Plans for the swimming pool are still being kicked around at Pooch Hotel, Dallas' first boutique hotel catering exclusively to dogs. Its sister location in Hollywood has one that's detailed like a Miami Beach condo, right down to the one-inch glass tile squares reflecting off the pool's interior walls. In California, the swimming addition is a highly sought-after feature to the experience, and they saved space for one here, at the Richardson facility. But right now the staff is busy preparing for the grand opening on August 18. The dog furniture is scheduled to arrive this Wednesday.
Ikea-style beds, couches and, in the highest end suites, dressers will accent the loft-like rooms of Pooch Hotel. What exactly would a dog do with a dresser? That's a reasonable question. Nothing. Dogs don't require them. These are just for show, aside from one actual drawer toward the base of each, used to hide unsightly food dishes.
It's touches like these that Pooch Hotel suspects will lure in Dallas' biggest rollers. It worked in Chicago and later in California, but will Dallas dog owners opt in for $30 blueberry facials for their pets? Or shell out an extra $10 for evening "Pillow Talk," an optional turn-down service that comes with a tummy rub?
PETCO believes in the business model, so much so that it bought the company in 2011 but kept its founder, Robin Tomb, on board to open locations around the country. This spot in Richardson, which officially opened last weekend, is the fifth to pop up.
The rooms in Pooch Hotels resemble what you'd see at an Andre Balazs property for humans -- well, aside from the see-through glass doors in each suite. There are no kennels here; dogs stay in mid-century modern bedrooms. Artwork hangs on the walls. Natural light does most of the heavy lifting, and pets are referred to as "guests." "Guests" who eat exclusively organic food, at an additional $3 per serving.
The guests' benefactors will pay going hotel rates for these rooms, which start at $45 for a basic model and top off at $85 for a Palace Suite -- a steal considering the same grand accommodations cost $115 in the Hollywood location. But it's in the add-ons that owners can really blow their cash, like the Spaw's treadmill workout programs, private walks and assorted organic gussy-ups like paw-dicures and aromatherapy massages.
But really, dressers? Facials? Art on the walls? Bright, punchy color pallets for animals that see in black-and-white? Yes, guilt-ridden dog owners, you've reached a sucker's nirvana. Now fork over that credit card.
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