Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Vacation Home Elevators, the 411

Do any of your Gulf Shores beach vacation homes have elevators? How do the beach house elevators work? What if elevator is not working? We have the 411 on a whole lot of common questions and situations regarding private elevators in our vacation homes!

Does your beach home have an elevator? Yes, in some limited cases, we do have elevators!

We have a page with our homes with elevators. They are The Pearl duplex (2×10 bedrooms), and the Diamond (10BR), Emerald (12BR), and Sapphire (12BR) at the Cottages at Romar.

How to use the elevator!

So… this seems like a no brainer… they aren’t all that different in terms of buttons and so on that any elevator you may have used. BUT there are some key differences in how they actually work, and things that can go wrong!

Children MUST be supervised and should not be allowed to use the elevators alone. 

We have kids too. We get it. Tempting to play with the elevators too, right? What could go wrong? Plenty! Seriously… not a toy, and not as bullet proof (er child friendly) as commercial ones in hotels etc)… and most of the things that CAN go awry with the elevators, will go awry if kids are messing with them. Doors not shut all the way and on all levels. Getting on and off 6+ times without going anywhere (see below, this ones a big one!). We appreciate your cooperation on this.


First things first, home elevators have lock outs. Getting on and off 6 times (or more) without going anywhere will cause it to LOCK OUT and be unusable until it is manually reset. What’s the first thing you might do? Load a bunch of luggage? If you do that by getting on and off 6 times, or if someone wanders on and off that many times, or a child is playing and does the same thing…. then it will lock out. You will not be able to use it until it is reset. Please avoid this! Its standard on home elevators and is a safety and mechanical precaution.

What about 7 times? Yeah, anything 6 or more. Just don’t do it. What about 5? Okay smarty pants… 5 might not do it, but unless you are sure someone didn’t hop on and off first, then lets not push it! In the end, open the doors, get on, and head out. So how does that work you ask? Glad you asked…

Operating Instructions

  1. Press the button beside the door.
    This “calls” the elevator to you, and initiates unlocking the door.
  2. Wait for light to illuminate and a click.
    When lit, the elevator has arrived and the click means the door has unlocked!
  3. Open the outside door and interior bifold door.
    There are too doors. Open both. Now you can go inside.** BUT DON’T GO IN AND OUT 6 times or more** 
  4. Close BOTH the outside and bifold doors COMPLETELY after entering elevator.
    BOTH doors must be securely closed for the elevator to go anywhere. This releases the safety interlock.
  5. Choose Destination.
    Ground = 1st floor. Bonus tip. If it won’t go anywhere, check the doors AND the red ‘stop’ button on the back wall.
  6. Open BOTH doors. Get off! 🙂
    ** Same deal as #3. When its open, do not get on and off repeatedly!
  7. CLOSE BOTH Doors behind you SECURELY.
    ** This is important. If any doors are even slightly ajar, the elevator cannot be called to another floor. Worse. Its possible to get the interior door sort of closed, then close the outside one, and it will lock the outside one, and be stuck because the inside is then “not locked” even though you sorta closed it. 🙂

OR How about a quick video about how to use….

Help! The elevator isn’t working….

Most elevator issues are related to either getting on and off 6 times without going anywhere OR not getting all the doors securely closed on all levels.

  • Check ALL doors on ALL floors
    Make sure ALL doors are closed on each floor. If one door is open or even a little ajar, the elevator WILL NOT WORK
  • Check the Red stop button
    Located in the middle of the panel inside elevator. It must be pushed in in order for the elevator to operate.
  • Resetting the Elevator
    So, this is the shotgun approach, but you can try resetting the breaker on the elevator. For Emerald, Sapphire, and Diamond, the panel is located in the middle floor Southwest bedroom behind the door. Turn the elevator breaker off, leave it a minute, and turn it back on. This may get the elevator back up and running, especially if it is locked out from getting on and off repeatedly. If this does not resolve the issue, contact the office.

Releasing a door/Doors ‘stuck’

Never ‘force’ any door. It could be quite costly….

It is also possible that if someone failed to fully securely latch the interior door on any level and then shut the outer door, that you will end up in a ‘stuck’ situation where you cannot open the external door to get to the internal door to secure it. A bit of a catch 22! We do not recommend trying to release the external door manually, even though there IS a hole on each one, much like a passage lock, that will override it. If there is no elevator at that level though, it is a drop, and dangerous. The moral is CLOSE THE BIFOLD DOOR SECURELY.

If you checked the red stop button, checked all the doors as best you can, and even reset the elevator, then please contact us and we will have someone provide assistance. Please note that 95% of elevator issues are related to users either doing the ‘on/off’ thing or not getting the doors closed, and elevator service is not generally considered an emergency.

Troubleshooting Video!


If you are staying in our Diamond, Emerald, or Pearl, please contact Southern Vacation Rentals. They are your local management company. Your check in email from us (and from them.. where you got your entry codes!) will have your reservation number and their contact information too. But… just in case:

Southern Vacation Rentals
866-290-8214. Also 24 hour text line: (850) 367-7256

If you are staying in our Sapphire home, then reach out to us. The BEST way to do that is by replying to any of our emails, so we have your stay information, but just in case:

Bama Beach Houses
251.732.4020 (Voice)
812.269.2543 (Txt)

Please note that although issues with residential elevators are usually easy for you (see above) or us to troubleshoot, sometimes it requires a service visit from the manufacturers rep, and they are not under our control and often days out. Generally an elevator not working is not considered an emergency, unless someone is stuck inside; however, we understand the loss of this amenity can be an inconvenience and will do our best to get you up and running. If you avoid the issues we note above (getting on and off, not securing doors, etc) then they usually work rather well!

Worth repeating: Please do not let children use the elevator by themselves. Adults must be with children when in use.