The Best Hotels in Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach could hardly be closer to the action
The Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach could hardly be closer to the action | Courtesy of Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front / Expedia
Photo of Julia Sayers Gokhale
28 October 2021
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If your idea of a perfect vacation is sugar-white sands and turquoise waters, Alabama might not be your first thought. But this Southern state’s tiny coast is a hidden gem for fun in the sun. The towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach combine as a beach retreat with opportunities on and off the water. Sink your toes in the sand with these hotels and resorts in Gulf Shores.

Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton, for sunset balcony views

The beachfront outdoor pool area of Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton, with the hotel behind trees to the right
Courtesy of Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton / Expedia

Orange Beach is the sister town to Gulf Shores and equally popular. This beachfront hotel offers gorgeous views from floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby, and balconies off every room. Snag a beach chair and umbrella set-up on the sand, or take a dip in the pool. Cap off your evenings with a tropical cocktail or freshly caught seafood at the hotel’s Beachside Bistro and Bar. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset.

Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park, for outdoorsy activities

A living area at Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park, containing a sofa and various tables and chairs; the gulf can be seen from the window
Courtesy of Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park / Expedia

Nestled within the grounds of Gulf State Park, these contemporary cottages suit those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the beachfront. But that doesn’t make it boring. Gulf State Park has more than 28mi (45km) of trails weaving through nine ecosystems. Kayak the bay, rent a bike, or fish in freshwater lakes. Each cottage includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a fully furnished kitchen. Oh, and did we mention that each one has a large deck overlooking Lake Shelby?

Hilton The Lodge at Gulf State Park, for environmental friendliness

A bedroom with large bed and wall-mounted TV at Hilton The Lodge at Gulf State Park, AL; the gulf can be seen from an adjoining balcony
Courtesy of Hilton The Lodge at Gulf State Park / Expedia

This contemporary lodge is one of the most groundbreaking hotels in Gulf Shores. Also located in Gulf State Park, but on the beachfront, the hotel puts emphasis on sustainability. The modern building incorporates recycled materials, was positioned to take advantage of Gulf breezes and natural light, and uses significantly less energy and water than other hotels. Connection to the outdoors is a central focus – guests are encouraged to embrace their natural surroundings.

Perdido Beach Resort, for the best of everything

A blue-and-white bedroom at Perdido Beach Resort; breakfast sits on a tray on the double bed, and the beach can be seen from an adjoining balcony
Courtesy of Perdido Beach Resort / Expedia

Perdido Beach Resort, affectionately called PBR by locals, has long been a Gulf Coast staple. Located on Perdido Pass, a channel of water where the bay flows into the Gulf, PBR’s proximity to Orange Beach and Perdido Key, Florida (and the famous Flora-Bama bar) is a winner for anyone looking to be in the center of it all. Dine at the hotel’s award-winning Voyagers restaurant for high-end cuisine and an extensive wine list.

Hotel Indigo Orange Beach – Gulf Shores, for boutique style

The outdoor pool area of Hotel Indigo Orange Beach - Gulf Shores, with several sun loungers; the property itself is in the background
Courtesy of Hotel Indigo Orange Beach - Gulf Shores / Expedia

Hotel Indigo is the closest you’ll find to boutique accommodation in Gulf Shores. The building took inspiration from the landscape, with its wave-like roof and turquoise motifs. The contemporary, spacious rooms feature fun pops of color, with bright orange headboards and patterned pillows. Grab coffee at the hotel’s outpost of locally based (and totally Instagrammable) Southern Grind Coffee House. At night, cozy up by the fire pit.

Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front, for Caribbean island vibes

Two large beds in a Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front room, with a TV placed on a cabinet, a desk with two chairs, and the gulf visible from an adjoining balcony
Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front | Courtesy of Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front / Expedia

You can’t miss the peach-and-coral building that houses this beachfront Hampton Inn & Suites. The hotel has both standard rooms and suites that provide plenty of room to stretch out. An outdoor, poolside tiki bar slinging tropical cocktails will make you feel like you’re at an island resort in the Caribbean. It’s also conveniently close to the Wharf, Orange Beach’s entertainment and shopping destination.

Hampton Inn Gulf Shores, for kid-friendly fun

The outdoor pool area of Hampton Inn Gulf Shores, enclosed by a wall to the right and the much taller hotel itself to the left
Hampton Inn Gulf Shores | Courtesy of Hampton Inn Gulf Shores / Expedia

You can’t go wrong with a Hampton Inn – those beds! – and the Gulf Shores location of this one offers convenient access to many of the area’s attractions. The beach is just a short drive away, as well as the newly renovated Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Beach Boulevard dining, and a popular go-karting track. But the biggest draw is the lovely pool, shaded by palm trees as fountains flow in.

Staybridge Suites Gulf Shores, for extended stays

A living area at Staybridge Suites Gulf Shores, with a sofa and two soft chairs, a table and a large, wall-mounted flat-screen TV
Courtesy of Staybridge Suites Gulf Shores / Expedia

Planning to stay a while? Staybridge Suites offers rooms with living areas and full kitchens, perfect for families who plan to cook during their beach vacation. Located on one of the main drags, Staybridge is close to OWA, the area’s amusement and water park. The hotel is pet-friendly, so you don’t have to leave your furry friends behind. Pro tip: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach don’t allow dogs on the sand, but nearby Fort Morgan does!

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