Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 02/04/01
Author: Page Number: 74
Copyright: Other

No need to carp on about a lack of pals

LAST word thought there was something fishy going on during a recent business trip to Hong Kong.

Realising one customer had checked in alone, staff at Harbour Plaza North Point obviously felt she needed a bit of company.

No sooner had she unpacked her bags when room service knocked on her door with a gift – a goldfish in a bowl. It came with a note reading: “As you are here on your own, I thought you may need a bit of company, someone to talk to. I am here for the duration of your stay. You do not have to feed me, and if you get fed up with me, just ring housekeeping and they will take me away.”

This service is given to all independent travellers and is proving so successful it may be rolled out across the whole group.

General manager Dean Schreiber, who came up with the idea, told Last word that regular visitors get so attached to their fish they request the same one each time they stay. Others offer to adopt their particular fish and pay a dollar a week for its care. Schreiber told Last word: “It can be a problem if a regular customer requests a certain goldfish that then dies.”

He needn’t be so concerned – according to the Chinese art of feng shui, a dead fish is a positive sign as it means the creature had absorbed all the negative energy surrounding it.