September 18, 2020
What a party! The Dog Pérignon flowed. Vanity Fur was there. So were Rolling Bone and the Hollywood Retriever. The puppy-razzi hounded the exclusive Mutt Gala, a high-society opening at Doggieville MTL, a boutique hotel that has brought canine chic to the Lachine Canal area.
Doggieville MTL is so posh, it has already hosted royalty such as a King Charles spaniel, as well as international jet-setters including a British bulldog, a Siberian husky and an Australian shepherd. They all awarded the hotel a five-paw rating for its décor, cuisine, cocktails, indoor pool and play spaces.
Doggieville MTL is a full-service canine resort at the heart of muttropolitan Montreal, with all the facilities named for dogs belonging to the family of owner Tatiana Custode.
Sam’s Lodge is a deluxe kennel with 37 so-called Condos for small and medium-size dogs and 11 Suites for large dogs. Lola’s Corner is a gourmet shop and boutique for furry fashionistas.
Café Ruby serves brunch and drinks on Saturdays and Sundays for both dogs and their owners. Chloe’s Spaw provides grooming services like mani-pedis, blueberry facials and shaggy-to-chic hairstyling. And the pièce de résistance, Yoda’s Splash, is a three- by six-metre indoor swimming pool, used for hydrotherapy, water workouts and just plain fun.
This hotel for hounds also has chauffeur service, two outdoor dog runs and an indoor playground, complete with plastic fire hydrants.
“I wanted something with canine class,” said Custode. “Everyone wants the best for their pets if they have to leave them during a vacation.
“And we also are a gathering spot for dog-lovers — and their dogs.”
Custode’s first career was as an interior designer, and she harnessed all her talents to realize her new passion. With a stylish, contemporary look inspired by the French countryside, Doggieville MTL is fresh and bright, with pure white walls and striking black canopy stripes. It also incorporates original industrial elements of the 1919 building: exposed ceiling pipes, bare brick walls and a ramp that once led to horse stables.
Café Ruby is decked out with rich leather banquettes and marble tabletops, as well as leash hooks for patrons’ canine companions.
Dogs from the same family can share lodgings. All guests get potty breaks and indoor or outdoor playtime. Operating in a restored building, the accommodations are equipped with a cutting-edge ventilation system, and COVID-19 sanitation procedures have been instituted.
The large Suites are luxuriously appointed with amusing wallpaper and sturdy wooden mini-bed frames topped with mattresses. Flat-screen TVs stream movies like Citizen Canine, Dog Day Afternoon and The Great Catsby, and guests take home a video of their stay. Slightly smaller, the Condos pipe in classical music (Beethoven is on the playlist), and include a welcome treat and a written report after a five-day stay.
Incoming guests are logged in the VIP (Very Important Pet) register, which notes their requests and characteristics. For example: Léopold is labelled small but destructive; Xany’s description includes “pees everywhere”; and Chinook sings a lot.
Café Ruby serves gourmet cuisine and drinks for all.
Brunch features fancy coffees by Illy, juices, pastries, omelettes, a sweet potato and kale salad, avocado toast and lobster Benedictine, as well as a children’s menu of pancakes or eggs.
Drinks include mimosas, Prosecco, wine and sangria, as well as signature cocktails like the Ruby-licious, with amaretto; the Pisco Pooch, with rhubarb and lime; and the piquant Doggy Mary, with gin, Clamato and Tabasco.
For dogs, there are Bosco and Roxy’s cookies, frozen yogurt popsicles from Boss Dog, kibble by Fromm and dinner by Stella’s Stew.
Lola’s Corner carries fashion-forward accessories like diamanté collars and parkas by Canada Pooch, as well as grooming gear, eco-friendly poop bags, travel satchels and toys.
Always inclusive, the boutique also has a section for cats.