The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel Returns to Alabama’s Gulf Coast
Originally established in 1974, the hotel has been re-imagined, rebuilt and re-emerges as a model of resilient, environmentally-friendly coastal development with a focus on sustainable tourism.
GULF SHORES, Ala. - The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel opened its doors after a much-anticipated return to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Guests of the 350-room, beachfront hotel, located within Alabama’s Gulf State Park, will enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico or Lake Shelby with direct access to the emerald green waters of the Gulf and over 6,150 acres of trails and activities within the Park.
The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the first full service hotel to open in the area in 20 years. It is a premier meetings and events destination, offering a wide array of indoor and outdoor event space, perfect for conferences, special occasions and gatherings of any size. Under the management of Valor Hospitality Partners, the new Lodge operates with a focused commitment to the sustainability and preservation of the coastline, environment, wildlife and fauna of the Park and the region.
“At Hilton Hotels & Resorts, we are redefining sustainable travel, and we are proud to welcome this responsibly designed and operated hotel to our portfolio,” said Vera Manoukian, senior vice president and global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “With its vibrant location in one of the nation’s top state parks and its wide variety of offerings, this new hotel is well poised to set the standard for accommodations in the region.”
This new, re-imagined hotel was sensitively designed by LakeFlato and Rabun Architects with a native landscape by Sasaki Associates. The building footprint was reduced by nearly one-third and set back by 200-225 feet from the Gulf to allow for greater dune restoration and natural dune movement. The buildings are positioned to take advantage of gulf breezes for natural ventilation and to maximize natural lighting of the interior. This design reduces energy use by 32 percent and interior water use by 35 percent. To demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment, this facility has targeted some of the most rigorous sustainability goals in the hospitality industry: LEED© Gold, SITES© Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial ™ certifications.
The interior design is focused around a contemporary coastal aesthetic and was inspired by the hotel’s surrounding environment and the history of the former Lodge. This concept was brought to life by Dallas based interior design firm, Looney & Associates. Their design incorporates color, texture, and contrast to create comforting spaces that seamlessly transition from outdoor to indoor space while maintaining high levels of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
“From our unprecedented sustainability initiatives, and unbeatable beachfront location to Hilton’s legacy of exceptional service, The Lodge at Gulf State Park addresses and exceeds the expectations of today’s travelers,” said Bill Bennett, general manager, The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel. “We look forward to welcoming guests to our unique property where nature is at your doorstep at every turn.”
Additional highlights from The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel include:
Memorable Meetings & Events
- The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel offers over 40,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space – including The Gulfview Ballroom, the largest beach-view ballroom in the region, which can accommodate indoor events up to 1,000 guests.
- Every meeting room boasts direct views and patios and/or terraces overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
- Events will be remembered for the outstanding creativity and services provided to attendees. Memories will include innovative programming, team building activities, and a variety of catering options, featuring regionally inspired menus curated from locally sourced purveyors.
- Foodcraft offers a warm and welcoming space both indoors or al fresco on the patio. An energetic atmosphere is created with programming on display at the daily buffet and action stations. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Foodcraft showcases local farmers’ and fishermen’s bounties.
- Perch provides a refined dining experience for guests while they admire the expansive Gulf views from the second floor. Indoor and terrace seating presents a warm and modern atmosphere where diners can enjoy an inviting menu featuring the highest quality, locally-sourced products from local fishermen and regional farmers and producers. The seasonality of the region will be the driver of its fresh daily dinner offerings.
- In the main lobby, Roasted Oak Coffee & Wine Bar is a modern café bar where guests can enjoy a selection of locally crafted coffees, infused teas, house-baked breakfast goods and light lunch offerings. In the evening, Roasted Oak transforms into a local wine bar featuring carefully selected wines, craft beers and light bites.
- The Dragonfly Pool Bar & Grill is poised to open for the season and will provide casual, pool-side dining offerings.
A small sampling of the hotel’s sustainability initiatives includes:
- Eco-friendly construction: The hotel was constructed to meet the elevated standards of LEED© Gold, SITES© Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial™ certifications. Fifteen percent of building materials are recycled materials and 70–75 percent of construction waste was recycled.
- Responsible Water Sourcing and Routing: Condensation from the HVAC system is collected and recycled to replace water in the pool. Additionally, rainwater is collected and directed to a restored wetland on site rather than being diverted to storm sewers. The hotel also features a permeable parking lot using TrueGrid technology that allows rainwater to drain into the ground.
- Wildlife Conscious Features: Lighting is designed with local wildlife in mind. All lighting is shielded away from turtle nesting areas and pointed away from the beach. Lights on the beachside of the property are warmer to be less confusing to wildlife and floor to ceiling glass windows in the main lobby have bird friendly safety measures.
- Energy Conservation: Guest room air conditioning units were installed with sensors that cut off the unit if balcony doors or windows are left open or ajar, and the full hotel is equipped with energy efficient lighting with motion sensors to reduce waste.
- Restorative Landscaping: Approximately 75 percent of the site is dedicated to landscaping using native species that can thrive without irrigation, chemical pesticides or fertilizers. By planting native species, the coastal landscape is restored, and habitats have been created for native birds, nesting sea turtles and the Alabama Beach Mouse.
- Food and Waste Reduction: The hotel team recycles all cooking oil and sorts trash into separate bins for composting, animal feed, recycling and more. The hotel also uses plant-based water bottles, Hay Straws® and straws made from reusable bamboo shoots, all of which are biodegradable and made from abundant resources.
- Conscientious Menus: The Lodge participates in the Zero Single Serve Initiative, which promotes discontinuing single serve items to guests and practices local sourcing and invasive species fish harvesting to help eliminate non-indigenous saltwater species from the Gulf.
The hotel is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 15 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app.
The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel is located at 21196 East Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, Alabama. For more information or reservations, call +1-251-540-4000 or visit Hilton.com
About The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel
The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel, is an iconic hotel found on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Originally established in 1974, it served as a hub of community activity and premier tourism destination for 30 years before being irreparably damaged by Hurricane Ivan. The Lodge has been newly rebuilt to continue those traditions by celebrating its unique location in Gulf State Park. This new facility is a model of resilient, environmentally-friendly coastal development with a focus on sustainability. With direct access to the beaches and natural beauty of Gulf State Park’s 6,150 acres, it also offers 350 guestrooms and suites, 5 innovative dining options and over 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel is located at 21196 East Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL just 37 miles from Pensacola International Airport (PNS), For more information, or to make a reservation, travelers may visit www.thelodgeatgulfstatepark.hilton.com or call 1.251.540.4000. The property is owned by The State of Alabama/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and managed by Valor Hospitality Partners. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram
About Valor Hospitality Partners
Valor Hospitality Partners is a full-service hotel acquisition, development, management and asset management company offering an array of services including site selection, product selection, entitlements, financing solutions, conceptual design, construction and project management, procurement, technical services, pre-opening management and operations management. As a comprehensive service provider, Valor Hospitality Partners can be engaged to plan and oversee ground-up developments; refurbish existing properties and assist ownership in positioning; as it relates to decisions on remaining independent specifically, find and secure a brand or in some cases re-brand and re-position through franchise or asset management. Valor Hospitality Partners also offers consulting services on a wide range of project scenarios including working with new or existing ownership groups on reviewing site selection, assessing feasibility studies and project budgets, compiling project budgets and underwriting.
For more information: www.valorhospitality.com
Valor Hospitality Partners Africa operates out of Cape Town and Durban, while Valor Hospitality Partners US operates from offices in Atlanta and Memphis; Valor Hospitality Partners UK/Europe operates from London and Valor Hospitality Partners Asia operates from Bangkok.
For more information: http://pmrhospitality.com
About the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
The DCNR promotes wise stewardship, management and employment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com
Alabama’s Gulf State Park is an international benchmark of environmental and economic sustainability demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education and hospitality. To learn more about Gulf State Park, visit www.mygulfstatepark.com
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For 100 years, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has set the benchmark for hospitality around the world, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. With 585 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world’s most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Begin your journey at www.hiltonhotels.com, and learn more by visiting newsroom.hilton.com/hhr and following Hilton Hotels & Resorts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 17 world-class brands comprising nearly 5,900 properties with more than 939,000 rooms, in 114 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton earned a spot on the 2018 world’s best workplaces list, and has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its 100-year history. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, more than 94 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy, plus enjoy instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.