Really, he did. There is a first for everything. He, too, was a hosted guest at West Inn and Suites in Carlsbad, currently rated the #1 hotel in Carlsbad on TripAdvisor. The boutique hotel doesn’t have a weight limitation for traveling pets, which can be an issue for us when on the move with our 70 lb dog.
I pulled into a parking space and left Scooby in the car during check-in, which was a mistake because his name was written on the lobby’s welcome board along with other pet guests (maybe five, at the time of our stay). We then drove around to the hotel’s back entrance, just steps from our suite on the first floor. I’m so used to a walking some distance to a hotel room, that this was a welcome relief with a giant pet in tow.
Our reservation at Bistro West was for an early dinner, but since I’d been tipped off to the new Canine Cuisine menu I was anxious to place an order for Scooby beforehand.
I sent a photo of the menu via text to my husband. Do I order him the filet with bacon, cheddar cheese and mashed potatoes? Or, the German Shepherd Pie? Due to his allergies, we settled on the Hound Burger which is a mixed vegetable burger, rice, shredded carrots, and fingerling potatoes nestled in a two iceberg lettuce cups. Canine Cuisine is delivered to the room from the popular Bistro West restaurant onsite.
After placing one iceberg lettuce cup full of goodness into the adorable polka-dotted bowls, my dog wasn’t sure if I was serious about letting him eat it. He cautiously approached his in-room dining and began wolfing down the meal, sands iceberg lettuce which he was not at all sure what to do with.
Unable to resist, my 6-year-old and I tore off a bit of the veggie burger which we determined was one of the best we’d had in a while. In fact, my she asked me to order her one on the spot.
I prepared my dog’s usual breakfast the following morning. He looked at me like I was crazy and wouldn’t eat it for about an hour. I am certain he was asking for more Canine Cuisine.
Bistro West Dog-Friendly Dining
A gate from the outside leads to a quaint, heated patio at Bistro West (now closed), a favorite of locals for its extensive farm-to-table menu. It took a while to settle on what to order (aside from a glass of red wine) because of so many amazing options, but I couldn’t pass up the ahi tartare appetizer big enough to serve as a meal.
The spaghetti and meatballs from the kids’ menu were equally large. We took a majority of it with us back to the room. The marinara sauce is homemade from ingredients grown in the restaurant’s garden just a few miles away. She was given a fun activity mat and crayons for entertainment though dining out with the dog automatically keeps her in a good mood. Let’s face it, dining with a leash wrapped around your chair or arm isn’t always super easy, but this was a pretty seamless event.
For petless fine dining, walk over to West Steak and Seafood, the other signature restaurant onsite.
Fun For Pets Around The Hotel
A fairly sizable dog and cat run spans one side of the hotel. It’s a long stretch of nice green grass for them to do their business on and sniff around. Pet waste bags and a trash can are right there for your convenience.
My dog and daughter both enjoyed the quiet little dog park across the street from the hotel that has plenty of grass and picnic tables for one to chill out on.
West Inn and Suites Rooms
West Inn and Suites is home to 86 rooms including 36 spacious suites with living areas. Note the beds in the photo above are king-sized, a feature rarely seen in hotels of any star rating. Suites are larger than the standard rooms with a separate living area (though there is no door) off to the side. I’d highly recommend this arrangement for parents traveling with kids who go to bed early.
What travelers love most about the West Inn and Suites, aside from the contemporary Cape Cod meets Casablanca decor, is what’s included in the room rate. There is no need to fear incidentals such as parking, WiFi, daily newspaper, and breakfast as they are all included in the already reasonably-priced room rate. There is also complimentary coffee and tea 24 hours a day in the lobby as well as a free shuttle to take you anywhere within Carlsbad. LEGOLAND California is just 5 minutes away so it helps avoid the parking fee and general chaos.
The spacious rooms include:
- In-room coffee
- Aveda bath amenities
- Refrigerator and microwave
- King-sized pillow top beds
- Fresh orchids
- Complimentary water upon arrival
- High definition TVs
- WiFi and wired internet
- Smoke-free room
- A bed, bowls, waste bags and treats for four-legged guests
- Room service from Bistro West
Though it was a weekend and there were a number of families with young kids traveling, our room was noise-free. Breakfast was much nicer than I had envisioned with eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, bagels, muffins, bananas, cold cereal and more. Plus, there’s a small fitness center, a heated pool and a pantry area that’s open 24 hours a day that is stocked with sodas, snacks and more.
Good to Know
Despite the hotel’s close proximity to the freeway, we didn’t hear any freeway noise except for when at the dog run and even there it wasn’t bothersome. Dogs aren’t allowed in the breakfast room so you’ll need to go one at a time or put Fido in the car for a little bit while you grab a bite to eat. The location makes it an option for hotels near LEGOLAND and pet-friendly San Diego hotels.
You can drive to other Carlsbad restaurants and shops, but there really isn’t anything within walking distance (we did not find this to be a big deal at all). There wasn’t a bathtub in our king suite, which may be an issue for families traveling with babies.
Overall, I was genuinely pleased with our hassle-free stay. Have you been to the onsite restaurants or the hotel?
West Inn and Suites
4970 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92008