Alabama’s Gulf Coast has been a premier tourism destination for people across the country for decades. Beautiful weather, sandy white beaches, and of course, great local cuisine keep families, couples, and large parties coming back year after year.
For nearly 15 years, though, one of Coastal Alabama’s prominent resort properties was off the map.
In late 2018, that all changed with the grand reopening of The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel.
The original Lodge first opened in 1974 and quickly became a top destination for tourists, as well as a hub for community activity along the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, The Lodge sustained irreparable damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and closed.
Thankfully, The Lodge didn’t fade away as an abandoned afterthought. After years of concepting, a plan to reopen the property was introduced in February of 2016, and construction began soon after. The leaders of the renovation initiatives didn’t settle for business as usual. They wanted a truly unique hotel. Sustainability was at the forefront of the planning for the new Lodge.
With a vision to make Gulf State Park an international benchmark of environmental and economic sustainability demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education, and hospitality, the park’s new facilities have already achieved some of the world’s most rigorous building certifications. The new Lodge is the first hospitality project in the world to be certified LEED Gold, SITES Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial, while the Learning Campus and Woodside Restaurant are also certified LEED Silver and FORTIFIED Commercial. The Interpretive Center continues its pursuit of LEED Platinum and full Living Building Challenge certifications and was the first-ever certified FORTIFIED Commercial building.
While the buildings themselves serve as beautiful examples of sustainable design in a sensitive coastal ecosystem, The Lodge and other facilities are also committed to sustainable operations. You can read up on The Lodge’s sustainable tourism on their About Us page.
“We focus on energy and water conservation, wildlife-friendly initiatives including sea-turtle-friendly lighting and anti-birdstrike glass, restorative native landscaping, local sourcing of everything from food to art to furniture, recycling, and other efforts to be better stewards of our wonderful resources,” said Chandra Wright, Director of Environmental and Educational Initiatives at The Lodge. “By doing so, we are not only helping to preserve these resources for generations to come, but also helping educate our guests on how they can take some of these ideas and implement them at home.”
As you might imagine, The Lodge offers a variety of Alabama Gulf Seafood in their family of restaurants. This includes Perch, an elevated dining experience that features “the highest quality, locally sourced products from local fishermen, regional farmers and producers,” and Foodcraft, a more casual option that also features “local farmers’ and fishermen’s bounties.” Additional dining outlets include Roasted Oak Coffee & Wine Bar in the lobby and Dragonfly Pool Bar & Grill.
The Lodge has been warmly embraced in its first year by Alabama locals as well as regional visitors from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. The full-service hotel quickly established itself as a premier accommodations favorite on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
“Here at The Lodge, all guests enjoy gorgeous views, in addition to four delectable dining venues” said Dan Keyser, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Each room has either an incredible view of the Gulf of Mexico or a view of Gulf State Park and beautiful Lake Shelby.”
Whether you’re heading to the Gulf Coast for a family vacation, a wedding, or something in between, The Lodge at Gulf State Park is the place to be. Book your room today!