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“Great Beach Access and Friendly Environs”

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Best Western On The Beach
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Gulf Shores
Certificate of Excellence
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great Beach Access and Friendly Environs”
Reviewed 3 October 2011

The last week of September, 2011, my wife and I traveled from Louisville, Kentucky to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a few days of relaxation and good food. Having been born and raised on the Gulf Coast, we both miss the particular culture and natural beauty of the region and enjoy returning from time to time.

From their website, which is well-done and accurate, we selected the Best Western on the Beach for our lodging. Reading some of the Tripadviosr reviews we were a bit apprehensive but after speaking with relatives in the area before reserving our room, some of our concerns were assuaged. This property has been in the process of upgrading for some time and the troubling issues cited in the reviews have been addressed in most of the units. It should also be noted that hotel accommoations on the beach are rare, as most sites are condominiums, many privately owned units not available for rent.

Upon arrival, we were impressed with the courtesy of the desk clerk and her successful efforts to secure our room about one hour earlier than the stated check-in time. We found the room to be recently renovated, evidence of fresh paint work everywhere and, on the ceilings and walls, apparent work resulting in slightly mismatched surface textures. The room was simple in decor, almost austere, but clean, comfortable, and spacious in the sleeping/kitchenette area, though slightly less commodious in the bath. By hotel standards the water pressure in the shower was adequate and the bathroom was clean; otherwise it was small and not laid out in the fashion we come to expect in hotels. All in all, the bathroom was cramped but sufficient for one occupant at a time. The kitchenette was equipped with what appeared to be new cabinets and fixtures. This area was equipped with a fridge, a microwave, a stainless steel sink, stovetop burners, and a coffeemaker. There was more than enough cabinet and counter space for suitably meeting the needs of guests staying briefly and primarily eating out. The provided silverware and dinnerware were also more than adequate for at least two guests and additional pieces may be obtained from housekeeping as needed. The bed was comfortable with crisp sheets and generous pillows. Desk space and drawer space was as one might expect in a typical chain operation. The real treat was the access to a private balcony through a door at the end of the room opposite the entrance to the room. From this balcony, my wife and I enjoyed spectacular views of the waves, the sky, gulls, sugar sand beaches, and occasionally even dolphins. The balcony isn't large but there is more enough space for sveral adults to stretch out out weary legs while sitting in any of the three chairs provided.

From standing in our second floor room to wading in the warm waves of the gulf was a two minute jaunt, with easy access to both stairs and elevators that exited virtually onto the beach. On the way down, there are vending machines for ice and well stocked snack and soft drink dispensers.

The onsite restaurant is a fine spot for breakfast in particular (lots of yummy pancake and waffle varieties) and lunch as well, but dinner isn't served. The bright cheery eatery offers a view of the beach from all tables . . . a GREAT view from those tables nearest the floor to ceiling glass walls on the south side. Servers are most friendly, attentive, and accommodating. The indoor pool is in a separate building but is only steps away from all rooms. The outdoor pool is enhanced by a man-made rock feature that creates a cave-like nook at one end. It appears to be equipped to send waters cascading down like a waterfall but that feature wasn't in operation when we visited.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of this hotel is it's location, with shops, diners, pubs, live-entertainment and the beach all within very easy walking distance. I won't review those venues here but may offer separate reviews for them as time goes by.

Based on our simple but clean and perfectly adequate room, the overall friendliness of the hotel and diner staff, the exceptional views from beachfront balconies, and the superb location, I would return to this hotel without hesitation. I almost typed "reservation" rather than "hesitation" but realized that, in fact, one must have reservations!

Room Tip: Specify gulfview and inquire as to whether the room has been recently updated.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DrMike83158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (207)
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English first
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2011

You really can't beat the location but the hotel left plenty to be desired. The carpet in room was damp to the touch the entire three days. The room smelled of mildew the entire time. Being allergic to mildew this did not make for restful sleep or a comfortable stay. There is shelf over sink and you can't get over sink to wash face without hitting head and making mess. Because I didn't go through the hotel and therefore pay more for the room (used travel site), we ended up with the room that looked out to a blank wall because the indoor pool is in separate building in front parking lot. Because of our view of the wall the room felt closterphobic. The outdoor pool on beach side was freezing even in heat of day. The hot tub was the temperature the pool should have been. When getting free coffee and tea in morning the hot water was brown coming out of the machine. So we passd on both coffee and tea.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MsMarty2345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange Beach
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

Rather run down and musty ,Absolutely no security here AT all, during the MusicFest there were people sleeping in the halls that were obviously not registered there. Our vehicle was towed because management "didnt see our parking permit" even though we had been there for 4 days, no one seemed to realize it was a registered guests vehicle, nor did they double check the plates...they just had it towed...then the owner flatly refused to accept any responsibility...
Total cost for 4 days? 1400 for the rooms, 250 for the towing.
Don't stay here.

Room Tip: Look for another Hotel
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank vocal_local
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary,
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2011

Everything was in need of renovation on the 3-story side. The kitchenette didn't have any glassware, plates or cutlery...only a couple of pots, which we thought was useless unless you wanted to stir with your hands. There was however, a coffee pot and coffee in the room.

The beds were comfortable and clean, but the HUGE pillows put a kink in your neck... they had to be at least 8 or 9 inches thick.

The stairwells had no fire doors at all, and the fire hoses were replaced by extinguishers. Not that helpful in a bad situation.

On a positive note, all the staff were pleasant and helpful. The breakfast restaurant was very good with fast service and looked out toward the beautiful white sand beach. There is also and indoor, heated pool and an outdoor one in front of the restaurant.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay there. The view made everything seem petty to complain about, but listed them for the benefit of other travelers.

Room Tip: Ask for an oceanside room, the other side looks over the parking lot.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Vivian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2011

There was a hurricane battering the gulf coast this Labor Day weekend. Common sense should dictate and reasonable people would understand a cancellation, even if it was a few hours after the 48 hour cancellation deadline. Not Mr. Bobby Thompson, No Sir. He stuck by his guns, come hell or high water and refused all cancellations without penalty of one nights lodging cost. I guess he expected me to come, hurricane or no hurricane.
Business must be real poor and it should get worse if this kind of attitude continues.
Owner or not, Best Western should not be proud of Mr. Bobby Thompson. He certainly does not reflect the type or personality of the owners in the Best Western commercial.

Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
12 Thank REDRULS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Missouri
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2011

We didn't have reservations in the area, so we just found this driving by. It was on the beach and that's what we wanted. The room was very nice with nice beds and pillows. We had beach view with a balcony. That's what we wanted. The hotel has been there awhile it seems. There's some wear and tear going on throughout the place. They need to pay attention to all the corners and baseboards when cleaning. Other than that the room was fairly clean. The pool area was very nice and clean and the pool was not very crowded. There was a nice kiddie wadding pool. You accessed the beach right outside the pool area which was absolutely what we wanted. They don't have any towels for the pool or beach. We didn't try the pancake restaurant on the premises. It was not free and the funny smell kinda said "no way" to us. The hotel had a moldy kinda smell in the lobby and restaurant and the elevator smelled horrible. The rooms didn't though, that was good. You can rent a lounger on the beach for $25 a day from a "guy" that will show up if your sitting on his seats without paying. The hotel doesn't provide any seating on the beach. The staff inside hotel are just accomodating, not overly friendly or rude. The staff outside are nice. We would only stay here again if there were no other vacancies in the area, but wouldn't be upset if we had to.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cheryl61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
robert t, Owner at Best Western On The Beach, responded to this review, 26 August 2011
I would first like to begin by thanking you for being our guest at the Best Western on the Beach. I have read over your comments and have already began on looking into and solving all of your thoughful recomendations. We certainly hope to see you back again, thank you.

Bobby Thompson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2011

Love Gulf Shores!! Our first time here as we are used to the beaches in New Jersey or Maryland. Beach was beautiful! White Sands and since there had been rain, the water was the color of a green sea glass, just beautiful. Hotel was right on the beach. It is a bit of an older hotel but with that comes much larger rooms! Tiny bathroom but workable. The room we stayed in was very large with a kitchen. Had a storm door instead of a slider(guess because of hurricanes?) New beds with amazing mattresses..so comfy. We never had a problem finding a parking space but we were not out late at night either. Rooms was great but the beach was so beautiful, we would have been happy in a tent! Was hot tho and AC was good. Restaurant in motel was average..LONG wait time for food and mine was warm-cold when I got it. As far as dining out..I was expecting a lot of seafood but most were so crowded or all fried food..we needed some insider tips from locals and will do that when we return or cook our own. We did travel to Foley to go to LAmberts. Hour + wait but I had been to the original one in Sikeston MO as a kid(40's now) and knew it was worth the wait and it was..good food, lots of pass arounds and leave with an overlly full belly. Great trip!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cschwnenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
robert t, Owner at Best Western On The Beach, responded to this review, 26 August 2011
Thank you so much for all of your kind words! Your buisness has been greatly appreciated and we certainly hope to welcome you back soon!

Bobby Thompson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Best Western On The Beach

Property: Best Western On The Beach
Address: 337 East Beach Boulevard, PO Box 481, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alabama > Gulf Shores
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf Shores
#3 Romantic Hotel in Gulf Shores
#5 Family Hotel in Gulf Shores
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western On The Beach 3*
Number of rooms: 101
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Best Western On The Beach Hotel Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores Best Western
Best Western Gulf Shores

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