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Why not take your pet to a resort?

Spending on pets rises during the recession, and luxury hotels are ready to pamper your furry family members.

By Teresa Mears Apr 29, 2010 1:45PM

When it comes to resorts, my cats turn up their noses. They are, after all, cats. Among the last things they want to see on vacation are … DOGS. No pet resorts for us. I don’t think the cats’ disdain for resort travel has anything to do with respect for the family budget, but I appreciate it anyway.

 

We recently received a news release from a Florida hotel touting its Mother’s Day “Ugly Mug” special for families, including children of any shape, size or number of legs. That made us curious about hotel perks for the pet set.

 

Our favorite perk by far was the chance for your dog to cut a CD at a recording studio in Nashville, where he’d arrive by limousine. We’re so sorry to report that this “Hound of Music” package, priced at $1,599 a night with a post-recording session massage included, is no longer available. If you must, we think you could probably record a respectable CD at home. Drive Fido around the block in your old car first. He’ll never know the difference.

 

Despite the recession, spending for pets increased from $43.2 billion in 2008 to $45.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to reach $47.7 billion this year, according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s at a time when other retail spending has gone down.

 

It’s no surprise that people are still pampering their pets in a recession. Your pet still loves you if you’ve lost your job.

 

“People become more attached to their pets in times of uncertainty and stress so we continue to reward them for their unconditional love and companionship,” APPA president Bob Vetere said. “Couple this with the trend of humanizing products and services for our pets, and the result is an overall increase in spending so we can strengthen that human-animal bond.”

Just for fun, we thought we’d share some other indulgent hotel pet perks:

  • Kimpton Hotels, one of the chains that cater to pets, has four-legged “directors of guest relations” to greet visiting pets at some of its locations. Didn’t bring a pet and want another living creature in your room? Their "Guppy Love" program will lend you a goldfish.
  • At the Muse Hotel in New York, you can book a “Hers and Furs Pet-icure,” a manicure for you and your dog together, according to a cute Travel & Leisure roundup of outrageous pet perks at hotels.
  • At the Peninsula Beverly Hills, dogs get monogrammed paw-printed towels, scented poop bags, and a dog bed with a Simmons Beauty Rest mattress and 300-thread-count sheets.
  • The Vanderbilt in Nashville (which offered the CD recording promotion) also offered a get-in-shape New Year’s package, which included a Frisbee and workout tips for both you and your dog.

Of course, room service for pets is available at many high-end pet-friendly hotels, with special home-cooked meals. Check out other hotel pet perks, with cute animal photos, here.

Like me, my cats are not on a resort budget. They did seem to enjoy their recent stays at the Day’s Inn. Most of the chain’s properties allow pets, some with no extra charge and some for $10 to $15 per night. The cats’ favorite perk were the beds they could hide under when it was time to leave, forcing their owner to lift up the mattress and box springs to retrieve them.

 

Ah, the simple joys of life.

 

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