The GunRunner. Just the name of Florence, Alabama’s first boutique hotel evokes thoughts of excitement, thrills, and perhaps a little danger. The GunRunner Boutique Hotel is one of the coolest places to stay in one of the best small towns in the South. Luxury, charm, and intrigue create an extraordinary escape in small-town Alabama.
Guests at the GunRunner will enjoy luxurious anonymity via the hotel’s hands-off approach to hospitality. There is no front desk to check in and there are no interruptions by housekeeping during guests’ stay. Rooms are booked either through the GunRunner’s website or through Airbnb.
Amenities at GunRunner include a Keurig coffee maker in each room, deluxe robes for guests to wear during their stay, custom-made local toiletries, a wet bar, a refrigerator, and free Wi-Fi. While breakfast is not included, the GunRunner is located above Turbo Coffee which is a nice spot to grab a pastry and a cup of Joe. The hotel is just a couple of blocks away from local eateries in downtown Florence, but if guests don’t want to go out for lunch or dinner, they can call the Shoals Takeout for delivery service.
The GunRunner Hotel has a strict No Smoking policy and pets aren’t allowed.
The Rooms at the GunRunner
Named after the pawn shop that occupied the building years ago, The GunRunner has 10 distinct suites, each named after a person, place, or site related to the area. There is a 3,200-square-foot common area shared by nine suites upstairs. (The Devil’s Backbone is a handicapped-accessible room located on the first floor.)
The Frank Lloyd Wright Suite
Named after America’s iconic architect, the Frank Lloyd Wright suite features warm wood tones with clean horizontal lines. Every detail was taken to ensure that the design meets the standards of its namesake whose philosophy was “organic architecture.”
The beds in each suite are covered with luxury linens by Peacock Alley.
Two sleek chairs make up the seating area – the perfect spot for sipping a cup of coffee, reading a book or watching some television. Or all three at one time for those who like to multitask.
The Single Lock Suite
The Single Lock Suite is named after Single Lock Records, an independent record label that calls Florence home. Some of the artwork on the walls is of artists who have recorded there.
The spacious suite has a noir feel to it – something a bit naughty.
The Other Suites
- Billy Reid Suite – This suite is named after local fashion designer Billy Reid. The suite reflects the unpretentious elegance of his brand.
- Muscle Shoals Suite – This suite is a tribute to the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where hundreds of hit records have been recorded by rock stars such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Steve Winwood, Duane Allman, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan. Swampette Judy Hood, wife of Swamper Bassist David Hood, assisted with the room design.
- Lumber One Suite – The owner of the GunRunner Boutique Hotel also runs a highly successful wood packaging and products business named Lumber One. The hotel was built as a lasting tribute to the art, history, music, and fashion that are unique to the Shoals area.
- Glencoe Suite – This suite was named after a legendary thoroughbred from the mid-20th century that was imported to Lauderdale Country from England. He was described as “a truly epochal animal such as appears only at rare intervals.”
- Smithsonia Suite – Named after Columbus Smith, a landowner and merchant in the area, Smithsonia is the name of a small community in the surrounding area.
- Lion’s Den Suite – This suite pays tribute to the University of North Alabama, the state’s oldest four-year university. The university mascot is a lion and two adult lions (Una and Leo) live in a humanely designed habitat located on campus, which is just a short walk from the hotel.
- Sam Phillips Suite – Born just a few blocks from the hotel, Sam Phillips is known for discovering musicians Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf, among others.
- Devil’s Backbone – This suite is named for legendary “Mountain Tom” Clark who terrorized local citizens during the Civil War and confessed to at least 19 murders, including a child. Legend has it that he said that nobody would ever run over him. There is speculation that he might have been buried on East Tennessee Street out of spite to disprove his statement.
The GunRunner is located at 310 E Tennessee St, Florence, AL 35630.
Be sure to explore the dining scene in the Shoals. There are lots of good places to eat.