by Karon Warren
Located outside of Gulf Shores, Alabama, along Fort Morgan Road, The Beach Club stands alone on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico with the Bon Secour Bay at its back. Originally opened in 1998 with its first tower building, The Beach Club now consists of four tower buildings and 30 cottages spread across 76 acres. Rounding out the resort, the property also contains onsite dining; a boutique; a clubhouse featuring an indoor pool, fitness room and spa; tennis courts; a basketball court; a playground and several lawn areas.
The Beach Club is the epitome of what a great family vacation at the beach should be. Given all the amenities offered at The Beach Club, families can check in and never have to leave until it’s time to head home. It has spacious accommodations, quick access to the pool and beach and nearby family-friendly dining. However, should they want to explore the area, The Beach Club is not far from the attractions of Gulf Shores, as well as the Fort Morgan State Historic Site and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Therefore, visitors can pack their itineraries with as little or as much as they desire.
Our Editor Loves
- Pools conveniently located behind every building
- Family activites available throughout the property
- Three onsite restaurants
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Given the hotel opened in 1998, the facilities have some age on them, but they are well maintained. Village Cottages are perfect for families, but larger groups also find the Gulf Front Condominiums to be accommodating
Gulf Front Condominiums
Each condominium unit is decorated differently, so while the floor plans may be similar, you'll find something unique about each one. In total, there are 656 units in the resort's four towers, ranging from one to five bedrooms. Both Avalon and Bristol are 20 stories high, with 187 units each. Catalina is 14 stories high with 128 units, and Doral is 16 stories high with 154 units. Of these, there are approximately 325 units in the resort's rental program.
Accommodations include a fully equipped kitchen, separate living area, balcony or patio, washer and dryer, bath and bed linens and a starter supply of household items, including paper towels, dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent. For those who want to stay in condos and have really young kids, consider a first-floor unit with a patio, or units on the second or third floors that have three foot-high walls along the balconies. Units on floors 4 and higher have balconies with traditional railings.
For more privacy, consider one of the resort's 20 rental cottages that reside near the resort's center. With two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom cottages, you're sure to find one that works for your family. Like the tower units, each cottage is individually decorated. They also come with different outside amenities, such as grills, hot tubs and pools. These units provide much more privacy than condos, with the added benefit of outdoor yards where kids can run around.
by Allison P
The beach club is a great place to take the family on vacation. We stayed in the Avalon building. Everything is nice and new looking. Elevators are easy to catch. You are just a building away from the spa! We loved the gift shop and the restaurant.
Everything we wanted was at this resort. The pools, hot tubs, walking path and other areas to walk. The beach view is beautiful and enjoyed walking the beach as well. A few things needed to be repaired in our condo and they were all fixed within an hour. Our condo was very nice and comfortable. The Hideaway Restaurant has very good food, without leaving the property.
Given the resort's name, it's not surprising that the most popular family activity at The Beach Club is the beach! With sugar-white sand along the Gulf of Mexico, there's plenty of room for resort guests to set up their family camp. Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and/or tents, or they can rent chairs and umbrellas from a third-party vendor, which allows guests to rent by the hour or day.
If you prefer the pool to the beach, you'll find a pool directly behind every building, so you won't have to trek far. Every pool area contains a pool and hot tub; toddler pools are also located at two of the buildings. Also, each area has quite a number of lounge chairs available. Bathrooms are located in the building lobby, so they're not right by the pool, but it's a manageable distance. There is one additional pool behind the clubhouse, with an indoor pool inside the clubhouse.
If the kids want to run around, throw a football or play Frisbee, there are many lawn areas throughout the resort. Some are behind the towers between pool areas, and another one is in front of the clubhouse at what is called Sand Island. Here you'll find grills, picnic tables and a sand volleyball court. You'll also find a lawn area located by the kids' playground near the Racquet Club. For something a little different, take the kids on the nature walk through the cottages. Along the way, try to spot turtles in the water, or take a break at the fountain and rest a bit in the hanging swing. You'll also find swings along the boardwalk, located behind the towers. For the tennis aficionados in the family, head to the Racquet Club. Play a match on one of eight lighted Rubico clay courts, or sign up for a tennis clinic. The resort offers clinics open to all skill levels for both kids and adults.
Kids will love the arcade games, pool table and golf simulator located at The Village Hideaway in The Village at the front of the resort. In fact, the grownups in your group might also enjoy a game of billiards or want to check out their golf swing on the simulator.
For more structured fun, sign the kids up for a day at the Pirate's Brigade, The Beach Club's seasonal kids' program for children ages 5 to 11. Offered Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., activities include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, swimming, nature walks and more. The fee also includes lunch. On Fridays, kids can have a fun night out from 5 to 9 p.m., and this program also includes a meal. Around the property, you'll find many family-friendly activities scheduled throughout each day, such as live music, crafts, games, dive-in movies and more. Some activities do require a fee, so check with the resort for a full schedule of events, activities and fees.
Hands down, the best family-friendly restaurant at The Beach Club is The Village Hideaway. Located at the front of the property, the restaurant is located in what is called the The Village. Inside, the dining room is open and spacious, with a few flat-screen TVs on the walls and some arcade games, a pool table and a golf simulator over to the left. There's also a patio for those who like dining al fresco. The menu is fairly varied, with a good selection of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, steaks, seafood, wings and pizza. There's also a separate children's menu, which is printed on a coloring sheet, featuring standard fare like chicken fingers and pasta. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, which is always great for families.
Right across from The Village Hideaway, you'll find the Village Creamery, where you can grab some ice cream or your favorite coffee drink. It's a nice after-dinner treat.
During the day, you can grab a burger or wrap at the poolside Gulfside Grill behind the clubhouse. However, the menu is very limited and could present a challenge if you have picky eaters.
On the second level of the clubhouse, you'll find Coast Restaurant, The Beach Club's fine dining restaurant. Menu selections range from soups and salads to steak, seafood and chicken, and a kids' menu is available. The restaurant also serves breakfast and Sunday brunch. Given that reservations and resort attire are recommended, this dining option is perhaps better suited to older children and parents dining sans youngsters.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Although The Beach Club is a full-service resort, it operates a bit differently than a traditional hotel with regard to housekeeping. Amenity packages and towel exchanges are provided for free upon request. Additional housekeeping services are available for a fee. For instance, you can arrange for the Towel & Tidy Service, which includes making beds with existing linens, cleaning toilets, placing a new roll of tissue in each bathroom, exchanging all bath linens and trash removal. Fees range between $30 and $60 per day, based on unit size. Another option is the Mid-Stay Cleaning, which includes making beds with clean linens, cleaning bathrooms, towel exchange and amenities, dusting furniture, sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming the carpet, cleaning the stovetop and countertops in kitchen and cleaning patio windows and floors. Fees range between $65 and $120 per day, based on unit size. Guests can arrange for their preferred level of service at check-in, but are free to make changes at any time during their stay.
Resort fees cover clubhouse access and resort amenities.
The Art of Smart Timing
Like most beach resorts, The Beach Club experiences a higher occupancy rate throughout the summer, generally in May through September. Spring break and holidays are also high-peak dates. Therefore, for the best rates, visit after Labor Day through mid-November, and again from mid-February through mid-April. With regard to weather, the spring and fall are a great time to visit thanks to lower humidity; however, be prepared for interruptions during hurricane season, which runs June through November.
Fliers have two options: Pensacola International Airport in Pensacola, Florida, approximately 55 miles east, or Mobile Regional in Mobile, Alabama, approximately 75 miles west. Both serve several commercial airline carriers. If you're driving, take Highway 59 south, off of Interstate 10, and drive to Gulf Shores. Once in Gulf Shores, take a right on Highway 180/Fort Morgan Road. Drive approximately 12 miles, and then turn right into The Beach Club.
You'll need a car to get around the area; other than Uber, there are no public transportation options in Gulf Shores.
For Mom and Dad
When the parents can sneak away for a few kid-free hours, they should head to The Spa for a couples massage or a number of massage therapy, skin care, body treatments and salon services -- there is even a package designed specifically for the guys. For the ultimate indulgence, bring the spa to your room with a private, in-room massage.