Did you leave your dog with the sitter but still want something fun and furry to cuddle with away from home? Hotel mascots — from fuzzy to feathery —lead the charge.
Amelia Island, Fla.’s The Ritz Carlton is home to Amelia, a macaw with a stunning vocabulary of 30 words. Kids enjoy her favorite trick, saying “high five” and lifting her claw. The bird is named for Princess Amelia, the namesake of Amelia Island, but rather than a regal air, she likes to gather with the masses for fun during resort pirate-themed parties (and as part of the Ritz Kids program).
In Washington, D.C., Millie the Mallard has been the Willard InterContinental’s unofficial mascot for nearly a decade. Every spring she takes up respite in the hotel courtyard, which includes flowers and a small bush. She also enjoys the courtyard fountain, and lays her eggs in this area; the hotel often delivers her “room service” of mushy peas and sunflower seeds. After 28 days, four to eight ducklings are typically hatched, before they “check out” of the courtyard. All kids who stay at the hotel get decorated sugar cookies in Millie’s likeness.
His title may sound fancy, but Rocco, director of pet relations. at Boston’s Kimpton Onyx Hotel is anything but high-maintenance. The cream-colored Australian labradoodle joins others in the pet-friendly Kimpton chain, which includes a pet welcome board, special pet bowl, supplies of waste pickup bags for walks outdoors and dog beds for in-room puppy naps.
Back when the Broadmoor was founded in Colorado Springs in 1918, founder Spencer Penrose kept seals, camels, giraffes and bears on site. Today, the menagerie is a bit less exotic, but the spirit still remains, with four separate mascot dogs in each corner of the resort hotel and its three wilderness outposts. At Cloud Camp, Zoey, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever trained as a bird dog, starts her day at 5 p.m. with the raising of the flag. At the Fly Fishing Camp, Golden Retriever Blue loves helping guides get their catch. Ranch at Emerald Valley Golden Retriever Reba also loves to fish and greet guests (especially those who scratch behind her ears), while border collie/lab mix Cassie is at the main hotel focusing in wild goose chases. The hotel’s pristine lake is kept free of waterfowl — and their “souvenirs” — thanks to Cassie’s work!
Miniature horses at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in Austin, Texas, bring the cowboy culture to life. The Hooves and Horns program pays homage to the Lone Star State’s ranching heritage, and horses Apache Dancer and Little Feather live alongside Texas longhorns, a mustang and two alpacas.
New York’s Algonquin Hotel adopted a rescue cat since the 1920s, so the legacy goes on. One Billy, three Matildas and eight Hamlets later — including today’s Hamlet, who got the royal treatment at a formal announcement at a summer cat fashion show — travelers all angle for a view or to pet the fluffball. Hamlet is allowed to wander everywhere but the kitchen and dining areas and previous cats even had their own Twitter feeds and hardcover books.
A selfie is a fun source of memories, but it doesn’t have to be the only one. You can help your children — who are lucky enough to actually travel — maintain some of the memories of what they experience. Among these few simple activities, one or more may enhance their memory banks by assisting them to identify, classify and remember what they have seen and done. It may also facilitate their ability to distinguish between why they liked one thing and not another, which is in itself an important learning experience.
For when you’re feeling rundown and need a solo getaway, holistic couple’s retreat, health and wellness refresh, or just a mindful getaway with friends, family or yourself — the West is calling. Arizona, New Mexico and California’s deserted, ruggedly beautiful landscape can sometimes be just the thing your mind and body need for a healing vacation.
Before you tick off the same sights on your Paris itinerary, consider adding one or more of these activities. Amusez-vous bien!
Every elementary school-aged kid learns the history surrounding the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock and New England. The Mayflower sailed from Britain with a full slate of pilgrims seeking religious freedom. When that ship eventually docked in North America, it did so at Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts.