A friend of mine, his girlfriend, my girlfriend and I decided to take a weekend mini vacation to Gulf Shores between our spring breaks (three of us had spring break one week, another had it the next week). I did a little research online to figure out which hotel would be best for our budget and distance to the beach. After brief discussion, I told my friends and girlfriend that the La Quinta looked to be our best option, despite some negative reviews. I just chalked up those negative reviews to those people being negative people who complain about everything. Well, I wish I had listened to those reviews.
When we arrived on Friday evening, I went inside to check in and to get our room keys. I expected to be greeted by a friendly, smiling face, but I guess that was too much to ask. There were two ladies standing there, and neither was remotely friendly. The entire opening transaction was conducted with sour looks on their faces. Nevertheless, I got the room keys and was determined to block that out of my mind.
I went back and helped the others bring the luggage up to the second-story room, and when we walked up to the door we saw that the light was blinking red on our door. Weird, I thought. So I slid the key card into the slot and pulled it back out just as the diagram on the door indicates, and nothing happened. We messed with it for five minutes before going back down. It turns out the key card reader's battery was dead.
So for the entire trip we were forced to ask someone at the front desk to unlock our door each time we wanted into our room. As I expected, no clerk ever did this with a smiling face. And by Saturday night we had to bring the keys up there and take them back down because the clerks were too lazy to go up there and unlock our room for us. And the place wasn't even booked to capacity at all. I don't understand why they couldn't just put us in another room when they saw the battery was dead.
The Hotel Room
When we finally got into the room, it was so stuffy. So I go over to turn the air conditioner down and cool the room a bit. However, I stumbled upon a bit of a snag when I attempted to do that because the knob that controlled how hot/cold the air would be was broken. My girlfriend had some tweezers in her purse, so I messed with it for literally 15 minutes and turned it all the way down. There was basically no middle ground as far as room temperature was concerned unless you had about 10-20 minutes to devote to it each time you wanted to change the temperature.
The beds were decent, which meant they were probably one of the best parts about the room. Our room also had a microwave and a refrigerator, but the refrigerator hardly even kept anything cold. While on the subject of cold, I should also mention the icemaker on the second floor was out of order.
The Pool/Hot Tub
We went to the pool and the hot tub on our first night there, and we were grossly disappointed. They are both on the inside, but the pool was freezing cold. And taking a dip in the hot tub was like jumping into lukewarm bath water.
The Continental Breakfast
My friend and his girlfriend went down to the continental breakfast on the Saturday morning we were there, and they raved about it. They said there was an older lady in there who was eager to assist them and asked them if they wanted waffles immediately when they walked into the room. They said the breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, bruised fruit and mini muffins.
We checked out on Sunday at the appointed 11:00 check-out time. Was I greeted and asked if I enjoyed my stay? Nah, of course not. The clerk was too busy talking to who I assume was her boyfriend/love interest.
Knowing that we paid $355 to stay there for two nights still makes me sick to my stomach. If I ever venture to Gulf Shores again, I will be sure to stay elsewhere.
I would STRONGLY urge you to stay elsewhere as well. I'm not hard to please at all when it comes to hotels, and I found this place to be subpar.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay within minutes of the beautiful Gulf Shores beaches at the pet-friendly Magnuson Hotel Gulf Shores. Admire exotic animals at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, and spend an afternoon dodging obstacles at Pirates Island Miniature Golf Course. Thrill on exciting water rides and splash in refreshing wave pools at Waterville USA waterpark or race around The Track, a high-speed go-kart track and amusement park. Head to the Tanger Outlets to shop at discounted stores, or visit the Wharf for premier shopping, dining and nightlife destination. White sandy beaches, championship golf and top-notch fishing are all just minutes away. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- La Quinta Inn Gulf Shores Hotel Gulf Shores
- Gulf Shores La Quinta
- La Quinta Gulf Shores