That's right, if there was a award event for "Hotels" and "Hoteliers," the "Pet Friendliest Hotel" would have to go to the late Doris Day. Known as much for her animal advocacy as she was for starring in movies and TV, this legendary performer [who just passed away] was a lover of all animals – especially dogs.
“I never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about people.”
That famous quote was followed by one much more serious. "Killing an animal to make a coat is a sin. It wasn't meant to be, and we have no right to do it. A woman gains status when she refuses to see anything killed to be put on her back. Then she's truly beautiful," noted Day as she matured into middle age. And we're assuming she reduced her wardrobe significantly after declaring her own personal ban on animal furs.
Cypress Inn in Carmel, CA
Day had one non-negotiable term and condition when she purchased the Cypress Inn more than 30 years ago with business partner Denny LeVett: "Four-legged canine guests would be as welcome as their two-legged companions."
She then proceeded to transform the Cypress Inn into the nation's canine-friendliest hotel, which subsequently put Carmel, CA on the map nationally. With that acknowledgement, the hotel was proclaimed the “pet friendliest” in the nation by good number of publications, which catapulted Carmel’s international reputation as a dog-loving destination.
“We literally treat them like regular guests,” says General Manager Peter Radler. “We just like the true, honest companionship of your pet.”
Hotel's Canine Features
Enter the hotel on any given day, and you'll be witness to dogs on the patio enjoying treats from the restaurant’s menu. You'll also see them hanging out with guests at the bar, Terry’s Lounge – named in memoriam for Day’s late son, Terry Melcher, a musician and record producer. The hotel is also known for its popular daily promotions, such as “Yappy Hours,” from 4-6pm, Sunday through Thursday. It’s also not uncommon to see guests forge new friendships with the fellow guests' dogs.
Doggie guest amenities include an outdoor dog-sized shower for rinsing off after a romp at the beach, treats and customized blankets and bowls for in-room use.
As far as attracting guests and tourists, “we have people who’ve been coming back for 30 years, some even asking for the same room,” Radler says.
The 90-year-old structure has been served well by the stewardship of Day and LeVett, although near the end of her life, Day was not involved in day-to-day decisions, focusing instead on her animal foundations and charities. Over the last three decades, Day's team has renovated and refreshed the exterior and interior multiple times, while maintaining its unique charm. Approximately 16 years ago, they added a wing, expanding the hotel from 32 to 44 rooms. Next year, they will be updating air conditioning, heating and plumbing, as well as upgrading the original single-paned windows to double-paned.
“It has tweaks but it’s such a special place, it really is,” Radler says. In memoriam of Doris Day, her foundation will continue under her name, with gratitude for all the time, work and effort extended by this extraordinary animal advocate. Thank you Ms. Day for your dedication. May you rest in peace.
Primary Source: Monterrey Weekly