NEW YORK What should you do with your dog when you're jetting off on vacation?
You could leave the pooch with a dogsitter, or board your four-legged buddy in a kennel. But a few places around the country now call themselves hotels for pets, and they offer more luxurious alternatives to traditional pet-boarding facilities, including "private suites" or small rooms instead of cages.
Paradise 4 Paws is one such self-described "pet hotel." It opened in May in Schiller Park, near Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and offers its guests a large, indoor grass play area, a splash pool, and Webcam access so you can check on your pet while you're away. For cats, there is plenty of opportunity for climbing in the cat adventure jungle.
Unlike most kennels, which are usually open business hours, Paradise 4 Paws also offers pick-up and drop-off service 24 hours a day. You can bring the animal to them or they will come and get the animal from you. Airport parking and shuttle service for travelers to O'Hare is also available. Details at paradise4paws.com.
The Animal Humane Society plans an upscale boarding facility, Now Boarding, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport to open in late fall, complete with spa, play areas, therapy pool and a grooming area. You'll be able to drop off your pet (dogs, cats and other small animals), park your car and get a shuttle to the airport. Plans call for Now Boarding to be open extended hours so that whether you're arriving at midnight or departing at dawn, you can get or leave your pet.
Other pet hotels located near airports include Pet Paradise Resorts, with branches near airports in New Orleans, Houston, and Jacksonville, Fla., petparadiseresort.com/; Airpet Hotel near airports in Portland, Ore., and Seattle-Tacoma, airpethotel.com/; Stay Pet Hotel, described as a "boutique hotel for dogs," also near Portland International, staypethotel.com, and The Dog Mahall & Cats 2, near the airport in Orlando, Fla., thedogmahall.com.