If you’re going to visit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, you really should try to schedule a stay at The Hotel Capstone.
That’s the hotel on campus at the University of Alabama.
I was lucky enough to get to stay when my son had orientation there. I knew I wanted to get back with my entire family for a stay during football season.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know the price would go way up during football weekends. That doesn’t matter to many people…the waiting list goes on forever for ‘Bama fans who are willing to pay the price to be able to stay at the Capstone on game weekends.
I got lucky and happened to call one morning when some a room had just been released by the school (the University gets first dibs on rooms, which they use for recruits and VIPs, along with the entire football team and coaches). The management slipped my family into that room and we were blown away over and over.
First, you have to remember we had no idea the team stayed there.
So, imagine my surprise getting into an elevator that Friday afternoon, where eight of the biggest guys I had ever seen were already standing. Yep, the team was headed downstairs, too. I joked with them about whether there was room for one more. Then I asked where the party was for the night. They laughed in response.
On the way back to my room hotel staff informed me that the elevator was off limits for a bit, so I’d need to wait or take the stairs. I only had three stories to climb, so I found the stairs. And guess who I bumped into there?
Nick Saban. Yes, the head coach. Along with a police officer and a couple other coaches.
We swapped a ‘Hello, how are you?’, but I couldn’t believe the timing.
Seriously. Do you know how many people would have loved to have exchanged pleasantries with Coach Saban?
I thought it was pretty cool, maybe because it was so unexpected.
The next day, as the team left for the game, they walked through the lobby, all dressed in suits, looking sharp, with a crowd lined up to cheer them on and maybe even grab an autograph.
As hotel guests, we were able to sit in the lobby on the side the team walked by, as if we were part of the group. It’s a cool thrill for a family that adores football.
That’s not the part I like best about the hotel, but it is pretty sweet.
I like Capstone because it’s right on campus. My son’s dorm is one parking lot away, so we don’t have the headache of getting around campus with a car and dealing with parking.
It’s beautiful in the rooms and the foyer area, where there’s gorgeous tile flooring that should be a piece of art (that’s the first photo above).
There’s a small pool (I told the players in the elevator to meet me out there at midnight, but they must have forgotten) and serene patio area.
And the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Museum is literally next door.
I’m already trying to figure out how I can swing a stay at least once a year for the entire time my son is in school there. I know the wait list is long, but I got pretty darn lucky this last time, right?
(Note to Readers: I was not compensated for this post. I simply believe it’s a great place to visit while in Tuscaloosa.)