Lifestyle » Vol. 8 Have Pet, Will Travel

By Christine R. Walsh



Janine Franceschi and her canine partner-in-crime, an Irish Setter named Beau, are making a difference for pet lovers on the go. Franceschi, 43, became frustrated after searching in vain for a four star hotel that would welcome both her and dog. She began to compile information as she continued the search and from those copious notes, ~ a one-stop online resource of luxury pet hotels ~ was created.

“I love to travel. I’ve traveled all over the world,” Franceschi said. “Then I got Beau when he was just a puppy and people said that I would have to give up traveling because I had a pet.”

A passionate lover of culture and adventure, Franceschi refused to change her lifestyle.

“It wasn’t that this type of hotel didn’t exist,” Franceschi noted. “It’s just that the information was buried beneath other things on the different sites.”

Franceschi was determined to make the information easily accessible through her website. Pet owners can search on for hotels by country, by city and by pet size. And through the site, travelers can even book the rooms as soon as they find the perfect hotel.

Aside from informing people about hotel opportunities in major cities around the US and internationally, the site’s Canine Concierge service provides viewers with a variety of pet-friendly activities in the immediate area. Take your pup to the very best dog parks, or for a ride on a pet-friendly sailboat, or even fly through the skies in a pet-friendly helicopter. According to Franceschi, there are even pet-friendly hair salons in case you need to update your “do” while traveling with your Shih-Tzu.

Not all of these travel opportunities are new; they are simply hidden gems uncovered by Franceschi.

“Luxury hoteliers have created elaborate pet-friendly programs to cater to their existing guests and attract new guests, but they neglected to create the distribution channels to get the information out there,” she said. “My hope was to create a site to bridge that gap ~ to get the information out to affluent pet-owning travelers.”

Franceschi and Beau just recently completed a 20-state tour in a “paw-printed” Honda Element to promote their site. After logging over 10,000 miles and staying in myriad hotels, they can offer the real scoop on where to stay.

Looking for a hotel with a VIP (Very Important Pet) program? Head to Salt Lake City’s Hotel Monaco. For a warm greeting complete with doggy treats from the excellent Three Dog Bakery, visit Charleston Place in South Carolina. And for a hotel that thinks of everything from food and water bowls to pet beds, go to New York’s The Algonquin Hotel.

Franceschi has loved her journey and declared Beau to be the best travel companion ever. She is very proud of all the two have accomplished.

“For years now, low to moderate level of amenity hotels have been pet-friendly, and travelers simply do not know that luxury travel with their pet is also an option,” Franceschi said. “They think they have to choose between nice accommodations and their pet. Beau and I are here to tell them they don’t ever need to make that choice anymore!”

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