DOOKPHOTO.COM Oyster Box Hotel
Sure pet-friendly hotels are nice, but what about those properties that go that extra mile to ensure guests enjoy all manner of creature comforts by having a friendly dog, cat or even a pony in residence. At these unique hotels, solicitous service may just include a tail wag, a gentle gallop or a welcoming purr. Here’s a roundup of some of the best animal-loving hotels around that world that really take their pet-friendly status seriously.
Winston greeting the guests
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts (one of Canada’s most respected hotel brands) actually have a Fairmont Canine Ambassador Program that sees most of their properties across the country play host to a four-legged welcome committee. Winston, a 3-year old yellow Labrador/golden retriever cross calls Canada’s iconic Empress hotel home. He came to the hotel from the Canadian Guide Dogs program and is a wellness expert, trained to assist humans with sight impairment, stress, emotional distress and travel anxiety. Guests can even sign up to go for a promenade with the pooch. Visit Winston on Instagram @winstonattheempress. Bear is the canine ambassador at the Fairmont Banff Springs and he even has his own book available for purchase. Check out many more of Fairmont’s lovable Canine Ambassadors on their website.
The Algonquin Hotel.
The Algonquin Hotel, NYC
Since one fateful day in the 1920s, when a stray kitty walked into the hotel and never looked back, The Algonquin has not been without the pitter patter of feline feet. Boy cats are always named Hamlet—in honor of one-time hotel resident actor John Barrymore’s most famous role—and the girls are named Matilda. A charming, friendly ginger is the latest Hamlet to grace the hotel’s hallways. August is Hamlet’s busiest time of year as he strikes a pose on the cat walk to raise money for Algonquin’s annual Cat Fashion Show, which helps raise money for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals. Show Hammy some love on Instagram @thealgonquincat.
The Oyster Box
The Oyster Box, Durban, South Africa
This is one cat who knows how to live well. Skabenga, whose name means hooligan in Zulu, is the resident cat at one of South Africa’s most exclusive hotels, The Oyster Box. The (clearly well fed) tabby wandered in many years ago and—as cats are known to do—simply refused to leave. He’s a favorite at the concierge desk where he’s more than happy to tell guests which restaurants have the best sea food. The not-to-be-missed event is his yearly birthday celebration. Check out his latest antics on his Facebook page.
Courtesy of Gleneagles.
Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland
This five-star, award-winning property recently welcomed Hettie, an adorable Shetland pony. Described as a “wee princess” by the hotel’s Equestrian team, Hettie’s favorite pastimes are eating and getting her long mane groomed. She participates in the hotel’s complimentary Stable Tours and Meet the Ponies experiences (part of Gleneagles’ family summer program). Guests with a penchant for feathered friends will also enjoy the chance to experience the ancient art of falconry at the property.
The Westin Ottawa, Ontario
In partnership with Ottawa Dog Rescue, the Westin Wags Foster Program provides a temporary home for abandoned, abused or neglected dogs until they find their forever home. Hotel guests can enjoy some quality cuddle time with the foster dogs (who each get their own Westin Heavenly Dog Bed) and even take them for a walk. Since the program started in 2015, the Westin has helped 22 dogs find homes.
Oetker Collection Le Bristol Paris
Le Bristol Paris, France
There’s nothing quite like a perfectly composed cat to add extra panache to a hotel. Fa-raon, a white Birman with blue eyes that would melt the heart of even the staunchest feline naysayer, looks exquisitely at home in his luxe Parisian surroundings. He even has his own graffiti decorated room designed by contemporary artist RENK and a personalized Goyard dish and collar. If he can fit you into his busy schedule, Fa-Raon may deign to visit with you at the concierge desk or in the lobby.
Oetker Collection Brenners Park-Hotel Spa
Brenners Park-Hotel Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany
You’ll find another equally elegant Birman at this bespoke property in Germany. Kléopatre is well-suited to life at this Grand Dame hotel. Staff report that she adores the historic elegance, the warmth of the fireplace and the soothing sounds of the River Oos, which runs through her very own private courtyard. Ah, if we could all be so lucky to lead such a five-star life of luxury!
Bonnie and Tara
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
The Mandarin Oriental in Boston has not one but two “Ambassadors of Pet Relations”. The two pups are actually the General Manager’s golden retrievers, Bonnie and Tara. GM Philipp Knuepfer brings his dogs, whom he rescued when he was living in Singapore and working at the Mandarin Oriental, with him to work every day. The cheery duo can often be seen in the lobby and guests can request some one-on-one frolicking time.
Mission Point, Mackinac Island, Michigan
An essential member of the hotel’s Grounds Team, Nick the border collie, helps keep the lawn free of geese. When he’s not on high alert for pesky birds, he can be found chilling at the concierge desk. His side gig is to make new friends throughout the property and he’s a real hit with the kids. If you can’t bear to say goodbye to the friendly fellow, there are look-alike plush toys sold at the resort’s gift shop. See what Nick is up to on Instagram @nickatthepoint.
Bandit and Bowser
Kimpton Onyx Hotel, Boston
Kimpton has several hotels across America with pets in residence but two of the newest additions are Bandit and Bowser. The one-and-a-half year-old, long-haired Chihuahuas have proudly taken on the roles of “Director of Make Fetch Happen” and “Director of Paws Stay” respectively. The hotel’s Ruby Room celebrated the new canine colleagues with two cocktails inspired by the pair: Tito’s Bandito (Tito’s Handmade Strawberry Margarita) and Bowser’s Last Call (a craft cocktail featuring Nor’Easter Bourbon). Partial proce from the sales of these cocktails will benefit Last Hope K9, a Boston-based rescue.
PA Images via Getty Images
It’s hard to believe that anything could tempt guests’ eyes away from the stunning vistas of the coastline surrounding Capella Singapore, a luxurious sanctuary on Singapore’s bucolic Sentosa Island. But there’s a pack of resident peacocks who like putting on a show to see if they can outshine the scenic views. The resplendent peafowls enjoy visiting guests at their villas or even during meals at The Knolls, which overlooks the South China Sea. Luckily guests can get their very own plush “Paul the Peacock” at the property’s gift shop.