When I was invited to Orange Beach to learn about the Leave Only Footprints eco-tourism initiative, I got the chance to stay at the luxurious Turquoise Place, an oceanfront condominium resort. You know this kind of place — it’s a stunner that turns heads. And, if you’re like me, you might think it’s only for the really rich.
Our first time in Orange Beach, we drove past Turquoise Place on the way to our hotel. Ellie’s eyes grew wide, and she asked in hush tones, “Is THAT our hotel?”
No, baby. Sorry to disappoint, but we’re staying at a regular hotel (which was very nice, absolutely nothing to complain about there).
She didn’t miss a beat, replying, “Well, the next time we come, we should stay there.”
When I was told that Turquoise Place, named the #1 “hotel” in Alabama, would be hosting me this trip, I might have rubbed it in a little bit! I sent photos to her and my husband. They were suitably impressed — maybe even a little jealous.
About the condos at Turquoise Place
Turquoise Place was built with luxury in mind! Offering three, four and five bedroom condos, with a minimum of 2300 square feet, you’ll find plenty of space to spread out! Each condo is well-appointed with high end appliances and features like Sub-Zero Refrigerators, Wolf ovens, wine coolers, ice machines, a grill and a hot tub. Talk about spoiled!
As I entered my unit the first time, a wide, tiled hallway with a full wall of ocean views at the far end drew me in. The soft earth tones used in the living room furnishings, floors, kitchen and bathrooms don’t try to compete with the views.
The bathrooms come with plenty of towels, a blow dryer and a supply of travel size shampoo and soaps. If staying for a week, you’ll want to bring your own soaps and shampoos, though. The master bathroom has a two person jacuzzi tub (that made Ellie quite jealous), and the other bedrooms come with ensuite bathrooms.
The furniture is comfortable, especially the beds. I have never slept so well the first night of a “hotel” stay as I did here. A couple of afternoons, I had some downtime and found the living room furniture surprisingly comfortable — like a home, not like hotel furniture.
Each unit has its own wifi — and log-in instructions are provided at check-in. Each unit is also assigned one parking spot in the garage below the condos, and unmarked spots allow extra vehicles.
Resort amenities at Turquoise Place
Turquoise Place is a true resort — with amenities to pamper the whole family. To be honest, the only thing I didn’t like was being there alone! I would have loved to float on the lazy river with my daughter and enjoy a drink on the balcony with my husband as the sun set in the west. But, work trips mean sometimes I must press on — alone. (That’s a little sarcasm if you missed it!)
The resort is amazing! Amenities (besides the awesome accommodations) include:
- Two, large, oceanfront outdoor swimming pools
- A children’s pool (shaped like a fish),
- A playground on the fourth floor. It’s shaded afternoons, but it gets hot midday,
- A huge lazy river also on the 4th floor with great views,
- An indoor pool,
- A fitness room,
- And planned activities each day (Schedule provided at check in and available online).
Of course, there’s also the pristine beach (thanks to the Leave Only Footprints initiative)! Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
During my stay, I saw many multi-generational families enjoying the late summer days poolside. One little girl was celebrating her seventh birthday with her parents, her brother and her grandparents (both sides). She said it was her best birthday ever!
How much does it cost?
All that luxury comes at a price, right?
This isn’t the mid-level chain hotel of my childhood vacations. At the same time, the resort offers so much — all the amenities plus a convenient location in the heart of Orange Beach — that families can make it more affordable.
When I sent my husband photos of my 3-bedroom condo, I asked him to guess the cost per night. He guessed $650 — or a little over $200 per night per bedroom. He was wrong!
It was “only” $400/night. Now, that might sound like a lot, but it sleeps eight. If two families share the unit, it costs a bit more than a hotel room but with all the comforts of home and then some.
Grilling on a private balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico — sounds good to me!
Let me rephrase that. Lounging in the hot tub on the private balcony while my husband grills sounds good to me!
During high season (spring break through mid-August) prices are understandably higher, about $700/night for a 3-bedroom unit.
Stories from people I met at Turquoise Place
I met a group from Lafayette, Louisiana during my stay. Eight women and one brave husband descended on the resort for a fun weekend at the beach. They came prepared with carts full of groceries, games and beach chairs. Splitting the cost of a condo nine ways made it affordable for all — and they had the added benefit of space to cook, relax and play. A “regular” hotel would have cost this crew close to $400/night if they got four rooms. And, they would have had to gather in the hotel lobby, hardly the same as gathering in your own living room or balcony.
Another family — parents, their two adult children and spouses — were there doing the same thing. This family from the Birmingham and Atlanta areas shared the cost of a 3-bedroom unit to enjoy a family weekend getaway. They said it has become an annual event, worth every penny. The mom pulled me aside to say she hopes they have to expand to a four bedroom for the grandkids soon. Kids, if you’re reading this, that’s your hint!
And I met a grandpa, Jim, who was sending video of his adorable granddaughter to his brother in Minneapolis. He said that their family’s annual vacation to Turquoise Place means the world to him, explaining that since his wife had died a couple years earlier, this family vacation is the best part of his year.
Money saving tips
If you are planning a family vacation or group getaway, Turquoise Place is a good choice. Spacious condos with all the luxuries mean all you do is bring your stuff and relax!
- With so much space, you can eat in — and share meal prep among everyone.
- Or, get prepared meals from the grocery store and skip the cooking. The fridge is plenty large enough!
- Enjoy all the amenities — the beach, the pools, the games and the lazy river.
- Go in shoulder season (September-November) when prices drop but the gulf waters are still warm.
- Check in Sunday and save even more by visiting weekdays.
Learn more about Turquoise Place and Orange Beach
- Resort Website: Turquoise Place, a Spectrum Resorts Property
- Rental page: Turquoise Place Rentals
- Tips for vacationing in Orange Beach
- Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Restaurant Guide
Like I said, Turquoise Place, and parent company Spectrum Resorts, hosted my stay so I could learn about the Leave Only Footprints initiative — of which they are a proud participant. I am glad I got the chance to experience this resort property. I plan to go back — with my husband and kids next time! Sometimes, splurging on accommodations makes sense — as the many people I met seemed to understand.