Hotel Whimsy

Next time you and Rover visit Chicago, you might consider bunking down together at the Hotel Monaco. And if Rover can't make it, and you just need some quiet, petlike companionship, you can always ask the concierge to borrow a goldfish for the night.

I found out about this wonderfully unorthodox, fun-focused establishment in an article titled "Have Fun at Work to Create Spirited Service Experience" by Ron Zemke of Performance Research Associates. He writes:

"In addition to the standard complement of food and drink options, the in-room mini-bars have a compliment of nifty little 'just because' items: wax lips, yo-yos, candy necklaces, hand buzzers, silly putty, and Etch-a-Sketch boards...Turn-down service is a surprise as well. One night there may be a Tootsie Roll on the pillow, the next a pack of Pixie Stix, and, if you're lucky, the occasional Illinois State lottery ticket."

Apparently, the sense of fun, and the commitment to making things moreso, is pervasive. "On Friday nights the fun is cranked up a notch -- usually following a theme of some sort. In December, Fridays were dubbed`Vintage Friday' and featured a huge toy chest of antique and retro toys of the '50s and '60s amassed by the every-ready concierge and rolled out for have-at-it guest entertainment."

There's a lot to be learned from a visit to the Monaco Chicago hotel, not the least of which is how a little fun, and a borrowed goldfish, can turn a hotel room into a home.

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