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Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the Wyndham Costa Mesa

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  Site Where: 3350 Avenue of the Arts [map], Costa Mesa, CA, United States, 92626
May 8, 2008 at 5:09 PM | by | ()

Meet Tank. He's a French Bulldog weighing about 26.3 pounds with a mild shedding problem, a regular oral fixation for rawhide and a tendency to pee during the night. Guess what? He's sleeping in your hotel room!

Last week, we were invited with our canine companion to test out the "Paws and Claws" package at the Wydnham Hotel Costa Mesa in Orange County, just across from the shopping mecca South Coast Plaza. While we have never traveled with our pet before this hotel stay, we always loved it when hotels offered pet-friendly services. Yet actually staying in a hotel room with a pet was not quite how we imagined it to be.

If you've got a well-behaved dog, you probably wouldn't think twice about traveling together. The Wyndham laid out the red carpet for Tank to prance along, offering loads of attention, tons of treats and even a special doggy turndown.

But we were quite horrified by Tank's lack of social graces. He streaked a cocktail hour naked, he chewed a "Chewgar" on the bed (we later placed a towel under him) and he barked at the door several times. That's right. Someone's going to the kennel on the next trip we take.

A complete disaster...on our part. We thought we were capable of wheeling our bag into the hotel and restraining our on-leash (but very hyper and strong) dog at the same time while checking in. Impossible. Especially, when somebody else's dog walked by and Tank wanted to play.

Nonetheless the hotel front desk understood we were frazzled and made check-in as quick as possible.

Room Reaction
Our room was 141 on the first floor with a small terrace that overlooks a pretty but man-made lake. Bigger dogs won't be able to escape if you put them out on this terrace but Tank managed to squirm his way under the railing and run out onto the grassy knoll. Luckily someone was out there to grab him and our room was just a few short dashes away from the back exit so we scooped him up in under a minute.

For Tank, he was given a water and a food bowl, a comfy doggy bed (which he promptly shunned in favor of jumping on the bed), treats galore, a bottle of water, a copy of the Fido Friendly magazine and biodegradable poop bags.

For us, we got a king-sized bed with lots of pillows, a small pull-out couch, a flat-screen TV, a coffee/tea maker and cleverly-named toiletries from Bath & Bodyworks.

Another bonus: The rooms here have been retrofitted with energy-efficient lighting so you place your key card in a slot next to the door and that controls your lights.

Internet Connect
We didn't sign on when we stayed here as Tank was keeping us occupied but we found out it's ethernet internet in-rooms at $9.00 a day.

Amenity Madness
We were super surprised at the (human) amenities in this Wyndham. Aside from the fun toiletries in the bathroom, the hotel will also bring up an extra necessities you may have forgotten like toothpaste, razor, etc. We forgot a toothpaste and a staffer brought one to our room along with two toothbrushes.

Need something more exotic than a toothbrush, say a digital camera? The hotel also has one of those crazy Zoom shop vending machines on the first floor that sells snacks, deodorants, digital cameras and noise-cancelling headphones.

Pet-Friendly Things to Do
The Wyndham left a list of pet-centric things to do during our stay. There were numbers for dog walkers, dog groomers, pet stores and directions to a dog park. The hotel even has a Pet Care Manager onsite to help you whatever you need.

Mostly Tank just walked around the grassy area outside. There is a complete loop around the lake with poop bag dispensers and garbage cans along with way so no messes here. Just be careful that your dog doesn't go after the ducks in the water.

Paws and Claws Brunch Buffet
The Wyndham goes above and beyond just letting your pets crash for the night. They even offer a brunch buffet every Saturday and Sunday that you can bring your dogs too (you sit outside of course.) Some of the proceeds benefit the Greyhounds Pets of America non-profit which is near and dear to the hotel. But we'll have more on that later.

Bottom Line
We love South Coast Plaza so staying here opened our eyes to the possibility of getting a hotel room for the night after we're done shopping, as opposed to fighting the gross traffic on the 405 back to LA.

Yet we will probably not return with our dog, however welcome he is. Tank managed to snake out of the room as we were leaving to attend a cocktail reception for the local student art gallery that's on display in the hotel. He took off down the hallway naked--no leash, no collar--and hopped around the cocktail hour. Again, we were forced to run after him and scoop him up.

But if you're pet is well-behaved, the hotel will certainly cater to his or her every need. Room rates start at about $139 a night for a standard room and $189 for a suite with $5 of the pet package going to the Greyhound Pets of America.

Archived Comments:

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the

i know, i know. i'm totally to blame for Tank's lack of social graces. but he's so cute i just can't say no!

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the

Oh Tank!  You mischievous little fellow!

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the

When is Tank hosting his next cocktail party?

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the

I think we need a tank fan club

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws

tank needs to take a trip with hugo (look left), who's always up for a plush bed and nice flatscreen getaway. but NO ethernet - wi-fi only, and preferably comp!

Re: Testing Out the Paws and Claws Package at the

I think Tank should become a regular contributer.