Fluffy pillows might make hotel guests feel welcome, but sometimes face time with a floppy-eared mutt is what a road warrior might be craving.
That's why the Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah, offers the Pound Puppy Hike, a complimentary amenity that matches guests with a puppy or dog from a local shelter for hikes on scenic trails in the area. "We know that busy executives are visiting the property to recharge and disconnect yet stay active and not sit around," said resort general manager Tracey Welsh.
The Humane Society of the United States estimated in 2012 that there were pets in 62 percent of American households, so in Aspen, Colorado, guests missing their own pets are pointed to the Aspen Animal Shelter, which welcomes short-term volunteers and charges no fee to loan dogs for in-town walks or daylong hikes.
"The outings provide exercise and socialization for the dogs and often lead to successful adoptions," said Aspen Animal Shelter director Seth Sachson.
Some pet-friendly Aspen hotels, such as The Little Nell and the Mountain House Lodge, waive pet fees that can reach $125 per stay for guests that invite lucky shelter dogs to spend the night. And both The Little Nell and the Hotel Jerome provide shuttle service to and from the shelter, said Sachson.
Friendly "canine ambassadors" greet guests at eight North American Fairmont hotels, and many of those dogs can be booked for walks or runs around town. At the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, it is Mavis and Beau, while at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, the concierge has a special appointment book for walks or runs with the very popular Catie and Carly.
In addition to being a bonus for younger guests (and their parents), "the program results in higher guest satisfaction and more personalized guest experiences, while positioning the hotels as unique and distinctive in their respective destinations," said Hadley Schroll, a spokeswoman for FRHI Hotels & Resorts, which owns the Fairmont brand.
From Youtube: So, I'm in Kentucky for work and today when we got back, 1000 high school students had checked into our hotel. They had been making quite the ruckus tonight, but then did this to celebrate the start of the Olympics. Not the best video, (cause my fear kept me pretty far from the edge) but that's 18 levels of them singing! Amazing!
Best Western International has responded to its Baton Rouge property that refused the reservationof a North Carolina family traveling with a service dog by temporarily restricting the hotel from accepting reservations.
A representative from Best Western International sent Yahoo Shine the following statement: "We provide extensive training to ensure our hotels understand and address the needs of guests with special needs. When this matter came to our attention, we immediately provided direction to the hotel and a reservation was offered to the family. We deeply regret the matter and we will continue to proactively communicate ADA requirements and training to Best Western branded hotels to ensure all guests are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Further, we have restricted the hotel on our reservations systems and we have required the hotel to stop representing itself as a Best Western branded hotel (cover or remove all Best Western signs and logos) until its representatives attend a hearing at our corporate headquarters at which their future association with Best Western will be decided."
Karen Vaughn, an attorney, had booked a one-night stay at the Best Western Plus Siegen Inn in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while traveling with her three children and a 65-pound golden retriever service dog named Chip, who is always by the side of Vaughn's 13-year-old son, Beau. Beau suffers from a rare type of epilepsy called Landau-Kleffner syndrome, and Chip alerts the family when he’s showing signs of a seizure.
Yahoo Shine could not reach Vaughn for comment, but she told local news affiliate WAFB that, though she wasn't legally obligated to do so, she informed the hotel that Chip would be staying with them. Shortly after, she received an email from the Best Western stating that her reservation was canceled. "We got an email saying due to unforeseen circumstances, they will not be able to honor our reservations. Working through that they said, 'Oh you're bringing a pet, and Best Western isn't pet-friendly,'” Vaughn told the station.
A receptionist explained to Vaughn that while she's aware of the law, the owner doesn’t allow dogs, prompting the family to book a stay in another hotel. Interestingly, a week later, the Best Western corporate office contacted Vaughn and offered to honor her reservation, but it was too late. “I don't want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law,” Vaughn said in the interview.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals can accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed. Staffers are allowed to only ask two questions: Whether the dog is a service animal and what tasks he has been trained to perform. Allergies or a fear of dogs are not valid reasons to refuse service, and even if the place of business sells or prepares food, it still must allow the service animal, regardless of health codes.
In February, a military veteran named Aryeh Ohayon who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder was denied entry into a Thai restaurant in Houston when he arrived with his service dog Bandit. Ohayon called the police but said the responding officer made him feel worse. According to local news station KHOU, the policeman said, “You’re not blind … I don’t see why you need the dog” and that the restaurant had the right to refuse service because it is a private entity. In September, veterans Amanda Houser and Holly Bolesky and their two service dogs were asked to leave an Alabama Long John Silver’s because of customer allergies. Both women refused to leave until they were finished eating and filed police reports.
I once worked in a hotel and we had many issues with 3rd party reservations. Luckily, it was hotel policy that with 3rd party bookings, guests were required to leave a deposit, preferably a credit card.
This was relayed to them it was needed for the purpose of "incidentals." As it states on these 3rd party web sites that additional funds may be required upon check. We also HAD to have a valid state issued ID, as well as two phone numbers. No id/No credit card= no room. No exceptions.
This also covers your butt should the "guest" raid the mini bar, smoke in the room, sneak pets into the room, have late night parties, seal the mini fridge (yes this has happened) or jump off the balcony of the 14th floor, after you trash the room. (Again, yes this has happened.)
Hey! I've been reading for a while, but finally getting the courage to submit for the first time! I have, luckily, put retail days behind me, but I worked lots of it while I was in grad school!
I particularly liked working in hotel lobbies; since it was staffed 24 hours, I could always find shifts around class schedules, and there was a lot of down time get school work done.
Believe me... you see a lot of crazies working a hotel! It has been suggested I write a book with all my stories. I am only starting with one though, and unfortunately, it is not about a customer but my manager at the first hotel I worked at.
Truth is, I barely saw man. It was a small hotel, so there was usually only staff members there at a time.
Once I was trained, I basically worked alone. Fine with me, I had papers to write anyway. But one morning I got a phone call... a very close family member had committed suicide.
I was barely functional, but I managed to get into the hotel and tell him what happened. I admit I was basically on autopilot and told him I would be taking the next Thursday-Sunday off rather than request him, but I did call back before buying plane tickets. I was going to school 400 miles away from my entire family I needed to near them.
When I called back, I was a little bit more level headed and asked if he was sure before I confirmed the purchase. He said it was fine. That night, I actually had plans to stay in the hotel with some friend for a girls night with my employee discount, and decided to keep the plans... like I wanted to be alone away and then I could take the hotel shuttle to the airport.
Around 6pm, the room phone rand. It was the manager demanding to see me at the front desk. Turns out, he couldn't find anyone to take my Saturday shift and he "didn't want to come in" (his exact words!!)
He told me I would have to be there for it and he didn't understand why I "couldn't leave right after the funeral."
I was in shock! I told him because 1. I desperately wanted to be with my family and 2. I couldn't change my plane tickets now anyway.
He told me I had been rude and unprofessional by demanding days off and if I couldn't come in Saturday, don't bother coming in Monday. I went from shocked to pissed instantly! We were very close a navy training base and the lobby was filled with military family members checking in for graduation and I made a scene.
Very loudly I said, "Are you seriously firing me because I asked for time off for a family member's funeral? In another state?'" and started crying (I had been holding it in most of the night anyway).
People started staring. The manager looked at my furiously and told me I, "needed to get my priorities straight."
I looked him straight in the face and said, "I am pretty happy with where my priorities are right now" and ran off crying.
I saw people approaching the desk and I really hoped he lost customers! Jerk. Luckily, my family totally agreed my priorities were just fine and helped me out finically until I found another job, but I was SO mad.
I reported him to corporate that night, but he was definitely still a few weeks later when I collected my last paycheck. It's been six years, and this story still makes my blood boil.
From Huff Po via Thrillist:
Going on vacation means you're supposed to be happy, carefree, and a much nicer version of your usual self. But if that's true, then why do so many travelers morph into first-class a-holes the minute they walk into the hotel lobby?
For some reason, people seem to forget all sense of good manners and basic ethics when they're not staying in their own homes. And it's usually the hard-working hotel staff that has to bear the brunt of it, smiling away lest we write something critical about the scent of the shampoo in a scathing online review.
In an effort to help make their jobs easier (and make less raging jackasses of ourselves), we asked hotel employees exactly what guests do -- either deliberately or because they're just clueless -- to really get under their skin. Here are 16 things they wish we would stop doing.
1. Assuming staff does every job in the hotel
This cocktail shaker in my hand must clearly mean I know exactly why your room key doesn't work. Although once you get that squared away, you should go ask the valet for a drink -- he makes a delicious daiquiri.
2. Making ridiculous concierge requests
Yes, we're aware it's your six-month dating anniversary. Congratulations. You're very lucky. No, that doesn't mean we can set up a secluded beach-side picnic with a private serenade by John Mayer. Although he sends his best, as well. You seem very much in love.
3. Over-exaggerating a problem
If the remote control batteries being dead is the most unacceptable thing that's ever happened to you, your life has probably been a little too easy. Also, here are some fresh ones. Enjoy Wheel of Fortune.
4. Threatening to give a bad Yelp review
You mean that site that writes bad reviews on our page when we don't advertise with them? ANYTHING but that!
You mean that site that writes bad reviews on our page when we don't advertise with them? ANYTHING but that!
Credit: Matt Meltzer
5. Leaving your garbage out in the hallway
Room service trays are fine. 48 crushed beer cans, three pizza boxes, an empty mouthwash bottle, and what we're really hoping isn't a used condom? Not cool.
6. Stockpiling room keys because you forget yours every time you leave
We can only assume that you're the world's cheapest vacation souvenir shopper and are giving everyone back in Bradenton real-life Big City Hotel Room keys.
7. Complaining about why breakfast and Internet aren't included in the rate
Why does the Super 8 offer free WiFi and waffles but a $300-a-night "luxury" property doesn't? As Kramer once quipped on Seinfeld, "Why does Radio Shack ask for your phone number when you buy batteries?" Who knows? Life is full of mysteries. You're not asking the concierge about the origins of the universe, are you?
8. Asking for room-service items that aren't on the menu, after room-service hours.
Unless your room included a menu that read: "24-hour Personal Chef Service." In which case, our bad.