Aritcle Written by Warren London Guest Blogger Liv Faraday
The old adage that dog is man’s best friend has never been truer. Despite the turbulent economy, studies in both America and England have shown that dog owners are spending more on their animals with the American Pet Products Association (APPA) suggesting that dog owners are spending $11,000 (roughly £7,000) on each animal in their lifetimes.
Some of the largest expenses that dog owners face are veterinary care, food and kennels/boarding. And it seems that boarding is an area where owners really aren’t afraid to splash their cash. Although many families like to take their dogs with them when they travel, there are occasions when this isn’t possible and whilst they’re away they want to ensure that their precious pooch is receiving the best care possible.
Welcome to the world of doggy hotels. Far from the loud, dreary and stressful environment of the average kennel, many dog hotels offer individual rooms complete with chaise sectionals, TV’s and spa facilities. Aside from this, the hotels often admit fewer animals than a kennel meaning that they are able to meet individual requirements and provide more one-to-one care and attention – something that 85% of dog owners insist is essential in lodging facilities according to Best Friends Pet Care.
Here are some of the most luxurious, expensive and downright wacky dog hotels across the world:
Acutel Dogs – Paris, France
Classed as Paris’s first luxury pet hotel, Acutel Dogs is run by married couple Stan and Devi Burin. As lifelong dog lovers and animal behaviourists this couple insist that the hotel isn’t about pointless extravagance, but instead seeks to meet the needs of the animals. As such they evaluate each guest on arrival in order to determine their needs and assess any potentially disruptive behaviour.
The hotel boasts four single rooms and two suites, meaning that their six dogs (a paltry amount when you consider that some kennels accommodate over 100 dogs) receive one-to-one care. And although the couple claim that their ‘boutique canine hotel’ isn’t about luxury, their guests can all enjoy facilities such as massage salons, TV’s, heated swimming pools and an a la carte menu. At €45 per day for a suite, the hotel certainly isn’t cheap but owners are able to ensure that their money is being well spent by checking in with their pooches by webcam and email.
The Barkley Hotel – California, USA
The American’s love their dogs and several luxurious dog and spa retreats exist across America. One of the most lavish organisations includes the The Barkley Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Aptly located across the road from The Four Seasons Hotel, this is a boarding facility that spares no expense when it comes to pampering its guests.
Dogs will arrive in a limo and have their own suite complete with climate/lighting control and regularly freshened air. During their stay they can enjoy a ‘pawdicure,’ massage, swimming lesson or fur dye. The complex is a large facility that also caters for cats and other animals, but in a place where the dogs are legitimately permitted to order steak from the menu at The Four Seasons, I’m sure they could get over sharing their hotel with a cat for a few days!
Pet’s Hotel – Melbourne, Australia
This 4.3 million dollar complex is designed as a retreat for the urban dog. The owners have created this custom built facility to comply with and exceed health and safety regulations set by industry Code of Practice whilst still maintaining a luxurious, fun atmosphere.
With suites that range from Classic to Deluxe to ‘Petzecutive’ to Presidential ($40 per day - $70 per day) owners will have to decide just how much they value their dog’s comfort and care. And whilst all aspects of the hotel are considered luxurious, only the Presidential suites include designer beds, flat screen TV’s, bedtime treats and a complimentary check-out bath.
The complex also includes Central Bark - an indoor park where the dogs can exercise and play without the risk of danger or escape. For an additional fee, dogs can take part in ‘Yappy Hour’ sessions where they are matched with other dogs of similar size, age and temperament and allowed to engage in supervised play.
Safe Paws – Scotland, UK
Safe Paws differs to the usual dog hotel as it provides an ongoing day care facility for dogs whose owners are at work, rather than a one-off holiday break. As such, the dogs can benefit from routine day care such as puppy pre-school, daily training and exercise, nap times and play times.
However it’s not all rules, routine and regime. Founder Shirley Macmillan insists that dogs deserve luxurious day care and therefore provides heated rooms with DVD players, classical music, waterbeds and a D.A.P pheromone that is pumped throughout the facility to promote calmness. At £20 per day the facility is one of the cheaper hotels but as it acts as a day care facility, owners may class it as a permanent fixture in their lives which would undoubtedly become expensive.
Spa Paws – Texas, USA
Perhaps the most wonderfully bizarre of the bunch, Spa Paws in Texas is a five star pet hotel that treats its guests like royalty. From a wellness centre that specialises in pet health and fitness to a boutique where pet clothes from a line of top fashion designers can be purchased, they promise that you can rest assured knowing that your pets are living in the lap of luxury.
Perhaps one of the more unique things about the hotel is the additional services they offer. For an extra fee dogs can get married, have birthday parties and even funeral services at the hotel – all with a professional photographer in attendance.
With facilities that are as good as, if not better than, what you’d find in a human hotel, it is unsurprising that their prices are off the scale.