If there isn’t a luxury pet hotel near you this year, just wait. Pet hotels catering to distinguished dogs and fine felines are popping up across the country at greyhound speed. Some feel like five-star resorts and offer chauffeur service in exotic cars, gourmet meals, pawdicures, facials, fitness centers, upscale boutiques and well-appointed accommodations so stylish and comfortable that pet parents may be tempted to curl up on the bed and take a snooze.
When your posh pal needs sumptuous digs for a night or longer, or simply doggie daycare for a few hours, grand pet hotels opening or expanding are here to serve the fierce demand. Of the estimated $52 billion we’re expected to spend on our pets this year, $4.1 billion will go toward grooming and boarding, according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s up from the $3.79 billion ($50 billion overall) we lavished on our pets in 2011.
Recession? Not when it comes to our fur babies. Our coddled creatures need a plush place to stay when they can’t travel with us, we’re at work or play or when they crave companionship from their own kind. Below is the latest news on some of the more opulent options.
What’s new in pet hotels?
D Pet Hotels Hollywood has become so popular since opening four years ago that it is already expanding not just its Los Angeles location but around the country as well. D Pet Hotels Scottsdale opened on August 15. Next up is D Pet Hotels Chelsea, which throws an Open House on Sept. 27 before officially opening for business in Manhattan on Sept. 28. The nearly 10,000 square-foot Chelsea location offers everything from a Standard suite, which includes a doggie bed and flat screen TV, to the Uber suite, which features a full‐sized bed, extensive room décor and 42” flat screens. In addition to its suites, spectacular dog parks span the upper level of the hotel grounds and are designed to accommodate large, medium and pint‐size pups. There’s also a doggie gym called Pant, spa offering PAWdicures and more, doggie lounge, biscuit bar, D Boutique, 24-hour vet on call and, of course, a chauf-FUR to pick up Fifi in style.
“At D Pet Hotels, we create a five-star experience for each of our guests and parents know they can expect a fun, loving, home-away-from-home for their pups,” says Kerry Brown, co-owner of D Pet Hotels Chelsea.
D Pet Hotels Hollywood, popular with celebrities such as Twilight star Ashley Greene, is in the process of expanding its spa and grooming center. Plans are to add more suites as well. Currently there are approximately 70 luxury suites, the majority which can accommodate families with multiple dogs in each suite.
Nationwide franchising opportunities become available next month as D Pet Hotels looks to expand in key U.S. markets such as New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. International locations are also in the works.
Pooch Hotel, around since 2004, debuts in Boston on Sept. 25, marking the brand’s sixth location and third to open this year. Pooch Hotel Hollywood opened its doors (just a stone’s throw from D Pet Hotels Hollywood) in May, followed by a location in Richardson, Tex., in August. They joined two outposts in Chicago and another in Sunnyvale, Calif., that serves the Silicon Valley. Look for three more Southern California spots — Santa Monica, San Diego and Carson — to launch before the end of the year, says Pooch Hotel Hollywood General Manager Sean C. Nolan. He added that Norwalk, Conn., gets a Pooch Hotel in early 2013. Petco, which acquired Pooch Hotel in March 2011, plans to open 10 to 12 Pooch Hotels a year.
Pooch Hotels typically offer swimming pools and treadmills. There are no webcams but there are television with unique content.
“We are the only hotel to broadcast television content created solely for dogs,” says Charles Simpson, Director, Pooch Hotels at Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. “This content is scientifically designed to appeal to the colors, motions, and socialization needs of our pets – with programming created to stimulate, entertain, and relax our four-legged companions while away from their homes.”
At an Open House on Oct. 7, celeb-fave The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa in Westlake Village, Calif., will unveil its expanded pet care campus which already includes the on-site Westlake Village Animal Hospital. The additional 8,000 square feet will bring the total to a whopping 50,000 square feet, thus becoming the largest pet care campus in Southern California.
“We have been growing steadily every month since we opened (in 2010),” says General Manager Julie Prince. “We are sold out every holiday and our grooming department has reached capacity as well as our small and large doggie day camp areas.”
The Barkley Grooming Salon & Spa, which offers facials, mud masks, massages and fur dying, doubles in size while the large and small areas of Doggie Day Camp increases by 3,500 square feet. A brand new small doggie day camp allows more room for the little canines. Luxe digs, called Westlake Park Suites, also debut in a new wing. These suites, amidst a park-like setting, provide individual web cams and TV’s for guests as well as sky lights for natural lighting and energy savings. With more pet parents desiring to check-in to see their dogs, High Definition web cams were also installed in the Doggie Day Camp areas.
Pet hotels aren’t just for the U.S.
Only the United States’ canine population of 60 million+ ranks higher than Brazil’s, whose number of dogs hovers around 30 million. In Belo Horizonte, the capital and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais and located in the southeastern region of the Brazil, Animalle Mundo Pet recently opened to serve some of those pooches. A pet hotel with accommodations for 17 animals is one of the features in the eight-story building that also offers pet taxis, veterinary services, a boutique, fitness center, place for dogs to celebrate their birthdays, grooming and beauty center plus — get this — a pet motel where dogs can mate under a heart-shaped mirror on the ceiling! Semen freezing is also available. Owners Fabiano Lourdes and his sister Daniela seem to have thought of everything. But back to the pet hotel. There are two outdoor patios with synthetic grass, 24-hour monitoring, obedience training and more. “For many people, the dog is a child who must be well treated,” Lourdes has been quoted as saying.
Down under in Australia, last year Hanrob Pet Hotels expanded into Melbourne Airport after 30 years of top level pet accommodation, care and training in Sydney. For discerning, four-legged guests, there are luxury suites that offer a fluffy bed, television and window to enjoy fresh air and natural light. Fickle felines’ suites come with a single bed and doona, private television and choice of music leaving them feeling like they are truly in the comfort of their own home. Each luxury suite also has a private balcony, leading to fully secure outdoor grounds where your cat is free to explore and play. Hanrob Pet Hotels, which offers a man-made beach for dogs and gourmet dining for both dogs and cats, recently launched PetSkype, a new service for customers to keep in touch with their furry friends while traveling.
The skinny on pet hotels
The Jet Set Pets recently visited D Pet Hotels Hollywood, Pooch Hotel Hollywood and The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa. Here’s our review:
- The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa: This premier pet hotel located across the street from the Four Seasons Westlake impressed us the most. An outdoor, heated pool called Barkley Beach, cabana shading, misting system, on-site animal hospital and webcams are just a few of the many highlights. Throw in The Barkley Academy, an obedience and behavior training center set up like a home with real furniture, and you can see why the facility recently was named Ventura County Star Reader’s Choice Best Boarding Facility and the Los Angeles Daily News‘ Best Boarding and Grooming Facility. You’ll think you’re in a suburban neighborhood with the Barkley Park Suites, complete with wrought ironwork, mailboxes, lamp posts and gardens. There are Kitty City Condos for felines and avian and exotic animal boarding available as well. Guests have included turtles and chickens. Take a video tour:
- D Pet Hotels Hollywood: Every pet hotel should be lucky to have an employee as passionate about pets as Kenny, who showed us around. Any pet parent would feel comfortable leaving their fur baby with him. Also, paws up for the elegant décor in the suites. Pets will feel right at home in plush rooms with queen-size beds and bedding, dressers, vases, pillows, art, lamps and plants. Love the retail offerings with Jeanne Chinn couture carriers and organic food and treats. Check out this fun video D Pets Hotel Hollywood put together:
- Pooch Hotel Hollywood: Swimming pools are a way of life in La La Land and it’s one of the first things you see when you walk through the doors of the two-story Pooch Hotel Hollywood. Personal flotation devices hang from a wall, a sign that safety is a priority. The digs aren’t as decorative as its nearby competitor D Pet Hotels Hollywood, but canines will still have a tail-waggin’ time in their suites with glass doors and tile walls. The larger suites feature webcams and couches. Drop-off and pick-up is available 24 hours a day, a huge plus for when pet parents return home and just can’t wait to see their furry friend. We also like the 8,000 square foot free range play area, sod upstairs and downstairs, kitchen facilities and treadmills. Being the new kid on the block, some of the services offered at the other luxury pet hotels aren’t available here yet. But give it time.