You know how hotels are always saying “It feels just like home” Or “You won’t feel like you’ve stepped outside your house here” and stuff like that? Well, a few hotels have actually taken the concept one step forward and tried a rather unconventional tactic to make their rooms as comfy and cozy as…well, your home! More and more hotels are subscribing to what is popularly known as the “interactive guest appreciation” program where they cater to people who are pining for some furry, feathered or finned companionship while on their vacation.
All over the world, hotels are trying to boost their friendliness quotient and for this reason, they’ve decided to put several animals on their payroll. Pets are known to create a homey atmosphere and guests who are missing their own pooches and mutts back home can play with them, take them out for walks, or simply cuddle up to them to feel less homesick. Besides, research proves that petting a dog or watching a goldfish swim around in a fish tank reduces stress and calms you down…exactly what the doctor prescribed after long flights, stressful meetings, traffic jams, and lost baggage issues.
So, where the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston has Catie Copley, a black Labrador who gets booked in advance to be taken out for walks by the guests (she has her own e-mail i.d., by the way), the Ritz-Carlton in Colorado proudly flaunts Bachelor, another Labrador, who goes out for snowshoe expeditions with guests and even makes special appearances in wedding ceremonies.
The Fairmont in Sonoma, California has a Zeus, again a Labrador who proudly welcomes the guests into the lobby and goes on hikes with them, if they so desire. There is even a Guppy Love Program that’s been started by the Kimpton Hotel group which places goldfish in the guest rooms on special request of the travelers. So far, more than 20 hotels have participated in it with extremely successful results.
So, should you walk into a hotel and find a dog sporting the hotel insignia on its jacket greeting you like a true professional, do try to keep up and please retrieve your jaw from the floor. And, do not make the mistake of treating them with contempt like you would another dog. They are highly trained professionals, dedicated to making you happy and keeping you satisfied. All they ask for is a loving pat and a kind look. You’ll be none the worse for that now, will you?