I am always looking for great pet-friendly hotels.
But I also have a philosophy as a travel writer that I don't like to write nasty, negative stories because that's what Yelp and Trip Advisor are for.
As a result of this policy of mine, I postponed my review of the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, the latest pet-friendly hotel to cater to luxury travelers in the Palm Springs area.
It's quite possible that after the Ritz reads this, they may never let me and my shelter pups, Jacob and Jackie-O, back. Though that would be crazy since they are so cute.
Last year around this time, I headed to the new Ritz with my tail wagging in anticipation of drinking a dirty martini with Jacob and Jackie-O--enjoying the magnificent view--their little whiskers tingling with every waft of desert breeze.
We had a great trip. The hotel was stunning with the most amazing view of the valley. The Edge Steakhouse, just divine.
The dogs were well received, and the pet fee of $150 seemed average for a five-star resort.
I found little to complain about, except for one major problem for the responsible dog owner.
There were no, and I mean NO, trash bins outside.
What were we to do with our doggy waste bags?
Do we bring the poopy bags back to our room? NO.
Do we hand them to the pool boy? I think not.
The first night we blamed ourselves. It's dark; we're new here. So we walked back to the valet stand way on the other side, hiding the catch of the night as discreetly as possible.
But by the next day, we were getting kinda grumpy about the lack of trash cans anywhere on this desert oasis.
By now my well-mannered and even-tempered partner( name will not be used to protect the guilty ) got so pissed-off, he flung the feces bag over the wall, down the canyon.
Accompanying the bag were some choice words which echoed in symphony with the bag of poop that went down the hillside like a tumbleweed.
We don't want to inspire copycats, but I hear the experience was rather exhilarating for a man with a good arm.
I am sharing this now because we're fairly certain the surveillance tapes have long been erased.
Hey, we were frustrated...we complained, we asked what to do. The answer was always the same, we're sorry, we're a new property, we're still working things out.
Hello, um, I have a strong #2, that should be a solid #2 on your list of things to do.
So after we checked out, I sent an email to the PR department at the Ritz telling them that if they want to be truly pet-friendly, they're going to have to make a sanitary accommodation for dogs and their waste. The Ritz promised to take care of it, but I never heard anything more.
A year later we returned with Jackie-O and Jacob. We were hoping things were fixed, and if they weren't, you know who had been practicing his throw just in case.
My guess is one of two things happened. They either found our feces bombs, or they read my suggestion and took it seriously. I smell the valley of poop at work here.
Our feces flinging days were truly behind us because the Ritz had erected a towering edifice complete with complimentary waste bags and a trash can. THANK YOU!
There will always be problems when you travel. It's the customer service reaction to the problem that distinguishes a business.
But now, I have a new complaint: is it really fair that every pool chair in the resort should be taken by 8:30am?
Could someone please work on that because we can be really shitty when we have to be.