There are limited accommodation options for people travelling to or from Hong Kong with pets.
While in countries such as the United States and Britain, where holidaymakers often travel domestically, have a wide variety of accommodation, such as motels, self-catering apartments, bed and breakfasts, country pubs and roadside inns, many of which allow pets, very few hotels and serviced apartments in Hong Kong offer this option.
Hotel LKF and Hotel Panorama Hong Kong, both part of the Rhombus Group, are two of the few venues that allow pets.
'We believe that for a lot of people, companions come in the form of a pet. As a hotel, we think it important that we are able to accommodate our guests' companions as well,' says Jenny Chan, director of operations.
She says pets are 'valued as a guest' and, as such, visitors must book an extra room for their animals in addition to their own.
'To ensure that the needs of guests' pets are fulfilled and that an environment of 'home away from home' is created, advance notice of reservations are required so that we can set up the additional pet room with litter boxes and food bowls,' she says.
Dogs and cats are allowed, but they must be under 25lbs. It is usually leisure guests travelling to or from Hong Kong for relocation that inquire about bringing their pets along, Chan says, and these guests average a three-night stay.
'Guests who travel with pets make up less than 1 per cent of our guests. But we are proud to be at least a small part of their journey through Hong Kong,' she says.
Some serviced apartments also allow pets, including Ovolo 111 High Street and CHI 120, both in Sheung Wan. Again, guests who stay at these serviced accommodations with pets tend to be in the process of relocating.
Most Hong Kong pets, because of the small size of apartments in the city, tend to be cats or small- to medium-sized dogs, but animals coming from abroad with their owners are sometimes quite large.
Serviced apartments are often a better choice for bigger animals due to the extra space available.
'Because of the larger size of our apartments and access to outdoor areas, we have had some large dogs staying with us and they have been very happy,' says Pilar Morais, CHI Residences' CEO.
Tenants who check in with their pets at CHI 120 receive a welcome kit that includes pet snacks and toys. If owners are out of town or too busy, CHI 120 staff will take dogs for walks, feed and bath them. There is an extra charge for additional cleaning services.
CHI 120 has created a 10-page guide for owners covering topics such as legal information about moving to Hong Kong with pets, good places for walking dogs, pet charities and lists of where to buy pet food and accessories, veterinary clinics, groomers and pet-friendly restaurants and bars.
'It's easy to waste time searching online and in directories, so we provide a tried and tested guide with some of our favourite places and information for raising pets - fur kids as we call them,' Morais says. 'It's particularly useful for those new to Hong Kong.'