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Fine living for Fido: The Big Apple gets first luxury hotel for dogs
Agence France Presse
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NEW YORK: An expansive bed with soft pillows, a flat-screen TV, a gym and chef-crafted meals – at New York’s first luxury hotel for dogs, opening in a few weeks, nothing’s too good for man’s best friend.

The 900-square-meter hotel in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood aims to ensure “the dog is getting the same quality as a human being does,” said one of its three co-owners, Shawn Hassanzadeh.

“As a New Yorker, when you go on vacation, and you stay in a fabulous hotel, with fabulous services, your dog is staying in a fabulous hotel with fabulous services,” he told AFP.

Only the two fanciest suites will offer double beds – but even the smaller “standard” rooms will have televisions and, in some, DVD players, in case the pet parents want to bring a special show or a compilation of family photos.

“A lot of parents find that when a dog stays at home alone, TV keeps them company,” a second co-owner of D Pet Hotel, Kerry Brown, explained.

Also available for vacationing canines whose owners want to keep them in shape: a gym, equipped with personal trainers and two treadmills.

“Some will take to [the treadmills], others don’t, but it’s nice to be able to have them,” Brown said.

Three playgrounds – where pooches will be separated according to size and strength – will also help keep Fido in fine form. And for any who prefer a more traditional energy outlet, the hotel offers walks the dogs in the city – just $15 extra a day for a 15 minute stroll.

As in any luxury establishment, the hotel has a day spa, offering the ministrations of Ali McLennan, a groomer of Animal Planet television fame.

“A lot of the girls dogs love to get their nails painted in different colors,” Brown explained without a trace of irony.

Chez Ali, the lady pups can choose between a “pawdicure” nail treatment, a bath, or a full treatment package.

And if the “parents” don’t have time for the drop off, the hotel will take care of it. They’ll swing by to pick up the beloved furball in an SUV or, if it appeals, a Lamborghini.

The pet resort concept, born in Hollywood with the first D Pet Hotel four years ago, aims to offer “a home away from home for dogs,” Brown explains.

“We thought, what a perfect thing for New York,” she added, “where we’ve got tons of people who are working, tons of people who are traveling.”

Standard rooms will cost $79 a day, while the luxury suites will go for $200. Extras range from the $15 walk, to an $80 “full treatment” at the spa. While that might seem steep in a country where with a troubled economy and persistently high unemployment, Brown insists it’s “very reasonable.”

“When it comes to taking care of your pet, which most people see as their kids, you want to make sure every detail is taken care of well.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 21, 2012, on page 13.
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