Pooch Pamper

When holidaying, no need to get worried about your precious pets. They can accompany you and live in luxury, just like you deserve!

By: Aparupa Ray Ganguly, Independent Travel Writer

Posted on: September 11, 2014

When holidaying, no need to get worried about your precious pets. They can accompany you and live in luxury, just like you deserve!

Who doesn’t want a vacation which spells luxury with a bit of pampering thrown in! Roughing out is really passé and if ‘indulgence’ is a way of life for us, it is very much the muse of our pooches! Pet lovers across the globe are increasingly choosing exotic hotels that pamper their furry children, ridding them of the guilt of holidaying, while their pets fret in kennels!

Special canine menus, gourmet treats, plenty of stick-throwing opportunities and designer dog-beds, the pamper-list is actually exhaustive. The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa in Ohio and California, for example, is one of its kind. Known for its lavish resort-style vacations, accommodation options for pets range from guest rooms which come with standard amenities to suites that are equipped with flat screen televisions and come with a webcam access. The Salon and Day Spa at the hotel provides luxurious massages, spa baths and ‘pawdicures’. Don’t be surprised if you find your doggy taking off for a surfing-session!

The Family Pet Resort in California is another one in the bandwagon which goes all out to please its four-legged guests. An all-suite resort that comes with plush beds and a plethora of toys that engage even the naughtiest of mutts, the hotel staff is hands-on when it comes to looking after its pet-guests. With round-the-clock in-room service and maids on call, the services could give any standard luxury resort a run for their money.  The climate-controlled suites have soothing music and all amenities one could imagine to have a happy dog. The resort goes an extra mile to pamper its furry-buddies, offering them exotic gourmet treats.

Creating another benchmark, The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin in Nantucket boasts of 12 exclusive ‘Woof Cottages’, which welcome dogs and cats and also gives them a special ‘Doggy Turndown service’. The service comes with a bunch of happy-treats, including a collapsible water bowl, a water bottle, a tennis ball, a rawhide chew toy and a voucher that can be exchanged for a complimentary photo, which will be framed and gifted to you on the spot. That’s not all. Pets are given a collar tag which carries the name of the dog, the name, phone number and address of the resort and pet-parents are handed a bag of doggie-treats and munchies.

Amongst many other luxe resorts that aim to please our canine and feline babies, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Colorado and The Alfond Inn, Florida are definitely worth a mention. The Ritz-Carlton leaves no stone unturned to floor its four-legged guests, offering them an in-room massage and light bath spritz. The extensive room service menu with three sumptuous choices for dessert - including liver “kisses” - leaves little to be desired. With dog bowls, housemade dog-biscuit and a Ritz-Carlton bed, the package is complete. Having a mascot of a sort, Ritz-Carlton even has its own St Bernard on the property named, well, Bachelor. “Colorado is dog country. We see many of our guests bringing dogs to the resort. The hotel is built down the side of a mountain and guests often take their dogs hiking right out of our backdoor,” said Mr Steven Holt, Market Director of The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch.

The Alfond Inn has a special VIP (Very Important Pup) package that provides dog-friendly rooms, complimentary keepsake water bowls, and signature treats at turndown, plus a host of tail-wagging amenities that truly pamper pooches. The package also includes a complimentary Thunder-Shirt, a special, soothing vest that gives dogs a "hug" as it applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a calming effect.

Pets are as important a member of the house as anyone else. With so many options today, nobody can have an excuse on leaving their pet behind!

A seasoned hospitality communication professional, Aparupa has worked in the luxury and lifestyle space and has been associated with iconic luxury hotels like The Imperial New Delhi amongst others. She started her career in media as a news reader and a professional voice-over artist and then dabbled in the creative world of advertising before she got into hospitality. Travel, she says is the best way of finding oneself, of connecting with who we are. Travel gives us a sense of freedom and identity. It enriches us and inspires us to explore. It makes us alive. Eclectic and personalised, her frequent sojourns have spurned travelogues that are fresh and inspiring with a poetic narrative. Read her stories on www.aparuparay.com

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