Pets in for a pampering at special Caister hotel
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Lounging around on plush beds having their every whim catered for by attentive staff who are eager to please . . .
Visitors at a seaside guest house enjoy the kind of five-star service that builds up a long list of regulars and sees bookings taken months in advance.
Every pampered pet lapping up the luxury at The Guinea Piggles Hotel in Caister can expect a stay that is tailored to their individual requirements - with regular texts and Facebook updates for concerned owners keen to keep in touch while they are away.
The hotel for small, caged animals has been set up by mother-and-daughter duo Lisa and Alice Herbert and sees lizards and snakes as well as cuddly creatures take up residence.
Because having a holiday was so complicated for them with sitters needed for various pets, and cages transported to whoever would have them, they decided other people probably faced the same problems too.
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And now the enterprising family has have around 80 regular customers - all with their funny, furry foibles and odd little ways and for whom nothing is too much trouble.
As well as a comfy place to stay animal guests also enjoy spa benefits like grooming, nail cutting, hair cutting and exercise as well as the babble of the radio or TV for those who request it.
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'We have such fun we sometimes forget to ask the owners to pay,' said Mrs Herbert, 45, a mum-of-four.
'We are never going to be millionaires but we have some who come so often their owners call it their second home.
'We have some to stay for just one night while others have a long weekend or even more than a month. We have had a parrot for six weeks while his owners were decorating.
'It is surprising how quickly they settle in. The regulars know our voices and tend to get put in the same hutches so it is not a problem at all.'
Having years of experience with their own rabbits and guinea pigs Alice, aged 20, also has a Btec qualification in animal care.
Finding paid work however has not been easy, so juggling her job at a boarding kennels with managing the pet hotel is ideal.
As with most guest houses changeover day is the busiest. But from 7am everybody is fed, cleaned and tidied with fruit and vegetables chopped according to their gourmet needs.
All the animals are cleaned out twice a week and given the run of the room, and the garden in the summer.
Husband Danny who works offshore was hesitant about the effect on family life, but is pleased with how it is working out.
The hotel can accept up to 14 pets, but only one parrot at a time. Following a probationary year, planners have now awarded a seven year permission to trade.
Apart from the odd nip, there have been few disasters.
'When we are fully booked we are very, very busy,' Mrs Herbert said. 'But we do love it and the animals are a pleasure to look after.'
Prices start at £1 a day. Guests receive a laminated photograph as a souvenir of their stay.
To find out more visit www.theguineapiggleshotel.co.uk or call 07792827424.