Living It Up At The Dog-Friendly Loden Hotel

Staying In Is The New Going Out At Vancouver’s Boutique Hideaway

By Amy Watkins

Photo: Milk Creative Communications

Cuffing season is here and it’s the perfect time to stay in a hotel, cuddle up with your loved one, throw on a snuggly spa robe, order room service, and raid the mini bar.  My ideal date involves snuggling up with my favorite cuddle buddy, a 70 lb Bulldog named Rick James, and on a recent visit to Vancouver’s Loden Hotel I was thrilled that my furry pal could join in the pampering too with in-suite grooming services, doggy dining options and Canada’s first mini bar dedicated solely to pets.

Photo: Amy Watkins

Hidden on a quiet tree-lined street that exists almost by magic for a few blocks between downtown Vancouver’s bustling West Georgia Street, the shops on Robson and the tranquil neighborhood of Coal Harbour, the Loden Hotel is the perfect place for an urban winter retreat.

Photo: Loden Hotel

Expect a warm welcome from attentive staff the moment you enter the lobby, with its striped marble fireplace and dark doorway that leads towards the Tableau Bar Bistro, the hotel’s award-winning French restaurant. Four-legged friends are given a special greeting of their own from a team that clearly enjoys meeting doggy guests as much as humans. The front desk staff were on hand to give out lots of canine cuddles whenever we passed through the reception area.

Photo: Milk Creative Communications

Homemade dog treats, a Loden leash, pet shampoo, poop bags, and a personalized door hanger are all waiting in the apartment-sized rooms and the pet charge of $45 per dog per night includes animals of all shapes and sizes.  Petite pooches are welcomed with doggy-sized spa robes to get comfy in, and larger dogs can relax in style on the plush, plus-sized dog bed — a welcome sight after many a hotel visit has resulted in my beefy Bulldog Rick trying to valiantly squeeze himself into a more bijou sized bed.

Photo: Amy Watkins

Signature rooms feature king sized beds for owners and all rooms have floor- to-ceiling windows that flood the space with light, even in the darker months. Corner signature rooms have peekaboo views of the North Shore mountains and Stanley Park, and include dog walking maps that display the proximity of the hotel to the seawall and off-leash parks to play in. But with plenty of in-suite options, you may choose to stay indoors with your pooch instead.

Photo: Loden Hotel

Dog-sitting services are available if you want to go out and explore the many restaurants and bars that can be found in the immediate downtown vicinity, but why would you want to leave your bed when 24-hour room service offers comfort food classics from Tableau such as grilled cheese or seasonal dishes like hearty ragout de porc?

Photo: Milk Creative Communications

If you are catering to your vegan Weimaraner or if little Rex is on a raw diet it’s no problem as the Loden’s in-room pet menu includes everything from wild salmon wet food and raw, grass-fed beef to dry vegan pea protein for the ultimate Vancouver experience. Pets even have their water replaced and new treats laid out at turndown, so they don’t miss out on a single part of the hotel stay. With only 77 rooms in the boutique hotel, staff soon learn your dog’s name, whether they are wishing you a happy evening walk or delivering a plate of delicious pork pasta whilst navigating a path past an over-enthusiastic bulldog.

Photo: Loden Hotel

After filling up on food, it’s time to hit the mini bar. Humans can imbibe local BC tipples from Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and Long Table Distillery, or take a stroll to the dog-friendly Coal Harbour Liquor Store around the corner, which has treats for everyone. Dogs can also enjoy a beer (squeaky toy), tuck into locally made organic treats, or take home a Loden towel or leash. Call the front desk if you forgot your toothbrush, or dip into the doggy mini bar if Fido forgot his.

Photo: Loden Hotel

Canine care continues with in-room spa treatments from local groomers who can give your pet a pawdicure, or you can organize your own in-room indulgence with the array of massages and beauty treatments available. Head to the hotel’s small Spa Suite for a relaxing retreat and infrared sauna, or stay put in your room and enjoy the huge open-plan bathroom and Molton Brown toiletries with a luxurious dip in the deep soaker tub (hello waterfall taps!) or a monsoon style shower.

Photo: Loden Hotel

Energetic guests can borrow the hotel’s complimentary cruiser bikes for a ride around the nearby seawall, which stretches 10 km around Stanley Park, or try the “WanderFIT” program to discover local hikes. Adventurous hounds can head out on their own “WanderPET” experience — pooches are picked up and dropped off at the hotel after a fun forest hike or seawall stroll.

Photo: Loden Hotel

It’s hard to leave the luxurious rooms at the Loden and there’s really no need to when you can enjoy a very Vancouver touch of a yoga mat (conveniently located in each room) and a 24-hour yoga TV channel. So, what are you waiting for? Pick your perfect pooch partner, go nuts on the mini bars, unleash your downward dog together or just say ‘namaste in bed’ and order room service.

Photo: Amy Watkins

For more information on the Luxury Pet Experience, visit Loden Hotels.