The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep is Colorado’s official state animal, but the dog is our unofficial mascot. It’s so fun to hit the trails— and the road—with our pups. So it’s no surprise that an increasing number of hotels are not just welcoming dogs but sometimes even catering to them.
“The tourism industry has become smarter about how it competes for dollars," says Skyler McKinley, director of public affairs for AAA Colorado. "It knows that pets are part of the family"
While budget chains like La Quinta and Motel 6 are reliably pet-friendly, some boutique and luxury properties around the state are practically a canine destination in and of themselves.
Durango is a recreation wonderland where people love to get outside with their dogs. The Leland House and Rochester Hotel, which dates back to 1892, offers a prime base for exploration. The family-owned property’s primo location on Second Avenue means it’s easy to walk to nearby pet-friendly shops, the scenic Animas River Trail and the 23.6-acre Durango Dog Park. Dogs are also welcome in the hotel’s Secret Garden, home to a summer concert series that benefits local nonprofits. Dogs only, $20/night per dog, no weight restrictions.
Pampered pups can luxuriate two hours away in “mountain chic” at The Hotel Telluride, where they’ll receive organic dog treats on arrival. It’s a splurge to feel good about: 10 percent of pet fees are donated to Second Chance Humane Society. Dogs only, $25/night per dog, no weight restrictions.
Located in the “Peach Capital of Colorado,” Spoke and Vine Motel is just a 10-minute walk to Riverbend Park. The owners of the revitalized property are dog lovers, so pups are allowed on the beds provided guests cover it with a blanket, which they provide. Dogs and cats, $25/stay, no weight restrictions.
Both canines and felines are welcome at Aspen Meadows Resort, which spans 45 acres of meadows, woods and trails. Four-legged friends get special treats at check-in. Cats and dogs, $25/night per pet, no weight restrictions
The Lodge at Breckenridge is a renowned wedding property for dog lovers who want their pup to participate in the ceremony. In warm months, guests can enjoy breakfast on the patio with their dogs. Dogs only, $30/night for up to two dogs, no weight restrictions.
Party animals will love the summertime “Yappy Hours” on Thursdays on a stunning outdoor terrace at Grand Hyatt Vail, with live music, appetizers, full bar—and special beef-flavored “beer” for canine guests. They can enjoy the “Pup Pampering Menu” for in-room dining, featuring salmon, chicken and beef entrees, and “pup- cakes” for dessert. Dogs only, $100/ stay, no weight restrictions.
Healthy hounds can chow down on the homemade dog treats at The Arrabelle at Vail Square—plus a special room service menu. After taking a walk with their people—or the accommodating bellmen—with hotel “Fit Barks” to track activity, they’ll recline on plush red velvet dog beds. Dogs only, $50/ night, no weight restrictions.
In nearby Beaver Creek, The Pines Lodge, A RockResort, offers man’s best friend the Pines Pup Bucket List with doggie hiking with GoPro rentals, maps of dog-friendly hiking trails, and souvenir bandanas. On checkout, canine travelers can “sign” the guest book by leaving a paw print with pet-safe ink, while pet parents snap a photo with the resort’s Polaroid camera. Dogs only, $50/night per dog, no weight restrictions.
The 40-mile Eagle River Trail runs directly in front of The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Avon for canine adventures. Later, pooped pooches can nap on Westin Heaven Dog Beds. Dogs only, $75/night, no weight restrictions)
Dogs visiting The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station enjoy turndown biscuits, chew toys, a custom “VIP” dog tag and Green Spaces Card, which highlights parks so pets know where to go. Dogs only, $50/night per dog, 60 pounds maximum weight.
The funky Curtis Hotel offers a “Furry Friend” package each spring in honor of the International Day of Happiness that includes handmade pet treats, stainless-steel food and water bowls, and souvenir Curtis Frisbee. All pets, $25/night, pounds maximum weight.
The front desk team at The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block greets canine guests with cookies and a map to Denver’s dog-friendly destinations. Dogs and cats, $50/night, 60 pounds maximum weight.
The ART, a hotel, steps away from the Denver Art Museum, offers cultured canines a curated map to walk or jog to downtown Denver’s best public art pieces. Artist Larry Bell’s dog Pinky was the hotel’s first four-legged guest. Dogs only, no pet fee, 30 pounds maximum weight.
More front range
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder welcomes dogs with a special room service menu, including steak and carrots, chicken and rice, “burger dawgs” and peanut butter treats. All pets, $100/stay, no weight restrictions.
The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins runs a “Pamper Your Pup” package that includes a bag of doggie snacks, water bowl from local pet shop Wagz Pet Market and a souvenir Elizabeth Hotel mat. Dogs and cats, $50/stay, no weight restrictions.
Located in Red Feather Lakes about 100 miles north of Denver, Sundance Trail Guest Ranch welcomes pet dogs—and horses!—to vacation on a dude ranch. Dogs can explore 22 miles of forested hiking trails and then listen to stories around the campfire each evening. Accommodates most pets, no pet fee, no weight restrictions.
Freelance journalist Jen Reeder loves exploring Colorado with her husband and their rescue dogs, Rio and Peach. She is immediate past president of the Dog Writers Association of America. Visit her online at jenreeder.com.
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