Hilton's Lodge at Gulf State Park opens in Alabama

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel. Photo credit: Hilton (The 350-room hotel is managed by Valor Hospitality Partners was designed by LakeFlato and Rabun Architects with a landscape by Sasaki Associates.)

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel opened its doors as first full-service hotel to open in the area in 20 years. Guests of the 350-room beachfront hotel, located within Alabama’s Gulf State Park, will enjoy views of the Gulf of Mexico or Lake Shelby with direct access to the Gulf and more than 6,150 acres of trails and activities within the park.  

The hotel is managed by Valor Hospitality Partners.

“At Hilton Hotels & Resorts, we are redefining sustainable travel, and we are proud to welcome this responsibly designed and operated hotel to our portfolio,” Vera Manoukian, SVP and global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “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 hotel was designed by LakeFlato and Rabun Architects with a landscape by Sasaki Associates. The building's 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 sustainability goals such as LEED Gold, SITES Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial certifications. 

The interior design was developed by Dallas based firm Looney & Associates. Their design incorporates color, texture and contrast to create spaces that 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, GM of the hotel, said in a statement. “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:

Meetings & Events

  • The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel offers more than 40,000 square feet of 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 offers direct views and patios and/or terraces overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Innovative Dining

  • Foodcraft offers a space both indoors or al fresco on the patio. Programming is 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 dining experience for guests with Gulf views from the second floor. Indoor and terrace seating is available.
  • In the main lobby, Roasted Oak Coffee & Wine Bar is a modern café bar where guests can order 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.

Sustainability Initiatives

A small sampling of the hotel’s sustainability initiatives includes:

  • Ecofriendly 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 offers 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: Guestroom 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.