At the Summit Lodge, pets are acknowledged as beloved family members. “Can you imagine traveling without your kids?” exclaims Lorraine Yeung of the Summit’s marketing department, echoing the sentiments of general manager Tony Medd.
Indeed, the entire staff welcomes dogs with arms wide open—literally. “Our front desk staff looooove dogs,” says Lorraine. “We love to come around the desk and greet them, give them some treats, and make sure they have a couple of dog amenities.” In fact, there are even dogs on staff—Lorraine’s dog, Talitha, our working Rottweiler, has been on the job since the ripe age of eight weeks.
Introducing the Summit Lodge’s Pet Package
At its very core, the Summit Lodge is about ensuring that guests have a positive experience. “We love to be able to do anything to make our guests have the best day ever,” says Lorraine. That’s why the hotel is so excited to unveil its new and improved pet package: they know that happy pets and happy guests go hand-in-hand.
While human guests can sample Aveda products and indulge in the treatments offered at the on-site Taman Sari Heritage Spa, there are plenty of opportunities to pamper pooches, too. “Gourmet pet baskets” greet pets and their owners as they enter their room for the first time, complete with a dog bed and blankets, healthy local-made dog treats, eco-friendly baggies and green-centric dog toys.
Exploring Dog-Friendly Whistler
Your puppy will have plenty to do while you relax in your room, but he or she will be equally excited to join you as you explore everything that Whistler has to offer. The Summit Lodge offers free bike rentals, and Lorraine advises guests to borrow a bike and take a leisurely ride through the Lost Lake Trails, dog leashed in tow. “Spend a little bit of time at Canine Cove or Barking Bay,” she insists, referring to a few of Whistler’s dog-friendly beaches. Pick up a few treats at Purebread and make a picnic of the day!
A simple walk along the Village Stroll can be fun, too. “Aside from all the exciting sights and smells, there are so many pet-friendly shops in Whistler. There is also lots of outdoor seating—you can’t bring your dog onto a patio, but you can tie your dog up just outside the patio.” That means enjoying an après-ski beverage while keep a close eye on your four-legged friend.
“In the summer especially, we can have so many dogs in the Village,” says Lorraine, “offering plenty of opportunities for socialization.” Her own pup enjoys mingling with other local and visiting dogs in the large grassy area in the Olympic Plaza.
Planning Your Pet-Friendly Trip
Of course, having lots of pets in town means that you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure your own dog is taken care of. “Not many properties allow pets to be left alone in a hotel room. Dog sitters and walkers can get booked up very quickly,” says Lorraine. “Do a little bit of Google-ing to find all of the pet-friendly places in Whistler.” The Summit staff can offer their own recommendations, too.
Keen on the idea of your pet joining you on your Whistler adventure? There are a few things you can do to prepare for your pooch. “When I travel with my dog, I bring some treats,” says Lorraine, highlighting that this is an especially good tactic if your pet tends to get anxious or overexcited. Treats will encourage your pet to associate traveling with positive experiences. “I might also bring them a blanket or toy, to make them feel at home and to provide a bit of familiarity,” advises Lorraine. “If your dog is crate-trained, a crate can make them feel really secure.”
Is That a… Tiger?
Unlike many other Whistler accommodations, the Summit Lodge does not limit the number of dogs or the size of dog permitted in the room. As long as you provide advance notice, the Summit will happily accommodate you and your pets on a dog-friendly floor—your canine will even receive a personalized shout-out on the in-house dog board by the front desk!
Other pets are welcome, too, as long as owners notify the hotel ahead of time in order to understand the policies in place. Hotel employees recalled the time a famous rapper brought a wild cat into the hotel (Small leopard? Mini tiger? The official breed was never confirmed).
And what do the dogs think about the Summit Lodge experience? The proof is in the pudding: just as human guests make a point of returning to the Summit, so do their dogs. Lorraine tells me about one of her favourite regulars, a retriever named Bentley. She enjoys catching up with Bentley’s family and keeping up on their lives. “One of the best parts of our jobs is seeing these guests that keep coming back.”
To find out more about the Summit Lodge’s dog-friendly experience, check out the hotel’s pet policies and treat your dog to the ultimate Whistler experience!