Sipping my morning coffee and nibbling the walnut chocolate chip cookie I received when checking into the Island House Hotel Orange Beach, I sit on the balcony of my gulf-facing room. The sunshine warms my skin as a light ocean breeze simultaneously cools it, and a calmness one only feels when watching waves crash upon the shore washes over me.
After watching the waves from afar, I wander down to the beach. Following the wooden pathways from the hotel, I slip off my light-brown leather topsiders as I reach the path’s end, sinking my bare feet into the soft quartz sand.
Peering to my right, I spot a pier in the distance with beachfront hotel after beachfront hotel in between. For a moment, I consider walking there, but then I’m drawn to the water. It’s December 1, yet the water is pleasantly warm for wading in ankle deep.
Only a few hours later, I’ll be flying away from this 70-degree paradise to freezing temperatures back home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. So, I soak it all in — the sunshine, the feeling of the sand as I walk along the beach, the water crashing over my toes, and the total relaxation I feel.
This moment to unwind and press reset on my mind is exactly what I wanted from my beach escape.
When planning a beach getaway, I want to have time to relax with waterfront views, soft white sand, and delicious food and drink. Orange Beach and neighboring Gulf Shores along Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico coast certainly checked all of my boxes. Located about 30 miles from the Pensacola, Florida, airport, the Island House Hotel Orange Beach is a convenient base for exploring and relaxing along Alabama’s gulf coast. Plus, it has all the convenient amenities and Hilton Honors perks of a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.
That is what I discovered when the local tourism board hosted my three-night stay at the Island House Hotel Orange Beach. I was visiting for the Alabama Beaches’ Foodie Fanguide in November 2017. What’s a Foodie Fanguide, you ask? Basically, the Alabama Beaches’ social media followers voted on where I dined during my trip. And, they sent me to fantastic restaurants! I was in foodie heaven, enjoying all the fresh gulf seafood I could — like at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. It was such an unforgettable dining experience that I named Fisher’s one of the upscale restaurants where I recommend you dine in 2018. 😉
Whether you plan to eat your way around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach like I did or just want to unwind on a beach, I recommend staying at the Island House Hotel. If you aren’t already convinced why you should reserve your room, read on for reasons why I would stay again at this beachfront hotel.
Gulf Views And White-Sand Beach Access
The best perk of staying at the Island House Hotel? The beach!
Located along Perdido Beach Boulevard, the hotel sits right on the Gulf of Mexico coast — giving hotel guests direct access to the softest white-sand beach on which I’ve ever walked. Imagine taking a barefoot stroll, letting warm waves splash your ankles, any time you want. You can while staying the Island House Hotel. Just follow one of the two wooden pathways connecting the hotel’s pool area to the sugar sand beach for romantic walks, morning jogs, relaxing sunbathing, or building sand castles. There are also opportunities for water-sport enthusiasts to snorkel, wind surf, or jet ski along the beach.
If you would rather see the beach than be on it, there is no shortage of beach views. Each of the rooms and suites has at least one balcony where you can sip your morning cup of coffee while looking out to beautiful gulf views. I never tired of peeking out my window or stepping onto my balcony to feel the sea breeze.
Pro Tip: When you check in, be sure to ask if there are available rooms on the upper floors for the best vantage point. That brings me to …
Airy Rooms For A Comfortable Stay
Staying in a 700-sq-ft king corner guest room with three windows, my room seemed open and airy. There was plenty of space to move around and natural light filled the room during the day. As a solo traveler, I had more than enough space for my suitcase and belongings. Therefore, I’d imagine a couple sharing the room would find the king corner suits their needs for a romantic getaway. Not only can the room comfortably accommodate two sets of luggage, the bathroom also has a long countertop where two people could be getting ready at once.
The corner room is also available with two queen beds. A great option for a family of four, a group of friends, or a twosome who prefer separate beds!
The Island House Hotel Orange Beach offers the following room types and suites:
1 King, 2 Room Corner Suite
This 1,100 sq. ft. suite with two rooms has a larger private balcony with beach views. The bedroom has a king-size Sweet Dreams bed, private bathroom, work desk with adjustable chair, and 42-inch HDTV. The living room has a queen-size sofa bed and private bathroom. Each suite has a microwave in addition to all the standard room amenities. Great size for families who desire more space and privacy.
1 King, 2 Room Suite
The 1,000 sq. ft. suite includes two rooms — each with their own private balcony with beach views. The bedroom features a king-size Sweet Dreams bed and private bathroom. The living room has a queen-size sofa bed and private bathroom. Each suite has a microwave in addition to all the standard room amenities. Great size for families who desire more space and privacy.
1 King Corner
This 700 sq. ft. room features a private beachfront balcony, one king-size Sweet Dreams bed, work desk with adjustable chair, and reading chair. Great fit for couples on a romantic getaway to the beach.
2 Queens Corner
Also a 700 sq. ft. room, this set up features a private beachfront balcony, two queen-size Sweet Dreams beds, work desk with adjustable chair, and reading chair. Perfect for a women’s weekend away or a family of four’s vacation.
1 King Bed
A 500 sq. ft. room that has a private beachfront balcony, one king-size Sweet Dreams bed, and work desk with adjustable chair. Best suited for solo travelers and couples.
2 Queen Beds
This 500 sq. ft. room features a private beachfront balcony, two queen-size Sweet Dreams beds, and work desk with adjustable chair. Comfortable for two adult travelers or a family with young children.
Island House Hotel also offers several types of accessible rooms including hearing-accessible rooms with one king or two queen beds, a king corner room with an accessible tub, and a king room with a roll-in shower.
Thoughtful Amenities And Features In All Rooms And Suites
Each room and suite is outfitted with the following amenities for your convenience and enjoyment:
- 42-inch HDTV with a clean remote
- Beachfront balcony with patio furniture
- Beach views
Overall Thoughts On Island House Hotel Rooms And Suites
When I visit Orange Beach again, would I reserve a king corner room? Absolutely. Since I usually travel solo and dine out for my meals, the king corner was the perfect set up for someone like me. The room felt airy with plenty of space to work, lounge, and get ready for my day. Mostly I loved sitting on my balcony with a cup of coffee, watching the waves crash onto shore.
While the king corner was ideal for me, I’d also highly recommend the suites for families. During my stay, I got to see one of the interior suites. I thought its set up would work out fabulously for a family of four. For example, families that want to spend their days on the beach or at the pool may want to eat breakfast and/or lunch in their room. The suites offer more kitchen space than the rooms and are also outfitted with microwaves. Another perk of the suites, parents would have more privacy with a separate bedroom and the kids on the pull-out sofa in the living room.
Overall, the Island House Hotel has rooms and suites to fit a variety of travelers’ needs. Best of all, they all have beach views from private balconies!
Heated Outdoor Pool For Year-Round Sunbathing
In addition to the beach, Island House Hotel guests can spend their day poolside. Had I been visiting with friends or family, I’m sure a solid portion of my day would have been spent at the heated outdoor pool. Make sure you pack your swimsuit! Even in late November and early December I’d have claimed one of the poolside lounge chairs and dove into a vacation read. By the way, if you haven’t yet read “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub (affiliate link), put it on your reading list for your next beach vacation. 😉
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More Convenient Features + Hilton Honors Perks For Travelers
Finally, I recommend the Island House Hotel Orange Beach because it offers amenities that make stays more enjoyable and convenient. These are some of those amenities and services:
- Business needs — business center, meeting rooms, audio/visual equipment, fax, printer, complimentary printing, photo copying service
- For families with young children — high chairs, playpens, and cribs
- Hilton Honors Members — complimentary wifi, receive bottled water at check-in, earn or use points for your stay
- 24-Hour Pavilion Pantry Market — stocked with snacks, bottled drinks, over-the-counter medicine, toiletries, and sunscreen
- Fitness center
- Coin laundry
- Complimentary self parking for easily coming and going as you please
- And, of course, the classic DoubleTree walnut and chocolate chip cookie received upon check in
Convenient Location For Exploring Orange Beach And Gulf Shores, Alabama
I’m sure many visitors will love the Island House Hotel’s beachfront location. I also found it extremely convenient for setting out to eat my way around Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Take a look at the map to see all the fantastic dining within a short drive of the hotel!
Getting To Island House Hotel Orange Beach
If you are visiting Orange Beach from beyond a day’s drive, you have a couple options for flying into the region. As you can see on the above map, Jack Edwards National Airport is not far. Unfortunately, no commercial flights pass through that airport. So, unless you have a private plane or take a charter flight, your options are Mobile Regional (72 miles) or Pensacola International Airport (30 miles).
I recommend flying into Pensacola, like I did. It took me less than an hour to drive to The Wharf, where I went to dinner at the Italian-inspired Villaggio Grille before checking into the hotel. If I were you, I would stop at the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill or The Gulf as you head to the hotel. Both waterfront restaurants are located along Perdido Beach Boulevard before you’ll reach Island House Hotel and offer delicious seafood and cocktails.
Do you need a car in Orange Beach? In my opinion, yes. There are airport shuttles, and you could try to rely on Uber and local cabs to get around. However, I found renting a car provided me much more freedom to roam and explore as I pleased. As a Hertz Gold Rewards member, my rental process was a breeze. At some larger airports, Hertz Gold Rewards members can just pick up their keys from a board, skip the line, and head straight to their vehicle. At the Pensacola airport, you have check in at the Hertz desk to get your keys. Other car rental agencies at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, National, Payless Car Rental, and Thrifty.
Planning Your Stay At Island House Hotel Orange Beach
Now that you’ve learned how relaxing a stay at the Island House Hotel can be, are you ready to book your next beach vacation there? If the answer is yes, I’ve compiled a few helpful resources for planning your trip to Orange Beach.
Some links in this section are affiliate links. If you click on the link and/or make a purchase through the link, I may earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you, and it helps to support this blog. Thank you!
- First, compare prices, check availability, and read other travelers’ reviews of Island House Hotel Orange Beach on TripAdvisor
- Reserve your room at the Island House Hotel Orange Beach on Booking.com, where the hotel has an 8.8 “excellent” rating.
- Looking for things to do in Orange Beach and nearby Gulf Shores? Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s website lists a lot of the area’s attractions, and you can book tours and activities through Viator.
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Final Thoughts On Island House Hotel Orange Beach
In this post, I shared my favorite features of the Island House Hotel in Orange Beach, Alabama, with you. What I truly love about this beachfront hotel is that every single room has beach views — and a private balcony for enjoying them. Plus, guests have direct access to the white sand beach and a heated outdoor pool. As a foodie traveler, I was visiting for the surrounding area’s restaurants, and there are many tasty options only a short drive from this hotel. Lastly, I truly enjoyed how the airy rooms made me feel like I was staying at a beachfront boutique hotel. Yet, I was actually earning Hilton Honors points and had all the convenient amenities of a Hilton brand hotel. I would definitely stay here again, and I recommend it to you for your beach vacation along Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico coast!
Disclosure: My three-night stay at the Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton was comped by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. This post also contains some affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link and book a hotel room or purchase a product, I may earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you, and it helps to sustain this blog. I thank you for your continued support of The Epicurean Traveler. As always, all opinions are my own.