This week dogs descended on New York City for the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog show. While Banana Joe took home the grand prize, the other contestants were treated to doggie spas, a dog psychic, and even a pet doctor skilled in acupuncture. Darra Stone explores Westminster pet pampering and offers five alternatives for everyday dogs who want to be treated like the best in show.
The best-bred dogs deserve the best dog service and that is what pet owners now expect at the Hotel Pennsylvania, voted the 2012 Pre-Westminster Most Pet Friendly Hotel Of The Year. Possibly the most highlighted hotel during Westminster, Hotel Pennsylvania is the go-to hotel for the popular event. As the official pet concierge, Jerry Grymek meets the needs of pets and their owners during the annual event. We talked to the pet concierge himself who, as he put it, “usually I work in public relations, but this week you could say I work in pooch relations.”
“Fifteen years ago, we worked with Judy Davis who created the dog spa, and every year it gets bigger,” said Grymek who has worked with Hotel Pennsylvania and as the pet concierge for around 10 years, or as he says, “close to a dog lifetime.”
The Hotel Pennsylvania might only have its dog spa during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, but they are pet friendly all year, offering accommodations and services for dogs of any size.
If you are traveling with your four-legged friend, you don’t have to travel to New York to get pet pampering. Many hotel chains are now offering pet services year round. Here are five dog-friendly hotel options, all of which offer the pet-friendly basics alongside creative options for pampering perks.
Kimpton Pets Program
Most of the pet hotels we reviewed has some exception when it comes to weight or size as well as an additional deposit or cleaning fee. Not at Kimpton where the philosophy is, “We welcome any pet, regardless of size, weight, or breed for zero fees or deposits at every Kimpton Hotel.” Three cheers for Kimpton where pets can also expect pet beds, food and water bowls, lobby snacks, a personal greeting from management, and a list of pet-friendly attractions and businesses.
Affinia Hotels has locations throughout New York and Washington, D.C., that offer a year-round Happy Tails pet travel program. Happy Tails stocks your room with the necessities–a plush dog bed and bowls for food and water. Then, guests can work with the concierge to book necessary services like dog walking and grooming, alongside dog psychics and pet taxis.
Loews Loves Pets
Loews implemented a Loews Loves Pets program that provides pet beds, gourmet menus, water bowls, pet walking services, and more. If you are looking for an inclusive weekend with your pet, they are currently offering the Woofie Weekends at Loews. The Woofie Weekend package includes a mat, bowl, tags, waiving of the $25 pet cleaning fee, a gourmet meal for your pet, and a memory foam pet mat. Going beyond the usual pet pampering services, if you travel to the St. Pete Beach location they have on-site pet massage therapists.
The Trump Collection offers Creature Comforts at their properties in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Waikiki. Being a Trump pet means their gourmet dog treats, food and water bowls, and dog walks arranged through the concierge for an extra fee. Other pet-friendly Trump perks are toys for your pet and location maps of dog-friendly highlights.
Jet Set with Your Pet
Ninety Hyatt-affiliated hotels (including Park Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt and Grand Hyatt) offer the Jet-Set with Your Pets program. Participating hotels give guests a “Doggie Welcome Kit” including a bed, bowl, and tags. They also provide conveniently designated walkways with doggie bags for your precious pooch.
For more travel with pets, check out:
- 5 Hidden Dangers of Flying with Your Pet
- 10 Things I Learned Traveling to Italy with my Dog
- Travel Tip: Pet Owners and Airports
- 10 Things I Learned RVing Across the Country with a Dog
By Darra Stone for PeterGreenberg.com