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The 5 Best Beachfront Hotels in Gulf Shores, Alabama

These beachfront Gulf Shores hotels deliver more than just ocean air for unbeatable beach vacations.

Sharing the same jewel-toned waters and powdery white sands as Mexican resort towns like Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Gulf Shores is an Alabama beach haven on the Gulf of Mexico that’s decidedly more focused on togetherness than tequila.

Far from the spring-break style of vacations on the southern side of the Gulf, holidays here are less fueled by raucous pool parties and margarita madness and far more family-friendly, with a waterpark, zoo, and zip lines over sand dunes providing the thrills.

The waters of the Gulf Coast are as entrancingly emerald as the Mexican Riviera, and most itineraries here are packed with ocean adventure – as they should be. Sunset cruises, dolphin watching, and fishing are regular pastimes, and the hotels make waves with aquatic amenities that typically include multiple pools, hot tubs, spas, and even lazy rivers.

We’ve scoured the shoreline to find the best beachfront hotels in Gulf Shores for your next getaway. Whether you’re looking for a no-fuss room for two or a sprawling space for ten, each of these hotels is steps from the shore and you won’t go wrong no matter your choice.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park

On the edge of Gulf State Park, nestled snugly between Shelby Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the spot for nature lovers looking for even more than beachfront rooms. From marsh to forest and lake to ocean, the 28 miles of trails snaking throughout Gulf State Park offer easy immersion into the region’s varied ecosystems (there are nine here!).

Feel free to enjoy morning and evening walks, but with so many miles of trail at your disposal, you’ll be grateful for the free bike share program to help you cover as much ground as possible. There’s a convenient docking station just outside the lobby, so there’s no reason to miss any park highlights, like exploring the living museum in the nature center, a whimsical jaunt through the butterfly garden, or a serene stroll over the Gulf on the fishing pier.

While the beach is just steps from your room, spend some time even closer to “home” with a soak in the lodge’s Gulf-side infinity pool. With zero-entry ramp access and strategically placed rails, the pool complements accessible rooms in welcoming independent guests of all needs. There’s plenty of deck space for lounging and poolside games or snacking on bites and drinks from The Dragonfly bar and grill.

Foodcraft serves three meals daily, with both indoor and outdoor dining available. However, you’ll want to visit Roasted Oak at least twice. While “roasted” may give away that this popular shop serves coffee by day, “oak” refers to its evening status as a wine bar, perfect for sunset sips.

The Lodge At Gulf State Park, A Hilton

Gulf Shores
8.8 Excellent (542 reviews)

Best Western on the Beach

When the comfort of familiarity is essential to your Gulf Shores beachfront hotel experience, check in to Best Western on the Beach. Despite the chain’s renown as a trusted no-fuss brand, Best Western offers one of the leading hotel experiences in the area, with some of the most updated rooms and reliable hospitality in town.

The hotel’s consistent rank at the top of most Gulf Shores lists is well deserved – a crisp and clean stay here helps ensure a more seamless vacation, so you can focus on the more important things (like the beach).

With a variety of room categories to suit everyone from individuals to families, you’ll find contemporary décor in soothing tones far from standard budget hotel fare. The amenities here are surprisingly more upscale than at other beachfront hotels in Gulf Shores: the indoor pool is heated, while the outdoor pool features a tropical grotto, Gulf views, and hot tub. The outdoor picnic areas and lounge deck also take full advantage of the beachfront location. Free parking is a welcome bonus for all.

Hotel Best Western On the Beach

Gulf Shores
7.9 Good (1512 reviews)

Crystal Tower by Wyndham

A street separates Crystal Tower by Wyndham from the shore, but the air conditioned skywalk leading directly inside the property keeps this high on the list of the best Gulf Shores beachfront hotels. While technically a towering collection of two-bedroom condos, the property offers hotel amenities with an at-home style of accommodation. This is especially ideal for families that will benefit from more space, full kitchens, and even in-unit laundry facilities, as well as anyone seeking an extended seaside stay.

Aquatic amusement is the focus here, with pool options to satisfy every age and vacation style. Onsite, you’ll find both indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a kids’ pool, hot tubs, and a small but sweet lazy river for idle fun.

The main attraction is just across the skywalk, where you’ll the find the private white-sand beach club (including a spa) on the shore of the emerald Gulf. Thanks to the tower’s location between Little Lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll have water views from either side of the property. Each unit comes with a private balcony for max exposure to the beloved salt-air scent of beachfront vacations.

At Crystal Towers, you can not only prepare your own meals, but fully embrace vacation vibes by barbecuing in the property’s designated grilling area, enjoying your own personal cook-out in paradise. There’s little you can do at home that you can’t do here.

Crystal Tower by Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Top rated
Gulf Shores
8.5 Excellent (152 reviews)

Phoenix All Suites West Hotel

While Phoenix All Suites West Hotel is extra family-friendly, with a kiddie pool onsite and child-size bunk beds available, the one-bedroom suites are a better choice for couples and large families. Each fully-serviced suite features a full kitchen and a generous living room/dining room combo for condo-style living in a true hotel setting. Every unit also boasts a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico to guarantee the view you came for.

Located directly on the shoreline, you only need to stroll a bit beyond the door for a full day of beach bumming – or you could even stop at the door to frolic in the beachfront pool. However, this hotel is also just a few minutes away from downtown Gulf Shores, so you’ll have quick access to the town’s top restaurants for nights out and grocery shops for preparing easy meals on nights in.

If you’ll be driving, you’ll also appreciate the hotel’s covered parking. For people-watching or even just a little change of scenery from day to day, walk just ten minutes east to Gulf Shores Public Beach for a livelier shoreline.

Phoenix All Suites West

Gulf Shores
8.2 Very good (126 reviews)

Lighthouse by Wyndham

Like Crystal Tower, Lighthouse by Wyndham is a serviced condo complex under Wyndham’s oversight. Lighthouse is even larger than Crystal Tower, with a wider variety of condo categories that are more customizable to your party size. They range from 1 to 4 bedrooms (all with private balconies), which can be vital to larger families and friend groups.

You’ll find both indoor and outdoor pools at Lighthouse, and beach access includes chaise lounges and beach umbrellas for relief from that sometimes intense Gulf sunshine. The small, onsite spa, including a Jacuzzi and sauna, and the 24-hour fitness center round out the hotel amenities. Though this is on par with other apart-hotel beachfront hotels in Gulf Shores, Lighthouse offers better access to natural variety with its proximity to Gulf State Park.

Lighthouse by Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Top rated
Gulf Shores
8.7 Excellent (76 reviews)