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Business Travel Got You Down? Rent a Goldfish to Keep You Company

Wait, does the restaurant also serve fish?

Do you feel less lonely yet?
Do you feel less lonely yet? Public domain

Seasoned travelers think they’re on top of their hotel check-in game. Extra towels? Check. Free upgrade? No problem. Goldfish? Yes, ma’am.

A number of hotels have begun offering in-room fish-for-rent service. The latest to join the admittedly modest trend is the Van der Valk Hotel Charleroi Airport in Brussels, where a photo of one of the room companions—just €3.50 per night—recently took off on social media.

For at least a decade the Kimpton Hotel Group chain of U.S. boutique hotels has run its “Guppy Love” program, where guests, particularly those with children, can request a goldfish in their room. (Hotel staff will make sure it is cared for when guests are away—no one wants to return to a floating companion.) Happy Guest Hotel Lodge in Cheshire, England, on the other hand, offers just one fish, named “Happy,” at a cost of £5 a night, but you have to prebook.

Van der Valk Hotel manager David Dillen explained to The Telegraph that he was trying to find a way to distract guests waiting to check-in at busy times. “The queue was quite long so I decided to go out and buy some fish [as entertainment],” he said. Lonely guests liked the goldfish so much that the hotel decided to keep an entire school to brighten their spirits.

So next time you are on business trip in Brussels, make sure to ask for a fish. Not the fish. A fish.