Travel Ideas: Livin’ it up at the SoHo Grand with Dogs

Got a pooch in need of pampering? Do you need some too? Then check into the posh SoHo Grand Hotel, in New York City's trendy downtown area, where stars like Fran Drescher, Matt Damon and Mr. Bigglesworth (of Austin Powers fame) can be seen twinkling on the penthouse terrace. Even Taco Bell's earnest Chihuahua has graced the Grand's luxurious halls.

The pet-friendly SoHo Grand, owned by Hartz Mountain Industries, offers a range of amenities to make your pet feel as welcome as you do. Is your puppy's stomach growling louder than he is? No problem, he can order room service. Is Kitty uncomfortable? How about a sheepskin bed for your fuzz ball that would make you jealous? Still need to work off some energy? Voila! Your pet has more toys to play with than a 2-year-old.

Before you and Fluffy go out to paint the town red, he can get a haute couture coif and "pet-icure" to perfect his look. And of course, we wouldn't want to offend the neighbors with doggy breath, so special pet toothpaste and toothbrushes are available in every room.

If you're busy in the boardroom during the day, fear not, Fluffy's social card will be kept full with everything from socializing in the salon to getting a private tour of Manhattan.

"As a pet owner myself, I know that your dog or cat is like a member of the family," says Emanuel Stern, president of Hartz Mountain. "We want to accommodate guests who don't want to be separated from their pets when traveling."

Here by yourself and going through pet withdrawal? They can fix that too. When you check in, you are offered an elegant goldfish to keep you company. No ordinary carp here, your "Black Moor" or "Calico Ryukin," comes complete in formal wear. And no worries – specially trained personnel feed and care for your fish while you are out. If you two bond over your stay, you can take your fish home with a gift goldfish care booklet, Fin Facts.

The hotel maintains about 75 rooms for guests with pets. The rest of the rooms stay pet-free to accommodate possibly allergic or pet poo-pooing people. Pets of all kinds are welcomed, though birds and reptiles must be kept in their own habitat for their safety.

The 369-room hotel is located at 310 West Broadway in close proximity to SoHo's art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and night spots. Current room rates range from $349 to $549. You can have the large penthouse suite at the Grand for a paltry $1,699. After all, what's money when it comes to your pooch?

For reservations and information, call 800-965-3000 or go to their Web site at www.sohogrand.com

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