by Graham Pierrepoint
While many people have lots of ways of combatting loneliness – especially when it comes to staying overnight in hotels, on business or for leisure – but many hotels and establishments have strict rules as to who can and cannot reside in a room for the tenure you’ve paid for. While an overnight stay is hardly a long stretch by any means, some people crave company – and if you’ve already landed off the back of a long haul flight or are looking to be spending considerable more time in a temporary room you’ve paid for, it can be tricky to counteract such loneliness. One hotel, however, seems to have found a solution that is neither seedy nor underhanded – though it does make up for this by being more than a trifle bizarre.
The Hotel Charleroi Airport in Belgium is allowing guests to take a fishy friend up to their room with them – meaning that should the idea of room service or a movie rental not appeal to you, you can hire a goldfish friend to stay with you at the cost of $4 per night. The scheme was set up in an effort to surprise guests – and, under its tagline ‘rent-a-fish’, the offer is appearing to be rather popular. It’s stated that the fish provided to guests have been with the hotel for considerable years and are well-loved and looked after.
The rent-a-fish debacle took on new shape recently as Twitter and TripAdvisor both cottoned on to the spectacle – as the hotel’s own unique way of aiding their guests combat loneliness up in their rooms was met with both mirth and confusion. It is a decidedly odd idea – but considerable studies over the years have professed that the presence of a pet in any shape, breed or stature helps to alleviate stress and lighten one’s mood – meaning that, short of allowing a dog or two in your room, the hotel is doing marvellous work by introducing a placid pal in a bowl into their guests’ quarters. For a start, they’re far easier to clean up after than a furry friend – and they don’t expect much from you in return!
Will Twitter discovering rent-a-fish inspire a trend in hotels elsewhere? We will have to wait and see – but if the idea of having a goldfish keeping you company overnight sounds like your cup of tea, make Belgium your next vacation spot!