Luxury Hotels for the European Pet
Cats, dogs, even chickens now have five-star accommodations
Looking for quality accommodations while traveling in the U.K. this summer? Check out the Oliver Messel Suite on the top floor of the Dorchester Hotel. At $6,000 a night, it’s where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton spent their honeymoon in 1964. For a little more – say $14,300 – you can wait in line behind Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio for a night in the Royal Suite at The Lanesborough.
Cats may turn up their nose at either of these, however. If so, they can check out, or rather check in to, The Longcroft. Just outside of London, Fluffy will find an extra-large suite for $40 a night at this new luxury hotel for felines. If she’d like to bring friends, $100 a night will open the door to a super-size suite for two. For $200 more, she can invite up to another five cats. And with all the available facilities, they’ll probably all be more comfortable than at The Lanesborough.
Needless to say, there are no cages at The Longcroft. No “boarding” or anything crass like that – just a selection of individually-themed chalets (photo right).
The Bonsai Suite looks out on gardens and woods. The flowery Daisy Suite or Poppy Suite might also appeal to the hotel’s clients.
Each suite includes a scratching post that doubles as a spot from which to look down upon your friends, along with elevated beds, a porcelain fountain providing oxygenated water, and a relaxing selection of specially-chosen music. (For greater relaxation, try the grooming and massage packages.)
If Fluffy prefers not to eat from the regular (still high-end) menu, she can switch to the A La Cat choices that include what’s described as ethically-fished salmon and Italian tomatoes served with Parmesan cheese, served on a bone china plate.
A suite at Actuel Dogs in Paris
While there’s nothing in the U.K. that’s quite up to snuff for the discerning dog, pooches can hop a quick flight to Paris for a day or a week at Actuel Dogs, just outside the city. Billed as Europe’s first luxury hotel for canines, Actuel Dogs has all the services a dog could desire, including proximity to the Bois de Vincennes, one of Paris’s best parks, where the dogs or their people can choose from a selection of daily walks, hikes or jogs.
Hotel proprietors Devi and Stan Burun have a background as dog behaviorists, and offer the hotel for day-care or longer-term visits.
Every room has TV, but the Buruns say they’re not into pointless extravagance. “It’s not like in the United States or Japan—giving the dogs manicures, dying their fur pink—that’s human madness,” she said. “Our priority is to meet the dogs’ needs. People live in small apartments in Paris. They work. They don’t have time to walk their dogs. We respond to those needs.”
For up to $50 a day, dogs can relax in a comfy room, have fun in the park, and enjoy any of the heated pools, massage salons, gyms and training programs.
Vacations, chicken style
David Roberts takes an order at the Chicken Hotel
But the latest top-class innovation goes to The Chicken Hotel in Cornwall, England.
David Roberts’s business caters to the growing popularity for people to keep chickens, and to have someone to look after them when they’re away.
Feathered guests spend their days ranging freely in predator-proof grounds before being rounded up and put to bed in their coops (photo right) at night.
Rates start at $5 a night for each coop and $2 per chicken, including all meals. There’s a nursery for chicks and an incubation service, too.
“With more people looking to escape the rat race and move out in the country with a little bit of land, keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular,” said Roberts, a math teacher. “But what do you do if you go away on holiday? Who looks after the chicken?”
The hotel will also pick up your chickens from home. And for those with an extra-large flock at home, there’s a visiting butler service, including a team of chicken midwives.