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 day-long 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.