As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, many families in regions that were expected to be severely impacted decided that the safest course of action was to leave and seek shelter in a hotel. Of course, many of these families had dogs, and none of them wanted to leave their cherished pets behind — and one hotel was eager to welcome everyone fleeing the storm, pets and all.
The Hyatt Regency Orlando has always been pet-friendly, but it went above and above when it welcomed over 900 dogs and other pets, as well as their families, to seek refuge from Hurricane Irma. The hotel usually has protocols in place for dealing with customers who have dogs, but it made some changes to make things simpler for the trapped families.
“During Hurricane Irma, we were thrilled to welcome over 4,500 guests and over 900 canines,” Katie Satava, marketing manager at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, told The Dodo. “We impose a $150 cleaning fee for those traveling with dogs because our home is normally pet-friendly.” Due to the conditions surrounding Hurricane Irma, we reduced the cleaning charge to $50. We have dog-walking stations outside our hotel, but due to the high winds and heavy rains, we placed these stations directly outside the lobby doors, past the valet, so guests may take their pets out with little exposure to the weather.”
Everyone who stayed at the hotel loved how accommodating it was, and dozens of pets could be seen hanging around in the lobby at any one time throughout the storm, joyfully making new friends and enjoying their impromptu holidays.
The majority of the hotel dogs seemed unfazed by the storm, and in fact appeared to be having a good time…
… and the hotel employees appeared to love having them around as well.
Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida and created anxiety for many families, but one hotel and others in the region were able to make things a bit easier by ensuring that no one had to leave their dogs behind.