Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Despite the claim of many hotels to be ‘dog-friendly’, what we’ve often encountered is that most hotels are ‘dog-tolerant’. Lodges will abide Fido, provided she weighs under 25 pounds, stays locked in her kennel all day, and never traverses the lobby. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge sets the standard for a vacation truly inclusive of dogs, regardless of size. This iconic mountain retreat is so dog-friendly that they even have their own canine ambassador, a black Lab named Stanley. Stanley can be ‘borrowed’ to guests missing their own furry friend, or just wanting a drooly companion for a stroll.
The FJPL offers perfect accommodations for four-legged friends, as most rooms are cabin-style with your own front door. This motel-model access is uber convenient for late night/early morning potty breaks without having to load into an elevator and scoot through a public lobby. With 700 acres to roam, you can stay for a week and never walk the same path twice. Dogs are welcome everywhere on the property, except the swimming pool, dining areas and kids rooms (designated play spots). Because the FJPL is located within a national park, dogs must be leashed at all times. Elk and deer wander freely around the grounds, and we did spot a black bear during a walk, so you’ll want to keep pooch securely tethered anyway. If you’re planning activities without Fido, dog sitting and walking services are available through the Concierge. A portion of the nightly pet fee is donated to the Hinton SPCA.
The FJPL hosts a ‘Dog Days of May’ event over the long weekend, setting up a fenced off-leash play area, arranging buffets in the dog area so that guardians can dine with Fido, and offering a program of hikes, agility and mushing demonstrations, baking lessons for dog biscuits, ‘Ask a Vet’ opportunities and more. I really enjoyed and appreciated live music entertainment during dinners. The most special quality of our stay was that I didn’t ever feel like my dog was being ‘tolerated’. Every single staff member we encountered approached and asked to pet Jay. Every. Single. One, from the guest service agent and bellhop at check-in, to room service attendants, housekeepers and even gardeners. I think a love of dogs must be a hiring requirement. If you seek a genuinely dog-friendly stay in a breath-takingly beautiful location with a plethora of recreation possibilities, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge will not disappoint.