Hospitality Business Magazine

Pets given 5-star treatment at Hilton Lake Taupo

Pampered pooches will be given the five-star treatment at one of New Zealand’s most luxurious hotels with the creation of bespoke packages for pets.

Built in 1889, The Hilton Taupo, will for the first time open its doors to guests and their furry friends with a Puppy Playcation package.

While pet owners have the chance to get some rest and relaxation, the red carpet has also been rolled out for their fur babies who will soon be able to lap up a little luxury themselves. 

Canine family members will be able to put their paws up in a dog friendly room decked out with a dog bed, food, water bowls and special doggie treat. Along with complementary doggie bags other features include a “What’s on Guide’ for pet-friendly cafes, activities and popular Taupo walks.

Special attention has also been given to bathroom facilities with a private area for dogs to utilise when nature calls. 

Prices for the limited number of dedicated pet friendly rooms at the hotel start from $360. 

General Manager Tracey Poole says while pet-cations are increasingly common overseas – with some going as far as offering Michelin meals and spa services for dogs, cats and rabbits on private jets, there is little available at the luxury end of the accommodation market in New Zealand.

She says the new pet friendly offering will cater to those Kiwis in driving distance who want to travel with their furry friend in tow.

“We designed the package to enable those travellers who are interested in staying a couple of nights with their pets. Taupo is a very dog friendly destination with beautiful walks and cafes open to cater for them, however there are only just a handful of accommodation providers which offer pet friendly options, and we wanted to offer them the same experience that we do their owners.

“Internationally luxury hotels are doing more to offer the same five-star experience to guests’ pets. Although we are not yet in a position of offering these additional facilities, we have heard that internationally doggy staycations offer services such as doggy day spas, dog stylists or menus which can include handmade cakes and beef, salmon or chicken steaks personally made by the hotel chef for pets. 

“One premium hotel even has dogs on staff who are referred to as canine ambassadors who greet both human and pet guests on arrival, maybe we can look at offering something like this in the future,” says Poole.

To ensure the comfort of all guests Poole says there is a detailed policy in place for dog owners, which includes dog weight restrictions, an allocation of no more than two per room and rules to adhere to during their stay. For those dogs that may not be entirely familiar with the time-honoured protocols of staying in five-star accommodation, a $200 refundable service fee will be held upon check in to cover any damage or additional cleaning required