Admit it, you have become one of those crazy dog people. Every time you go on vacation, the sight of your little buddy's puppy-dog eyes gets you in the gut, ruining your Colorado getaway before you even leave. Why not exchange good old-fashioned guilt for a healthy dose of shame and bring your pooch with you the next time you head up to the high-country? Here are seven of Colorado's best dog-friendly hotels, from the rustic to ultra-fancy:
The Ruby of Crested Butte
($129-$349), a little B&B in the pooch-loving town of CB, allows dogs to stay for free and pampers them with dog beds, blankets and homemade treats, and $5 donations from guests go to animal-welfare groups. At The Ruby, they seem to love your dog as much as you do.
The Hotel Columbia
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($175-$895 in the summer) is in the beautiful, and dog-friendly, town of Telluride. Whether you go for the snow sports, festivals or summer activities, feel free to bring your mutt. They offer treats and beds, charge a relatively minor fee of $25 per pet per day, and recommend sitters and groomers. Come on, you know you like the idea of your little buddy living it up in the lap of luxury while you enjoy the best Colorado has to offer.
If you want to enjoy the beauty of this area without the prices of Telluride, try nearby Ouray, a day-trip away. The Riverside Inn ($41-$99) offers basic, pet-friendly cabins, only a few miles from the town's hot springs.
Grand Junction's Main Street Suites ($99-$119) may not be the most pet-crazy hotel in Colorado, but with two floors open to pets and a meager $25 per stay fee, it's an attractive option if you want to tour the Colorado National Monument State Park (a mini-Grand Canyon, not a placard off the side of the highway) or the Centennial State's wine country.
The historic Hotel Denver ($107-$182) in Glenwood Springs charges no fees, but just asks that you be responsible for your pet. Enjoy the nearby hot springs and cave tours with your dog happily waiting for you at the hotel.
For those of you who inhabit the Denver suburbs and like to come in for a show or dinner out, but don't want to deal with the hassle of finding a safe and affordable way home to care for your canine companion, the Hotel Monaco ($169-$319) in Downtown Denver is a great option. They are practically obsessed with dogs, offering beds, treats, walking maps and more -- with no deposit or size restrictions.
During the summer, a more affordable option is Starlite Classic Campgrounds ($47-$60), an RV Park near the Royal Gorge. Starlite Campgrounds' main draw may be its vintage campers (which are given cute, old-fashioned names), but it's on-site dog park and doggy day care amenities make it appealing to those traveling with their best friends. Unfortunately, you can't rent Josie, Sally or Ginny with your mutt in tow, but more basic cabins are available.
If you pooch suffers from separation anxiety, just make sure to bring the crate. Whether you're skiing, boarding, hiking, biking or dipping, there's no reason your pup can't enjoy a classic Colorado vacation too.