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Upscale pet lodging for the frequent traveler

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Looking for an upscale pet hotel? There are plenty of "luxury" hotels for pets whose owner's are frequent travelers. Take Paradise 4 Paws, for example. Just minutes from Chicago's O'Hare Airport, the new hotel promises the utmost in indulgence. "Guests" can lounge at the pool, relax at the salon or simply lay back and gaze at a movie on a flat-screen television. This is pet lodging for pet parents who demand nothing but the best for their loved one while they're out of town.

"It's for those of us who treat our pet as a child, and who expect a level of comfort to match that,'' said Saq Nadeem, the hotel owner. The idea grew from his class at the Northwestern University School of Management. "The parents are the clients and the dogs and cats are the guests,'' he said.

A day in paradise

The hotel is part of a fast-growing trend of upscale lodging for pets near airports. Paradise 4 Paws is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, so that pets can be dropped off and picked up at any time.

 

Neighborhood kennels often have more restricted hours, which means travelers often must spend more time apart from them.

"We are tailored to the frequent traveler market,'' Nadeem said. "It can be very emotionally stressful for your pet for those extra days.''

Paradise 4 Paws (847-678-1200) offers parking and shuttle service to the airport. It also has web cams "so that the parents can see what their pets are doing,'' Nadeem said.

 

Room rates for dogs range from $47 a night to $75 for the Presidential Suite. The resort offers parking and shuttle transport to the airport. It provides a wide range of pet concierge services, including "pawdicures,'' haircuts, visits to the veterinarian, photography and massage therapy.

The hotel also partners with canine behaviorist Cis Frankel of the Canine Intelligence Agency, which was named "Best in Chicago'' by Chicago Magazine.

The resort has room for 65 dogs and 10 cats. Even before it opened, some 400 pet owners had registered at the hotel.

The cage-free, 25,000-square-foot facility includes:

  • Indoor grass play areas
  • Swimming pool
  • Poolside suites
  • Play dates
  • Doggie lounges, for relaxed, low-stress socializing

Tailored to the traveler

Many of these airport hotels for pets are tailored to business travelers, as well as people who have extra cash to spend on their pets. Other such hotels include Pet Paradise (1.877-pets-play), which has a resort in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as other locations. Pet Paradise features a dog-bone-shaped swimming pool, toys, biscuits, and ice cream. In the cat condos, soothing music is piped into the rooms to create a calming atmosphere.

The hotel also offers video screens for the pets. Guests often bring along a video of themselves playing with their pets, or talking to them, so that the animals are reassured that they haven't simply disappeared.

In addition, they hotel can relieve the guilt of pet parents who worry about their animals being lonely or neglected.

For those with more than one dog, Paradise 4 Paws even provides "slumber party'' rooms, so that the pups can stay with each other while a parent is away.

Credit: Reviewed by Amy I. Attas, V.M.D.
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