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Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Luxury dog hotels give paws for thought

CAPE TOWN (AFP) – Three dachshunds lay claim to a big bed, while an agitated mongrel yaps constantly and a miniature schnauzer appears disgruntled despite soothing Bob Marley tunes playing over the stereo.

It’s just another morning at SuperWoof, a luxury dog hotel in South Africa’s city of Cape Town, where the wealthy check in their canines for some serious pampering.

Should the dogs feel like a sundowner later, drinks are available in little bottles of ChamPaws – a cocktail of water with a dash of rose petal and South Africa’s famous rooibos tea.

Opposite the dog hotel is a night shelter for Cape Town’s many homeless – a pervasive legacy of apartheid. And a short distance down the road, a makeshift tented camp has mushroomed on the curb.

But for wealthier South Africans, doggy daycares or fancy hotels are where they leave their furry babies while away on overseas vacation, or if they are just unavailable for one reason or another. SuperWoof competitor AtFrits is located in a rapidly gentrifying district.

Situated near the colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap district, this home-away-from-home for dogs is surrounded by hipster cafes, art galleries and sushi restaurants.

Inside, dogs can stay in the budget section of the hotel, where they hang out together, or have a private “presidential suite”.

These are decked out with baroque chandeliers and exquisite wallpapers, with canine portraits in faux-gilt frames on the walls.

An employee tends to dogs in a room dedicated to small size dogs at SuperWoof. PHOTO: AFP

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