It’s dream time for dog lovers. On February 12 and 13, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show unfurls, and the world’s top dogs descend upon the city.
You can buy a ticket to the big show at Madison Square Garden. Or you can save your money, hang out in the lobby of a hotel that caters to show dogs (and their minders) and watch a parade of exquisitely groomed world class animals bound for the show (and if they’re lucky, glory). Coincidentally on purpose, the three hotels anointed by the Kennel Club as Gold Class Partners are a short walk from the Garden. Dog watching couldn’t be easier.
Places to sit in the Hotel Penn lobby are scarce. Dogs are not. Situated directly across the street from the Garden, the enormous Hotel Pennsylvania lures show dog owners with an enormous indoor Room to Groom S’paw in the basement outfitted with bathing tubs, a grooming area, spaces for exercising and a designated in-house relieving area. Westminster participants also receive a welcome package, treats and the services of the hotel’s Dog Concierge, who helps out the owners.
With its red marble floor and imposing Art Deco chandelier, the lobby at The Wyndham New Yorker offers a spacious backdrop for dog watching. And though a refurbishment cut back on lobby seating, you can still score a spot on a trim leather sofa and watch the unofficial parade of champions. Bonus: the Tick-Tock Diner, billed as New York City’s largest diner, adjoins the lobby and is open 24 hours.
The elegant lobby at The Stewart Hotel is inviting, designed as a conceptualized take on the island of Manhattan (the hotel was previously the Affinia Manhattan). It’s a handsome promenade for dogs to make an entrance (or exit). The hotel also goes all out for dog owners, offering a special exercise room on an upper floor outfitted with sofas, water and dog biscuits and an outdoor dog run layered with astroturf so dogs can work out without leaving the hotel.
Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street, 212 836-5000
The Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue at 34th Street, 212 971-0101
The Stewart Hotel, 371 Seventh Avenue and West 31st Street, 212 563-1800