Damage Limitation

Imagine the man with three Dobermans. He phones the hotel with the reasonable request "Do you take dogs?" If we were to say yes, and leave it at that. Then he would phone a day later and make a reservation for himself, but not mentioning dog (or dogs) on the grounds that he had already ascertained that indeed took dogs. He would then turn up with the three dogs, with the thought that he could ensconce himself and baying pack in our best room

No the correct response to the "Do you take dogs?" question is "Yes, provided you tell us about the dog when you make the actual reservation" That way there is no doubt that we expect a dog, and can allocate a suitable room it (and its owner).

What do I mean by a suitable room? Well, dogs do smell, you may not think so if you live with one, but take it from me, if a dog has been in a hotel room for a few days, the room has, shall we say, a particular smell. Secondly dogs are dirty, to the extent that they do shed hair. Nobody else wishes to be shown into a hotel room that is dripping with dog hairs from the previous owners. Thirdly a fairly large proportion of dogs do cause damage to a hotel room - it may be the nicest pooch at home, but away from its natural environment it may scratch the paintwork or chew the carpet. And fourthly some people are genuinely allergic to dogs, and need a room that we can guarantee has not had a dog in it.

For the record, in the last twelve months, we can report the following dog damage.

  • carpet in one room chewed so badly that we had to cut a piece of carpet out from under the bed in order to fix it. I still dread an hotel inspector finding the missing square under the bed - hotel inspectors are probably the only people that look under beds except for our chambermaids.
  • another carpet chewed badly, but could be fixed with Copydex and a great deal of patience, its still not as good as new
  • the bedroom door frame that had to be replaced when the dog pined because it was left in the room over dinner, and scratched at the door to get out. The owner in this case was more concerned about poor "diddums" being lonely, than the damage it caused
  • then we had a dog that did a "runner". Its owner was walking it on the beach in front of the hotel, when for reasons best known to itself (the sea air, the urge to be free, bloody mindedness, or whatever) the animal did a runner. It shot straight through our grounds and up onto the road. This is, in itself, quite an athletic feat as it is a good hundred feet up from the beach to the front gate. By the time the perspiring owner had reached gate level, Fido was nowhere to be seen. The owners and I (part of our personal service) then scoured the surrounding area to try to find the thing. One does feel a little embarrassed touring the streets shouting "Fido" at the top of ones voice. It returned of its own volition an hour later

The net result is that we still do allow dogs, but only in certain rooms. Those rooms have direct access to the garden, and they are unashamedly not our best rooms. If you want to bring your dog to a hotel there is a price to pay, and I would be surprised if any hotels let dogs into their best rooms, even "well behaved dogs"


And if you want to stay in a really nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall

Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

Return to Fawlty Towers Front Page