Hello! With Summer just around the corner, I get recommendation requests from friends and people on Instagram about great places to stay with their dogs while travelling. I really want to share the dog-friendly places that I do go to and love, including campgrounds, AirBnbs and other accomodations.
Recently, we travelled up to Lake Tekapo for a weekend getaway to celebrate my new role at Shopify. When travelling to popular tourist spots I have noticed how hard it is to find good, affordable accomodation with a dog. Usually that's why I end up camping when travelling to spots like Tekapo as it ends up cheaper, and is generally easier to find somewhere that will allow Diego. For this celebratory getaway though, I wanted something more. I wanted to make it more of a celebratory trip, rather than my traditional 'I am just going away for the weekend'.
This lead me to trawling through AirBnb to find accomodation that would work for us. In some spots that I have previously AirBnb'd I would approach accomodation that doesn't specifically state that it is dog friendly, and kindly request to see if Diego would be allowed. I have a 50/50 rate on whether the home owner accepts this or not, but I find it is always good practice to ask. The worst they can say is no, and least I know I have tried.
In Tekapo, I found a great AirBnb that specifically stated that it was small dog friendly. This was a big win for me! I still approached the home owner to make sure that it was in fact dog friendly, and whether it would be okay to bring Diego. They replied very promptly to say it was, and that I could book in at the short notice I was providing. The location was set a two minute stroll from the Church of Good Shepherd. It was perfect.
If any of you have used AirBnb before you would know about the cheeky cleaning and service fees. Some accomodation providers will offer a small per night rate, and then tack on a $120 cleaning fee for one night. It is something that really annoys me, and surprises me that AirBnb would allow it to work this way. I have found amazing houses, only to see that with the cleaning and service fees it is an additional $200 per night. Some also charge more for extra humans. Let me just say, the Lake Tekapo Awa Cottage does not do this! There is no extra charge to have a dog, nor is there any extra charge for up to the four humans that the home can accommodate. There is no cleaning fee at all! I don't know about you, but when people do things like that, that buck the normal trend of money grabbing, it makes me want to support them more.
When I arrived at the property, I realised how accurate the listing was. You are able to see the church and a fantastic view of the lakes and mountains clearly from the house. The home itself looks like a converted garage, and albeit small, the space has been utilised to its fullest potential. I only went with Diego and the boyfriend, but could easily see another couple coming with us without it seeming like the house is too cramped. For the small space, it fits two rooms with a decent kitchen and bathroom. The courtyard is definitely on the smaller size however, and you wouldn't want to rely on this solely for your dogs exercise requirements. The house itself was in pristine cleanliness, and they even provided us with some freshly laid eggs.
While here, we were able to walk down to the lake and to the town within minutes and gave a great base to do all sorts of exploring within the region. Due to it's location we were easily able to drive to many different sights within Tekapo including a forest on the right side of the lake, as well as the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. We also went out to do some astro-photography which was spectacular. My photography is not nearly good enough to show you what an amazing night of stars it was, but trust me, you would not want to miss this if you are staying in the region. We saw Mars glowing orange brightly over the horizon, many shooting stars and of course, the milky way.
With the Awa Cottage, only small dogs are allowed and they are not allowed within the bedrooms. They do require you to bring a dog bed for your dog to sleep on. Usually such restrictions on dog size would upset me, but honestly, you wouldn't want bigger dogs within the space. It is just not big enough to accomodate that. Small dogs are more than welcome though, and they just hope you can respect the space and leave it as found when you check in. This is fair enough, and I hope that my viewers would agree with that.
I definitely will be coming to this amazing spot again. I want to bring Becki and Kobe up here next time so that we can all explore the area together! I think her and Kobe would love it, just as much as Diego, Ty and I did. This is also my top, and currently only recommendation for amazing dog-friendly accomodation in the heart of Tekapo.