Inside The Barkley Pet Hotel

Planning a fabulous vacation for yourself but can’t bring your dog along? You may want to send him off to The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa for a vacation of his own. This “pet hotel” located in Orange markets itself as a luxury hotel for dogs and offers upscale accommodations plus many unique activities designed to keep your dog entertained and distracted from missing you while you’re away.

I recently took a tour of the 15,000 square foot facility led by Jessi Buehman, Customer Service Manager at The Barkley. Although I was impressed with their accomodations, what mostly set it apart from other boarding facilities for me is their level of customization and the unique activities they can offer dogs staying there. Depending on your dog’s personality and your budget, you can give him a fairly typical boarding experience with just a few exercise breaks or you can add on any number of activities to enhance your dog’s time away from home.

The hotel offers four different boarding options for pets – leisure suites, serenity suites, executive poolside suites and parkside suites. In addition to dog boarding, cats can stay at the Barkley in their “Kittie City” accommodations.

The leisure and serenity suites are comparable to what most other boarding places offer, although a little fancier and the serenity suites cater specifically to smaller dogs. The poolside suites offer exactly what you’d think – rooms facing a small pool, but they also offer window views for most of the rooms and larger accommodations so it’s a good option if you have multiple dogs to board or your dog would enjoy a window view. They also have a room known as the “Director’s Suite” a large room near the poolside suites, which has leather furniture, a TV and a prime window view of the lobby.

The Director's Suite
The Director’s Suite

The Parkside suites offer rooms in a park-like setting, with a trickling water fountain in the middle for the soothing sounds of water. Rooms in the poolside and parkside area also have TVs (you don’t want your dog to miss out on his favorite show!) and webcams so that you can keep an eye on your dog.

You can also purchase “add ons” to make your dog’s experience more exciting. One nice add on – since The Barkley is also a doggie day camp – is that boarders can take advantage of the day camp to get extra outside playtime. Possible other add ons include: personal play/cuddle time, bedtime biscuits, room service for a “Barkley steak,” ice cream socials, swimming, bedtime stories/tummy rubs, among others. You can even can purchase an add on for a trip to McDonald’s for your dog and select what item off the menu can be ordered for him. Buehman said they are also looking to add on some new activities, considering arts and crafts and sno-cones for the dogs.

All dogs get three exercise breaks and continuous water, as well as comfy bedding. When you drop your dog off you fill out a detailed profile of his or her personality, including likes/dislikes, behaviors, medical history and special needs. If there are special details for the staff to know about your dog, they make a note of it on a board outside of his room. So if your dog is food aggressive, doesn’t get along with other dogs or has allergies or other issues, they will be careful to accommodate his or her needs.

In addition to being a boarding facility, the Barkley has a grooming salon for dogs. The full service grooming salon offers many unique services such as hair coloring and nail painting, otherwise known as “pawdicures.”  They also offer other luxury spa services such as “mud masks” and their “Celebrity Package” which includes teeth brushing, a pawdicure, mud mask, facial and head massage. What dog wouldn’t love a mud mask followed by a head massage?

The dog in the middle looks pretty excited about getting her nails done, doesn’t she?

One other cool feature they offer is photographs of your dog on their red carpet, because who doesn’t think their dog deserves celebrity treatment?

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Each day the front desk is responsible for taking three pictures of each boarding dog to send to the owners. Pretty cool feature for owners missing their furry friends!

What do you think? Would your dog enjoy the VIP treatment of a place like this?

* All photos copyright 2014 The Barkley

For more info, visit: http://thebarkleypethotel.com

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