Luxury is going to the dogs

By Jeri Clausing

*logoLuxury hotels are increasingly being taken over by dogs, a trend that we animal lovers are happy to see holding strong.



The Jefferson in Washington is the newest property to add a canine executive to entertain guests and promote its animal friendly policies, recently rescuing a street beagle named Lord Monticello, or Monti, and making him its  first “canine executive officer.”



Monti joins a growing number of furry mascots at luxury hotels around the world, from Bachelor the Saint Bernard and Miner the golden retriever at the Ritz-Carlton’s Bachelor Gulch property in Beaver Creek to a pack of Labrador retrievers that work at Fairmont properties across North America. The Fairmont dogs can be borrowed for walks and hikes and are so popular it can be hard to even catch a sighting of them.
 
JeriClausing 

In addition to entertaining animal-loving guests, the programs also are bringing another layer of community involvement and social consciousness to the industry.
 


While the furry workers like Bachelor and Miner are top-of- the-line pedigrees, the hotel uses their birthday parties to raise money for animal advocacy groups.
 


Monti, on the other hand, is a symbol of one of the many nonprofits around the country that work to save homeless animals.
 


The Jefferson says Monti was born on a farm in West Virginia but ended up on the streets in Ocean City, Md. A good Samaritan brought him to PAW Rescue, an adoption organization based in Maryland, where he was found by the Jefferson and given his luxurious new life.

Monti currently makes his home in  Managing Director Philip A. Wood’s office. But the hotel says he
 likes to spend as much time as possible meeting, greeting and generally keeping an eye on things in the Jefferson's historical lobby.
 
He also makes sure four-legged guests are well attended to, and ensures there are no ridiculous rules such as those preventing dogs from being left alone in their rooms uncrated.
 


The hotel welcomes dogs of all sizes with no extra fee (except for inadvertent damage, of course.)
 

He also makes sure they are pampered as well as their owners with amenities like appropriately sized receptacles for food and bottled water and an array of entertaining toys and treats containing only human-grade ingredients. Additionally, the hotel's concierge staff is equipped with detailed maps of the best nearby dog-walking routes, and can recommend pet welcoming establishments throughout the city.
 


“For pets of discriminating taste looking for a change of scenery without sacrificing luxury,” the hotel says, “The Jefferson, DC is a destination of choice that understands a dog's or cat's particular needs.”


 

And for those of us who rarely travel with their pets, it’s always nice to have a resident pooch to take out for a walk or just make us feel that much more at home in the lobby.
 

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