I have a chocolate lab named Kona. He is the heart and soul of our family. In a way I think of him as my third child. What pet owner doesn’t? My family travels quite often and I feel guilty leaving Kona at home, despite the fact that I know he is in good hands with our pet sitter. Simply put he likes to be with me. He is a mama’s boy and sulks when I go to the grocery store.
As much as I would like to take him on our travels, I’ve been hesitant to stay in pet friendly hotels. Although I love my dog, I don’t want to stay in a room that is designated ‘pet friendly’ and smells like another dog. Plus the logistics of staying at a hotel with my four-legged friend seem complicated. How do you go out to dinner? Where do you walk him? How do you participate in non-pet friendly activities like skiing? These concerns have plagued me in the past enough so that I usually opt to travel without him.
Pet Friendly Accommodations
My fears were put aside when I checked into Stowe Mountain Lodge for the weekend. Our Ridgeline Suite was in the same immaculate condition as any other room we have ever stayed in at the resort. No smell of pet here. There were wonderful amenities waiting for Kona as well — a bed, food bowls, treats and a new toy. They even included some ‘bath spritz’ to keep him (and the room) smelling fresh!
Having stayed at the resort before, it came as no surprise that the rooms are totally luxurious. They are spacious, elegantly decorated and have all of the modern conveniences you could ever want. However staying in the room with Kona had me looking at our suite through a whole new lens. The kitchenette allowed us the flexibility to eat-in, rather than dine out. The tiled floors in the bathroom and entrance way were perfect for feeding my slobbery lab and the private outdoor terrace gave Kona a space to chill out and get some fresh air.
Let’s Go For a Walk
The key to staying in hotel with your pet is to tire them out. If your dog gets enough activity they will mellow out when you are in public spaces and in your room. Luckily there is a fantastic walking trail on the Stowe Mountain Resort property. Spruce Loop is a 1.5 mile gravel path that winds through the woods, over bridges and past a stream. It provides an ideal place for you and your pooch to get some exercise. Don’t forget to clean up after your dog. Complimentary biodegradable bags are available at the front desk if you forget yours.
By far the hardest thing about traveling with your pet is not being able to go out to eat. Dogs cannot stay unattended in your room and they are not allowed in any of the restaurants. While staying at Stowe Mountain Lodge you can navigate dinning in a few ways:
Upper Lobby is Pet Friendly – You can order food or drinks from the Hourglass Lounge menu and have it delivered to you in the lobby.
Hire a Pet Sitter – All Paws On Deck will come to hotel, pick up your dog and take him back with them to their place while you eat out for $25/hour.
Cook in Your Room – If your room has a kitchenette, pick up provisions from The Pantry and cook yourself a gourmet meal.
Take Out or Delivery – We ordered Piecasso one night. Delivery time was less than 45 minutes it comes right to your hotel room door!
Order Room Service – Not the worst option.
Note: It is a bit easier during the warmer months as many restaurants in Vermont offer patio dinning where your pup is welcome.
Dos & Don’ts
To reduce the hassle of traveling to Stowe Mountain Lodge with your pet, follow these helpful tips:
Schedule Housekeeping – They will not enter your room if your dog is there. When you know you are going to be out the room with your pet for at least an hour, give them a ring so they can tidy it up for you.
Utilize Hotel Staff – It is likely your pet is going to be excited by his new surroundings when you arrive. Not to worry, Stowe’s staff loves dogs. Many even keep treats in their pockets! From the moment you step foot on the property their is a team of people waiting to help you out.
What to Bring – You probably have a standard list of items to pack when you travel with your pet such as food, medicines, chew toys and possibly a crate depending on your dog. As a good practice I always bring my own dog towels or wipes for muddy paws. I throw in a dog blanket from home that Kona is familiar with despite the fact that a bed is provided. And aside from a leash, you should bring a flashlight for night time walks.
Stowe Mountain Lodge understands that pets are part of the family and know how to make them feel welcome, but they ask that you follow a familiarize yourself with their pet policy to make your stay more enjoyable.
Cost: $125 non-refundable pet fee for all dogs staying at the hotel.
Dana Freeman is the Founder and Editor of FindandGoSeek
— a hyperlocal destination for families to discover what to see and do in their community. While she is always looking for insider tips on Family Fun in Vermont, she also writes a travel blog providing hotel and destination reviews in Vermont and beyond. Freeman has appeared on Huffington Post Live, is a correspondent for the Forbes Travel Guide.
Dana moved to Vermont over a decade ago and put her two kids into ski programs before they entered Kindergarten. She lives outside of Burlington, Vermont with her husband, two teenagers and their chocolate lab. Follow her adventures on Instagram.