfare organizations is making a difference in the lives of many animals. And for several pet owners, these efforts catapulted the property to the top of the list among dog-friendly hotels in Destin, Florida.
Each month, any guest who brings a pet to the hotel is invited to enter the Pet of the Month competition on Facebook. Friends, family and guests can then "like" their favorite pet, and the winner receives a $25 gift certificate to PetSmart along with a certificate of recognition from the hotel.
After December's winner has been named, the hotel conducts its Pet of the Year contest. Each Pet of the Month from that year is entered into the competition, and the winner receives the grand prize. This year, that prize included a $50 gift certificate to PetSmart, a Dog of the Year basket full of goodies and a "Pets of the Emerald Coast" coffee table book.
While these friendly competitions are not affiliated with any outside organization, the hotel is deeply committed to animal welfare. It provided space on property, for example, for the pet portraits that are featured in the "Pets of the Emerald Coast" book. The book was published to raise money for the local, no-kill Alaqua Animal Refuge and needed a venue available over the course of six weeks to conduct all the portraiture.
The hotel continues its relationship with Alaqua today by providing linens on a quarterly basis that are used for animal beds. And it plans on expanding its efforts -- with more fundraising and employee volunteer days -- in the immediate future.
Perhaps not surprisingly then, even the hotel's Pet of the Year contest continues its commitment to the Adopt Don't Shop movement among pets. Shelby, the 2015 Pet of the Year, is a Shetland sheepdog rescued through the Louisiana Sheltie Rescue. Adopted at 6 years old through the rescue program, Shelby now spends her time advocating for other animals and writing an advice column for the Louisiana Sheltie Rescue newsletter. Shelby counts her win as the cherry on top of a fantastic stay in these Sandestin suites. Located near sandy beaches and walking trails, the hotel affords plenty of opportunities for long dog walks. Spacious studio and one- and two-bedroom suites -- ideal for short or extended stays in Destin, Florida -- allow guests and their furry friends enough room to make themselves at home. And the staff's warm welcome, combined with the camaraderie among other pet-owning guests, was memorable enough to earn a mention in Shelby's acceptance "speech" on Facebook.
"To the staff of the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard," Shelby "wrote," "you are simply the best! And to all the nominees, you are all winners in my book as you have your forever homes and humans that love you so! I share this award with all of you!"
Meet more contestants at https://www.facebook.com/Residenceinnsandestin!
About the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard
Ideally situated in the Destin-Miramar Beach area, the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard offers a warm home-away-from-home welcome to visitors. Guests will appreciate the hotel's spacious, extended-stay suites, which feature full kitchens, free Wi-Fi and pillow-top bedding, as well as the attentive service provided throughout one's visit. In addition to free grocery shopping, hosted socials three nights a week and complimentary breakfasts, guests are invited to use the sport court, reading library, outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness center. While the amenities make it a pleasure to stay in, the hotel's address makes it just as tempting to venture out. Visitors can discover shopping and dining on Grand Boulevard, located steps from the hotel, or practice their swing at a nearby golf course, hunt for bargains at the Silver Sands Premium Outlets or simply unwind on the beach.
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