Woman in the pool reading a book at Hotel Giardino Ascona

Take Your Best Buddy with You: Captain Makoki Takes Hotel Giardino Ascona

Extra blog post!

Dog with crazy hair looking up to the camera
Good Morning Giardino Ascona

More for laughs, and to round out this set of blog postings on a high note, I offer a short fiction inspired by a friend of mine’s visit at Hotel Giardino Ascona. To keep things interesting, I’ll just write it from Captain Makoki’s point of view.

Dog at one entrance of Hotel Giardino Ascona
Captain Makoki at Hotel Giardino Ascona

This week has been no different than any other, but for the fact that I have noticed my owner is slightly more occupied than usual with packing. Whoops, guess that means we’ll be hitting the road this weekend after all. Oh, how wonderful, there will be a lot of time spent outdoors, on foot, exploring new territory. In all excitement I can’t stop wiggling my tail. I’ve been following closely behind to spy on the clothes she’s packing. Maybe I’m starting to have a sense of where we’re going, but it can’t be too far. Germany? Not during her birthday weekend, please; it would be too much of a hassle. Staying in Switzerland is a strong possibility.

We’re finally leaving today! I see her playing around with the navigation system, it says destination: Via del Segnale 10, Ascona. As far as my dog’s memory serves me, I believe I have been to Ascona before, the location we are visiting for the weekend. If we are going to the same place as  last time, I expect to be treated like royalty from the moment we arrive until we say our goodbyes.

Captain Makoki the cocker spaniel is walking along a river in Ticino, Switzerland
Captain Makoki walking along a river in Ticino

The front desk staff is extremely friendly and helpful when we arrive. The fact that they seem to remember us from our previous stay is a lovely touch. Simply lovely! I let out a small bark from enthusiasm. When I bark, all I get is a quick ‘shoosh’ and a goodie from my owner. Oh, how much I appreciate tasty treats! After we’ve checked in, the hotel staff gives us a “little rooming,” or in other words a small tour of the hotel so that we can locate the various facilities (restaurant, spa, outdoor space, etc.) on our own. It’s acceptable if dogs like me aren’t allowed on some premises. I get that; people are terrified, and it’s important to keep things tidy. As soon as we go into the room, I know exactly where I’ll be sitting. A dog goodie and blanket have been placed conveniently close to the balcony. I finally make it there and turn around until I’m ready to lie down.

White chocolate cake with fresh berries on top on a grey plate.
Birthday Cake provided by the Hotel Giardino Ascona

After we’ve done some sightseeing and I’ve gotten my exercise for the day, my owner starts getting ready. I see her getting all dolled up, and why not? She’s going to have a great dinner downstairs, and I get a few hours to myself. Because of this newfound elation, I exclaim, “Ahhh, this is paradise on Earth!” My owner gives me a broad grin, pets me briefly, and then she’s off to Restaurant Hide & Seek for dinner. I bet she started her dinner with ‘Capesante scottate con porro verde, mango e aneto’ (Sautèed scallops with green leek, mango and dill) and her main dish must have been something like, ‘Coda d’astice arrosto con variazione di aspargi e salsa ajo blanco’ (Roasted lobster tail with asparagus variation and ajo blanco sauce). Dessert she didn’t have any, since the birthday cake was waiting for her in her room. I tell you it was hard not to eat it, when it’s so close to you and you’re alone in the room. It took me all my dog strength – woof woof.

Woman standing next to her dog, a cocker spaniel. Enjoying the morning sun from their balcony.
View from the Double Room Morning Sun at Hotel Giardino Ascona

The following morning, I am invited to join her in the dining room for breakfast. In most restaurants’ establishments, canines are not welcome. However, the team was just simply lovely and said that we may have breakfast at the hotel bar where dogs are allowed, hence they prepared a private setting for us. Thank you for that team Giardino! It’s great to be able to lay on my blanket and take in the scenery, too; I can see the pond and feel the breeze from the open sky. We have a hearty breakfast and then head out for the day to do things like climb the many, many steps up to Monte Verità. The view is excellent anyway while walking up. In the afternoon, my owner and I travel back to the hotel, where she relaxes in the dipiù Spa while I take a nap in our room.

Woman relaxing on a bench in a bathrobe
Relaxing at the dipiù Spa

The last few months have been demanding, so I’m guessing she scheduled some pampering for herself, a facial or massage it must have been. From what I can see, she plans to use the indoor pool and go for a swim. After that, she’ll relax in a lounger for a while, read till she perks up, and then return.

Instead of dinner in the hotel tonight, we’re heading out to one of the many restaurants lining Ascona’s lovely Piazza. I must admit, the setting is quite pleasant. Many people, as always, have asked my owner whether they can pet me. I don’t think she always enjoys it, but she never says no. She doesn’t really enjoy it but knows how much I like to be pet and it makes her smile seeing other people happy.

Dog laying on the floor of a restaurant, where a table fro two is prepared
Special setting at the Hotel Bar for breakfast

On Sunday morning we have to check-out, which makes me sad. The charm of this area helped me, but much more so it helped my owner. She seems calm and prepared to face the next couple of weeks front on. But now I understand that if given the choice, she’d like to remain here as well. My owner, as we are checking out, tells me that the waiter she had the night before did a wonderful job. One of the employees says “thank you” to her for her kind comments, and I can’t stop wiggling my tail, I’m just thankful too.

Dog sitting on the water fountain at the entrance of Hotel Giardino Ascona, the orange building behind.
Captain Makoki sitting on the fountain at the entrance of Hotel Giardino Ascona

My master and I will probably be back here shortly. You can get the most out of it and use it for short journeys. Where rejuvenation is guaranteed for the both of us. The staff goes above and above in every way. Grazie for that!

Ciao Giardino Ascona a presto!

If you want more #captainmakoki content here’s the Instagram captain_makoki.


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Hi my name is Sarah, as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 5 years, both in Switzerland and abroad, I have had the privilege of gaining valuable experience in this dynamic and exciting field. Throughout my career, I have witnessed the industry evolve and adapt to changing consumer trends and preferences, particularly when it comes to the younger generation of travellers. Currently working for the Giardino Group AG, a leading player in the Swiss-Luxury hospitality sector, I am faced with the challenge of finding innovative ways to attract younger customers to our properties. As a passionate hospitality professional, I am always eager to explore new ideas and strategies to meet this challenge and ensure that our brand remains relevant and appealing to a diverse range of customers. Stay tuned for my ideas!

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