When you head to the beach, whether for a weekend getaway, a girlfriend getaway, or an all-out family vacation, what hotel do you usually stay in?
I bet you said NONE. Because most travelers look for a place to settle in, call home for a few days, and meet the special needs of a beach goer.
For example, you spend all day on the beach and don’t necessarily want to go out to eat for every single meal. You might actually want to cook a little, or at least have a place to store and prepare drinks and snacks. You’ll also need a roomy place because nobody goes to the beach alone. We travel in flocks and we bring a lot of stuff with us. Think towels, beach chairs, coolers, multiple swimsuits, sun block, hats, and many changes of clothing.
Let’s also remember that going to the beach is messy. Whether it’s the sun or salt or sand, you’ll need to constantly keep clean. A few bathrooms will do nicely and a laundry room is an added bonus.
And there’s one more thing. If you’ve brought the kids (or even if you haven’t), you’ll want to put them to bed and find a place for some relaxing adult time. That’s where a mega balcony with a killer view comes into play.
Does that sound like everything you require when you head to the beach? It’s everything I was hoping for when I headed to Orange Beach, Alabama for my first visit to these pristine Gulf Shores.
In the end, if you have the same requirements as I do, you’re probably NOT looking for a hotel room. You’re looking for a condo. You’ll find a tremendous amount available, especially in beach communities, which can make it challenging to know which one is the right one for your trip.
Luckily, I got head start on choosing accommodations before I traveled with a few condo options available for rental all along the Alabama coastline. For this particular trip, I was traveling with another female traveler and we were given two condo choices within the Orange Beach towers known as Caribe Resort.
We were given two units to choose from both with pros and cons.
One was on a higher floor and had a better balcony view but the other had a more coastal decor (each is individually furnished by the owner). We chose the first condo on the third floor and could not have been happier with the location and the decor.
Let’s take a peek inside and see how this hotel matches up to a traveler like me.
LOCATION – CARIBE RESORT
This resort is about a 45 minute drive from Pensacola, which is where many beach travelers would fly in from. Located just over the Alabama border in Orange Beach, it has great access to nearby restaurants and is situated on the back bays at Alabama Point making it within walking distance of many of the watersports in the area.
Caribe sits across the road from the beach, but there is a trolley that takes guests to and from the beach.
SAFETY – CARIBE RESORT
For some reason, I woke up early every morning so in addition to sitting on the balcony and watching the sunrise, I would often walk around the property when there weren’t many people around. There was construction going on in the pool area (it was off season) but I never felt unsafe.
Female travelers should know that you do park in a parking garage but most condos have assigned parking spaces. And each condo has a doorbell and a peephole so you know who’s coming and going.
CHARACTER – CARIBE RESORT
There’s the character of the individual tower, which is about what you’d expect for a beach resort. It’s colorful and beachy and thankfully, clean.
The character of the individual condos depends on the owners and how well they maintain the unit. Our unit had been updated with stainless and granite in the kitchen and furnished with high quality furniture and decor.
VANITY – CARIBE RESORT by Laura’s Vacation Rentals
Even though I was only there for a few nights, there was plenty of room to spread out, including in the master bathroom. This condo came with three furnished bedrooms and three bathrooms. I drew the long straw and got to take full advantage of the master suite. With a separate shower, garden tub, and dual vanity area, I was never in danger of getting in the way of myself.
If I had been planning a longer stay, I would have enjoyed the space even more. Just beyond the bathroom was a huge walk-in closet!
TOILETRIES – CARIBE RESORT by Laura’s Vacation Rentals
This one’s easy. NOT APPLICABLE! While you will be provided things like towels and linens, you are completely on your own for toiletries. I anticipated this and brought everything I needed for the trip. Typically, you will not get housekeeping service during your stay but you will have access to your own laundry room to keep everything clean both during your stay and upon your departure.
COMFORT – CARIBE RESORT by Laura’s Vacation Rentals
This condo had three bedrooms, including the king-sized master where I slept. The bed was comfortable enough and for the warmer evenings, I actually felt safe enough to leave the sliding glass door ajar (both the living room and master had access to the balcony). My room was also equipped with a ceiling fan.
The other two bedrooms could easily sleep up to 6 additional guests and each had access to their own bathroom. Plenty of room for everyone!
EXTRAS – CARIBE RESORT by Laura’s Vacation Rentals
If a beautifully furnished, large, three bedroom condo isn’t enough for you, don’t forget about the huge balcony with a view of Orange Beach. And if it had been warmer. I would have also paid a visit to the lazy river that was just a floor down in front of our balcony.
Caribe Resort is a great location for any beach goers looking for a feel of home while having access to everything a beach town can offer. With a service like Laura’s Vacation Rentals, you can know exactly what you’re getting for your beach rental in the Gulf Shores of Alabama.
Laura’s Vacation Rentals provided complimentary accommodations at the Caribe Resort as part of my sponsored Beach Momcation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.