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.