News for the Hospitality Executive
The Woodlands, Texas, December 2009 ... Benchmark Hospitality International has formally announced it is a pet friendly hospitality company. One of the leading independent hospitality management companies with more than 30 luxury hotels and resorts coast to coast and off shore, Benchmark has recently become pet friendly in response to the growing number of guests who pack up the kids and bring the family pet along, often of the canine variety. Greg Parsons, vice president, developed the policy and made the announcement.
“Traveling with a family pet is more important to guests than ever before,” said Mr. Parsons. “We’re a family-friendly company and want to make sure all members of the ‘family’ are welcome and taken care of. So we implemented a nationwide pet hospitality policy that helps ensure this.”
Unlike other hotel companies, Benchmark Hospitality International does not charge extra for visiting pets, although hotels within the portfolio do have the option to secure a refundable deposit of $150 at check-in. Benchmark hotels and resorts also are encouraged to offer guests traveling with pets a “pet menu,” using pre-packaged food from well known brands. At check-in, pets are welcomed with a bag of treats and families are provided information on where their pet can be walked on property, and at parks nearby that welcome pets.
Benchmark Hospitality properties set aside a limited number of rooms each night for guests traveling with pets, and often these are on a ground-level floor near an entrance to enable ease of outside access for the pet. While at the hotel, pets must be leashed when out of the guestroom. Benchmark suggests its properties use a 40-lb weight limit for traveling pets.
When the family is engaged in activities outside their guestroom or dining, they are encouraged to place their pets in their traveling kennel, which can be comforting to the pet. With advance notice, Benchmark properties can even arrange for “pet sitters.” Following check-out, guestrooms are thoroughly cleaned, and if needed, deep-cleaned, before welcoming the next family traveling with their pet.
Nationwide, Benchmark Hospitality hotels and resorts welcome on average 50 pets a month, according to Mr. Parsons, which is expected to increase as more families and individual guests travel with their pets.
About Benchmark Hospitality International
Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels™. The independent company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. The company’s northeast regional office is in New Jersey, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.