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Best Concierge in San Antonio - By Carla Land
San Antonio's Fairmount Hotel Canine Concierge . . . Luke Tips!
By Carla Land
While many Texas travelers love to travel in the company of their pets and can find many hotels and lodges that will welcome them, there is only one hotel who hires dogs.
Well, not just any dog, but Luke Tips, a beautiful golden haired Lab rescued from the animal shelter in San Antonio. He's the only four-legged concierge in all of downtown San Antonio - and perhaps the nation. That's right, he's an employee with the official title of Director of Pet Relations, and he is even being trained to deliver the morning newspaper to all guests at the luxurious and historical hotel, The Fairmount.
It's all part of the brainwork of Fairmount owner Robert Tips who has instituted a wonderful program at this boutique hotel that raises the awareness of visitors tothe plight of homeless animals. What wonderful companions they can be, points out Tips, particularly older dogs.
Luke was adopted in November 2005 after being rescued from the San Antonio Animal Care and Control Center by Tips' relatives. Luke had been diagnosed with heartworms, which automatically puts stray and homeless animals on the list of animals scheduled for ethanasia. But thanks to the caring Tip's relatives and the assistance of the SNIPSA (Spay, Neuter, Inject Project of San Antonio), Luke was saved, treated and began his life anew. And with a job at the Fairmount.
Luke is much more than just a mascot for the Fairmount, Tips reports he has had a number of offers from guests who wanted to adopt Luke. But ol' Luke has become a fixture at the Fairmount. He's an official member of the staff now, even with his own business card and email address. No kidding! Here it is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Management at the Fairmount report you don't have to worry about Luke's job. He's not being forced into it. While his duties are numerous and demanding (because of the attention he gets along the way), you couldn't find a more exhuberant employee. He is the best greeter in the business, alway ready to shake a hand or give a warm nuzzle and a good tail wagging! (How are hotel critics going to rate that one?)
And if you happen to show up at the Fairmount without your own pet, take heart. Those without pets (or human companions) can make appointments to walk or jog with Luke through beautiful HemisFair Park, right across the street. It's a great way to get out for a healthy workout in one of America's most beautiful cities.
Guests at the Fairmount, even those that don't have pets of their own, seem to be getting along with Luke. Many have become so attached that the often ask if Luke can spend the night in their rooms.
For those of you who are treating your pet to a vacation you can indulge in the ultimate doggie treat offered by the Fairmount. Spend the day with Luke and his groomer as you and your pet are chauffered around town in the Fairmount's new signature Family Limo Coach, a 20 passenger luxury vehicle with standing head room, complete with wet bar with refridgerated wine and beer glasses, DVD players, a state-of-the-art stereo sound system and more. You'll tour the best San Antonio has to offer in pet markets, dog walks and other pet-friendly activities. Pet spa packages are also offered at the Fairmount, and Luke will keep you company while you wait for your own pet to be pampered.
And by the way, Luke is compensated well for his work. Patrons have tipped him as much as $20 for a walk.
The Fairmount is also developing a line of products to be offered in their hotel gift shop and on their hotel website featuring Luke's image and such cute slogans as "I slept with Luke at The Fairmount". The money is donated to the non-profit Bexar County Humane Society or to SNIPSA who work diligently to save other animals like Luke.
Luke is fast becoming a celebrity with his new job at the Fairmount. He was featured on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 during the cable news giant's global telecast of San Antonio's glorious New Year's Eve 2006 celebration. He's been featured in newspapers and on websites around the state and as far away as Canada. A travel film crew from Thailand stopped by to film the local celebrity when they heard about him. And he's soon to be featured on Hi-Def network WealthTV an on an in-house flight commerical for Frontier Airlines.
So the next time you want to stay in San Antonio be sure to stay at the Fairmount and make sure to shake the paw of the employee lounging next to the front desk. He'll make you feel right at home!
401 South Alamo Street, San Antonio
About the Fairmount
Fairmount owner Robert D. Tips has spared no expense in renovating this historic treasure built in 1906 and restoring it to it's previous grandeur. Its 37 salons and suites are well appointed with an Old World European style and are just steps away from the famous San Antonio River Walk, making it a perfect San Antonio destination.