Carlsbad Stay-Cation

By Renee Lewis,

A couple of weeks ago, my daughters and I took a trip up the coast to Carlsbad. Our weekend retreat took place at the West Inn & Suites and was a complete success! Carlsbad’s West Inn & Suites has completely earned 2013 Tripadvisor’s top 25 small hotels and motels for families in the U.S. Carlsbad has so much to offer; beaches, LEGOLAND, restaurants, flower gardens and outlet malls, and this quaint hotel is at the center of it all.

Did I mention this is a pet-friendly hotel? When we first walked into the hotel we were greeted by an adorable husky, wagging his tail and hanging out behind the front desk! The girls and I were really wishing we would have brought my mother’s dog, just for fun. Dogs are treated like royalty. They are welcomed with a special treat at check in and their names are displayed on the welcome chalk board at the front desk. When we walked into our room there was an array of amenities and delights. You will find things like pet aromatherapy sprays, dog bowls and beds that are sized for pet’s comfort. They also offer a Pet Concierge! This person can suggest an abundance of local pet-friendly activities, from dog beaches to day care facilities. The hotel offers a pet-friendly patio at Bistro West restaurant, and it has an onsite dog park with a pet drinking fountain. Not only that but the hotel offers a choice of Canine Cuisine!

We were treated pretty nicely also! I was first impressed with the size of the room. And so were my girls, (Anna, 8, and Madeline, 13). They really liked that we had space. There was even a separate area with a TV and sofa. So, we were able to retreat from each other if needed. Jumping on the beds and running around like little banshees seemed to be first on the to do list for my ladies. I was a bit nervous at first, but then realized no one else could probably hear us. So I let hem have at!

Dinner at the Bistro West! Food is local and fresh. Chefs Eugenio Marignago and Jason Connolly are masters at what they do and are dedicated to keeping their menu fresh and local. Which means that it’s ever evolving. Everything was good, but I was particularly impressed with the Squash Blossoms. These tempura squash blossoms brought me back to when I was a little girl in Brooklyn. My Italian grandmother used to make something very similar! And she kept it local also, all blossoms were right out of our backyard. I have to think that it was Chef Eugenio Marignago who brought this creation to Bistro West.

As we were heading back to our room, we noticed a bunch of families to the right of the lobby, in a kind of really big living room. It reminded me of a lodge at a ski resort. It was really nice because board games were out and cookies and milk were being served. It was a great way to meet other families, or just enjoy family time outside of the room. Then in the mornings, breakfast is complimentary and set up in the same way. And if you don’t like to socialize you can always bring it up to your room.

Okay, so I don’t think that I mentioned how amazing southern California is during the winter months. It happened to be a bit chilly (65 degrees) during our stay. Not really pool weather, ahhh but the pool is heated! Great way to wear those kids out!

The girls and I are already planning a trip back. It’s a great little get away for a family, but next time we are bringing grandma & Dixon (grandma’s dog!).


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