Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

Woof-woof! Is That a Dog I Hear In the Room Next Door?

Well, if you’re staying at any number of local hotels, it very well could be.  You see, Orlando has definitely embraced the newest members of the traveling world, that being the pampered pet community.  Yes, hotels have gone to the dogs.  And cats.  And while I hesitate to think of what other types of animals people travel with these days. . .for now, let’s just concentrate on the ‘normal’ ones and leave the exotic and creepy pets where they should stay which is in the wild, or at the very least a zoo.  I mean, at home with their owners.  Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Fido looks pretty content in this plush bed, right?

Fido looks pretty content in this plush hotel bed, right?

So, let’s suppose you have a beloved dog or cat and can’t leave home without this pet.  And let’s also assume you travel in style so, of course, Fido/Princess/Lassie/Boo would expect nothing less for his or her vacation either, right?  Where to go?  No seriously,  where should you go, specifically here in Orlando?  Believe it or not, we have plenty of choices.  Some that may even surprise you.

For starters, I checked with our friends at Visit Orlando, www.visitorlando.comwho are the keepers of all sorts of lists for people who ask all sorts of questions beyond what time the Magic Kingdom opens every day of the year.  They swiftly gave me a link to – I’m not kidding – no less than 58 area hotels that are pet friendly.  Yep.  You read that number correctly, and you can check it out yourself at http://www.visitorlando.com/blog/index.cfm/2012/5/3/PetFriendly-Options-in-Orlando/. Here’s a short list of some of the posh, upscale ones that might surprise you:

Hyatt Regency Orlando, International Drive Is happy to welcome your canine companions.” www.hyattregencyorlando.com

Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes – “Where your canines can experience the luxury, too.” www.ritzcarltonorlando.com

Alfond Inn (Winter Park) – Extends Winter Park’s canine welcome even further.” Check out the VIP (Very Important Pup) Package for details. www.alfondinn.com 

Rosen Hotels “Pets are welcome with open paws.”  www.rosenresorts.com/petpolicy/

And then there was this from Loews Hotels which in Orlando includes Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, Royal Pacific Resort and the Cabana Bay Beach Resort –  “These pet-friendly digs not only accept the family pet, but they encourage their stay. Loews Loves Pets is a specially designed program that caters to the needs of cuddly creatures and their owners. The special treatment begins with a personal note from the general manager at each hotel with information on hotel pet services, local dog walking routes and area pet services like veterinarians, pet shops, groomers and more. Upon arrival, all pets receive their very own welcome amenity, including a logo bowl, placemat and special treat to start their vacation off on the right paw. Also available is a special pet menu, complete with gourmet pet food and vegetarian entrée options, specialized bedding for the furry family friend, pet videos, scratching posts, catnip, leashes and more.” loewshotels.com

And for all you non-pet owners out there who might be just a tad worried when coming face-to-face with Bowzer in the hotel lobby, rest assured that most pet friendly hotels do have Pet Policies in place, and owners/guests normally have to sign agreements at check-in (not to mention pay advance deposits to cover, well, you know. . .) that clearly state what areas are open and those that are off limits to said pets along with other ‘pet protocols’ for those four legged travel companions.  This also applies to service animals, although by law, they are always allowed in public areas unless showing signs of aggression.

So, how about it?  Have you hesitated to take a trip recently because you didn’t want to leave Princess behind?  No worries!  She can just as easily be Queen of the hotel room as she can your own home.  And with all the pampering some hotels are willing to supply, Princess might even have sweeter dreams while stacking up some travel miles.

Princess is bound to have some sweet dreams in this hotel crib, right?

Princess is bound to have some sweet dreams in this hotel crib, right?

photo credit: Pacificat Ragdolls via photopin cc

 

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Pig on a Plane?

Here in Orlando, it would appear that we have a corner on the weird and wacky market known as tacky tourists.  Thanks to people who publically wear things like this,

tacky touist download

 

And this,

euro-tour-guide

It sometimes actually makes people who wear things like this seem, um, normal.

lookatthisdude

Now does this seem so tacky?  You be the judge.

Anyway, while all of the above leaves me speechless, sigh, an even more troubling trend is growing faster than the speed of an airborne 757, and that is arrival of the totally tacky traveler.

You know the ones, don’t you?  They show up at airports, hotel check in, convention centers, and everywhere in between wearing their overloaded backpacks full of grouchy discontent not to mention their ugly, thread-bare flip flops exposing even uglier dirty feet; and, dare we say, ewww to those that travel wearing wife-beaters tees displaying very hairy armpits?  Not to be confused with the multitude of tacky tourists out there, tacky travelers deserve their own special category. Truth be told, here in Orlando tacky tourists are now an accepted part of our culture because, well, in the hospitality industry we make our livings off them so best if we bite our tongues and keep the smiles pasted on our faces no matter how small the tube top stretches over the generous chest that should never, EVER, be wearing one in the first place, right?

But tacky travelersOye.  This breed is a whole new topic born mostly of the decline in civility.  There, I said it, now please hear me out.

For reasons we are all painfully aware of, travel itself has gotten quite a bit uglier, and as a result there’s no denying that travelers have, too.  Case in point:  there is now an official Passenger Shaming Instagram account.  See for yourself at http://instagram.com/passengershaming .

And, if that doesn’t provide enough proof for you, how about this story about a passenger allowed – BY LAW – to bring her pig on board an airplane because it (supposedly) provided ’emotional support’ – www.whenpigsfly.com   And yet said traveler became indignant when they were both booted off because (get ready for this one. . .) the pig defecated in the aisle. I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.

Kind of makes stinky, hairy armpits a bit more tolerable, right?

Always attempting to circle back to some sanity, I’m neither the fashion police nor a federal judge impersonator.  I’m just an average traveler seeking some sanity in a globe full of travel crazies. www.crazytravelstories.com  Call me a nut job but I prefer to view fully clothed, reasonably sane and sanitary people, minus their farm animals, please, on board each flight I take and establishment I enter, with the additional expectation that said persons will also possess some level of basic skills in civility.  Is that asking too much? Apparently on this planet it just might be.

 

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