Frigid temperatures coupled with falling snow means less pet-friendly travel, right? Quite the contrary. We explore eight of the hottest winter getaways that welcome dogs. Whether skiing or dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, there’s something for everyone.
1. The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
Bring your pet to be properly spoiled at the Little Nell. The 92-guest-room spot has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Hotel award. Conveniently located in the Rocky Mountains, dogs will relish the dog beds, pet menus, and many pet-friendly hiking trails.
When I travel with Dexter, I look for comforting perks, plenty to do in the area, and a clean room with a welcoming staff. Check on all aforementioned counts. If you arrive with a less than spunky spaniel due to altitude changes, the Little Nell offers a Puppy Jet Lag upon check-in.
2. Nemacolin Woodlands, Farmington, Pennsylvania
One of only eight properties worldwide to boast both AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star lodging and dining, this luxury getaway is located 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The Chateau Lafayette welcomes dog 50 pounds and under. Down the street is Nemacolin Wooflands, which is a reasonably priced and oh-so-divine getaway for dogs (and cats). This is doggie daycare is great, complete with indoor pool, specialty themed suites and beds, and even a tea room for special parties.
Dogs are not the only creatures welcome to the 2,000-acre Nemacolon grounds. While visiting, take a stroll through the zoo. Lions, tigers, and bears can be found residing here. Prince is a rare white lion cub born at Nemacolin Woodlands Wildlife Habitats on July 6, 2010, and we had the pleasure of meeting him in person.
3. Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, Lake Placid, New York
In the heart of the Adirondack Mountains is this Lake Placid wilderness retreat that marries woodsy flavor with modernity and luxury. Skijoring and cross country skiing along with trail access for people and their pets is at the heart of this property. After a rough day of exercising and exploring, the nearby Lake Placid Holiday Stroll offers music, food, activities, and food samplings.
Guests with dogs stay on the third floor of this property, with 10 percent of each stay donated to a local shelter or humane society. There is no size or weight limitation. Pets incur a $50 per pet, per week fee, which is incredibly reasonable. At the nearby Mt. Van Hoevenberg, visitors can ski or snowshoe the dog-friendly loop, with no fee required for pets.
4. Dog Mountain, Johnsbury, Vermont
Imagine 400 acres of blissful heaven on a private mountain where dogs are not only allowed but welcomed. Dog Chapel sits atop the mountain, where dogs can enter with their human family. A Labrador Retriever points his wings to the wind at the top of the steeple, while carvings, prints, and woodwork from the late Stephen Huneck reside inside. The sign outside the chapel echoes the mantra housed within, “Welcome all creeds, all breeds. No dogmas allowed.”
Check out accommodations after a day of exploring and hiking at the Inn at Maplemont Farm located in Barnet; Marshfield Inn and Motel of Marshfield; or the Fairbanks Inn of St. Johnsbury, often called “Vermont’s Best Kept Secret.”
5. Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, British Columbia
Lest we forget our Canadian friends, the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Center welcomes dogs and cats of all sizes. This 83-suite hotel provides access to North America’s steepest mile vertical drop and over 8,000 acres of skiing terrain.
There are 200 shops or so at Whistler Blackcomb nearby to get your retail therapy in check. On check in, amenities include bowls, blanket, dog treats, and clean-up bags. Little touches make the biggest difference, including the friendliness of the staff and their dog-welcoming attitude.
6. Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah
Having been to Salt Lake and Park City several times with my dog, I can attest to the warm and cold weather hospitality in these towns. If snow is your thing, Utah is king. Dexter and I have stayed at the Best Western Landmark Inn in Park City several times, all with great experiences.
Since I am more of a shopper and sightseer than a skier, we spent time at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, where several areas permitted dogs. In addition, we visited City Creek Center on South Main Street in Salt Lake City for some shopping fun. A retractable glass roof is on site and a creek runs throughout the property. Dogs are welcome in common mall areas, with individual stores allowing them inside. We were able to walk Dexter on the outskirts of Olympic Cauldron Park. We stayed at the Hotel Monaco and had easy access to many restaurants and shops in the area.
7. Grove Isle Hotel and Spa, Miami, Florida
For those who wish to escape to sandy beaches, dogs are king at this secluded getaway. Located near Miami Beach, more than 16 acres of land house this property. In my years of dog-friendly travels, I have not found many poolside areas that allow dogs, but Grove Isle does. Special meals can be prepared by an on-site chef for your pooch, and a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean caps off an island vacation.
8. The Mountain Lodge, Telluride, Colorado
A 13-minute gondola ride between gondola and Mountain Village and specially marked pet-welcoming cabins is a benefit of staying in this area at this property. Pets are welcomed at the Mountain Lodge, which overlooks huge peaks of the San Juan Mountain Range. The lodge itself is located between two ski runs for easy access, and dogs can frolic on many tree-laden trails.
Do you have a favorite winter getaway for you and your dog? Let us know in the comments!