LUCKY DOGS’ LIFE IS LUXE
The Mandarin Oriental Boston apparently offers an amenity that just might make it top dog amongst the Hub’s five-star lodging: In the lobby, you’ll find two golden retrievers who are always game for cuddles and playing.
General manager of the luxe hotel, Philipp Knuepfer, brought his two, furry cuddle-muffins, Bonnie and Tara, when he came aboard in May.
“I meet, through them, so many guests because people are of course more interested in the dogs than in me,” Knuepfer told the Track.
“Kids especially love them,” he said. “They will come down and cuddle with them. Because they are golden retrievers, they are filled with endless love. Look at them, they are just so cute.”
Knuepfer’s best friends, who can usually be found anxiously awaiting human pats by his desk, are both rescue dogs he adopted when he lived in the OG Orient.
“They have been with me since I was at the Mandarin in Singapore back in 2008,” he said. “Both of them were abused and I think that’s why they are so attached to people.
“They came into the lobby with me because when I came here, the lobby is harsh. There is a lot of marble, lot of wood, and I thought we needed some personality. So that’s Bonnie and Tara’s job.”
Guests are often amped to see these fluffy vessels of happiness — they volunteer to walk them and ambush them to take pictures with their phones. In some extreme cases, Knuepfer said there’ve even been people who make a pilgrimage to the Mandarin solely to meet the wagging wonders.
A group of visitors recently swung by the hotel lobby for a quick dog visit. “They brought treats for them, and they didn’t even stay with us,” he laughed.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood by total coincidence — and not because you schlepped yourself 15 blocks looking for some puppy love — be sure to come to the Mandarin bearing treats.
As with most golden retrievers, Bonnie and Tara’s undying affection can be bought with food. Just ask the folks manning the concierge desk, where the retrieving rays of sunshine run whenever they want a biscuit.
“They know that the dog cookies are there,” Knuepfer said. “We keep training them that we don’t feed them because goldens are so adapted to food. But for the first couple of months, they saw Jen (the concierge), and Jen means food, so they would immediately launch toward her.”
Forget the Freedom Trail. Chilling with Tara and Bonnie is our entire Boston bucket list.