Planning a ski vacation that pampers you, too? Maybe you want to include your precious fur baby. It’s all good, because I’ve found some of the most stylish dog-friendly resorts around and wait until you hear what they’ll do for your pet.
From the royal treatment to more affordable, stylish options, these destinations are a great way for skiers and other lovers of the outdoors to experience a getaway adventure with your dog.
East vs. West
Full disclosure, I’m not a skier, but my husband and daughter are and here’s what I’m told. Skiing in the west is like skiing in clouds – lots of lovely powder. Ski season lasts longer with glorious adventures in March in 40+ degree weather, skiing in a tee shirt. And, it can be very glamorous, with resorts, lodges and apres ski catering to the rich and famous.
East coast skiing can be more challenging in that skiers are often dealing with icy conditions. When the temperature rises and the snow melts, it ices over when it gets cold again and oftentimes manmade snow is used. While there are definitely exclusive resorts, they aren’t as prevalent as out west.
You’ll read about both, but the emphasis will be on the west.
Ready to immerse yourself in crisp, mountain air, a roaring fire, fine food and all of the extras to make pampering so pleasing? And, most of it can be done with your best furry friend.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, CO.
Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado is the beautiful setting for this luxury resort, which was rated #1 in Travel + Leisure’s “T+L 500: The Best Hotels in the World.” Think great mountain lodge meets, well, the Ritz Carlton!
And, when a pair of large dogs – a St. Bernard named Bachelor and a Bernese Mountain dog named Belle – greet you at the door, you know you’re entering a dog-friendly domain. They are the resort’s ambassadors, and guests who maybe didn’t bring their pups can get a vicarious thrill by cuddling these two and even taking Belle out for a walk. The pair appear in the lobby every day from four to five for visiting, and they make sure pooches have only the best during their stay.
Your stay is luxury all the way, with room rates during the peak of ski season between $800 – $12,000 per night. Now, for $12,000, you’re not just getting a room; you’re ensconced in a suite with all of the amenities you could want, including private balconies, in-room fireplaces and the club level suite, serving free snacks and drinks all day. Want your day planned? No problem! Ski concierge or ski nanny? Of course!
The hotel also charges a per night Winter Resort Fee of $50, as well as a cleaning fee for pets in the room of $125 for the first three nights and then $25 for each subsequent night.
But, your pup will be treated very well. They will arrive to their very own bed, bowls and in-room menu, featuring such yummy fare as Puppy Love (top sirloin with vegetables); Bachelor’s Seal of Approval (the veggie option with steamed vegetables and an over easy egg); Tail Wagging Chicken (chicken breast with vegetables) and the German Shepherd’s Pie (lamb and veggies).
Dogs are permitted in all of the public areas like the lobby, the Great Room, outside patio and around the outside of the hotel, all on leash, but are not permitted in the restaurants or pool area. If you leave your dog in the room when you go out, there is a door sign, informing the housekeeping staff that there’s a dog in your room. This is really helpful, so as not to disturb your pup and possibly have him or her run out of the room, although it’s always best to either take your pup with you or find an accredited, trustworthy pet sitter.
There are two off-leash dog parks within 15-20 minutes of the hotel (Note: the dog parks are not enclosed).
Fairmont Chateau Whistler, British Columbia
The #1 skiing destination in Ski magazine’s Reader’s Poll for 2016 is Whistler Blackcomb. The luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort is located at the base of it. Whistler’s landmark ski-in ski-out hotel and BC golf resort, Fairmont Chateau Whistler defines mountain luxury.
With rooms from $500 – $2300 per night during ski season, it’s pricey. But, if you want some of the best skiing and high marks on the pampering scale, this is it. Fairmont Gold is its exclusive lifestyle hotel experience, with private lounge, deluxe continental breakfast, honour bar and evening canapes included.
The hotel charges an additional $50 per night for pets.
For your dog, they’ll arrive to a luxe pet bed, bowls, treats and poop bags. There’s no specific in-room dining dog menu, but staff will make a chicken breast or work with you as best they can to meet your dog’s gastronomic preferences.
They’re permitted in all public areas on leash, but not in any of the restaurants, bar or pool area. They also aren’t permitted to be left alone in your room. If you must go out and can’t take your pup, the hotel offers pet sitting services through the Concierge. I would check in advance with reliable services that pet sit in the area. Apps like Dogvacay.com is a good source for within the 50 states. Pet Sitters International is a great organization that can help outside of the U.S. with finding a reputable pet sitter, vetted by them.
Also included is a map, highlighting the dog friendly destinations in the area.
The Hotel Telluride, Telluride, CO.
You’ve got to love a hotel that gives a percentage of the daily $25 cleaning fee for your dog back to a local shelter and has a pet blog! I didn’t plan on including two resorts in Colorado, even though it’s a prime skiing state, but I couldn’t resist. Plus, my daughter just stopped in Telluride for a couple of days of skiing on her way from Charleston, S.C. back to Los Angeles, and she raved about it. And, she had her 75 lb lab/shepherd mix, Mackey with her, to boot!
Telluride is a very dog friendly town. The Hotel Telluride is lovely and they truly love your dog. The girls at the front desk will even watch him or her if you have to be out, when the room is being cleaned. Now, that’s dedication! Hey, what self-respecting dog lover would pass up the chance for some cuddle time, ok?!
When you arrive, Fifi or Fido gets a bag of homemade organic liver treats, a pet tag with the hotel’s phone number in case you get separated, as well as a welcome bag of pet info for Telluride.
Even the pet page on the hotel site is written from a pet’s point of view. Rule #1: Your parents must be leashed or under voice control, when in the lobby. Uh, ok, mom will have to start practicing that, like, today! Dogs are permitted to be left in the room for short periods, but the hotel advises to let the front desk know and to leave your cell in case you’re needed.
Trick & Treats Pet Sitting Service and Whisker & Tails Dog Washing Service are both affiliated with the hotel, as needed. I love this, as it takes a load off of my mind to know these services have been previously vetted enough to be promoted by and associated with the hotel.
The hotel offers a whole host of places to go and activities to do with your dog, including trails and parks, even a mountainside excursion.
Next door to Telluride is Mountain Village, a great place to visit for boutique shopping and dining.
Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe, VT.
A three-star Michelin trained chef and two certified members of the Court of Master Sommeliers are just two of the reasons to visit the Stowe Mountain Lodge. Nestled at the base of Mount Mansfield, this luxury resort offers New England experiences that are majestic and charming.
The Vermont‐Alpine style of the lodge pays homage to the beauty of the mountains. The area’s covered bridges, sparkling lakes, rambling woodlands and majestic peaks is a perfect setting to explore and discover with your dog.
Stowe is also is home to more than forty locally owned boutiques, galleries and shops, and many feature the products of the small cottage industries that make Vermont famous.
The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is very close to the Lodge, as is the Burlington, VT. arts scene and many other artistic groups that perform regularly, so there’s never a shortage of music, film, comedy and drama (no, not from your pet).
Rooms start from $200 – $1200 per night in season. Mountain cabins range from $1300 – $3,000 per night, however, these do not permit dogs. Only main hotel rooms are dog-friendly.
The hotel charges a non-refundable $125 fee for all “dog guests,” as they refer to your pup, and there is a maximum weight allowance of 100 lbs.
Pups must be on a leash at all times while on the hotel premises. They’re are not permitted in the hotel restaurants, near the pool or pool deck. They can go into the main or upper lobbies. So, this resort is a bit less pet friendly in terms of where pets are permitted on the grounds. There is a Dog Sanctuary outside where they can relieve themselves and walk around, and the Lodge golf course is a great place to throw a ball, have your dogs play or run around with the dog in winter.
Dogs are prohibited from being left alone in the room, but the hotel’s concierge will arrange pet sitting for you. Again, please make sure any sitter is licensed, insured and vetted.
If the East Coast is your destination of choice for a ski holiday with your dog, Stowe is definitely a place I’d consider.
There’s nothing better than taking your dog with you on vacation to enjoy the experiences, sites and new smells. Imagine sitting by the fire with a hot toddy and your pup on your lap or by your feet. Or, curling up to him or her after a satisfying day of skiing, hiking, shopping or just plain exploring. It never fails; when I go away and leave them behind, I worry. Having four now makes it difficult to take them all, so we’ll have to do in shifts.
But, if you love your dog and love skiing, these are great options to explore to pamper yourself and your furry friend, at the same time.