In the last 10-15 years, we've experienced a proliferation of upscale boutique hotels that cater to our every whim. If you don't have a plasma TV, free Wi-fi, select music and fancy tea in your room then you're not in the right place. If we desire to stay in places that treat us well, why wouldn't our pets? So many of us spend ridiculous money on our dogs already, what's a few extra bucks to pamper them while you're away getting pampered yourself? Stay, which bills itself as a modern dog hotel, is a boutique destination for dogs in Chicago that officially opened on Dec. 18. The 30,000 square-foot facility sits on the edge of the Chicago River's north branch adjacent to a park with trails, trees and wildlife. Like any hotel, bigger rooms come with a higher price, which isn't that high when you consider what you're getting. The Standard, at $40, is a basic space, but if you really want to spoil your pooch, go for the deluxe -- a 160 sq ft all-glass room with a window that overlooks the river. For $75 a night, it comes with bedding, a toy chest, fresh flowers and black and white prints by Keith Carter. But the biggest draw for me is Stay's indoor canine lap pool with swim-in-place currents to help with endurance and muscle strength. Each dog is fitted with her own life vest. Sure, it's a little crazy. Some might say they're just dogs. But would you rather stay at the Peninsula or Rodeway Inn?
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