We arrived a couple of hours early to the hotel, so we thought we would walk around the pool area and down to the beach. I stopped at the desk to take my chances and see if the room was ready. To
my surprise, the friendly staff member at the desk was able to get us into our room much earlier than expected. After getting our luggage to the room, we spent some time at the bi-level pool, where the water was the perfect temperature. The poolside bartender was hard at work creating a variety of mixed drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) as well as a nice selection of snacks (nachos, hotdogs, etc.) for thirsty guests around him. I don't carry cash if I can help it, so it's nice that he allowed us to charge anything we wanted to our room. After a few more hours at the pool, we decided to venture out to get dinner. Just within walking distance, there are dozens of local restaurants as well as grocery and drug stores. Everything we could possibly need was a stone's throw away.
The room met and exceeded a very tough criteria that I use to judge the comfort of my stay. The Air Conditioning seemingly being the toughest to please me everywhere I stay; this one was perfect! I set it as low as I could while we were in the room, and it kept the room cool and comfortable throughout our stay. The water pressure in the shower also exceeded expectations. It was so great, that it was easy to make up excuses to take more showers than any normal person should take in a day. Finally, the room featured one last thing that made it number one in my book....blackout curtains. Traveling with a two year old isn't the easiest thing in the world. Much less if you have to put him/her down for a nap in the middle of the day at the beach, with all kinds of sunlight shining through. The blackout curtains in this room made nap time exponentially easier than anywhere else I've ever been. My wife was able to enjoy some time down at the beach alone, while I got to enjoy some television in my perfectly darkened, wonderfully chilled room. There isn't really anything bad to say about the stay except it could have been longer. Every staff member we encountered was friendly and engaged in very natural conversations with us. It was much more pleasant than the forced, awkward, canned questions and responses you get at other places. It was genuinely one of the best all around vacations I can remember having, and we owe it the the Holiday Inn Express in Orange Beach. [Less]