Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ella the Canine Ambassador joins Oak Bay Beach Hotel as their newest employee


Similarly to how the former Fairmont Empress canine greeter, Winston, won over the hearts of Victorians and visitors alike, Oak Bay Beach Hotel has hired a new team member with a nose for customer service — Ella the Canine Ambassador.

“Ella is a 16-month-old Yellow Labrador who still has lots of puppy curiosity and enthusiasm,” said Anneke Avila, Marketing & Public Relations Manager.

She is now getting the chance to put that puppy curiosity to good use and find her purpose as the hotel’s new Canine Ambassador. 

“Ella will be a part of the hotel family for as long as she can successfully complete her duties and still enjoy her time with our guests and staff,” she said. 

“Hotel dogs typically have a working lifespan of anywhere from 3 to 10 years, depending on health.”

Her handler is the hotel’s Human Resources Manager, Colin MacCrimmon whom she lives with when she isn’t at work. 

“Ella comes to work with her parent and shares the same working hours of Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,” Avila told Victoria Buzz.  

Avila also said that Ella gets to take lunch breaks with her dog-dad and is taken on plenty of walks throughout the grounds and neighbourhood every day. She also has free reign of the lobby and back offices for when she gets tired. 

Ella comes to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel from the BC and Alberta Guide Dogs program in an effort to bring joy to guests and staff alike.

On a typical workday, Ella can be found in the Grand Lobby of the hotel greeting guests and waiting patiently for rubs and pats. 

“Studies have shown that interactions with dogs can have a positive impact on stress reduction and overall well-being,” says Madone Pelan, General Manager of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. 

“Since Ella’s first day, she has brought a smile to each one of our team members and guests.” 

“Ella’s presence provides a unique opportunity for guests to unwind, destress, and create lasting memories during their stay,” she added. 

The benefit to staff will be profound as Ella will be able to provide a boost in morale and the hotel hopes her presence will bring about a sense of unity among workers. 

The new canine employee also acts as a spokesperson for the hotel being a dog-friendly accommodation for visitors to the city. The Oak Bay Beach Hotel says they offer dog dishes, treats and beds for all dogs who come through their doors.

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Curtis Blandy

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