Handyman gives up job to set up a luxury hotel with guinea pigs as guests
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
Is this the Hilton of hutches?
A Norfolk DIY expert has opened a hotel offering the ultimate luxury stay for guinea pigs – and owners can keep a watchful eye on their pets 24/7.
Ian Cutmore, from Style Loke, Barford, came up with an idea for the hotel hosting guinea pigs owned by people needing someone to look after them while away.
He was a handyman and carer for his father, who suffered from dementia, and needed a business he could run from home.
And no expense has been spared. The hotel offers a luxury stay for guinea pigs with cosy ‘rooms’ adorned with fresh hay and the best quality dust-extracted wood shavings as well as inviting pulp bedding in the sleeping quarters.
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No animal is made to share with another and there is even a new feature of CCTV available in all rooms so you can keep an eye, day and night, on your guinea pig using an app on your phone.
But you need not worry your pet is ever going to be lonely as the hotel offers a guinea pig ‘sitting service’ too.
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The guinea pigs are given exercise in outside runs in warm weather but are always returned to their rooms at night.
Mr Cutmore got the idea originally because his daughter Lucy had at one time up to six guinea pigs.
The family struggled to find someone to look after them when on holiday or away for weekends so they thought of setting up the hotel.
Sadly Mr Cutmore’s dad passed away but he decided to keep on the new business.
The hotel has taken a bit of a knock because of coronavirus with people not going away – but Mr Cutmore is hopeful of getting even more bookings when lockdown eases.
“I’m expecting an influx, I think it will really pick up again when people come out of lockdown and go and see relatives and friends. I’m hopeful there is going to be more business than ever.
“We only take guinea pigs because that’s what we know, so we don’t offer rooms for rabbits or other pets, but you’d be surprised how many people actually own a guinea pig.”
The hotel can ever take up to six animals who are used to sharing which get the ultimate ‘upstairs, downstairs hutch’. Otherwise guinea pigs are kept apart.
Prices range from £4 a day for one guinea pig up to £15 for six which includes food and some treats.
Mr Cutmore added that health and hygiene is paramount and all the hutches, bottles and food bowls are disinfected ready for each guinea pig guest.
Guinea pig factfile
• Guinea pigs are small, sociable, creatures with a wide variety of colour and coat lengths.
• Typically guinea pigs live for five to six years but some may live longer.
• They originate from the grasslands and lower slopes of the Andes Mountains in South America.
• Guinea pigs are active for up to 20 hours per day and sleep only for short periods
• A guinea pig’s diet needs to be supplemented with plenty of vitamin C, as they lack the enzyme needed this and can only store it for short periods.