TAMPA - One of the first people you meet when you get to the Royal Pets Market & Resort is the concierge at the desk near the back of the store.
This isn't you typical pet store or kennel. It is a resort that offers luxury that pets can't even find at home. The lowest "suites'' for a dog or cat are the "Royal Condos.''
It gets more elaborate after that. The Deluxe Royal Suites are the ultimate getaway for any dog and even offers your pet its own personal playground with a private entrance and exit that's open from morning until night.
Dogs and cats are a labor of love for owners Joe and Denise Gore. After 16 years at a generic chain pet store, the Gores decided to create their special resort. Not only are the animals treated royally, hence the name, the pet store itself offers only the best products. There is an artificial turf indoor training facility and, to make things even more elaborate, a veterinary shop is set to open later in the summer. The resort also has a "barkery'' that sells special gourmet treats.
As far as the suites for the animals, they are taken care of as well as one of the Kardashians. Each suite has a television, usually tuned to the Animal Channel, a bed and a video camera that owners can login and see their animals 24 hours a day, no matter how far away they are. Of course, everything is air-conditioned.
Such luxuries make perfect sense to resort director Jorge Midina.
"Every animal who comes in here is our baby," he said. "We are full-service, seven days a week, and we never leave the babies alone. It is a hotel for our babies. We make them happy.''
The spa offers much more than just a suite and food. The food is gourmet-style for a dog or cat, and the pets can be pampered even more with the salon services that the resort offers. Salon services include bath and hair styling, specialized shampoo, a cucumber facial scrub, ear cleaning and nail grooming. There are also trainers and a pet behaviorist on site.
Royal Pets doesn't sell dogs or cats.
"I believe if you want a dog or a cat, you should go to a rescue shelter or the humane society,'' Midina said. "We aren't looking to make money off of selling animals.''
Midina said the resort is cleaned every night and, a brief tour of the facility shows no sign of dog mess. Everything is cleaned immediately and someone is there overnight to make sure that the place stays immaculate.
"We take every step we can to make it special for the babies that come in,'' Midina said. "They are a part of the family and people miss them when they are away. We have everything anyone could ever want if they want to pamper their pets. We make them one of our family and make sure they want to come back."
Royal Pets Market & Resort is at 16060 Mapledale Blvd. and can be reached at (813) 448-6744.