On a recent visit to Gulf Shores, Ala., I stayed at the Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms. Now, located three miles from the beach, I wasn’t sure how much this hotel had to offer. It turns out I had no cause for concern because this hotel offers so much more than I ever expected. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I was quite reluctant to leave.
Located on Gulf Shores Parkway, the Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms actually sits in an ideal location. Right next door, you’ll find a movie theater for easy entertainment as well as a grocery store for snacks and drinks. There’s also a huge selection of restaurants, both quick-serve and casual dining, so you don’t have to venture far to eat. In fact, you don’t have to venture out at all. The hotel actually has an onsite restaurant, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Open for breakfast and dinner, The Bistro offers guests a selection of small plates as well as full entrees.
In full disclosure, however, we didn’t eat at The Bistro during our stay. We couldn’t resist fresh seafood at the nearby Original Oyster House for dinner, and we succumbed to the sweet temptation of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast. Try not to hold it against me.
So the Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms is in a great location. But that’s just the start of what makes this hotel a great choice. After checking in, I headed to our guest room, a king suite that was more than enough room for my kids and me. Upon entering, we found ourselves in a spacious living room outfitted with a couch, end tables, coffee table, side chairs, and a large desk and TV cabinet. To the side of the room, there also was a long counter that featured a coffee maker, mini refrigerator, microwave and sink.
Although this may sound like a lot of furniture for a small space, there actually was more than enough room to move about without knocking into furnishings or one another. And, in the evening, the couch converted into a double bed sleeper, where my children slept. There STILL was plenty of room to move throughout the room. As anyone traveling with children knows, having enough space for everyone and their stuff is a luxury – one I found at Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms.
There even was no shortage of space in the bathroom. While I would have liked a little larger vanity, the bathroom, too, was quite large. This made it easier for me to get the kids ready for bedtime and again in the morning.
For me, though, the best spot was the king bedroom in the suite. Not only did I have a quiet place to regroup after a day of activity with the kids, but the king bed was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever slept in. It made it very difficult for me to get up the next morning and prepare for the day ahead. I just wanted to snuggle back down in the covers.
While the kids liked the guest room, too, their favorite spot at the Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms was, not surprisingly, the pool. The hotel has a very large swimming pool behind the hotel, where the kids had great fun splashing around. I enjoyed sitting nearby in one of the loungers, just taking in the lovely weather. And the hotel also has a great courtyard adjacent to the pool area for those who want a shady place to relax.
For those who want to relax outside without venturing too far from their guest room, guests can take a seat on their own patio or balcony. The bonus we had was our room was on the ground floor in the back, so we could go straight from our room to the pool. This was a convenience that I really liked a lot.
When all is said and done, I think the Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms turned out to be a fantastic choice when staying in Gulf Shores. If you visit the area, check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
Disclosure: Karon and her family stayed at Courtyard Gulf Shores Craft Farms as guests of the hotel. All opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author.