It’s often said that “it’s a dog’s life,” but now that includes pool time, massages, a boutique and three square meals a day when owners are out of town.
The City will soon be home to the flagship Wag Hotel on 14th and Harrison streets that will treat The City’s dogs and cats like people — perhaps a little better than people because they’re taken on “business walks” to do their business. But then, humans have golf.
“We’re like a W [Hotel], and what’s pretty much out there is a Motel 6,” Wag Hotel President Joel Leineke said.
With their hotel in Sacramento filling up for the holidays before Thanksgiving, Leineke hopes to make the 35,000-square-foot, 238 rooms and suites San Francisco edition the flagship of the company, calling the Sacramento version the “off-Broadway run” of his show.
And while the hotel hasn’t opened yet — it’s due at the end of January, Leineke said — it’s been taking inquiries about reservations since August.
The hotel is open 24/7 so owners can pick up their animal anytime, and dogs can live in rooms that cost up to $65 a day, but that $65-a-day suite comes with a plasma TV, paintings, rugs and classical music. A half-hour of fetch at the pool, massages and a “pawdicure” are also available.
A cattery offers animals of the feline persuasion a two-story cat condo with a constant view of a large aquarium stocked with fish.
A dog’s day at Wag Hotel begins at 8 a.m. when the lights are turned on, and dogs are divided up by size and temperament and taken to play groups for an hour, said Melissa Spera, the assistant manager of client services in Sacramento.
Amenities such as tooth-brushing, grooming or peanut butter kongs are available and other services include an “after dinner stroll” and the aforementioned “business walk” in the morning.
If a female goes into heat while at the hotel, then there’s a $50 charge, Spera said.
“It tends to stress out the males in the room, and there’s additional clean up involved,” she said.
Karla Harmina, owner of PlayDate-DoggyStyle, said there was plenty of room in the boarding business for a Wag Hotel in The City because there are so many dogs.
“[Professionals] don’t have time for kids … so their dogs are their babies,” Harmina said, and people don’t “want them in a cage.”
Leineke said the company’s primary demographics include empty-nesters whose animals have become like children, young professionals who don’t have time for kids, and the gay and lesbian community. Wag Hotels is also looking at East Bay properties in Oakland and Walnut Creek.
The facilities are state of the art for clean and comfortable living, Leineke said.
“Second to their dogs, we get more requests asking, ‘Can I leave my kids or my parents there?’”