Facebook/ Matilda - The Algonquin Cat
The Algonquin Hotel in New York City has had a resident cat mascot since the late 1930s, and the current one is named Matilda. This fluffy friend-to-all is allowed anywhere on the property except for the kitchen and dining areas, and she even has her own email address: email@example.com. If you time your trip correctly, you might even have the opportunity to attend Matilda’s birthday party.
Facebook/ Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts coupled its pet-friendly policies with a canine ambassador program that brought dogs to various hotel lobbies across the U.S. and Canada — and even Kenya. The staff roster includes black labs like Catie at Copley Plaza in Boston, Bello at Le Château Montebello in Ottawa, and Stanley at Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta; golden labs Smudge at Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton and Marcus at Château Lake Louise in Alberta; Daphne at the Château Frontenac in Quebec; Umi at the Fairmont Tremblant in Quebec; Edie in Pittsburgh; Mavis and Beau in Vancouver; Bixby and Gibbs in Scottsdale; and Tusker and Grammy at Mount Kenya Safari Club.
Facebook/ Frying Pan Tower
Recently we told you about Frying Pan Tower in North Carolina, a rentable lighthouse and helipad located 29 miles off the coast of Southport, North Carolina. What we didn’t mention, however, was the fact that three resident cats call the tower home and help keep guests company during their somewhat solitary stays. Currently, the staff includes boys Flap Jack and Sausage, as well as Grits, a girl kitty. All three cats are gray, friendly, and crazy for fresh fish.
Facebook/ Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown
The Hotel Indigo chain has an “open arms and full bowls” pet policy at its some three-dozen locations in the U.S., and some of the properties even have resident dogs. When we reached out to the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown, the manager told us Indie was working right there next to her. Pups named Huey and Sandie were apparently once employed at the Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge and Hotel Indigo San Diego, respectively, but the staff at each hotel could not confirm if this information was current. Perhaps The Daily Meal needs to employee a bloodhound of its own to sniff out this scoop.
Facebook/ Inn by the Sea
Maine’s Inn by the Sea holds three unique distinctions. First, it does not charge extra for guests who wish to bring their pets. Second, it employs a resident dog that happily sits behind the reception desk and greets visitors. Third, if you fall for the lovable mutt during your stay, you can actually take him or her home with you — which apparently happens more often than you’d think. These temporary staff members are actually recruited by the Animal Refuge League, which is happy to arrange an adoption for any adoring guests. Once one doggie departs, a new one is brought in to find his or her forever home. A pup once found a family in only four hours!
Facebook/ Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Most Kimpton-owned hotels have generous pet-friendly policies regarding both guests and employment. Ever since Lily Sopris, a Jack Russell terrier employed by the Hotel Monaco Denver’s director of sales and marketing, was brought on board as director of pet relations in 2000, many of the other locations have followed suit. Daphne is an Australian shepherd and Labrador retriever mix residing at the Hotel Monaco Portland, Posh Parker is the spa-loving Jack Russell terrier at the Hotel Palomar San Diego, Vermont’s Taconic Hotel employs Piper the Frenchie (doggie daughter of chef Adam Raftery), Charlie (a notorious wedding crasher) is an energetic Bichon Frise representing the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, Mr. Hershey Diego is a Yorkie/silky terrier mix at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, and Sadie the shih tzu gets all her wisdom from her mother Lauren, the concierge at The Muse Hotel in New York City.
Facebook/ Le Parc Suites Hotel
When guests with pets check into Le Parc Suite Hotel in West Hollywood, they’ll receive in-room water and food bowls along with a welcome note by pet ambassador Bella the Boston terrier. Sure, Bella will also expect a $100 non-refundable pet fee, but that’s a small price to pay to get your furry friend into the swanky digs of Le Parc Suite.
Facebook/ The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Even the dogs are treated well at Ritz-Carlton hotels — especially at the Bachelor Gulch location in Colorado, thanks to the hotel’s resident canines. Belle the Bernese mountain dog has been working at the property for a few years, while Bachelor just joined the team last winter, but is already making himself at home by frequently playing in the fresh Colorado powder near the Chair 16 ski lift and sleeping just about anywhere. Both dogs are available for lobby greetings and guided hikes into gulch with “Ranger Jackie,” the hotel’s resident naturalist. Guests who stayed at the Bachelor Gulch Ritz in the past may have missed the previous pup known as Bachelor, but he recently retired to Northern California to spend more time with his family.
Facebook/ Sunset Tower Hotel
The historic Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood (the second hotel on this list from West Hollywood) was designed in 1929, but its pet menu is a newer addition. According to the hotel, the menu was approved by Bisou, the canine “director of goodwill” (DOG), who clearly has an awful lot of responsibility at this historic hotel. The pet menu options include a chopped sirloin cheeseburger served with raw carrot fries, a grilled boneless chicken breast, and strips of rare New York strip steak, in addition to traditional dry or wet dog food.
Dogs don’t get to have all the fun at hotels. At The Peabody Memphis, a parade of ducks waddle through the lobby twice daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. This is a tradition that dates back to the 1930s when the general manager, Frank Schutt, and a friend returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas and decided to put some of their live duck decoys in the Peabody’s famous fountain. The ducks were such a hit with the guests that bellman and former circus animal trainer Edward Pembroke offered to help deliver the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous “Peabody Duck March.” Pembroke retired as “duckmaster” in 1991, but that position is still filled today in order to keep all the ducks in a row.
For the record, duck is not served at any of the restaurants at The Peabody Memphis, including among the French cuisine at Chez Philippe.