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!
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western On The Beach Hotel Gulf Shores
- Gulf Shores Best Western
- Best Western Gulf Shores