The high-end hotel experience is evolving at an astonishing rate across the world in the 21st century. Hotels are becoming more personable, travelers look for more perks and customization, and frankly, luxury hotels these days are fully expected to feel like your home away from home. And home is only home when you have your favorite furry friend by your side.
With more travelers bringing Fido along for the ride, many hotel chains are incorporating our four legged friends into all the fun—but some do it significantly better than the rest. Doggy beds, custom treats, and pet-walking services are just some of the amazing perks you can expect at these high-end hotels. Come along for the ride as we took our dog, Gary, to several of the top hotels in Colorado for pampering your pup.
NO. 3—THE GATEWAY CANYONS
Gateway, CO may not be on most people’s radar or somewhere they’ve even heard of but trust us, if you’re into the outdoors, total relaxation, whimsical romance and feeling like you’ve left the world of drab, personality-lacking hotels behind, this is the place for you. In fact, they call themselves ‘the worlds first and only discovery resort, created to nourish guest curiosity through the art of discovery and adventure within a naturally intriguing environment.’ Have a pup that loves the outdoors, and getting their paws dirty? They’ll run wild and sleep like a baby at Gateway Canyons.
Opened in 2005, Gateway Canyons is like one of those mystical resorts that you are certain celebrities run to in order to hide away from the world and that might just be accurate. With over 58 guest rooms and 14 private Casitas, there’s plenty of room to get away from it all with man’s best friend. The casitas and some of the rooms in the Kiva Lodge have private outdoor terraces with hot tubs and gas fireplaces, ensuring you’ll ever leave your room if you don’t want to. Feeling extra special? Book a Palisade Casita—they come with vaulted ceilings, artisan furnishings, a cabana at the pool, free mini bar, private tours and even your own butler.
Dogs are limited to two per room and there’s a pet fee of $30 per night but you won’t regret bringing along your buddy to enjoy all the exciting things to do at Gateway. They offer the usual roundup of horseback riding, fishing, etc but also have some very unique activities like visiting the Palisade Ranch where you can participate in cattle drives, trail rides and even take roping lessons. There is also an on-site Auto Museum that houses nearly 60 of the country’s most prized and preserved historic cars—you can even rent a high-performance vehicle from a luxury fleet that includes Pro-Baja trucks, a Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, and a Bentley Continental. You know your dog would love to hang his head out the window of a Porsche!
When all the play of the day is done, you can enjoy food from one of the 5 restaurants or just soak in the privacy of your casita and order room service. If you’re in the mood to socialize, round up some pals and your four-legged friend for cocktails near the communal fire pits—the sunsets are simply to die for.
Attention to detail, a unique and stimulating environment, and fido-friendly staff make this resort a top recommendation for luxury stays if you’re visiting Colorado with your dog. Not the outdoorsy type? Read on for an option that’s mountain-chic and more your pace.
Click here to book a room at Gateway Canyons
NO. 2—THE ST. REGIS
Rolling in at number two, The St. Regis Aspen makes the list thanks to the overwhelming scenery, spotless accommodations and the pampering of both owner and pet that we received. The drive to Aspen itself is an adventure and weary travelers and your companions, rejoice, for you have found nirvana at The St. Regis.
Upon arrival, valet will whisk away your vehicle and you’ll be welcome at the front desk with a smile and a treat for you pet. Every time we came or left, the front desk staff was ready and waiting with greetings for us and more snacks for Gary so he came to look forward to his lobby visits! Be aware if you are bringing a pet, there is a nightly cleaning fee of $25 and a one-time deposit of $25, however there are no size or weight restrictions so even the big dogs can come play. Nestled right in Downtown, the location is perfect for shopping, dining, skiing, hiking, and whatever else tickles your fancy—just be sure to check with the concierge if you’re visiting during shoulder months that your intended activity is available as sometimes in-between seasons not everything is open or running. The St Regis Aspen is happy to help arrange and all activities, spa treatments and dining reservations. Staying in a suite? You get your own butler who will help with anything you need, even unpacking and repacking your belongings. That’s undeniably swanky.
Guest rooms are beautifully appointed and when we entered the room, we were pleased to discover ‘Downhill Snappers’–a.k.a The St. Regis’ version of a bloody mary–setup for just the two of us and Gary had been given a plush dog bed, bowls and a bag of welcome biscuits. I was impressed when I went to give him part of the biscuit because it was freshly baked, soft, and felt very high-end…to the point where it looked so good I was almost tempted to take a bite!
During our stay, the room was so incredibly comfortable that we didn’t leave much, except to go explore town a bit and to take a drive up to the scenic Maroon Bells. We ordered room service one evening and everything was delivered in a timely manner and the food was hot/delicious. If you’re feeling in the mood for fancy fare, you can check out the Chef’s Club, where the best new hand-picked chefs on the scene create a one-of-a-kind dinner menu for guests and the chef rotates every season so the food is always changing. For a more casual experience, guests can dine at Trecento Quindici Decano, which offers up extraordinary Italian cuisine.
Our (and Gary’s, we think) favorite experience was the evening champagne sabering in the courtyard. Each St. Regis has their own special traditions but this is a standard at many of them and the first champagne sabering was done by John Jacob Astor IV when he founded the first St. Regis Hotel in New York, circa 1904. If you’re not familiar with champagne sabering, it’s literally a bottle being opened by slicing the cork off with a short sword known as a saber. As far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to open champagne now! Once the top is off, free champagne is poured for the guests and with this whole scene taking place at the base of Aspen mountain in the early evening hours, it’s a gorgeous spectacle to indulge in. We also opted for a few cocktails and the patio is a simply breathtaking place to hang out with friends, family and Fido.
The staff at The St. Regis are also why it made our list of top luxury pet-friendly hotels. Everyone who met Gary, and I mean everyone, remembered his name. As much as I’d like to say that is because he is adorable and it’s a funny name, the simple truth is that the staff go above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The best way to describe it is that you feel at home, which is what we all want when we go on vacation and hard-earned money is on the line. If you’re planning a visit to Aspen with your furry friend, you wont regret indulging in a stay at The St. Regis.
Click here to book The St. Regis
NO. 1—THE HOTEL MONACO
What’s not to love about a hotel that offers a complimentary wine happy hour every evening, complete with free appetizers and massages. Yes, you read that right, I said free massages. Fido or no, the Hotel MonacoDenver is an excellent place to stay while you soak up everything to do in the Mile High. As a sucker for Kimpton properties due to their awesome perks and unique quirks, the Hotel Monaco did not disappoint and we think Gary would agree (if he could speak).
Located in Downtown Denver, Hotel Monaco is a hop, skip or jump away from all of Denver’s best restaurants, nightlife and activities. The 16th Street Pedestrian Mall is one block away and there are many abundant restaurants within a several block radius. Check in is fast, friendly and efficient—don’t forget to look for your pup’s name written on the Welcome board! Luxe Check-In Tip: Mention the secret summer password ‘cannonball’ at any Kimpton hotel and you’ll get a special surprise like this!
The rooms are a colorful mixture of oranges and teal, which sounds like they may not ‘go’ together but make for a fabulously funky hotel room. A small but appreciated touch for pet owners, we liked that there were door hangars that alert staff/other guests you have a four legged companion in tow. Gary received his own faux cow-hide doggy bed and bowls, but of course being the spoiled brat he is, he decided he preferred the bed. A sometimes anxious pup, I was surprised when he made himself right at home and could care less whether or not we paid him any attention…goes to show how at-ease he felt. And if you think your pet might get lonely, you can always take advantage of one of the funnier and cooler Kimpton perks (I think) of requesting a Goldfish to be delivered to your room. Yes, a real, live, swimming goldfish will arrive, ready to keep you company!
Whether this is your first stay or not, if you plan to be at a Kimpton in the near future, you absolutely MUST sign up for their Karma Rewards program—the perks are incredible! Each time you stay you receive complimentary high-speed Wifi (a must for road-warriors) and a $10 credit for either the mini-bar or for the bar at the hotel. The mini-bar is a wonder in itself, stocked with items outside your normal mini-bar such as Twizzlers, specialty roasted nuts, local Colorado beers, an intimacy kit and even a stainless steel water bottle. We took our credit to the on-site restaurant, Panzanno, and enjoyed absolutely delicious cocktails prior to the complimentary wine happy hour. (I suppose you could say that we took advantage of the continually free things were given…it seemed to never end!)
The nightly hosted happy hour at Hotel Monaco is a must-not-miss and you can even bring Fido along! Gary joined us in the lobby for an hour of delicious local wines, artichoke dip with pita chips, and 10 minute chair massages. If this isn’t being totally spoiled, I’m hard pressed to tell you what is.
One of our favorite pet-friendly aspects about The Hotel Monaco is that they do not have any size, weight or number of pet restrictions and best of all, there is no cleaning fee. Truly, your pet is just as welcome as you are and that’s one of the reasons Hotel Monaco is our top recommendation for a pet friendly hotel in Colorado.
Click here to book a room at The Hotel Monaco
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