We had to spend a night in a motel this week while our fifth wheel (remember this is our home) was in the shop having the large air conditioning unit fixed. I went on-line to dogfriendly.com to find a dog friendly motel, saw Holiday Inn Express in Shreveport, Louisiana and upon calling received: “Yes, we are dog friendly and yes we have a room.” Great, that was easy and we have a room for the night! Then she said that there would be a $50 non-refundable deposit. Fifty dollars, a non-refundable deposit?. . .that is NOT a deposit, it is a $50 fee in addition to the room rate. Dog friendly? Not on my friendliness meter. I said a quick good-bye.
While I have no problem with paying a deposit or even a nominal extra charge for Dulee I feel that $50 is not dog friendly. I think what they are really saying is they want to widely advertise their place of lodging but do not want dogs to actually stay at their facility. I E-mailed the Holiday Inn Express corporation and received this non-committal/cookie-cutter reply:
“Thank you for contacting Guest Relations regarding your experience with the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Shreveport - West, LA. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to bring this matter to our attention and apologize for any confusion surrounding this hotel’s pet fee and policy. (My note: there was no confusion surrounding the pet fee and policy - the hotel clerk stated plain and simple: $50 and non-refundable.)
Many IHG properties are franchised, independently owned and operated. In this case, the hotel management and ownership determine their own rates and pet policy, often times in compliance with local ordinances. IHG is not involved in the development of this individual hotel policy. (My note: had nothing to do with local ordinances. See below.)
Your concerns have been forwarded to the management and ownership of this hotel for review. Your comments will also remain on file at a corporate level, for use in periodic evaluations of the hotel.
Once again, we appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us. We know you have many choices when it comes to lodging and we hope you will continue to choose IHG for your future travel needs.” (My note: while they may be “independently owned and operated” they do bear the name and logo of Holiday Inn Express and, therefore represent the entire corporation. No, I will not be choosing IHG for my travel needs - ever - with or without my dog.)
We drove into another almost next door, a La Quinta Inn, also listed on dogfriendly.com and the very nice desk clerk said yes, they had a pet friendly room but it was a smoking (ewww!) room on the third floor and we probably wouldn’t care for it. . .their charge is $10. Much more acceptable but we took his word and didn’t stay.
Back to dogfriendly.com. Yes, Day’s Inn has dog friendly, non-smoking room, charge is $10. We checked in and found it to be a very adequate and clean room. (So much for the Holiday Inn’s “local ordinances” statement.)
So, that is my rant! Hotels/motels, pet owners really don’t mind if you don’t want pets, just say so. Holiday Inn Express, you lost a customer, maybe more than one, due to your dog “policy.”
Note from Dulee: enjoyed my stay at the Day’s Inn. . .slept like a log, didn’t ruin anything and most of all, I did not lift my leg anywhere in the room! And, since I’m a Bichon Frise I didn’t even shed!