Pet Friendly Hotels

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For those of you who can’t bear to travel without your pooches, here are a few exemplary luxury hotels who ensure your pets are pampered just as much as you are whilst on holiday.

Loews Regency Hotel, New York
Creature Comforts: Loews Regency Hotel is the choice of every pet lover. Put simply: Loews Loves Pets. As part of the Loews Loves Pets programme, your VIP (Very Important Pet) will be waited on hand and paw, travelling in first-class comfort at this pet-friendly hotel. On 26 August, Loews Regency is celebrating National Dog Day with a dedicated Yappy Hour (5-8pm) comprising a host of special offers and treats for furry friends and their owners.
Rates: Loews Loves Pets package, charging a one-time £32 per stay. Rooms are from £386 per night
Bookings: loewshotels.com/regency-hotel, 1-800-233-2356

The Little Nell, Aspen
Creature Comforts: Aspen is awash in four-legged friends. The hotel will pamper yours with their luxury pet amenities. They’ll eat epicurean treats and enjoy selections from their special organic pet menu. They’ll walk them, sit them and guide you to pet friendly trails. They’ll supply bowls and beds, and even a Puppy Jet Lag Kit to help them get used to the altitude in Aspen.
Rates: Petiquette Program, £64 one-time cleaning fee and an additional £16 per night. Rooms are from £434 per night
Bookings: stay@thelittlenell.com, +1 970-920-4600

Peninsula Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills
Creature Comforts: Four-legged guests are pampered with personalised towels, luxurious doggy beds and a specially-designed menu that offers treats such as the ‘Bow Wow Beef Burger’ and ‘Spot’s New York Strip’. If a guest doesn’t have time to walk their dog, one of the hotel’s white-uniformed Peninsula Pages will take the pooch for a stroll around the block. They often walk up to 10 dogs a day. The hotel takes the term “pet-friendly” to new heights of luxury, offering each four-footed guest a plush doggie bed, monogrammed towel and Fiji Water in a shiny bowl. Pet owners can treat their dogs to specialties from the “people food for dogs” menu, including dishes such as a “Bow-Wow Burger” and a “Tail of the Pup Hot Dog”.
Rates: Rooms are from £354 per night
Bookings: peninsula.com/beverlyhills, +1 310-551-2888

The Peninsula New York, New York
Creature Comforts: Fifth Avenue’s most fashionable address is delighted to welcome complimentary creature comforts, offering pet dogs only the finest when holidaying in New York. These include a welcome card and dog toy, personalised bottle of water, organic pet food, a Peninsula dog bed with two dog bowls and Peninsula dog leashes and bandanas.
Rates: Superior Rooms are from £381 per night
Bookings: peninsula.com/newyork, +1 212 956 2888

Viceroy New York, New York
Creature Comforts: Your favourite friend will be provided with a bed, food, water bowl and delicious dog treats at arrival. Upon request, the hotel is happy to make dog aromatherapy kits available for purchase.
Rates: One pet per room allowed (under 25 lbs), charged at £64 per room per night. Rooms are from £199 per night incl. taxes & fees. The pet charge is waived for guests staying in Junior Suites or above, from £275 per suite per night incl. taxes & fees.
Bookings: vny.reservations@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com, +1-855-647-1619

Volcanoes Safaris, Rwanda & Uganda
Creature Conservation: With only 480 mountain gorillas left in the Virungas, not only will visitors to the region experience seeing them in the wild, but more importantly, they will have the opportunity to help protect their furry ancestors. Experts in rare mountain gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda and leaders in eco-tourism, Volcanoes Safaris – which consists of four eco-luxe lodges – contributes $100 from the cost of every safari directly to the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, a separate non-profit organisation which undertakes community and conservation activities.
Rates: 7 Day Safari rates start from £4,214 (US$6,329) per person, 5 Day Safari rates start from £3,176 (US$4,770) per person.
Bookings: salesug@volcanoessafaris.com

Hot on the Highstreet Week 245

I am very lucky to have a mummy who is an expert present buyer, with an eye for the most delectable gifts. One of my favourite birthday presents this year was a set of quirky Nature plates from Anthropologie, designed by Lou Rota.

Artist Lou Rota is renowned for producing ‘some of the most intriguing eco-chic artworks around today,’ and her one-of-a-kind recycled furniture art and decorative vintage plates quickly attained cult status. UK purveyor Liberty snapped up early works and Rota’s signature bird, bug and floral designs garnered huge press, prompting Selfridges, Caravan and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong) to join the retail queue.

To meet demand, Rota created a modern classic of English fine bone china with a chic twist. Anthropologie commissioned her to collaborate on a series of ‘Nature Table’ product lines which quickly became bestsellers in the UK, Canada, USA and beyond. She says of her work: ‘My designs are influenced by my passion for the natural world – especially insects – and I love playing with unusual combinations of flora and fauna.’

These unique dessert plates are timeless and beautiful, each depicting a different creature, from big (giraffe) to small (bumblebee)! Made from new bone china they should only be hand-washed, but though they appear delicate and vintage they are in fact strong and long-lasting. They are 20cm diameter in size and I think work best as serving plates to display biscuits or cake.

The plates are sold individually for £16 each, in store and online here.

15 YEARS OF DISNEY’S THE LION KING, LYCEUM THEATRE

Last night the award-winning musical THE LION KING celebrated its 15th anniversary at London’s Lyceum Theatre, where it remains the West End’s best-selling production.

Winning over 70 theatre awards worldwide since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 75 million people. In addition to the London and UK touring productions, THE LION KING can currently be seen in New York, Tokyo, Hamburg, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Brisbane and on tour across North America and Japan.

Recently the musical opened in Australia and they celebrated with a surprise singing outburst on the Virgin Flight over to the other side of the world. The proud cast made flight guests feel like the luckiest travellers in the world. I have seen the show several times now, and always leave stunned and silenced by the innovative and beautiful production, ebullient songs and the magical costumes. This time around (sitting close to the stage in the stalls) I noticed the enormous talent, from the adorable kids who carry much of the first half, to the charismatic animals who sing powerfully whilst mimicking their animal’s mannerisms immaculately.

The story is simple and universal, the music is affecting and infectious and the spirit of the show is undeniably wonderful. As the final curtain call music played from the pit I looked up to the African drummers in the balconies, both smiling as if they were just discovering the music for the first time… 15 years on from its debut The Lion King feels as fresh, relevant and magical as ever. It is a musical that never ceases to amaze me, a production that I know will still be going strong in another decade’s time.

More information and book tickets to The Lion King here.