This Belgian hotel will lend you a goldfish for the night if you're feeling lonely
Is there anything more luxurious than having a hotel room to yourself? If it's a reputable establishment, you will have a whole horde of stuff to enjoy and inevitably pilfer. Certainly, there's the queen-sized bed on which you can starfish to your heart's content, a mini-fridge which you, and only you can raid for mini bottles of booze... and if you're really lucky, a state of the art bathtub, replete with jets.
Ah yes, since watching Home Alone 2, I have dreamed with a childlike fervour of having a hotel room to myself for weeks on end. But eventually, as every business man or woman will attest to, even having full control of the television remote wears thin and you start to feel a little lonely.
If you've ever experienced such a thing, you're going to want to book a trip to Brussels stat, as one hotel is willing to lend lonely guests a goldfish for the night to keep them company.
The Hotel Charleroi Airport, located in Gosselies, near the capital of Brussels has created quite the media frenzy for allowing lonely guests to rent a fish for €3.50 a night. The hotel, which is in close proximity to Brussels' South Charleroi Airport, has a four-star rating and rooms start at £69.
The fish-friend system first attracted attention when radio producer Michelle Cooke took to Twitter to post a picture of the fishbowl, and accompanying advertisement. She wrote: "My friend is staying in a hotel in Belgium. They've offered her the option of renting a fish for the night, in case she's lonely.”
Naturally, Twitter had quite the reaction to the scheme. The tweet quickly garnered over 13,000 retweets and 35,000 likes, with many users praising the hotel's sense of humour, and in turn the idea itself. However, others were less enthusiastic and claimed that making animals available for rent was a form of animal cruelty.
Hotel manager, David Dillen hit back at the claims. Speaking to The Independent, he asserted that not only has the service been running for years, but that it has continuously been a success with guests:
“We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do. It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.”
Dillen also explained that the fishes are very well looked after. “I can also tell you that we take very good care of our fish; they have been with us for over four years now, so if they were not taken care of they would have died a long time ago," he added.
“They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter, oxygen and plants. When we think it’s necessary, we put them there for a few days.”
Well, isn't that a novel idea? I'm sure lonely travellers everywhere will be absolutely delighted to discover that they can make a little fishy friend whenever they feel a little lonesome on their travels.