Pet Lounge Resort & Spa: A Team with a Dream
By Kathy Hosler
Photos provided by Miami Pet Lounge Resort & Spa
They absolutely adored their baby Gucci, and the love they had for him has led them to a super successful career in the pet care field.
Roly would often say, “I think we should open up a business where we can be with dogs all day long.” Lina and Gucci were all for that idea, and so they became a team with a dream.
It didn’t take long for Roly and Lina to form a plan of action to make their dream a reality. Roly went to dog grooming school and Lina left her job as a marketing and communications professional. She then used her talents to develop their business plan and create their website, www.petloungemiami.com.
When they were planning their family-owned-and-operated facility, Roly and Lina decided to have everything under one roof. They didn’t want a huge facility that cared for so many dogs that they wouldn’t be able to get to know and give individual attention to each one. Instead, Lina and Roly opted for more of a boutique-style facility.
They found the perfect location in Upper East Miami, only about 10 minutes from the heart of downtown.
“We designed our facility to be cage-free and to have a family-style atmosphere with all the comforts of home,” says Lina. “Every decision we made was Gucci-tested-and-approved.”
In May of 2015, Pet Lounge Miami opened. They offer overnight hotel-style boarding, daycare, full-service grooming and spa services, transportation, a retail boutique and more. They have standard and VIP suites for overnight guests. The spotless suites have beautiful framed artwork on the walls, and big beds where the dogs can snuggle or stretch out and watch their favorite programs on the flat-screen TVs.
“The dogs are only in the suites while they are eating and sleeping,” says Roly. “The rest of the time they are with us, and we love it. We focus on constant supervision and personalized care for every dog.”
This dedicated couple is very hands-on. When they say Pet Lounge is family-owned-and-operated, they mean it. They are assisted by one employee, but Lina and Roly handle the day-to-day operations (and everything else) at the facility.
“Being the owners/operators has really contributed to the success of Pet Lounge Miami,” says Lina. “We manage every aspect of the business. We deal directly with the dogs and their owners. We communicate with them, understand their needs and get their feedback. That’s one of the reasons our business is doing so well.”
Socialization, mental stimulation and physical activities await the dogs that attend their very popular daycare.
“We have indoor and outdoor playgrounds and a spacious lounge area where the dogs can watch TV, rest on plush, comfy furniture or (if they are feeling energetic) have a workout on the doggy treadmill,” says Lina. “There is play equipment for the dogs and we also do lots of fun activities. When the pups are ready for a break, we all hang out in the lounge, just like one big, happy family.”
Lina and Roly keep in close contact with their clients. “We take pictures of our daycare and boarding dogs and post them throughout the day on Facebook,” says Roly. “That way the owners know what their pets are doing and how much fun they are having. And, we always give the owners a full report about their dog’s day at pick-up time.”
The dog owners have several choices of daycare plans: the standard daily rate, a discounted 10-pack that must be used within a month or a monthly membership that allows the dog unlimited daycare.
“Every dog that wants to board or attend daycare is required to have a full-day evaluation to make sure they are a good fit for our close-knit group. That way we get to know the dog and it gets to know us,” says Roly. “Then, we slowly introduce it to the other canine guests to make sure they get along.”
“Unfortunately, not every dog is accepted,” adds Lina. “In order to protect the safety of our guests, we have to reject any dog that exhibits aggressive behavior toward other dogs or humans.”
From the very beginning, Pet Lounge Miami has been the place for dogs to vacation while their owners are away. In 2016, just a year after they opened, the Pet Lounge was voted Best Miami Dog Hotel by the Miami New Times. That’s proof positive that you don’t have to be big to be the best.
Full grooming and spa services are available to their regular clients and to the general public by appointment only. They offer everything from deep conditioning coat treatments to aromatherapy and relaxing massages.
Pet pick-up and drop-off is another service the Pet Lounge offers its clients. The use of that service has skyrocketed since COVID-19 has come on the scene. A lot of people are opting to stay at home and have the Pet Lounge pick up and drop off their pets.
They also sell retail products—dog food, treats, toys, etc. And recently (also because of COVID-19) they have begun to offer delivery service of these products. Their clients are very appreciative of how this dynamic couple goes above and beyond to help them.
“We are happy to provide services that people need,” says Roly. “In these times we all need to help each other. The dogs and their owners really do become like family to us.”
Because Lina and Roly dared to follow their dream, the dogs who visit Pet Lounge Miami get to live and enjoy that dream with them.