Someone who knows I write blogs for Sunset Properties asked me, “Do you always stay in a condo or house when you go on vacation? Don’t you ever stay in a hotel?” To answer honestly, I had to say “yes”. Like everyone else who has ever traveled and stayed overnight somewhere, I have stayed in a hotel. Do I like it for longer than one or two nights? Absolutely not. I like to spend my money wisely. I like having my privacy and I enjoy the luxury of staying in a home away from home instead of just having a bedroom. For business travel, a hotel is ok, I guess. But for vacation, I much prefer having all the amenities I am accustomed to in my personal home available to me in my vacation home.
Here are five reasons why staying in a beach house or condo can be a better choice than renting a hotel room:
1. Comparing the costs, beach homes are the better deal.
Oftentimes we are fooled into believing a hotel room is cheaper and therefore it is the better deal. For years, our brains have been conditioned to think that way. The fact is, that when we compare apples to apples (I mean, as close as we can compare said apples) the beach condo or house is the better deal. Let me prove this. For the week of August 9-13, 2021, which would be for four nights, we have the following options. A large internet booking site posts a hotel that is right on the beach in Orange Beach for $1226 total cost including estimated 13% taxes and fees. That sounds pretty good, right? This is probably a nice hotel, too. It’s part of a well-known chain with a great reputation. And this room has a pool view. Can’t beat that, can ya? So for right at twelve hundred dollars, you can rent a two-bed room (not a two bedroom) right on the beach in Orange Beach. Breakfast is not included with this reservation. Then I searched Sunset Properties for the same time period. I found this: for about $1263 (all fees included) only about $40 more than the hotel room I mentioned, you can book a one bedroom condo with a sleeper sofa and a private balcony that overlooks the beach in Gulf Shores. That’s right! For almost the same amount of money, you can bookIsland Winds West 177 in Gulf Shores. Like the hotel room, this condo doesn’t come with breakfast, either, but, unlike the hotel room, it does come with a fully stocked kitchen that has full size appliances. All you have to do is stop by Rouse’s and get some breakfast groceries or go out to eat breakfast. But let’s face it, you were going to have to do that anyway, if you rented the hotel. So, maybe you can beat the hotel deal!
2. Privacy matters for private matters.
So, we’ve all been in a hotel room when we overheard our neighbors. Maybe they were talking, or singing or the kids were playing loudly. It happens, right? We sort of expect it. But when we are on vacation, do we really need to know what our neighbors are doing? As for me, I’d rather not. And hotel turndown service and restocking the toilet paper is great for a couple of days. But after that, when I’m on vacation, I don’t always want to pre-clean my room before the housekeeper comes. I’d rather just relax a bit and leave my clothes on the floor if I am tired from a long day of beaching. A beach home is definitely the way to go for longer stays! When you book a beach home, house or condo, you get so much more privacy during your vacation. When you reserve a condo, like Gulfside Townhome 31, much like an apartment, some neighbor noise does filter through. But when you reserve a beach house, like Alta Vista, for example, it is like being in your own home. When you’re cooking that great local Alabama Seafood you purchased right off the boat from one of our amazing seafood retailers and you are singing along to your favorite Jimmy Buffett song, your neighbors won’t be able to hear you. No one will come and turn down the covers for you each day while you’re away and no one will come and restock the toilet paper, but the overall benefits really outweigh the inconvenience of having to buy your own restock roll. And, once your seafood is ready, you can enjoy it right on your own balcony overlooking some of the most beautiful beaches that surround the Gulf of Mexico.
3. Amenities like well-stocked kitchens with full size appliances alleviate stress.
I love to dine out when I travel. I love to dine out in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. That’s no secret. I actually will admit to being a Destination Dinner Diner ( a little term I coined which is actually quite fitting!). Like a lot of folks I know, I will look ahead to find the best places to eat before I travel. And we do have some great places here along the Alabama Gulf Coast! Want to know where to have a memorable breakfast or brunch? Check out my breakfast/brunch blog. How about a great place for a Bushwacker? I have a Bushwacker blog. The list goes on. At Sunset Properties, we are happy to make recommendations on our favorite local spots. But what about those days when you don’t want to wait in line at a restaurant to be seated? When you’re not feeling especially people-ly and you just want to go in for the night and cook your own seafood and have your own adult beverages? In vacation peace and serenity. We can’t really do that in a hotel, can we? But if you were staying a few days in Happy Clam, located just two streets from the beach, you can have it all. This lovely beach house has a great kitchen, stocked with everything you need to cook any meal, except your menu items. It also has a grill for your use. And if you have too much of your favorite adult beverage, you won’t have to drive home after dinner, because you’ll already be there! So to review, you can get a really nice private beach home, with a great kitchen and grill, that’s a five minute walk to the beach, for about the same cost as a hotel. I’d say that’s a win, win, win, win, stress-free WIN!
4. Everyone, including the dog, has their own space.
Most of us like to travel with our dogs. They are as much a part of our family as our human relatives are. Frequently, unless your dog is a service animal, this is not an option when staying in a hotel. Leaving our dogs at home while we go away on vacation can get expensive. If you have to rent a space at a doggie spa or vet, your vacation cost can go up exponentially. If you have to get a neighbor, friend or relative to doggy-sit, you also face extra charges. Both are great options, and we have all tried them, but they also cause stress on our fur babies. Not only are they sad because we are away from them, but they are left in the care of semi or total strangers, and that can make them terribly uncomfortable. Why not pack up Spot’s favorite toys and bed and bring him with you? When your family stays in adog friendly Sunset Properties beach home, everyone can enjoy their vacation. When I say everyone, I actually literally mean “everyone”. Check out the dog friendly breath-takingly beautiful beach home Grace. Up to twenty humans can stay here. And dogs, under certain restrictions, are welcome, too. There are so many things you can do with your dog along the Alabama Gulf Coast, I can’t think of one reason to split up the family and leave your fur baby at home.
5. The staff gets to know you by name and can help you customize your vacation.
While some hotels do have consistency in staffing, many, many do not. When you call in to check on a reservation or for assistance at your hotel, often you’re just a “last name and a room number”. But at Sunset Properties, a small family-owned company, our staff turnover is very low. That works to our guest’s benefit! We get to know you by name and many of our guests become our friends. We learn about your family’s wants and needs and are able to help you customize your reservations to line up with your vacation goals. Where do you want to stay in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan? Do you prefer a condo or a house? Pool or beach front or both? Bay front or boat slip needed? These are things we learn about our guests, and we are able to offer vacation homes to meet each of these wants and needs. Again, for a less personal experience and for a quick on night stay, a hotel is probably the way to go. But if you want a vacation that specifically meets your family’s lifestyle, reserving a beach home from Sunset Properties is probably going to provide you with the memories you’re hoping for.
Though there are too many to list them all here, this little blog outlines some reasons why I prefer staying in a vacation home instead of a hotel. If you have questions about a home you’re considering booking, reach out to us. At Sunset Properties, we are very familiar with all of our available homes, and we are happy to answer questions you may have. Remember, if you’re looking for someone to turn down your covers and restock your toilet paper during your stay in one room, that’s not us. But if you’re looking to be the King or Queen of one of the nicest “Sand Castles” on the Alabama Gulf Coast, reach out to us at Sunset Properties. We can definitely get you a key to a castle that will fit your whole family’s needs.