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.

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

Featured Festival: Hops & Harley, 2016

Hops-and-Harley-website-379x400I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with Hops & Harley from the beginning. This festival is not just a fun dog-friendly event, but it raises awareness for a cause that is close to my heart, National Mill Dog Rescue.

Who is Harley?

National Mill Dog Rescue saves commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills, and Harley, the festival’s namesake, was a spokesdog against puppy mills until he passed over the rainbow bridge earlier this year.

This pint-sized chihuahua spent the first ten years of his life in awful conditions as a breeding dog at a puppy mill in the Midwest.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra

This is Harley.

After Harley was rescued, he spent the last five years of his life saving puppy mill dogs and educating people about the horrors of puppy mills. Harley become the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog in 2015, making him a world famous celebrity dog. He touched hundreds of thousands of lives over the years and through Hops & Harley, his legacy lives on.

Hops & Harley

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - dancing

There will be dancing.

This festival takes place annually in Fickle Park in Berthoud, Colorado. Hosted by City Star Brewing, it’s a dog and beer lovers extravaganza. City Star serves up their award-winning craft brew while bands play on the main stage. There are food trucks, dog-centric vendors, childrens activities, a dog agility course and more.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - dog agility

See if your dog has what it takes!

Well-behaved dogs are not only welcome at Hops & Harley, their presence is encouraged. A number of National Mill Dog Rescue rescue dogs show up at the festival (many NMDR rescue dog owners fly in or drive hundreds of miles to attend).

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting Event

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting at Hops & Harley is a new event this year. While the main festival is free, this is a ticket event.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - CSB

There will be craft beer.

The Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting tent will feature 15 breweries pouring their dog-related brews such as City Star’s Harley’s Honey Wheat, Copper Kettle’s Charlie’s Golden Strong and High Hops’ Brown Dog IPA. A few of the dogs that inspired these tasty beers will also be under the Brewery Dog Beer Tasting tent.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - random dog

Your dog wants to go to Hops & Harley!

This event takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. during Hops & Harley and tickets may be purchased here.

And here’s what I think is the best part about this festival: One hundred percent of the proceeds of Hops & Harley, and the new beer tasting event, will go to National Mill Dog RescueNothing is more fun than festival-ling for a good cause!

Hops & Harley

Saturday, June 25, 2016

11 to 6 p.m. (free)

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting 2 to 6 p.m. (ticketed, $20)

Fickle Park, Berthoud, Colorado


brewery dogs at Hops & Harley 2016


Featured Festival spots on are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature?



Easy hiking around Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument

I’ve already written about camping at Echo Park and what inspired our visit to this remote national monument in Northwest Colorado. In this post I wanted to share several of the hikes we took while camping in this beautiful spot.

Easy hiking around Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument. On the trail to the confluence.

We didn’t do any big treks as we had our old dog, Xena, with us and dogs can’t be on the trails around Echo Park, so we had to leave her in the car during our outings. Thankfully, it was cool and she loves being in the car. It’s one of her “happy places.”

We spent two nights camping at Echo Park. We arrived on a Thursday in the late afternoon and only had time to set up camp and make dinner before the sun was dipping behind the canyon walls.

On Friday, we took Xena on short walk down to the boat ramp area and let her get her paws wet. She loves the water and she would have jumped in headfirst if we’d have let her. She was leashed (it’s the law) so we prevented a total wet dog situation. Continue reading

Camping at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument

When we told friends that we were spending our wedding anniversary camping at Dinosaur National Monument in Northwest Colorado, most of them looked at us in confusion. After all, a monument is just a rock in the ground erected in memory of a person or historical event, right? Yes, but a National Monument is so much more.

Camping at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument. Looking down at the road to Echo Park Campground.

See that winding road? That’s the road to Echo Park Campground.

A National Monument is a federally protected area that is similar to a National Park. Colorado has eight National Monuments and so far we’ve visited five.

Located in both Utah and Colorado and best known for its dinosaur bones and petroglyphs, we did not visit Dinosaur National Monument to see dinos, although we did hope to catch site of a pterodactyl flying over our campsite. Kidding, of course, although Echo Park did have a sort of Jurassic Park type of feel. Continue reading

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