In this edition of Editor, Unedited, editor Georgia Rickard turns her blog over to Kingston the schmoodle, who recently tested out a five-star service for dogs at Sydney’s poshest hotel.
I must admit, at first I wondered why I, the great Kingston the Schmoodle, was crowned with the honour of testing out Sydney’s poshest pet-friendly hotel.
After all, I don’t own any pets! Unless you count my old, chewed-up teddy bear, Frederick, although he spends most of his time in the toy box these days… except at night, when he sleeps in my bed. And in the days when my servant is at work.
Actually, forget I mentioned Frederick entirely. Teddies are for puppies.
Anyhow, after chewing on the matter over some days, it slowly dawned on me that I was indeed the perfect dog for the job. Just like The Langham (the hotel in question), I’m perfectly groomed, of impeccable pedigree and quite pleasing to the eye… or so I’ve been told, of course. I’m also quite partial to the idea of a snack at afternoon tea-time, and high tea is apparently one of the Langham’s most famous experiences. All in all, it seems, this could be a perfectly promising match.
Thus, it is with high spirits that I trot into the marble foyer of the hotel one sunny afternoon, with my human in tow. Chandeliers, tick, fresh flowers, tick. As expected, humans flock to me for a series of pats and strokes – watch the head, I’ve just had this done – although no one offers me any treats, which is somewhat disappointing. However I’m pleased to note that the concierge has already learnt my name, and before I know it I’m being whisked up in the elevator, where a special suite has been prepared just for me.
I’d already been briefed about the fact that, because I’ve brought my human servant with me, I’ll need to stay in a room allocated specifically for such purposes; apparently any canine who deems to brings a human here is required to sleep in a room specially allotted to such occasions.
But I have already graciously explained to the porter that I understand – humans can be quite smelly, can’t they? – and he departs after delivering my suitcase, leaving me with a gloriously promising suite to explore.
Roses, freshly laundered cotton… there’s a smorgasbord of scents to enjoy here. And wait… is that what I think it is?! Holy schmackos! A hand-crafted selection of doggie treats. They’re made with things like carob and free-range eggs, and crafted with sophistication into cupcakes. It is a delightful relief to realise that this hotel recognises me for the discerning canine I am.
But I must not allow myself to enjoy such morsels just yet; dinner is just around the corner and more importantly, one needs to watch their weight. Once, my servant and I visited her family at Christmas time and I was gifted with so many different selections of meat and fish that, by the time we’d returned, I’d put on a whole collar size! It took months of paw-xercise videos to rectify that.
Instead, I decide to curl up on my plush bed, which is coloured the Langham’s signature shade of pink – not the most masculine colour I’ve ever worn, although I have been told it very much suits my fur – and inform my assistant that she may take a bath whilst I briefly rest my eyes. She takes a few magazines from the pile beside the bed and pours herself some of that rubbish made from fermented grapes – horrible stuff, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot bone – to accompany her in the tub, whilst I doze momentarily… gracious! My nap lasted for two hours, which I can assure you was a mistake. Evidently I wasn’t aware that these pink beds are designed to induce sleep.
Happily, however, by now it is well and truly time for dinner. As per normal, I command my servant to bring forth the food, but rather then presenting me with my normal gourmet spread – a truly excellent product called ‘PAL’, which I can assure you is first-class – today she offers me a selection. Would I like something called ‘miso soup’, which comes with rice, bento flakes and grilled fish, or perhaps some grilled salmon with green beans and quail egg?
The options keep coming but in the end I elect to go with a dish known as ‘Lassie’s Favourite’ which, despite its unfortunate label (every dog worth his kibble knows Lassie was only in it for the fame) turns out to be a sumptuous meal of beef steak – finely sliced, as my jaws are quite delicate – and chunky vegetables. It is delivered within 15 minutes by a white-coated butler, and – oh, goodness me – it’s just – goodness gracious – it really is – oh my golly – I just – must eat – can’t stop – so much goodness – argh – so good – ahhhhh….
Goodness gracious! Pardon my behaviour, I was temporarily possessed by some kind of frenzy for a moment there. How very unlike me, my apologies indeed.
At this stage I require a visit to the outdoor bathroom – there is a special park for dogs just around the corner from the hotel, a very thoughtful touch indeed – so I put my human on her leash and lead her outside. It’s a very pleasant evening, if I do say so myself – and, actually, a very pleasant hotel.
I’m disappointed, to say the very least, when we depart in the morning, although, judging by the number of staff and guests who both know my name and stop their activities to come and reverently stroke my fur, I can at least depart knowing that I have left an impression.
And indeed, I’m pleased to report, the Langham has likewise made an impression on me.