MeowLux: Fort Lauderdale's Luxury Cat Hotel

If you're going on vacation, your cat should too.

That's the idea behind MeowLux, one of South Florida's few all-inclusive, cat-only luxury boarding facilities. It is designed specifically for furry feline companions. Here, your cat can lounge in spacious suites on mini sofa beds, watch mice scurry across an in-room flatscreen TV, and get exercise in a giant indoor playroom.

Since opening in November, MeowLux owners Joey and Ana Lampert say business has been booming, resulting in a waiting list for Christmas and bookings well into 2017 for a night in the unique boarding facility. In addition to comfy couches and TVs, each custom-designed suite in the ten-room hotel offers a number of high-end accommodations designed specifically for a fancy feline clientele.

"When Ana and I would go out of town, we would look into the different boarding options for our cat, but we couldn't find one we liked. None were worthy of our cat," said Joey. "We feel like many cat owners feel the same way we do. We opened MeowLux for cat owners to have a place where they can rest assured their pets are getting the best treatment possible."

For about $60 per night, the extra-posh boarding facility located in downtown Fort Lauderdale provides round-the-clock pampering for up to 20 cats.

While it may be seem excessive, it's not the first — or only — hotel designed especially for cats. Luxury accommodation for pets is a growing trend for people who have the funds to spirit their fluffy friends off to a pampered break from reality.

Many similar facilities were first located not stateside but overseas, upscale venues that typically offer a range of services from gourmet meals and 24-hour pampering to furniture and spa-like amenities. Take the trendsetting Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel that opened in 2010, a Hertfordshire, England-based cat hotel that now has multiple locations across the UK. Suites include wrought-iron beds, plush pillows, and an "a-la-cat" menu served on bone china.
At MeowLux, located at the intersection of SE Sixth Avenue and SE 23rd Street, each 45-square-foot room is equipped with a number of seemingly excessive accommodations. Every MeowLux guest gets exclusive access to one of several full-service rooms or the option of one of two double suites. Bottled water and a choice of Royal Canine or Science Heals wet and dry cat food are part of the daily rate, as are twice-daily "housekeeping" litter-box cleaning and exclusive use of the hotel's playroom for 30 minutes of supervised exercise.

Humans aren't forgotten, either: Two-way Petcube Wi-Fi "cat-cams" allow owners to interact with their cats via an app from thousands of miles away. That means you can say goodnight to your pet, or play laser tag from the beach in Bali, if necessary.

"We're setting a new standard in cat boarding. We wanted to design something that focused solely on cats and that was better than the average kitty condo on the market today," said Joey. "This is the type of place people can be sure their pets are getting the attention and care they need."

MeowLux. 2223 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-500-6369; meowlux.com.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna