Guests want ‘pet-friendly’ facilities
DOG lovers were “woofstatic” when the city’s first five-star canine hotel, @Frits Dog Hotel and Daycare Centre (121 Castle Street, Cape Town), opened, complete with a concierge service, spa, daycare, premium rooms and even day tours for furry friends.
For many pet owners, nothing beats taking their pooch along on the family holiday.A recent global study found 57% of people internationally have at least one pet. And it seems owners are increasingly willing to pamper pets with tailored diets, advanced vet care and speciality services. They often want pet-friendly accommodation and facilities.
Dale Simpson, Curator of Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, says the hospitality industry either has to to cater to this need, or lose potential guests.
“Not so long ago, travelling with your pet wasn’t really a viable option – logistically. However, as airlines, cruise ships and doggy-carseats continue to make it progressively easier to travel with pets, more pet-parents insist their fur-children be allowed to vacation too. There is also growing consensus among this market that bringing their pet along will actually enhance their holiday, as it eradicates the overwhelming guilt that is commonly experienced by having to leave them behind in a kennel,” Simpson said.
While the international hospitality industry was quick to cater to this market, South African establishments don’t seem to be adapting as swiftly.
According to Hotels.com, a booking platform that offers the choice of hundreds of thousands of hotels in more than 60 countries, one-third of the hotels listed on their site welcome guests with pets.”
Simpson says this is why the soon-to-launch Cape Town Radisson RED hotel opted for a liberal pet policy.
“RED’s mascot is a Boston Terrier named Baxter, and Baxter insists that guests’ fourlegged friends be invited to the party,” Simpson said.
This policy allows dogs and cats that weigh under 8kg – no more than two per room – to join their owners on holiday if they’ve booked a pet-friendly room, and pets are kept on a leash or in a carrier outside the room. RED’s pet programme includes a bandana, bed, food and water dish.