By Terry Trucco
As if Fashion Week wasn’t enough, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show scampers into town February 10 and 11 at Madison Square Garden. And for the 16th straight year, Affinia Manhattan is putting on the dog (sorry) with its dedicated dog suite and terrace where dogs can be dogs – and a staff member is on hand to clean up the Astroturf.
The Affinia’s puppy love is no fluke. Though pet friendliness is in its DNA – an oversized pet bed, food and water bowls, waste bags, and maps for dog walks are available year round – the hotel has the good fortune to stand across the street from the Garden and moves into high gear for Westminster.
Days before the big event a suite is transformed into a hangout for dogs and their trainers with an adjoining outdoor area carpeted with turf. Perched high above Seventh Avenue, the terrace is spacious enough to accommodate a small army of dogs, though to be fair show dogs are so well-behaved they could probably have the run of the lobby with minimal damage.
As in the past, the suite is stocked with amenities.This year’s include DogTread treadmills, Jax & Bones chew toys and Yaff Bars, a new creation billed as the world’s first energy bar designed for both humans and dogs. Hmm. For dog lovers the VIPaws Suite is a great way to get up close and personal with the world’s top dogs and their masters. As I discovered when I visited, the suite feels social, as trainers and owners greet old friends, compare dog-world notes and made sure their animals stay pristine, and scratch-free, for the big show.
For a close-up look at the suite, check out my post from my visit.
VIPaws Suite, Affinia Manhattan, 371 Seventh Avenue at 31st Street; 212 563-1800. The Suite is open only to registered guests. Rooms start at $199 with a $75 fee per pet.