Best Western welcomes Fido, Fluffy and Polly


POSTED: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hospitality extends to pets at the Best Western The Plaza Hotel near the airport.

It has set aside a limited number of pets-OK rooms on the ground floor of one of its buildings.

“;We're dog- and cat- and bird-friendly,”; said General Manager Robert McConnell.

The hotel started welcoming pets when Outrigger Enterprises Group began managing the hotel about five years ago.

The pets-allowed policy was suspended during the hotel's three-year, $9 million upgrade, but officials decided, “;because it was so successful, to reintroduce it,”; he said.

Guests reserving one of the rooms receive a welcome basket for a dog or cat.

The doggie basket, for instance, includes a sheet to protect the furniture, towels, bags to pick up droppings outdoors as well as “;a nice ceramic bowl for food and plastic bowl for water,”; said McConnell.

There are also doggie biscuits or “;kitty crunchies,”; McConnell chuckled.

The hotel charges a $10 service fee per pet, and the maximum is two pets per room.

Guests traveling with pets are often kamaaina, but “;primarily it's military transitioning in or out.”;

Pet-bearing guests run about 60 percent with dogs, 35 percent with cats and 5 percent with birds.

“;It's a huge business on the mainland and is slowly catching on here,”; McConnell said. “;It's something near and dear and important to us. We're all pet owners.”;

As a sort of throwback to the old days of small-inn-type hospitality, the hotel will start taking and posting photos “;of the various four-legged families that come in,”; McConnell said.

Pick a parish

Voting in Travel + Leisure magazine's annual America's Favorite Cities survey is under way online through 6 a.m. Hawaii time on July 31.

Voters are asked to rank their favorite city or cities based on dozens of aspects, including culture, shopping, dining, attractiveness of people and, this year for the first time, hotels and airports.

Honolulu also has new competition this year as Cleveland; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Providence, R.I.; and St. Louis have been added to the 25 cities ranked in previous years.

Last year, Honolulu was voted the top romantic escape, relaxing retreat and for an active or adventure vacation.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).