We just returned from four days at Sugar Beach condos.
First the good: Location, Location and Location! The condo complex is next to the State Park so it's not on the crowded high-rise end of the beach. The beach, pools and beach bar were all terrific. The management provides nice cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach and the pools have plenty of chairs and coverage as well. The pools were very clean. The beach is suffering from the effects of the oil spill but the local clean up crews were really going above and beyond to keep the beach in shape for sunbathing. The entire time we were there, the double red flags were flying and the water was technically closed. The beach was practically deserted the first two days but on Friday the sun was out and people were in the water (not more than knee deep though) - the 'sheen' from the oil seen on Wed and Thurs was not present on Friday. Tarballs are on the beach at the high water mark, but paths have been cleared and if you are careful, you won't step on any of them. Going back from the beach on the boardwalk to the condos, the management has put out buckets of cleaning solution for you to scrub your feet if you have oil on them. A word of warning, don't take any sandals that you want to keep onto the beach with you. I ruined a nice pair the first day as the oil just doesn't come off. I'd suggest you stop at Walgreen's and buy some $1 flip flops to get you to/from your condo to/from the beach. We tossed ours out at the end of the visit.
Now, the cautionary part - each unit is independently owned so ask for photos in advance of your actual unit. Our unit was only adequate in terms of comfort and amenities provided. Poor quality sheets and towels as well as a washing machine that did not drain. There were pistachio shells under the bed and the blinds were broken. Also the mattresses were pretty hard. I usually cook when we go on vacation as I like to get local produce/fish and make something fun, however, the kitchen was poorly appointed so we just ate out the entire time. I think the unit was overpriced - $250 per night. In this economy with vacancy rates of nearly 50%, it was just out of line. The Gulf Coast is begging visitors to come and bring their tourist dollars. We did that and it would have been nice to feel we weren't been overcharged in the process.
We still had a great time and the location made up for any issues that might have come up. Our experience with the rental agency staff was great - Cassandra and Amber really went out of their way to make our stay pleasant.
I would recommend Sugar Beach but as I said, just be cautious and ask for details on your specific unit.
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- Also Known As:
- Sugar Beach Hotel Orange Beach