We (two couples and a teen) rented this 10th floor condo for a recent getaway to Gulf Shores.
Beautiful balcony views from the living room and the master bedroom, where we enjoyed a comfortable bed. The furniture was decent, the kitchen had all the amenities and overall, the condo was clean and pleasant.
The beach was not crowded during our stay in mid-July, but that could have been because it was cloudy and the next day it rained on and off. The sight of a beautiful rainbow off the coast was greatly appreciated. The beach is clean and well-maintained. If you've never been to the Gulf Coast, the sand is as sugar-white and soft as they say.
An umbrella and two-beach chair unit can be rented for $25 a day.
One of us rented the condo sort of at the last minute and the reservation agent was helpful and accommodating. The YouTube video we were directed to was accurate and helpful.
CONS: as other reviewers have stated, the elevators are overcrowded and the waits are ridiculous. We actually had our elevator get stuck for a few moments, causing some of us to quietly panic. The elevator just bobbed up and down a little and would not open; a voice did respond when the alarm button was pressed, but still...unnerving for sure.
The blender in the kitchen? Pretty low-quality for a high-usage place like a vacation condo.
Although bed was comfortable, the sheets were the cheap, scratchy kind that I try to avoid. The pillows were more an idea of a pillow. I didn't expect a plush hotel experience, because it's all about the beach, but some things could be upgraded here.
As for the beach itself, a couple of us have physical limitations and the weird shelf of sand made entry into the surf hard for one and impossible for the other. I noticed one father just took time to scoop out a ramp for his young son to make it easy for him to actually get to the water. There were no steps or easy access.
There were no flags regarding surf conditions, an issue since a storm was off the coast and I wanted to know ever since I had family members struggling and terrified with a rip current in Florida a few years back. I always like to check the swimming conditions and they were not available, nothing broadcast on the television; the guard in the parking lot of the condominiums said a flag was put up everyday but none could be found. That's just irresponsible. A staff member on the beach told us he was not really a swimmer and didn't have that information.
As for Gulf Shores in general, the traffic and lines/waits make Gulf Shores like one big theme park. We waited about two hours to get into Lulu's (excellent burgers), about an hour and half to get into Doc's seafood (good food and really helpful waitress), hour and a half for Lambert's in nearby Foley (great food, fun place). We beat the crowds at Scoops and enjoyed the ice cream. Tanger Outlet Mall provided some rainy day activity, although it closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays. Surf and Suds, the restaurant right next to the condos, had a two-hour wait, so we gave up on it rather early on.
I got tired of all the crowds, traffic, and people everywhere and really enjoyed the time at the condo. I lean more toward a more natural beach vacation and probably won't be back to Gulf Shores anytime soon although I can see why it is popular with some. Our group still had fun being together but we will probably choose a Florida location next time.
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- Also Known As:
- Seawind Condominiums Hotel Gulf Shores