Upscale Florida Hotel Rolls Out Red Carpet for Wealthy Dogs

Wow! I bet my pack would love this place! This article ran on the SunSentinal.com. Upscale hotel goes to the dogs with riches By Phil...
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Wow! I bet my pack would love this place!

This article ran on the SunSentinal.com.

Upscale hotel goes to the dogs with riches

By Phil Davis

SARASOTA — Austin ricochets around the Ritz-Carlton hotel room, bouncing from bed to chair and leaping high to lick the face of his personal masseuse.

He’s an energetic 4-year-old pug, so there is a lot of wriggling as his “privileged pup” pet massage begins. But soon his eyelids droop and his tiny muscles relax under the soothing touch of Darlene Davison, the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota’s spa director.

“OK, sweetheart, OK. There you go,” coos Davison, creator of the luxury hotel chain’s latest indulgence — the $130 dog massage.

Figure in the hotel’s 20-pound weight limit and the additional $125 nonrefundable pet fee and the “privileged pup” plan comes out to a minimum of $12.75 a pound. And that’s the basic package.

For another $220, the Ritz throws in gourmet dog biscuits, an in-room pet massage, a choice of nail buffing or nail polish, a souvenir photo, a brisk walk over Sarasota’s scenic Ringling Bridge and a gourmet meal of organic stew and designer water.

Americans spend about $38.4 billion on their pets annually, the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association said. Spending on pets increased an average of $2.3 billion a year since the association started tracking numbers in 1997.

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