“We rent a few fish per week.”
Hotel Lonely Guest Fish Bowl Goldfish Rental
Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm

While most of us might prefer another human being, or at least a puppy, to aid us as we wearily wander the world, one Belgian hotel has a humbler option: a fish.

The Hotel Charleroi Airport, in Gosselies (near Brussels South Cherleroi Airport), is offering guests the option to rent a fish for €3.50 (or about $4 USD) per night.

Radio producer Michelle Cook was intrigued by the hotel’s “upgrade” and tweeted a picture that she got from a friend who was staying at the hotel.

While some people responded enthusiastically to the idea, others were angry that it is potentially abusive to rent out animals.

Hotel manager David Dillen told The Independent that the policy has been quite popular with guests for several years.

“We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do,” Dillen said. “It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.”

He also addressed animal cruelty concerns: “We take very good care of our fish; they have been with us for over four years now, so if they were not taken care of they would have died a long time ago. They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter, oxygen and plants.”

So it looks like the little fish are never rented out unless they are in the best of health.

Perhaps fish aren’t the best cuddlers, but it’s nice to have a friend nearby when you’re in a new place.