It doesn’t take long to figure out that a slobbery fella with droopy eyelids and a tongue that won’t stay in his mouth ranks as the most popular employee at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.
Bachelor, a two-year-old St. Bernard with paws as big as grapefruits and ears as soft as velour, serves as the canine mascot at the luxurious hotel in Beaver Creek, Colorado, where I recently spent three nights.
The Ritz instituted the hotel dog program nearly 20 years ago, bringing a Labrador retriever on board as part of the staff to snuggle with guests. Since then, other dogs, including a Bernese Mountain dog named Scout, have taken over the duties. Bachelor, the latest pup to land the position, spends his days mingling with guests and tagging along on the free daily nature hikes.
It’s easy to see why Bachelor got the job. He’s a floofy, four-pawed rock star. As soon as he steps out onto the patio with his handler, humans zoom in like ants at a picnic. He’s notoriously lazy and demands lots of petting, traits which come in handy when you’re top pooch.
A hike with the hotel dog
On Tuesday, Bachelor bounded right onto the shuttle bus that whisked a group of hikers and staff naturalist Tyler Reynolds up the hill to a trailhead for a morning hike. During the 10-minute drive, he moved around the bus, laying his huge head on one hiker’s lap and then the next, all the while positioning his rump for easy scratching.
During the two-hour hike, Bachelor stuck close, posing for photographs among the purple and yellow blooms and trotting into the aspens to explore. He seemed to pay attention to Reynolds’ commentary about edible plants and local history, too, perking his ears at bits about the lettuce farms that once flourished here and the five “bachelors” for whom the region is named.
Bring your pup to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
The Ritz is a dog-friendly property.
If a visit with Bachelor just isn’t enough, you can bring your own dog when you stay there. Four-legged travelers get treated well – you can even arrange special treat delivery and toys.