Take a look at the best beach hotels in Orange Beach.
This sleek, towering 120-unit condo complex looks like a shiny mirage imported from the Vegas strip. Two towers, rising 24 and 30 stories, house massive gulf-facing rooms that start at 2,300 square feet. The high-end style is unique for the area and leaves Turquoise Place with no direct competition. The upscale three- to five-bedroom condos have private balcony whirlpools, barbecues, fireplaces, and state-of-the-art appliances. Property features include five on-site pools (both indoor and outdoor), a lazy river with nearly a half-acre of sun deck, two fitness centers, tennis courts, on-site activities for both children and adults, and direct beach access -- to name a few. While it may be an expensive choice for smaller parties, its a great choice (and value) for larger parties, discerning travelers and families.
Located right on the Gulf of Mexico, this beach property feels more like a vacation condo than a mid-range, 346-room hotel. With a slew of amenities including an indoor pool and hot tub, a spacious outdoor pool and kiddie pool, and a full fitness center, there’s plenty on-site to keep guests busy. There are also four restaurants -- ranging from a formal dining experience to the poolside grill -- and two bars. Though the building is clearly an older property, it’s well-maintained and clean, and guest rooms have mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and central air-conditioning along with patios with views.
The mid-range Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach is a modern, beachfront hotel that offers an unbeatable location in Orange Beach, with restaurants and shops nearby and the Wharf in Orange Beach within a 10-minute drive. Its 160 rooms are spacious and clean, with microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi, though noise can be an issue due to thin walls. The heated indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub overlook the beach, and there’s a tiki bar serving drinks in warmer months. A free hot breakfast with eggs is served daily, but there's no on-site restaurant. It’s a solid value for beach-loving families and couples, but rates typically spike on weekends, so it’s wise to shop around. The Holiday Inn Express Orange Beach is also on the beach and offers cheaper rates over most dates.
The Island House is a three-pearl property with an upscale beach vibe and lots of fun features for this price point. Contemporary beach style rooms are spacious and each includes a balcony overlooking the public beach, which is accessible via a long wooden boardwalk. The swimming pool isn't huge, but the additional kiddie pool is a nice touch. Expect to pay extra for breakfast and beach chairs. Wi-Fi and parking are included and the on-site Island Grille gets high marks for lunch and breakfast -- but it does not offer dinner service.
The three-pearl Phoenix Condominiums West is a lovely high-rise complex located directly on Orange Beach. Its 225 units are spacious and well-maintained, with fully equipped kitchens, washer/dryer sets, and covered balconies that overlook the beach. The one- to four-bedroom units are individually decorated and that attract everyone from retired snow birds to large extended families. Multiple pools on-site include a meandering lazy river and a heated indoor pool with an adjacent whirlpool. A tennis court and covered parking are welcome amenities, but beach chair rentals are pricey. There isn't a restaurant or bar on-site and at 28 stories, wait times at the four elevators can be long. Rates are competitive, but the mid-range Sugar Beach offers beachfront condos at lower rates on most dates.
The budget Sleep Inn Gulf Front Resort offers a fantastic beachfront location that's within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Its outdoor pool is just steps from a lovely stretch of public white-sand beach that’s accessible by an elevated boardwalk. The hotel’s attractive rates are enhanced by freebies like breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. Its 118 rooms are generally clean and well maintained, but they're small, have rather dark and dated decor, and have seen their share of housekeeping and maintenance complaints from past guests. It’s a good value for budget-conscious families and other travelers that seek a beachfront location, but rates can spike substantially on weekends in peak season. A reasonable alternative with only slighter higher rates is the Holiday Inn Express Orange Beach.
The Holiday Inn Express Orange Beach offers attractive rates for a beachfront hotel along Orange Beach’s main drag. The budget property is only a three-minute walk to Adventure Island amusement park and a brief drive to The Wharf. Its 119 rooms are comfortably sized and have microwaves and mini-fridges, but decor is dated and in need of a refresh, with worn and stained carpets and other minor issues. The property has two heated outdoor pools and a hot tub, plus it offers free hot breakfast. Overall, it’s a good value that’s popular in peak season, so it’s wise to have a backup. The Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach also directly on the beach, offers a good alternative; but it’s a relatively new hotel, so expect higher rates.
The mid-range Sugar Beach is an older vacation condo complex located directly on the beach. It offers limited amenities, but does have three clean outdoor pools and an elevated boardwalk that leads to the white sandy beach. Sugar Shack, poolside, sells burgers, snacks, and beverages during the warmer months. Many of the 120 individually owned and decorated units are spacious and impeccably maintained, but guest have reported others to be dated, dirty, and unkempt. There’s a wide range of choice in size and configuration, and rates are attractive for families and extended stay travelers who flock to this seaside complex. For newer accommodations in a traditional hotel, consider the mid-range Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach that opened on the beach in 2011.