Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pet-friendly Accommodations at Su Casa B&B in Kansas City


Su Casa B&B has been pet-friendly since it first opened in 1999. People are always asking what is the definition of pet-friendly accommodations? The short answer is that dogs and well-behaved owners are welcome. That being said, both the inn and the inn's pet policies have changed over the years. Experience, as they say, is the greatest teacher. This year, carpets are being removed from all three guest rooms and laminate wood flooring is being installed, with area rugs in each room. This will make the inn even more pet-friendly and family-friendly.

Su Casa is a spacious ranch-style house, with three guest rooms. The Sedona Room is the smallest and coziest room. The floor space is limited, so for that reason it is a one-dog room. There is a small fee per dog per night, but there is no size limit. Actually, I have had a number of very large dogs in that room, which seems to work out just fine. The Santa Fe Room is more than twice the size of the Sedona Room. The Santa Fe is the room to request if you are traveling with multiple dogs or if you have a larger dog and would be more comfortable in a larger room. The third room is The Cancun Room. It is the most popular room because of the hot tub, but there is no access to the dog yard. If a group rents all three rooms, and guests can come and go through the Santa Fe Room, then access to the dog yard is possible and that room also becomes pet-friendly.

There is a large fenced-in area called the dog yard. That area is not just for guest dogs, as it is shared with the dogs of Su Casa, as well as dogs that are being fostered by the innkeeper for her dog rescue group. Guest dogs are welcome to run and exercise in the dog yard, and go potty in the dog yard, while supervised by their owners. However, the dog yard is not an area where dogs can hang out for long periods of time. Both the Sedona Room and the Santa Fe room have individual decks where their dogs are welcome to play and sun themselves. Gates on the individual decks should be kept closed for the safety and convenience of other dogs and other guests.

Guest dogs are also welcome to play in the tiled common area downstairs, as long as they are not interfering with the enjoyment of that area by other guests. Again, dogs should be in the company of, and under control by their owners at all times. Dogs will have the most freedom at Su Casa on a midweek stay. Weekends and holiday weekends can be dog-friendly if your party is renting all three rooms and bringing your dogs. The dogs in the picture above were playing the tug game in the downstairs common area, supervised by their owner, on a midweek stay. It was too cold and muddy to play outside, but they had a blast anyway!

Because dogs do not appreciate being taken to a strange place and then being left alone, guests should take their dogs with them when leaving the inn. If, because of extreme temperatures, this is not possible, dogs may remain in the rooms as long as they are crate-trained and in their crates. Clean, fresh dog beds are available, but guests are encouraged to bring their own dog bed so the dog will feel more comfortable.

What else is required in order to bring a dog to Su Casa B&B? Well, for starters, all dogs must be current in all their vaccinations, including bordatella. They should be on monthly heartworm and flea treatments. In the case of dogs coming from colder areas where fleas are less common, please see your vet to purchase prescription flea treatments before you leave on your vacation. Fleas are rampant in the midwest in the summertime, so be sure to protect your dog. Dogs, like their owners, should be bathed before visiting Su Casa. It is sometimes embarrassing to mention this to potential guests, but good dog owners understand its importance. Dogs who are not housetrained, not people-friendly, who bark incessantly, or who do not do well with other dogs are not good candidates for visiting a bed and breakfast. You will need to contact the innkeeper first, to inquire as to whether your dog is a good candidate for a visit. Those who do visit Kansas City and Su Casa B&B will have an enjoyable stay. In addition to your accommodations at Su Casa, there are a number of activities in and around Kansas City for you and your canine bff.

Lois Hoover
Innkeeper
Su Casa B&B

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why a Southwest Theme at a Kansas City Bed and Breakfast?


The question you and many others are probably asking is WHY? Why open a bed and breakfast in a house on five acres of fertile Missouri land, the heart of the Midwest, add ponies, miniature donkeys, llamas and other animals, and call it a Southwestern inn? To answer that question, you only need to look at the house itself. A large sprawling ranch house, that so obviously is NOT a mansion, or Victorian or Georgian or Antebellum or Colonial or Queen Anne or any of the other inns most people have seen or visited. The house beckoned to me 14 years ago from the very first moment I crested the slight hill and looked over at it, all spilled out on its large plot of ground and stuck in a residential area where you would least expect it. At the time, the hot decorating trend in the Midwest was called Country, consisting of lots of light blue hearts and flowers. No offense to anyone, but I really never warmed to that look. I love color! Lots of it - big beautiful bold color. The house was all white inside, with all beige carpeting - a blank slate in the way that realtors recommend to people trying to sell. It made me cringe. I could see the color wanting to come out and play.

With an undergraduate major in the cultures and subcultures of America, I love and respect the many different people that make up the American mosaic. In particular, I love the three cultures that compose the Great American Southwest. The first is the Old West, the second is Native America, and the third is Mexican or Latin American. These three cultures are rich in heritage, in the colors that are found in daily lives, in their culture through food and music and in so many other ways. The name of the inn literally rolled off my tongue soon after I became the proud owner of this "hacienda". I sometimes joke that the house actually named itself. Of the three guest rooms of Su Casa B&B, the decor of the Sedona Room represents the Old West, the Santa Fe Room represents Native America, and the Cancun Room represents the tropical feel of the Mexican Riviera. The decor for each room compliments its theme and character to an extent, but combines with the many modern amenities for which Su Casa B&B is well known, which now includes a guest computer center and free WiFi. Authentic Native American pottery purchased on my many trips to the West and the Southwest, artwork reflecting the Old West and its love for horses, sturdy Mexican furniture blended with modern jetted bathtubs, a hot tub, cozy electric fireplaces, comfortable bedding, a movie theater and swimming pool and colors that are represented in the beauty of the dessert and mountains of this amazing country of ours.
Lois Hoover
Innkeeper
Su Casa B&B