By Rosemary McClure
3:50 PM EDT, July 5, 2013
It's not surprising hotels are unleashing special perks and menus aimed at dog owners.
Pet owners are an attractive demographic, last year spending more than $50 billion on their four-legged friends, a 73% increase in the last decade, according to Dillon Media, a marketing strategy firm. The biggest spenders were people who don't have kids at home — the kind of traveler who can stay longer and spend more.
Although dog menus are still a rarity in U.S. hotels, they’re a growing trend.
"Instead of just providing doggie beds and feeding bowls, there's a surge in hotels offering special pet menus," said Lisa Porter, owner of the website Pet Hotels of America.
"But there still are many four- and five-star hotels that don't offer menus. It's on an upward swing. Another trend: A lot are now boasting that their pet entrees, side dishes and treats are organic, fresh or straight out of the baker's oven."
Below is a sampling of menus. To learn more, see the Sunday Travel section on the adventures of Darby, a wheaten terrier, as he eats his way through various California luxury hotels.
Los Angeles: The Luxe City Center Hotel, an upscale boutique hotel in downtown Los Angeles, offers a clever menu for pups, including vegetarian fare, a protein plate, and dishes such as the Working Dog, beef tenderloin with scrambled eggs, baby spinach and brown rice. All dishes $15.
Info: (888) 336-3745.
Ojai: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is known for its giant oaks, rolling, green lawns, and dog friendliness. The resort has a Furry Friends menu that allows guests to choose one protein, such as salmon or eggs, and two sides, such as rice, peas or pineapple, for $16. You can add a homemade biscuit for an additional $2.
Info: (855) 697-8780.
Dana Point: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, offers occasional Yappy Hour events for guests and local residents. In addition, the pet menu lists items such as Bow Wow Tenderloin, beef, eggs and brown rice, $18; Dog Bone Meatloaf, ground sirloin sauteed with veggies, $16; and Chop! Chop! Fried Rice with steamed peas, carrots and eggs, $10.
Info: (949) 240-2000.
Carmel: At the Cypress Inn, dogs have been welcome since the mid-1980s and pet guests have included parrots and pot bellied pigs. Daily Yappy Hour with non-alcoholic Muttinis offered for four-legged drinkers. Menu items include Pooched Egg with chopped bacon, $4; Muttloaf, diced steak with rice, $7, and Something Smells Fishy, salmon with rice, $7.
Info: (800) 443-7443.
Santa Cruz: Chaminade, a mountaintop retreat in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has a new Pooch Patio Menu featuring yappetizers, entrees and desserts. Entrees include grilled chicken and rice, $5.25; K-9 hamburger sliders with rice, $5.25; and salmon, $6.25. During Yappy Hour, pups receive a complimentary yappetizer with the purchase of a guest appetizer.
Info: (855) 988-9939 or (831) 475-5600.
Napa Valley: The Calistoga Ranch greets visitors with a wine bottle filled with organic pet treats and a “Happy Tails” newsletter featuring information on local pet-friendly wineries, restaurants, and hiking and walking trails. Dog beds have velvet sheets by Italian linen company Rivolta Carmignani and a down-filled cushion. The menu is priced according to dog size, with little dogs charged $8 and large dogs $13 per entree; it includes dishes such as ground beef and rice and diced chicken and pasta.
Info: (707) 254-2800.
Seattle: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, a downtown landmark, offers pets a menu that includes items such as tenderloin steak and Fiji water, $35, and bone-shaped cookies, 3 for $8.
Info: (888) 363-5022.
New York City: The luxury Surrey Hotel partnered with a gourmet biscuit company, Bocce’s Bakery, to provide canine guests with an in-room biscuit menu. Upscale menu offerings, all $14, include beef Bourguignon, chicken cordon bleu and truffle mac & cheese.
Info: (888) 419-0052
Whistler, Canada: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler offers three courses for hungry pooches, who can dine on egg and gizzard pudding for breakfast, baked grits and cheese for lunch, and lamb and rice stew for dinner from the Furrmont Club menu.
Info: (800) 606-8244.
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