The Black Swan in Helmsley sniffs out new way to welcome guests

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While it’s usually the role of a porter or concierge to welcome guests into a hotel, but The Black Swan in Helmsley is going against convention by having a furry friend on standby to make guests feel at home.

The four-star North Yorkshire venue has just welcomed its own hotel dog Dottie to the team, a six-month-old black Labrador named after a much-loved staff member who passed away in 2015.

The idea was suggested by the hotel’s regular guests, as the Black Swan prides itself on being a dog-friendly hotel.

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Sue Barker, an executive assistant who has worked at the hotel for more than 27 years, said: “Dottie is very sweet-natured, very smart and has already picked up a lot of training.

“She has been meeting people and going out on lots of walks.”

Dottie is named after a former employee Dorothy Jean Barton, who passed away in 2015.

Known as Jean to her colleagues and guests, Dorothy had 57 years of service for The Black Swan and was awarded an MBE for services to the catering industry.

The Black Swan joins a host of other properties that boast their own pooch, including Pearl the Labrador at Rosewood London and Alfie, a Springer Spaniel, who lives at the Maytime Inn in the Cotswolds.

BH announced earlier this year that The Black Swan and sister property, The Feversham Arms were to recruit 30 new roles across the business as it embarks on an expansion plan.

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Zoe Monk

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