Joe Diaz offers Snow refreshments at The Ritz at Barkingham Palace.

Photo by Gregg Felsen

Beg if you want, but if you’re reading this, you can’t book yourself a suite at the desert’s new resort and wellness spa. However, you can book accommodations for four-legged members of your family — as long as they are not overly aggressive (a prerequisite that perhaps all hotels should adopt).

The Ritz at Barkingham Palace, which opened in mid-February in Palm Desert, is the brainchild of Marty and Lori Weiner (pronounced “weener”: “We like to be known as the hot dogs,” Marty jokes). The owners of five Afghans, two Italian greyhounds, and a borzoi wanted to create a fun, comfortable, luxury pet resort. “This had to be a place that I would leave my own dogs,” Lori says.

Dog suites (38, with plans to expand to 75) come in four sizes and range in price from $45 to $70 per night. Top-of-the-line, 144-square-foot suites feature plush beds, sofas, glass-block wall insets, and flat-panel televisions tuned to Animal Planet: one dog or one dog family per room. The corner “double suite” has connecting rooms.

At night, classical music is piped through the sound system for relaxation. During the day, staycationers and out-of-town guests may enjoy the temperature-controlled, indoor park and heated pool (for play or therapy) and exercise their tushes off on one of two treadmills (television, water, and towels provided). A concierge is on-site 24/7, and a veterinarian is on call at all times. Webcams throughout the property allow human family members, even if traveling abroad, to check in on their loved ones. Day care is also available, as are pickup and delivery.

On the upper floor are 16 two-level cat condos, with pillow bedding on the top level, a shelf on the lower level, and a separate-but-accessible compartment with a litter pan. Recreational opportunities include fish watching (via aquariums) and a carpet-covered play structure.

The Ritz offers more than luxury accommodations and amenities. It’s also about wellness (in fact, the property carries holistic supplements and features a ventilation system that kills airborne bacteria). In addition to a grooming room for those concerned with appearance (skin treatments include a hydrating Klay-9 mask), the resort has a certified masseur: Tom Galligan, a graduate of the Northwest School of Animal Massage in Washington state. Galligan, who is trained in (and will teach) dog CPR, also offers water therapy.

The Weiners plan to host one pet adoption event a month.
The Ritz at Barkingham Palace
A Dog Hotel Resort and Wellness Spa
34-550 Spyder Circle
Palm Desert, CA. 92260
Phone 760-537-1172

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