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The Lodge at Gulf State Park Review: Eco-Friendly Stay

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is an eco-friendly Hilton hotel in Gulf Shores, Alabama and is the perfect place to stay on your beach vacation! Learn more about staying here in my review of The Lodge at Gulf State Park.

If you’re looking for a stay in Gulf Shores that has direct beach access, on-site restaurants, and a private balcony with an ocean view, then you’re going to love The Lodge at Gulf State Park!

I had such a great stay at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to stay on the beach in Gulf Shores. Read on for my full review of The Lodge at Gulf State Park.

#1 Pick
King room at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Lodge at Gulf State Park Overview

  • Certified eco-friendly
  • Beachfront property with direct beach access
  • Comfortable rooms & suites
  • Private balconies with gulf-views or lake-views
  • 4 on-site restaurants
  • Infinity edge pool open year-round
The Lodge at Gulf State Park exterior, Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Lodge at Gulf State Park Review

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is a Hilton hotel located within Alabama’s Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

The state park opened its original lodge in 1974 and was great for increasing tourism in the area. But after being battered by hurricanes and an oil spill, the state park and the old lodge were in desperate need of restoration.

The new Lodge was opened in 2018, funded by the Gulf State Park Enhancement Project that came out of the 2010 BP oil spill. To combat the damage done by the oil spill, the Lodge was made to be a model of environmentally friendly coastal development, using cutting edge sustainable construction and daily eco-friendly practices.

Here’s everything you need to know about staying at The Lodge at Gulf State Park.

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The Guest Room

The Lodge at Gulf State Park has 350 guest rooms. You have your choice of rooms with a king-sized bed, two queen-sized beds, or a room with bunk beds. They also have king suites and suites with bunk beds. Rooms either face the Gulf or the state park with views of Lake Shelby.

I stayed in a King Room with a balcony Gulf-front view. I was on the first floor, so my beach view was mostly of the sand dunes. I could see a little bit of the ocean. The balcony had a couple chairs on it and a partition separating me from the balcony next door.

The room had a king-sized bed, a 50″ TV, a mini fridge, a coffee maker, a dresser, a table and chair, another chair with a side table, and a nice large wardrobe with cubbies attached.

The bathroom was spacious with a large shower. It came with eco-friendly bath amenities and BeeKind products. I loved the scent of the shower gel that was made with honey and lemongrass.

The decor was simple and beachy. There were a few prints with a Gulf State Park theme, wood for the tables, sandy browns for the carpet and headboard, and a pop of color from the chairs and prints.

The Amenities

The Lodge at Gulf State Park has some great amenities: beach access, on-site dining, a pool, state park access, and a bike share program.

The hotel is on 2.5 miles of Gulf Shores’ famous sugar-white beaches. There are two boardwalks that provide direct access to the beach from each side of the hotel property.

The infinity-edge pool faces the beach and is the perfect spot to hang out. The pool is open year-round, though it is not heated. There are poolside lounge chairs, hammocks, umbrellas, games, and a bar.

If you want to explore the state park by bike, the hotel offers a complimentary bike rental program. You can rent a bike for 3 hours for free using the Bloom app (available to those 16+).

Sustainability Practices

Outdoor event space at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is LEED-certified and is designed to maximize its energy efficiency and minimalize its impact on the environment. The property is LEED Gold, SITES Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial certified.

During construction, they protected the coastal dunes and native plant life. The new lodge takes up less of a footprint than the original, and it was moved further from the Gulf to protect the dunes.

The buildings were designed to conserve energy with motion sensor lights and AC units that cut off when the balcony door is open, take advantage of the gulf breeze for natural ventilation, and incorporate natural lighting.

The Lodge repurposes water from condensation from the HVAC system to replace the water in the pool. The parking lot is designed to allow rainwater to drain into the ground.

The lighting of the hotel is designed with nesting sea turtles in mind: all the lights are pointed away from the beach, and lights on the beachside of the property are warmer so as not to confuse the turtles.

Other sustainability practices include eco-friendly bath amenities, waste reduction and recycling programs, and conscientious menus for their restaurants. You can read more about the Lodge’s environmentally friendly practices here.

The Restaurants and Bars

The Lodge at Gulf State Park has 4 delicious on-site restaurants for everything from breakfast to a nightcap.

Foodcraft is the hotel’s casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant. They serve fresh coastal favorites with beachfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating.

Perch is the hotel’s rooftop dining, located upstairs of Foodcraft. This more upscale dining option features premium steaks, fresh seafood, handcrafted cocktails, and open-air beach views. This is a great spot to watch the sunset!

Roasted Oak is the hotel’s coffee shop / wine bar located in the lobby. During the day, you can grab baked goods and coffee for breakfast, and light bites and grab-and-go for lunch. At night, you can get wine, beer, and cocktails.

The Dragonfly is the poolside bar and grill that offers casual dining and refreshing cocktails without having to leave the pool deck.

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is over 6,150 acres of protected parkland with three scenic lakes: Lake Shelby, Middle Lake, and Little Lake.

The park has 28 miles of hiking and biking trails, Segway tours, water activities, fishing, and birdwatching.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park provides easy access to the park’s fun activities. It’s just a short walk across a pedestrian bridge connecting the Lodge with the state park across the street.

You can go for a walk or a bike ride along the paved trails around the lake, visit the Nature Center, check out the Interoperative Center, or go fishing on the pier. There’s a lot to do at this Alabama state park!

Benefits of Staying at The Lodge

Seating area at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the perfect place to stay in Gulf Shores!

The location within the state park is ideal for those who are interested in exploring more of Gulf Shores’ outdoor activities. The hotel’s beachfront location is unbeatable, with direct access to pristine white sand beaches.

With the pool, private balconies, and on-site restaurants, you won’t have to leave the property if you’re just looking for a relaxing weekend on the beach.

And the Lodge is a Hilton hotel, so you can earn points with your stay.

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What I didn’t love

While I had a great stay at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, there were a few drawbacks I wanted to mention.

First, I’m very particular about my room being dark when I’m trying to sleep. I’m very sensitive to light. The curtains were really good and thick, but the ceiling was so tall that it was hard to get the curtains to close all the way. I had to stand on a chair to pull at them because the curtain rod was bending as I tried to pull it.

There was also a good bit of light coming from the electronic throughout the room. So I had to break out my eye mask at this hotel in order to sleep.

The layout of the hotel was a little confusing when I arrived, especially as I arrived in the dark. Talking to other people, it apparently wasn’t any more clear during the daytime.

There’s something about how the roads are laid out that make you feel like you’re turning into a service entrance to the hotel. They also aren’t very clear if they’re one way or two way.

There are three separate buildings, and if you’re room is at the end of one of the guest room buildings, you’ll have a long walk to go!

Beach at sunset over the sand dunes at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Good To Know

  • The hotel is entirely non-smoking
  • There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Both self-parking and valet parking are paid
  • The Gulf State Park Tram is available for rides within Gulf State Park

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The Lodge at Gulf State Park exterior, Gulf Shores, Alabama

My Experience at The Lodge at Gulf State Park

Overall, I had a wonderful stay at The Lodge at Gulf State Park!

I loved having direct access to the beach and easy access to the state park. The pool, though a little chilly when I visited, was a lovely place to relax. And the sunsets from this hotel are some of the best!

Who Should Stay at The Lodge

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is perfect for couples and solo travelers who don’t need a whole beach condo to themselves.

Families will also enjoy staying here with the hotel’s bunk bed guest rooms.

I would say this hotel is best for shorter beach stays and weekend trips. Whereas if you’re staying longer, you may want the space a condo can provide.

FAQs About The Lodge at Gulf State Park

Does The Lodge at Gulf State Park have beach chairs?

You can rent beach chairs through third party companies. The Lodge does not provide beach chairs through the hotel.

Does The Lodge at Gulf State Park have parking?

Yes, the hotel provides both valet and self-parking for a fee.

Is The Lodge at Gulf State Park pet friendly?

No, the hotel does not allow pets. The hotel does allow service animals.

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The Lodge at Gulf State Park Review: Eco-Friendly Stay

Would you stay at The Lodge of Gulf State Park? Let me know what you think of this Gulf Shores hotel in the comments!

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