On a return-flight to the UK from Nice recently, I was flicking through the Easyjet-owned “Traveller” magazine and clocked a striking question midway through reading. It was asking me what the latest “must-have” accessory was in Europe’s luxury hotels…
It was so striking in fact, that a blog post was bubbling up within me before I’d even read the true answer to this mysterious question before me.
I’m a nervous flyer, having recently renewed my passport after 7 years firmly routed to out beautiful British turf and so this magazine was the perfect nerve-buster as I left the warm French soil behind me. And so, to the question itself… Have you guessed the answer yet?
I was considering it to be a technological feature, having recently heard a hospitality webinar discussing the likes of bespoke personal training equipment for hotel guests worldwide and even the worlds’ first “Twitter hotel”, yet the answer surprised me slightly – pleasantly so!
The answer is in fact, dogs. Pups, puppies, canines, our four-legged companions… My own one true love being my 10-year-old collie cross; Eddy.
This feature made me smile, focusing on the fact that wo/mans’ best friend is the latest hotel room trend – gone are the days of sneaking Fido into your accommodation, places are now welcoming our furry friends into their plush surroundings with open arms. With the abbreviation “PAW” (Pets are Welcome) becoming a common sight in booking a room for the night, dog owners are being offered welcome packs for their pooches.
Beds, bowls topped up with luxury munchies (some venues offer gluten-free options for your pampered pooch!) and fresh water, special treats left with your turndown service and even dog-friendly walks, complete with local maps are being provided to serve our four-legged friends.
Some hotels are providing luxury welcome packs or services to include pyjamas & cashmere sweaters with four arms, dog spa treatments, special dog rooms with private gardens, dog-sitting services, even shampoo for the love of our life, although I’m not sure personally I would be prepared to share my bubble bath with Eddy, as my own scruffy friend malts more than I do!
Hotels such as The Bath Priory, Ace Hotel in London, W Opera in Paris, the Rome Cavaliere and Inn on the Lake in Amsterdam are not only the perfect getaways for us human-folk, but all unique examples of being particularly “canine-friendly” destinations.
There is such a thing as a dedicated pet concierge service, where you can find assistance in booking a holiday around your pup.
As crazy as it sounds, it’s a fast-growing sector within the travel industry, with a growing demand for overseas needs – we are no longer bound to the UK for pet-friendly holidays.
James Lohan of Mr & Mrs Smith is quoted within this feature, advising that even they have had a dedicated pet-friendly hotel section throughout their own website for sometime, however recently they’re seeing far more interest within this area. He goes on… “A lot of top hotels are realising there’s a real market here and they’re fast cottoning on. The kind of pampering you get now is pretty insane”!
Whilst sunbathing in St Tropez this week, I spotted no end of furries digging in the sand or playing in the sea – small Chihuahuas & (Terriers) through to German Shepherds and even a Rotweiller… dogs of all breeds were sunning it up with their owners on the French Riviera.
Needless to say, no matter how dog-friendly my next tropical destination may be, there’s an entirely different story to explore when it comes to actually traveling (stress-free!) with my vocal, chicken-legged friend…
As loyal and loving as he might be, simply popping to the shops with him is somewhat of a mission!
Do you travel with your pets?
Have you found a gem of a destination that catered (or didn’t!) particularly well? Please do leave a comment below with your ideas, thoughts & recommendations!
To read more (and perhaps you might be able to help with a new adventure?!) about my new travel challenge, titled “Around The World In 80 Stays” – click here!