THE first clients at the Sunshine Coast's future "five-paw" pet hotel are queuing up.
Set on almost 20 hectares at Kulangoor, the pet hotel will house up to 87 animals in luxury.
The owner, Ray Clarke, talks about pets the way that a top-tier hotelier would speak about his clients.
"Worldwide we're seeing a trend where people's pooches are becoming like their own children," he said. "They're demanding the absolute best when they go on holidays.
"This is the equivalent of a boutique hotel. We will offer personalised service, with a high proportion of hotel staff to the pets.
"They will be receiving contact from humans for most of the day at the resort. It will be a premium, luxury level of service."
This luxury will include televisions and piped-in music in air-conditioned premises.
Plush bedding will be supplied, although owners may like to supply their own. When they drop off their prized pooch or fabulous feline, a staff member will present the client with a menu of food options.
However if the pet has become accustomed to rib-eye steaks or chicken cordon bleu, staff will endeavour to provide.
But that is not where this service ends. This is the Palazzo Versace for quadrupeds.
"We'll certainly have a pet limousine to pick up the pooch," Mr Clarke said.
"In terms of extras, there's the day hydrobath, grooming for your pets and there's certainly long walks to enjoy.
"About one-third of the site will be retained as natural rainforest.
"It's not just dropping your pet off and hoping for the best.
"We expect that most pets will want to stay.''
Mr Clarke already has a pair of guests ready for check-in.
He just needs to build the place.
Sharon Surawski and her daughter Jemma own a pair of cavaliers - a 15-week-old named Pippa and a 12-and-a-half-year-old named Bronte.
"Presently if we go away, we try to take them with us but if that doesn't work, I'll run them to my sister's on the Gold Coast, making a trip down,'' Ms Surawski said.
Sunshine Coast Council approved Mr Clarke's application for a pet hotel yesterday. The hotel, on Ayrshire Rd, could be up and running early next year.
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