Tokyo’s Pampered Pets Get 5 Star Hotel

Japanese pet owners can now embark on their foreign travels safe in the knowledge that their pampered pooches and moggies will be living in the lap of luxury at a five-star "pet hotel" that opens on Thursday at Tokyo's Narita airport.

The Pet Inn Royal boasts 170 well-appointed rooms – not kennels – for up to 250 animals, as well as veterinary and grooming services, an exercise field and staff who are on hand to see to their four-legged guests’ every need, 24 hours a day.

After checking their pets into the hotel, owners are allowed to stay with them until their flight number is called.

"Enjoy your travel overseas knowing that your pet is in good hands," Pet Inn Royal says on the airport’s website.

The service is not limited to dogs and cats: rabbits, hamsters and even ferrets are welcome at the inn. The rate for a standard cage starts at about 4 000 yen (about R210) a night, rising to 20 000 yen for a deluxe suite – about twice the price of a room at a mid-range hotel for humans. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning and purifiers to leave them smelling sweet for the next occupant.

The operators of the inn, located in Narita’s Terminal Two car park, are hoping to cash in on Japan’s pet boom. The country is home to an estimated 19-million pets – more than the number of children under 15 – and a $9-billion pet-care industry.

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