Cat and Dog together in hotel bedroom

At these luxury properties, you'll find puppy concierges, canine ambassadors, alpacas and colorful parrots, among other furry friends, along with plenty of perks for pets. (Getty Images)

You may have seen the famous Peabody Ducks on "The Tonight Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show" or even "Sesame Street." But when this flock of famous waterfowl isn't gaining national publicity, they're marching around the historic Peabody Memphis. And while they're among the most well-known hotel mascots, they're certainly not alone. Here are 10 properties across the country who have animals in residence on hand to meet, greet and, in the case of Sunshine and Chance, talk to guests.

[See: 7 Pop-Up Hotels Worth Traveling For.]

Rocky at the Hotel Jerome, An Auberge Resort
Aspen, Colorado

"Have you met Rocky yet?" That's the first question Aspen locals ask when they hear you're a guest at the town's oldest hotel (and the oldest hotel in Colorado). Rocky is the Hotel Jerome's puppy concierge. Due to his size – he's a Bernese mountain dog – and his location in a dog bed next to the concierge desks in the lobby, he's hard to miss. His adventures, from massages to pool time to receiving blessings from Tibetan monks and even hiking with guests, are often shared on his Instagram page. Best of all, the property is pet-friendly and even has a pet amenity program, so your pooch is sure to be as pampered as Rocky throughout your stay.

Pickles at the Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa
Milton, New York

Only an inn in the countryside, such as New York's Hudson Valley, can get away with having a llama as a mascot. Pickles, a 10-year-old llama, is popular with guests who help feed him and his rescued furry friends, including abandoned llamas and alpacas, at Millstone Farm. The on-site farm belongs to the 75-acre Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa. The inn even features Pickles' profile on its menu (as a symbol of a dish grown on-site in the inn's organic garden), its apparel and in a plush toy that's available for purchase.

Hamlet VIII at The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
New York City

The Algonquin has housed eleven cats since the 1920s. Legend has it a stray cat wandered into the hotel and never left. The property's beloved Matilda – famous for hosting fashion show fundraisers that have generated thousands of dollars for charity – retired this summer after seven years of service. Her replacement, Hamlet VIII, is the first Hamlet in nearly four decades. He can be found napping in the lobby. The legendary cat also receives fan mail from all over the world.

Sunshine and Chance at The Palms Hotel & Spa
Miami Beach, Florida

Perhaps the oldest hotel mascot still in service is Chance. The 34-year-old red and blue macaw parrot has been poolside at The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach since the property opened as a hotel in 1992. His blue and yellow female friend, Sunshine, is only 8 years old, but she's been around long enough to know how to say hello (in English and Spanish) to greet guests. But the two colorful birds' vocabulary doesn't stop there. They even call some of the hotel staff members by name.

[See: 12 Hotels With Superlative Room Service.]

Zoe at The Broadmoor's Cloud Camp
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Perched at nearly 10,000 feet, The Broadmoor's Cloud Camp offers a remote escape. Zoe, a 6-year-old black lab keeps guests company on hikes, by the fireplace and at flag ceremonies. She's the personal bird-hunting dog for The Broadmoor's owner. She's also a member of the mountaintop meet-and-greet team and also helps out by keeping deer away from Cloud Camp's flower beds. Zoe is also in high demand with guests, sometimes even crashing in a family's cabin if their kids request a sleepover.

The Belted Galloway Cows at The Fearrington House Inn
Pittsboro, North Carolina

The Fearrington House Inn, located on dairy farm, boasts an entire herd of cows. And the more than 30 Belted Galloway cows guests can spot grazing the property's pastures have an interesting backstory. Fearrington's owner, R.B. Fitch, saw the Scottish breed featured in National Geographic in the late 1970s and decided he had to have them. Today, the "Oreos" as they're called, due to their black and white stripes, compete in the North Carolina State Fair when they're not being photographed by guests.

Sally at the Historic Brookstown Inn
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Sally is another North Carolina hotel mascot with unique origins. When the cat mysteriously showed up at the Historic Brookstown Inn, hotel employees took her to the vet who read her microchip. The cat's owner, and her former home, was in Seattle. The owner was relieved to know Sally was alive, but in lieu of taking a cross-country trip to retrieve her, she let the hotel keep her. Today, Sally doesn't roam far beyond the inn's lobby and courtyard.

Bixby and Gibbs at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, Arizona

Canine Ambassadors are a common perk at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Bixby and Gibbs, both trained service dogs, are among the most beloved dogs in the brand's portfolio. The yellow Lab and Red Golden Retriever even star in their own children's book, "The Golden Friends of Fairmont: The Adventures of Bixby and Gibbs." What's more, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is incredibly pet-friendly and even offers a Posh Paws program for guests' four-legged friends.

Buster Presutti Posey at Hotel Nikko San Francisco
San Francisco

Hotel Nikko San Francisco's COO ("Canine Operating Officer") is known as Buster. The Morkie (a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Maltese) was destined for a career in hospitality. Buster can be found at the hotel's grassy rooftop dog run, where he often hosts puppy playdates. After their stay, guests can follow his adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

[See: 10 Beautiful Hotel Lobbies Across America.]

Dakota at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland
Portland, Oregon

Sometimes guests at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland do a double take upon entering the lobby when they spot a Golden Retriever's portrait – complete with an official title – hanging on the wall. Dakota is the property's director of pet relations. Job duties include overseeing the V.I.P. (Very Important Pets) board on which Dakota notes the day's arriving pets and greets guests in the lobby where she's stationed. Koda, as she's affectionately called, came all the way from Australia for this unique hospitality opportunity.


10 Motels That Have Gone From Falling Down to Fabulously Hip


10 Motels That Have Gone From Falling Down to Fabulously Hip

Check into revived hotels with plenty of panache and midcentury decor.

Hotel Zed Kelowna

(Courtesy of Hotel Zed Kelowna)

When you step inside these architectural gems from a time gone by, you would never know they once had peeling walls, unkempt pools and tattered lobbies. But thanks to impressive transformations, these design-centric boutique hotels have found new life as fun and funky respites for the modern traveler. Read on to discover old motels that have been revamped into chic hideaways.

Hotel Carmel

Hotel Carmel

Hotel Carmel

(Courtesy of Hotel Carmel)

Carmel, California

In the fairy tale-like village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, there are plentiful motels that once provided a seaside retreat to visitors. One property was the Dolphin Inn, which has new life as the Hotel Carmel, a sister property to La Playa Carmel. This bright and airy property offers a cozy spot to unwind with in-room fireplaces, an outdoor fire pit and a hot tub in the courtyard garden. Grab some pub food and brews at the property’s restaurant, Brophy’s Tavern. In the evening, enjoy a daily wine reception and browse the lobby’s cassette tape collection or play old-school games for a blast from the past.

The Verb Hotel

The Verb Hotel

The Verb Hotel

(Adrian Wilson)

Boston

Located in Boston's Fenway Park neighborhood, the Verb has been home to many different motels over the years. Originally, it was the Fenway Motor Hotel, which opened in 1959; more recently, the property served as a Howard Johnson. The Verb is now a midcentury marvel with restored modernist architecture. Even the retro layout is intact, replicating the motel’s stained-glass windows. In this stylish outpost, Don Draper would feel right at home pouring a drink and lounging by the pool beneath a colorful umbrella.

The Saguaro

The Saguaro

The Saguaro in Palm Springs

(Courtesy of The Saguaro Palm Springs)

Palm Springs, California

Built in the 1970s as a classic California motor lodge, the Saguaro Palm Springs has held many names in the past. Today, this brightly colored retreat maintains its original footprint and rooms equipped with patios that surround a central pool. Plus, the Saguaro offers travelers an upscale desert retreat and is designed with a color palette that uses 14 indigenous flowers found in the nearby desert. Plus, the property's enviable location is also known for its vibrant events and home base for Palm Springs happenings, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The Drifter Hotel

The Drifter Hotel

The Drifter Hotel

(Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels)

New Orleans

With a name inspired by the Beat Generation and a location in an up-and-coming area of New Orleans, the Drifter Hotel may look like it’s still stuck in the 1950s, when it was first built. But look inside and you'll find an oasis of vintage midcentury modernism. The hotel’s interiors showcase pastel colors that offer a stark contrast to brick and concrete walls, with custom-made furniture, vintage pieces, retro light fixtures and guest rooms outfitted with Oaxacan tiles. What's more, the Drifter Hotel serves specialty coffee and hosts rotating food trucks and pop-ups.

The Kimpton Goodland

The Kimpton Goodland

The Kimpton Goodland

(Courtesy of Kimpton Goodland)

Goleta, California

This former Holiday Inn located just outside Santa Barbara in Goleta is now a Southern California paradise with a fun surfer-chic style. When Kimpton took over management of what is now the Kimpton Goodland in 2014, the brand completed a major redesign, incorporating retro accents, modern amenities and unique decor twists. At this hipster haven, you will find in-room turntables (take your pick of vinyl from the lobby record concierge), live DJ pool parties, game nights in the lobby, outdoor movies and even Cracker Jacks.

The Modern Hotel & Bar

The Modern Hotel & Bar

The Modern Hotel & Bar

(Courtesy of Modern Hotel & Bar)

Boise, Idaho

Situated in Boise’s hip Linen District, the Modern Hotel & Bar gives a nod to its past life. Originally a Travelodge that opened during the Great Depression, today the property boasts a reimagined mod '60s vibe. Close to downtown, Boise State University and the Boise River Greenbelt, the hotel is instantly recognizable with its guest rooms adorned with bright red doors. Grab a classic cocktail at the on-site restaurant, where the chef, Nate Whitley, is a James Beard Award nominee, and enjoy the surrounding scenery in the hotel courtyard.

Laguna Beach House

Laguna Beach House

Laguna Beach House

(Courtesy of Laguna Beach House)

Laguna Beach, California

At the Laguna Beach House, which pays tribute to Southern California's local surf culture, visitors will find handmade surfboards in rooms and vintage memorabilia, including a poolside shower made from surfboards. Formerly the Laguna Cliffs Inn, the property is a stone's throw from the beach, shops and restaurants. What's more, the property offers quirky minibar items, including beach games, beer cookies and Turkish beach blankets, and guests can request milk and cookies before bed.

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

(Mariko Reed)

Waikiki, Hawaii

Prior to the renovation and relaunch as the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in 2016, this property was known as Hokele Suites Waikiki, which provided motel-style accommodations just a few blocks from Waikiki Beach. Today, the property capitalizes on its small size and off-the-beaten path location, and offers a more authentic and less touristy retreat while still enjoying a prime location set in the center of world-famous Waikiki. Aloha chic would be an apt description of the current design with midcentury modern features awash in 1960s Hawaii beach-themed decor. Inside, guests will find unique details like handmade wallpaper, a living fern installation, handcrafted furniture and reed ceilings.

Austin Motel

Austin Motel

Austin Motel

(Nick Simonite)

Austin, Texas

Dating back to 1938, the Austin Motel has maintained its original architecture, classic motel sign and '50s-style kidney-shaped pool, which serves as the center of the property. Its 41 rooms now feature a playful, colorful design scheme, with reds, yellows and oranges and fun touches like lipstick wallpaper. Other new additions include a bar and deck surrounding the pool and a lobby shop. Located in Austin's South Congress neighborhood, just south of downtown and the Colorado River, the motel is conveniently situated near the city’s busy hike and bike trail.

Hotel Zed

Hotel Zed

Hotel Zed Kelowna

(Courtesy of Hotel Zed Kelowna)

British Columbia, Canada

With two locations in British Columbia – Victoria and Kelowna – Hotel Zed is brightening old midcentury motels and reshaping them into modern masterpieces with funky decor. Not only does the splashy design, which features pinks, purples and turquoise, stand out, but the hotels are filled with throwback activities. Guests can relax in a mini disco room or pingpong lounges and enjoy large waterslides, a classic VW van shuttle bus, rotary dial phones, classic board games and comic books.

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Tags: travel, hotels, vacations


Katie Jackson has been a travel contributor for U.S. News since 2015. She began her career in 2011 as an on-air travel spokesperson for NBC LA before she transitioned into travel writing in 2013. Her work has appeared at USAToday.com, FoxNews.com, OutsideOnline.com, Bicycling.com and in The Sunday Times. Travel, adventure, luxury and anything requiring the signing of a waiver is in her wheelhouse. She spends most of the year traveling internationally, but when she's not on a flight, she's at home in Montana with her Leonberger, Zeus. You can follow her travels on Instagram at @katietalkstravel.

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