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Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations

If you’ve been following HeidiTown for any length of time, you’ve probably met our German Shepherd, Xena. As Xena got older and had more health issues, we started looking for ways to include her on our trips. However, I was astonished to discover that many so-called “dog-friendly” hotels do not allow dogs over 45 pounds.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Hotel Aspen

Courtesy of the Molly Gibson Lodge / Hotel Aspen.

A lot of HeidiTown citizens have fur kids that exceed this weight limit – our Xena is 75 lbs – so I made it my mission to find a few awesome Colorado hotels that were large dog-friendly. Here’s the list I’ve put together of some truly fantastic hotels that do not discriminate against large breed dogs. If you know of others, please leave a note in the comment section.  

Hotel Aspen, Aspen, Colorado

On our trip to Aspen this past winter, we witnessed this town’s love affair with dogs first-hand at the Canine Fashion Show at Winterfest.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Molly Gibson Barclay

Barclay lounging in the lobby of the Molly Gibson Lodge. Courtesy photo.

During our visit, we stayed at the pet-friendly Hotel Aspen. The owner’s dog, Barclay, is frequently seen at Hotel Aspen’s sister property, the Molly Gibson Lodge. Located across the street, Molly Gibson Lodge is also a pet-friendly property. The fee for having Fido at either hotel is just $25 per night.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Molly Gibson Lodge

Courtesy of the Molly Gibson Lodge / Hotel Aspen.

The amenities at Hotel Aspen and the Molly Gibson Lodge are what set them apart from other Aspen properties. A large breakfast buffet is included in your stay, as is Apres Ski where complimentary beer, wine and heavy appetizers are served. Both hotels also feature gorgeous pool and hot tub areas.

Their amenities, plus their proximity to downtown make both hotels a great option for your next visit to Aspen, and don’t forget to bring your four-legged fur kid along.  

The Westin Waterfront Resort & Spa, Avon/Beaver Creek, Colorado

One might think that the Westin at Beaver Creek is too fancy to allow dogs, but this is not the case. In fact, when we checked in during our stay, a large labradoodle was waiting patiently with her owner at the front desk for a treat.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Westin Beaver Creek

Photo courtesy of Westin Riverfront.

I adore this Westin hotel. It features a Richard Sandoval restaurant called Maya and has a top-notch spa and fitness center, but my favorite amenity at this Colorado resort hotel near Vail are their saltwater hot tubs. A morning soak in these tubs is just what the doctor ordered (for whatever ails you).

People aren’t the only ones pampered at Westin Riverfront. Fido receives a Heavenly Dog Bed for use during their stay, a food bowl and mat and a dog amenity kit.

Happily, dogs of all sizes are welcome at The Westin for $50 per night, as is evident in the following video:

The Distillery Inn, Carbondale, Colorado

Here’s another luxury hotel that’s dog-friendly. Located above the Marble Distillery Co., this five-room inn is fantastic on every level. From the fresh flowers in the bathroom to the lighted nooks next to the bed, the owners have thought of everything.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Distillery Inn

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

Being confessed “dog people,” the owners made their luxurious inn dog-friendly, and because they own big dogs, large breeds are welcome too.  

A big selling point of this inn is that the Marble Distillery Co.’s tasting room and distillery is on site and I’d encourage anyone who stays at the inn to take a tour of the operation. Marble Distillery uses several unique processes including their Water Energy Thermal System (W.E.T.S.) which makes them the country’s first zero-waste facility.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations The Distillery Inn Whiskey Girl

Photo courtesy of Marble Distilling Co.

The Distillery Inn charges $25 per night per dog and a $75 cleaning fee. They also provide a dog bed, a food and water bowl and treats.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge, Colorado

This brand new hotel in downtown Breckenridge seamlessly blends mountain and contemporary design into a comfy, yet chic establishment.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Your Favorite Colorado Destinations Residence Inn Breckenridge

Courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge.

My first experience in this Colorado mountain town was around 17 years ago, and I distinctly remember thinking that Breckenridge sure did love their dogs. It seemed that every business had a welcome dog and dog bowls outside of shops and restaurants were commonplace.

Today, it’s much the same, and thankfully, Residence Inn by Marriott is a pet-friendly hotel ($100 nonrefundable fee).

In addition to being pet-friendly, included in your stay is an amazing breakfast buffet, one of the best I’ve encountered, and there’s also a pool and hot tub with a million dollar view.

Other great places where Fido can join you on the road include Fireside Inn Cabins in Pagosa Springs and the YMCA properties in Granby and Estes Park.

While I did receive comped stays at each of these properties, this is not a paid advertisement and all opinions in this post are geniune and entirely my own.

Dining in Colorado – New Favorites & Longtime Favorites

I wish I were a picky eater, because if I were pickier I’d probably be a bit slimmer, but I like food a lot. Thankfully, Colorado’s food scene is fantastic right now. No matter where we go, we find good, often farm fresh, food to eat. It’s a fabulous time to be a foodie in Colorado.

Dining in Colorado, Meat & Cheese in Aspen.

Photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese.

In my work as a freelance writer and Mayor of HeidiTown, I get the opportunity to dine out a lot. Here are a few standout restaurants from the last six months; some are brand new to me and others are old favorites we hadn’t visited in awhile.

Brand New Discoveries 

Allegria, Carbondale

Warm and inviting, Allegria is an Italian restaurant with a farm fresh twist. They make much of their fare in-house and they source much of their meat and produce locally. If you’re lucky, you may even get locally foraged mushrooms in your meal.

Dining in Colorado, Allegria, Carbondale.

What to order: Bone marrow with octopus appetizer. Just do it.

Meat & Cheese, Aspen

I’ve already instructed you to eat all the things when you visit Aspen, and I was totally serious, but no foodie excursion to Aspen can be complete without a visit to Meat & Cheese.

I daydream about this restaurant on a fairly regular basis. It has a contemporary feel and yet the food is down-home good. Continue reading

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar

I’ve stayed at four out of five of these inns, and I toured the other one, so you can be assured that there is an authentic voice behind this post. These Colorado inns are all quite varied in price and ambiance, but they are each one-of-a-kind.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on your Radar. The Distillery Inn partio. HeidiTown

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

The Distillery Inn at Marble Distilling Co. – Carbondale

The Distillery Inn is the most luxurious property on this list. I had the great pleasure of staying there last month. When I say it’s “unique,” I’m not exaggerating – it’s the only distillery inn in the world.

The five rooms, located above the distillery, are top-notch. The ambiance of the entire place is laid back, yet elegant. My favorite detail of my room, the Ginger, were the daffodils in the bathroom and tulips in the main room.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar. The Distillery Inn Ginger Room.

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn. The Ginger room.

This gorgeous inn is also dog-friendly (even big dogs), has free bikes for guests to use, and the mini-bar in each room features Marble Distilling Co. spirits complete with martini making supplies that include olives.

At The Distillery Inn, they’ve thought of every little thing to make your stay extra sweet.

Room rates range from around $250 to $350. Watch the inn’s Facebook page for specials.

The Living Farm Inn – Paonia

Paonia, located in the North Fork Valley, is one of my favorite places on the face-of-the-earth, and The Living Farm, is one of my favorite spots in Paonia. The inn is above their downtown restaurant, The Living Farm Cafe. Continue reading

How We Ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go

Sometimes the best part of traveling is when something unexpected occurs. Even getting stuck on Vail Pass in a snowstorm can result in a nice long soak at Glenwood Hot Springs, which is what happened to us in 2014.

It wasn’t a snowstorm that brought us unexpectedly to Minturn last month – it was Record Store Day. If you are an avid collector of vinyl, like my husband, Ryan, you know that this is an important day. It only happens once a year and vinyl nerds do not miss it.

How we ended up in Minturn, Colorado & Why You Might Want to Go. HeidiTown (6)

However, having been laid out flat with the flu for the week leading up to our Vail trip, Ryan had forgotten that Record Store Day was the Saturday we’d be 150 miles away from his hometown record store.

Thankfully, while browsing the Vail Daily over a beer at Vail Brewing on a Friday afternoon, Ryan realized the Record Store Day was the following day. Where in the world could he participate in Record Store in the Vail Valley? Continue reading

New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is a town we know well and many of my readers do too. So on our last trip, we decided to do some things in Breckenridge that we’d never done before. That included the fat bike tour that I wrote about earlier this month.

New Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado. free bus in Breckenridge.

When we weren’t biking or walking, we got our Breckenridge via the free bus service. It goes everywhere you want to be!

New Hotel in Breckenridge

It also included staying at a brand new hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott. It’s not only new to us, this hotel is new to Breckenridge, having opened this winter on the south side of downtown. Its location is ideal for easy exploration of Breckenridge on foot.

New Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado. Residence Inn by Marriot wall art.

Fun wall art at Residence Inn by Marriott, Breckenridge.

The Residence Inn has cool, contemporary interior design, but retains mountain touches and odes to Breckenridge’s past. The best part of this hotel, for me, was the pool. If there were a “Best View from a Mountain Pool” award, this one would surely win. Continue reading

A Staycation at Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center

Why would one staycation at the Denver Tech Center? Hilton Denver Inverness, that’s why. This resort hotel has everything you need for the perfect getaway and you’ll never need to leave the building unless of course, you want to golf their pristine, 18-hole park-like course.

A staycation at the Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center. Golf Course shot

Photo courtesy of Hilton Denver Inverness

This is part two of my three-part series on great staycation resort hotels around Colorado’s Front Range, and Hilton Denver Inverness, formerly The Inverness, is indeed a truly great staycation spot south of Denver.

Hilton Denver Inverness is undergoing a multi-phase remodel and the new contemporary look and feel of the place suit my tastes perfectly. It also suits the architecture of the hotel which was built by a Scandinavian hotel company in 1989. Continue reading

Beer, Bourbon & Fat Bikes in Breckenridge, Colorado

I love riding bikes. I know this because at the end of a ride my teeth are covered in bugs and grit from smiling widely during my outing, but that’s okay – totally worth it. Riding a bike is one of the last things that genuinely makes me feel like a kid again.

Beer, Bourbon & Fat Bikes in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown (2)

This past weekend, I got to experience the best of both worlds during a fat bike tour with Ridden – I rode a bike that made me feel ten again and I took full advantage of being an adult because our bike ride destination was Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass Brewery.

We met up with our tour guide, Ashley Mahs at Ridden, a cool downtown sports shop selling new and used gear and providing rentals. Ridden started offering guided fat bike tours this winter, and participants get to ride brand new Borealis fat bikes that are made in Colorado Springs. Continue reading

Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You’ll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver

So you think you know about the Vikings, but did you know that the word “viking” isn’t a noun? That’s right, it’s actually a verb. You’ll learn tidbits like this and a lot more at the new Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You'll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver, 1

This guy appears to have lost his entire crew. Photo:

My husband was ecstatic about this exhibit because he’s a history nerd and loves anything to do with Vikings, Barbarians, Romans, etc. If they carried swords, he’s into it. So we set up a tour of the new exhibit with curator Steve Nash. When you’d visit, I’d encourage you to pick up the audio guide before going through this exhibit. This is akin to a tour with a curator.

I’m not going to tell you all the things we learned while going through this exhibit, because I need to leave a few mysteries for you to discover for yourself. However, one fascinating tidbit is the meaning of the word “viking.” While it’s frequently used to define a group of people as in, “the Vikings.” In actuality, the people we call Vikings would “go on a viking.” It’s a verb used to describe the act of going on a journey (most likely a raid). Continue reading

Staycation at Omni Interlocken, Broomfield, Colorado

Want to get away, but don’t have a lot of extra money or extra time? There are a few hotels located on Colorado’s Front Range that will give you a resort experience close to home.

Whether you plan to take the kids along, want a romantic weekend with your sweetheart or are looking for a place to party with the girlfriends, these hotels have got your covered.

Staycation at Omni Interlocken, Broomfield, Colorado, pool overview

Photo courtesy of the Omni Interlocken

Over the next month or so, I’m going to share with you some of the Front Range’s best staycation hotels starting with the Omni Interlocken in Broomfield, Colorado.

The Omni is an expansive resort property that features a spa, multiple swimming pools, kids club and semi-private champion 27-hole golf course that can’t be topped when it comes to views. In fact, the course offers up such spectacular scenes of the Flatirons and the Rocky Mountains that couples occasionally book a wedding on the course. Continue reading

14 Years of Anniversary Road Trips | 5 States, 2 Countries

Five years before I started HeidiTown, Ryan and I got married in in Golden, Colorado in May 2002. After honeymooning in England, we made a pact to spend each anniversary in a different state. That lasted a number of years until HeidiTown was in full swing and we were traveling nearly exclusively in Colorado.

14 Anniversary Trips. Arches National Park, Moab, Utah.

Corona Arch in Moab, Utah.

Now that HeidiTown has annexed six new states, I’m excited to start exploring the states surrounding Colorado again once again.

Since we’ve been taking a road trip on every anniversary for the last 14 years, I thought I’d share with you the 14 places we’ve visited in nearly 15 years of marriage.

On our first anniversary in 2003, we traveled to a small bed and breakfast at the foot of the Snowy Range near Centennial, Wyoming. We hiked on their expansive alpaca ranch, soaked in the hot tub and went on a horseback ride at a nearby ranch.

Unfortunately that bed and breakfast no longers exists, but this anniversary was a true getaway and one reason I think we both still associate trips to Wyoming with serenity.

In 2004, on our second anniversary, we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city we both love and had previously visited. In fact, we visited Santa Fe a number of times before HeidiTown was established. Continue reading

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