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What The Marriott Courtyards Of The 80's and Early-To-Mid 90's Looked Like

What The Marriott Courtyards Of The 80's and Early-To-Mid 90's Looked Like

Old Feb 28, 18, 12:45 pm
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What The Marriott Courtyards Of The 80's and Early-To-Mid 90's Looked Like

Given that Marriott Courtyard debuted in 1983 (35 years ago in 2018, wow), what were their original designs like? I know the debut Fairfields and Residences were exterior-corridor...
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Old Feb 28, 18, 1:47 pm
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A typical Courtyard by Marriott in the 1980s was a 3-story "rectangular doughnut" 2-story "square doughnut" building with an open plaza -- or "courtyard" -- in the center. The rooms had glass sliding doors that opened to patios or balconies. The hallways were indoors. The properties usually had just a single elevator, often in a back corner instead of near registration where one would expect it.

There are still plenty of such Courtyard by Marriott properties operating today. Of course, they've typically been renovated multiple times, with newer decor and the features that are now brand standards.

Last edited by Horace; Feb 28, 18 at 5:15 pm
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:12 pm
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The Courtyard Arlington Crystal City looks like this:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...al_Airport.JPG

It looked pretty much like that when it opened in 1990.

Useless side note - This is the first property where I stayed as a member of a hotel loyalty program (Courtyard Club) in 1990.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
A typical Courtyard by Marriott in the 1980s was a 2-story "square doughnut" building with an open swimming pool plaza -- or "courtyard" -- in the center. The rooms had glass sliding doors that opened to patios or balconies. The hallways were indoors. The properties usually had just a single elevator, often in a back corner instead of near registration where one would expect it.

There are still plenty of such Courtyard by Marriott properties operating today. Of course, they've typically been renovated multiple times, with newer decor and the features that are now brand standards.
Exactly, they are all over the Northeast. Horrible design. With the bathroom door inches from your sleeping head. And for whatever reason they would only assign me the rooms that overlooked the parking lot like a motel so I would be treated to coming and goings of cars all night.

The world's best & brilliant marketing scheme that they are as successful as they are.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 3:38 pm
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Is that what was called Cresthill By Hilton used to debut as? You know, the prelude to Hilton Garden Inn?
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Old Feb 28, 18, 5:06 pm
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Look for pictures of the Courtyard near me, which is the Atlanta Executive Park Courtyard. While the interior has been updated, the actual building is still the original design. It has the interior courtyard with pool that is described above, the entry in the middle of the two long hallways with a covered car entryway. It was the very first CY, built in 1983.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Look for pictures of the Courtyard near me, which is the Atlanta Executive Park Courtyard. While the interior has been updated, the actual building is still the original design. It has the interior courtyard with pool that is described above, the entry in the middle of the two long hallways with a covered car entryway. It was the very first CY, built in 1983.
I think it's a blessing they kept the outside intact. Takes my half-brothers back to when they were children, and my father when he worked for AT&T.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
I think it's a blessing they kept the outside intact. Takes my half-brothers back to when they were children, and my father when he worked for AT&T.
Did your dad work at the AT&T facility across N Druid Hills Rd from the hotel? That building, which has been torn down, was the first skyscraper (?) outside downtown in the ATL.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Did your dad work at the AT&T facility across N Druid Hills Rd from the hotel? That building, which has been torn down, was the first skyscraper (?) outside downtown in the ATL.
No, he worked for the mid-West US division, before doing Jersey's division for his last ten years at AT&T (he gave it up in 2000-he moved to Jersey in 1990).
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Old Feb 28, 18, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
No, he worked for the mid-West US division, before doing Jersey's division for his last ten years at AT&T (he gave it up in 2000-he moved to Jersey in 1990).
Guessing, but...

So he first worked in Northern Illinois (near Naperville, where I now live), and then moved to Jersey (near Basking Ridge, close to where I grew up in Hillsborough)?



-mvitale
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Old Mar 1, 18, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
The world's best & brilliant marketing scheme that they are as successful as they are.
I'll have to disagree a bit with that (though I'm sure their marketing scheme was brilliant). Back in the 80s/90s, I loved CYs and actively tried to stay at them. I had no issues with the rooms or the layouts. They were priced well below FS Marriotts. Basically, the design, layouts, and marketing for CYs was so successful, it spawned a whole new market segment (HGIs, HPs, etc.) as designed and focused for a business traveler. And back then I think they did a pretty good job.

Now whether today it is still a good choice for a business traveler is a different question and may have a different answer. But back then, I loved them. And I really liked the CY Club program that was mentioned earlier as well especially since I had achieved the Lifetime Gold status within the CY Club program.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by mvitale View Post
Guessing, but...

So he first worked in Northern Illinois (near Naperville, where I now live), and then moved to Jersey (near Basking Ridge, close to where I grew up in Hillsborough)?



-mvitale
He started off in Plainsboro. I am not from Hillsborough.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
I'll have to disagree a bit with that (though I'm sure their marketing scheme was brilliant). Back in the 80s/90s, I loved CYs and actively tried to stay at them. I had no issues with the rooms or the layouts. They were priced well below FS Marriotts. Basically, the design, layouts, and marketing for CYs was so successful, it spawned a whole new market segment (HGIs, HPs, etc.) as designed and focused for a business traveler. And back then I think they did a pretty good job.

Now whether today it is still a good choice for a business traveler is a different question and may have a different answer. But back then, I loved them. And I really liked the CY Club program that was mentioned earlier as well especially since I had achieved the Lifetime Gold status within the CY Club program.
What did the Courtyard rooms look like in the debut era?
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Old Mar 1, 18, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by Will Stonehocker View Post
What did the Courtyard rooms look like in the debut era?
When I was in Law School at Emory my parents started staying at the CY in Executive Park, around 1987. The rooms had never been updated as the hotel was only four years old at that point. They were pretty much regular hotel rooms. Prior to CY, there were hotels and motels. Motels had exterior doors, cheap beds that often vibrated for a nickel, cheap dressers, desks and tables with ashtrays and a closet without a door. CYs had better bedding and linen, more like a hotel, nicer bathrooms and less cheap furniture. IIRC, there were green carpets. Motels were cheap. Hotels were upscale. CY offered the nice hotel room without the expensive features of a hotel like bellman, a 24 hour restaurant/room service and a souvenir selling newsstand. CYs were also located in suburbs, which usually only had motels, which kept costs down. Most suburban Holiday Inns were motels with restaurants at that point.

BTW, before staying at the CY, my parents had stayed at the Sheraton Century Center, which is now a FS. The CY was much nicer, despite not having the amenities found at the Sheraton. Also, it being the eighties, these were rooms that Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia would have likely have felt at home in, aesthetically speaking.

CY was a game changer. In my lifetime, there have been few concepts that have completely changed an industry. Chrysler had it with the minivan. Blackberry had it with their device, but later lost the market to imitators. None of these categories existed but now we think of them as normal. I remember my parents marveling to friends about the wonderful CY concept.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
When I was in Law School at Emory my parents started staying at the CY in Executive Park, around 1987. The rooms had never been updated as the hotel was only four years old at that point. They were pretty much regular hotel rooms. Prior to CY, there were hotels and motels. Motels had exterior doors, cheap beds that often vibrated for a nickel, cheap dressers, desks and tables with ashtrays and a closet without a door. CYs had better bedding and linen, more like a hotel, nicer bathrooms and less cheap furniture. IIRC, there were green carpets. Motels were cheap. Hotels were upscale. CY offered the nice hotel room without the expensive features of a hotel like bellman, a 24 hour restaurant/room service and a souvenir selling newsstand. CYs were also located in suburbs, which usually only had motels, which kept costs down. Most suburban Holiday Inns were motels with restaurants at that point.

BTW, before staying at the CY, my parents had stayed at the Sheraton Century Center, which is now a FS. The CY was much nicer, despite not having the amenities found at the Sheraton. Also, it being the eighties, these were rooms that Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia would have likely have felt at home in, aesthetically speaking.

CY was a game changer. In my lifetime, there have been few concepts that have completely changed an industry. Chrysler had it with the minivan. Blackberry had it with their device, but later lost the market to imitators. None of these categories existed but now we think of them as normal. I remember my parents marveling to friends about the wonderful CY concept.
Funny how you brought up how Chrysler birthed the minivan. Courtyard was the business hotel that made sense.
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