By Happy, Lady & Lucy of Happy Lady Productions
2012 was a tough year of book signings, grooming and mugging for the cameras. By the holidays, we needed a break; a time to relax, let our hair down and sleep by a cozy fire dreaming of biscuits overflowing from our Christmas stockings. And we wanted to get out of the house, but we didn’t want to travel. Most importantly, our destination had to be very pet-friendly, as we wanted everyone in the family to be able to relax, too.
So, instead of going away, we looked at places locally for a ‘staycation.’ There are actually several pet-friendly, beautiful resorts in the Phoenix area, like the Montelucia (we can’t wait to try out their Yappy Hour); The Phoenician, the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain and the Westin Kierland, but the one that attracted us the most for this particular vacation was the intimate gem, The Hermosa Inn. While the Delux Casitas drew Mom and Dad’s attention – the rooms are huge! – we knew we were going to be happy when we read their pet policy. It doesn’t have a ‘can’t do this’ in the whole description. We couldn’t believe our eyes! :
The Hermosa Inn welcomes canine companions! Pets stay for free and there are no weight limits. The Hermosa Inn’s treats and canine services such Pawdicures, Doga session, canine massage, pet taxi service, half- or full-day spa day care and dog walking are provided by Oh My Dog! Pet Boutique. Canine owners remain responsible for the actions of their pets regarding clean-up, noise, damage, and safety to guests and employees.
This little ’boutique hideaway’ of only 34 rooms delighted us. Tucked away on a residential street (nice for dog walking) in Paradise Valley about 10 minutes from our house, you would never know it was there unless you were in the know. While it is very well respected for its gourmet restaurant, Lon’s (where dogs can sit outside at the patio restaurant, the best place to be, in our humble opinion, night or day), few who visit appreciate that they are running a hotel, too. And a very fine one with an excellent, warm and gracious staff. Everyone made a wonderful fuss over us. We felt like family.
Best of all for us were the beautiful grounds – a banquet of green grass, desert landscaping and extraordinary sculpture everywhere one looks. Our room had a patio which opened into an enclosed and gated flower bordered lawn – so, you can imagine the hijinxs we got up to! We got breakfast in bed every morning, too. Spoiled, oh yes! Which also means we are all on a diet now.
Our favorite time of all was just dozing by the fire. Our room had a gas fire that we kept on most of the day and night. It was dreamy. And we weren’t disappointed by our Christmas stockings, either.
So, the next time you need to chill and rejuvenate your soul, look around you. Chances are, there’s a local place that will give you the getaway feeling without all the hassle of traveling.
The Hermosa Inn: 4 Paws!
Husband-and-wife creative team, photographer Dan Merchant and author Emily Randolph, run Happy Lady Productions, a philanthropic book publisher supporting animal rescue and pet therapy programs.
Happy Lady Productions’ titles include: It’s a King’s Life book series, ‘Some Days You’re the Dog… Some Days, the Hydrant!’ and ‘Limericks by The Brothers Randolph’.
Upcoming releases include: ‘Dogs Are… Just Like You!’; ‘Sisters’; ‘Just Desserts!’; ‘It’s a King’s Life in Phoenix; and ‘Handfeeding Handbook: 5 Easy Steps to a Well-Trained, Happy Dog.’