Arrivals & Departures Woof's the word at Fairmont hotels

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

A hiking buddy, a companion for a leisurely walk or someone to hang with in the lobby – there are 16 Fairmont employees across the globe providing this service, all with a wag of the tail.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts’ canine ambassador team provides companionship, security and, according to the hotel, “that special wisdom that only a pet can provide”.

And why not? Playing or petting a dog has been scientifically proven to increase the levels of the happiness hormone, oxytocin, and decrease the levels of cortisol, which is responsible for feelings of stress. A dog can often be the medicine for a happier mood.

Marcus, or Mark as he prefers, is a golden labrador retriever with the rather official title of director of PR (pet relations) at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. Mark loves to hike and play fetch with guests.

In Kenya, sisters Tusker and Grammy are a mix of labrador and ridgeback descent. The two can be found taking walks, jumping into ponds and chasing birds over 100 acres of grounds at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.

Many of Fairmont’s dogs began their careers by training as service dogs. Umi at Fairmont Tremblant in Quebec and Stanley at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge both trained with the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. Fourteen-year-old Catie Copley, who has since retired, started with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in New York before becoming the first canine ambassador at Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston. 

All the dogs have strong social skills, outgoing natures and love meeting new people, making them perfect for the hospitality industry.

Some of the dogs even have books written about them. Bixby (pictured at top) and Gibbs of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess star in The Golden Friends of Fairmont, a childrens’ book about the pups’ adventures around the hotel and its 68 acres of gardens.

Catie also features in two books, Catie Copley and Catie Copley’s Great Escape, as Boston’s most famous dog and the informal mascot of the Boston Marathon.

Fact File