BEST IN SHOW
Belle Magazine Australia|April 2020
Lavishing pets with luxury accessories and hotel stays has become de rigueur for owners amid our self-care culture.
GEORGINA SAFE
ON A RECENT summer afternoon, Eric and I decided to take a staycation. I’d been working long hours and Eric was suffering in the heat, but mostly we needed to reconnect with some quality time together. We decided to check in to The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney’s Chippendale, a designer establishment with the benefits of air conditioning and room service. On arrival, I was thrilled to discover the rooftop pool, but Eric was the one who was truly spoiled. In our room he found his own mini retro-style velvet lounge to sleep on and handmade Motion Ceramics food and water bowls to dine from, along with a selection of plush toys and a menu for complimentary pet in-room dining. He also received a handwritten welcome letter from the hotel, but truth be told was more interested in the selection of gourmet treats on the sideboard. After polishing off some particularly tasty kangaroo snacks, my Burmese cat was soon fast asleep on his designer pet bed as I headed poolside before we reconvened for a restorative Netflix-and-chill evening together in one of the Old Clare’s new pet-friendly rooms.

“We all know that pets are family,” says The Old Clare Hotel creative project manager Kimberley Peel. “Travelling with them is sometimes a necessity and sometimes it’s something you just want to do, because you love the company of your dog or your cat and they’re an important part of your life.”

Eric is certainly an important part of my life, and I’m not alone says research that has found the bond between Australians and their animals is worth billions. The pet supplies market numbers some $3 billion according to the Pets and Pet Supplies Retailers report by IBISWorld, which found the industry had grown by 7.2% from 2014-2019. Add veterinary, grooming and other services, and expenditure jumps to a whopping $13 billion, reports a 2019 study of pet ownership by Newgate Research for Animal Medicines.

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