“A picturesque walk along the beach followed by a surfing lesson, before being whisked off in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce Corniche convertible for a half-day pampering session at Harrods, to then return to sink into a sumptuous bed by a warming, wood-burning stove – sounds like the perfect holiday, right?” The UK’s The Luxury Channel isn’t describing the perfect holiday for us, no! This is a five star dog hotel.
The Paw Seasons is the most exclusive hotel for dogs in the world, offering the first of its kind truly luxury vacation package. Located in the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside of England in a 400-year old cottage and gardens, owners Jenny Hytner-Marriott, daughter Sarah Hytner-Marriott and partner Tim Stokes, have created a mentally and physically stimulating experience for truly pampered pups. Get this. Miles of hikes on pristine wooded trails; runs along safe beaches with play in the surf and, yes, surfing, too; romps in enclosed paddocks; end of day home activities like mentally-challenging board games and dog-orientated movies…I mean, what dog wouldn’t have the time of his life! If Fifi or Fido needs some pampering, there’s always the spa days at Harrod’s, the designer Louis Vuitton collars, Bottega Veneta leads and Mulberry mackintoshes. And, if a pooch can’t get along, there is even animal behavioral specialist, Stan Rawlinson on hand, to help him open up about his life, during one-on-one sessions. I’ll tell you what, put some doggy ears and a tail on me and sign me up now! Well, maybe skip the one-on-one’s. 🙂
Notables have discovered The Paw Seasons, which opened its doors in 2004, including a world-famous sculptor, a member of the House of Lords and one of the “dragons” from Dragon’s Den, a popular UK television series. There was even a story in one of the major UK dailies about Mariah Carey taking her five pups there.
“Being the leaders in luxury breaks for dogs, we wanted to be the first to offer the most spectacular luxury holiday a dog could wish for,” Jenny explained. “The best thing about The Paw Seasons is our walks. We vary them so that there’s no opportunity for your dog to get bored. In the morning we might hop over the stile in our 12-acre field and join the famous Monarch’s Way – a 615-mile long-distance footpath that approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. It runs from Worcester via Bristol and Yeovil to Brighton, but we generally just do a couple of miles! In Wiltshire, the dogs get to run along the trails and footpaths of the 62,000-acre Badminton estate, or practice tree-hugging in the National Arboretum at Westonbirt.” Sounds impressive.
And lest you think it’s a one size fits all approach, there are three separate, beautiful, locations to The Paw Seasons. The Cotswolds, which is Jenny, Tim and Sarah’s home (yes, the dogs live with them in their home and sleep in their beds, if they so choose); Wiltshire, an even more rural spread for very active dogs, owned by their friend and colleague, Melissa Powell, and South Gloucestershire for seniors and dogs who don’t like a lot or can’t do a lot of exercise, owned by Myra Chappell. In all three, the dogs roam freely around the house, gardens and grounds. That’s one of the wonderful things about the English countryside…the massive gardens, which are usually manicured just enough to look gorgeous, but not enough to look manicured.
After all of this, what is the cost of boarding a dog at The Paw Seasons? Considering what they have access to during their stay, it doesn’t seem crazy to me. In US dollars, it works out to be between $65 – $95 a night, depending on the time of year and the needs of that particular pup.
For me, traveling without Sophie and Jasper is stressful. We’re fortunate to have found a wonderful pet sitter who stays with them in our home. But, if I lived in England, this is the sort of place I would really consider to give them a great vacation, too. Jenny, Tim and Sarah love dogs. You can see it in the Facebook page pictures and comments they post. After photo upon photo of their guests having the time of their lives, running through fields and sand or playing with each other on a great lawn, one post from May stood out about their concern for the safety of our furry loved ones:
“Remember, even if it’s nice outside, your car can quickly become an oven for your dog. And remember, if we spot a dog unattended in a car when it’s hot, we’re likely to smash the window…” You gotta love people like that.
Learn more about The Paw Seasons at http://www.thepawseasons.co.uk/index.html.
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What’s your favorite dog hotel? Tell me in the Comments.