Benefits at Courtyard

Old Dec 28, 19, 10:59 am
  #1  
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Benefits at Courtyard

I'm just completing a stay at a Courtyard for what is probably the first time this year. Once again I am underwhelmed by the Titanium benefits. I wasn't even offered / given a free bottle or two of water. I mean I even get free water bottles at the Fairfield Inn I regularly stay at. Is free water bottles for elites not a Courtyard standard? The difference between recognition / benefits at Courtyard vs. HGI (which are competing against each other) is like night and day.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 12:13 pm
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No, free water is not a benefit at that chain. However, I am taken aback whenever a chain makes a point of thrusting water bottles at me as some sort of stupendous, impressive benefit.

My issue with Courtyard is that they don't consistently provide microwave ovens in basic rooms, which HGI does.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 6:03 pm
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First time at a CY. Toronto. Not terrible, but I had forgotten what grim, cheap hotels look like. Cheap fittings, nasty bedding, horrible toiletries, rough towels, no room service. Not sure where they are meant to fit in the portfolio but way below 4 points standard. Only stayed at two non-SPG hotels since the merger and realised why that is likely to remain the case.

I would give anything to have SPG back.

I have now also started asking all hotels to remove the Book of Mormon that they keep leaving in my rooms...
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Old Dec 29, 19, 9:29 am
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I’ve stayed at Courtyards the most this year and, overall, I haven’t had a problem with them for work travel. I choose the newer Courtyards or the ones that have been upgraded in recent years. I was trying to vary my stays at other Marriott brands, but I couldn’t pass up the 2K a day promo when that showed up. Free bottles of water are nice, but getting additional points is better in my long term.

I’d say Courtyard is for business travelers on a corporate spending limit, especially in small groups. There’s no free breakfast. The Bistro is for breakfast and Starbucks in the mornings, then a basic bar and quick bites in the evenings. I rarely came across one with a large fitness room. It may or may not have a pool, but then I don’t check for this as a family with kids might. Most times, they are relatively quiet during the week.

I agree with the microwave inconsistency which makes longer stays a pain. The refrigerators have also shrunk to being unable to hold little more than bottled drinks. Not as bad as the Westin or some Marriotts I’ve stayed in, but not great when your stay is longer than a couple of days.

I will say that I have been upgraded to their suites or a larger room when available. I usually ask first. Once I crossed Platinum, I didn’t pay for parking either when the parking wasn’t complimentary or a part of the rate.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by elfjets View Post
Iíve stayed at Courtyards the most this year and, overall, I havenít had a problem with them for work travel. I choose the newer Courtyards or the ones that have been upgraded in recent years. I was trying to vary my stays at other Marriott brands, but I couldnít pass up the 2K a day promo when that showed up. Free bottles of water are nice, but getting additional points is better in my long term.

Iíd say Courtyard is for business travelers on a corporate spending limit, especially in small groups. Thereís no free breakfast. The Bistro is for breakfast and Starbucks in the mornings, then a basic bar and quick bites in the evenings. I rarely came across one with a large fitness room. It may or may not have a pool, but then I donít check for this as a family with kids might. Most times, they are relatively quiet during the week.

I agree with the microwave inconsistency which makes longer stays a pain. The refrigerators have also shrunk to being unable to hold little more than bottled drinks. Not as bad as the Westin or some Marriotts Iíve stayed in, but not great when your stay is longer than a couple of days.

I will say that I have been upgraded to their suites or a larger room when available. I usually ask first. Once I crossed Platinum, I didnít pay for parking either when the parking wasnít complimentary or a part of the rate.

I agree with you on the updated or new court yards. I will look at the photos of the courtyard unless I see the blue sky looking wall behind the bed I am not staying there. If you see anything red in the rooms it is a old courtyard and not redone/New.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 5:24 am
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1) Courtyard elite benefits are pretty minimal
2) However new Courtyards are often the best hotels in their locations, largely in suburban or secondary towns. I have a few Courtyard stays every year
3) I would choose a new Courtyard over an old tired Marriott or Sheraton or Hilton. Many times Courtyards are priced above those options in locations where all coexist

As always, focus more on age of hotel or time since last renovation rather than brand
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Old Dec 30, 19, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
3) I would choose a new Courtyard over an old tired Marriott or Sheraton or Hilton. Many times Courtyards are priced above those options in locations where all coexist
I'm not sure I'd go that far, although I also like the new CY's, as long as it's truly new and not just the lobby remodel...and I stay in way too many CY's for work.

I'd take a new CY over a Sheraton, but probably not an older Marriott or older Hilton. But it depends on what each individual values in a hotel. I've not found many Sheratons I like, although there are a couple. Most I've been in have pretty crappy lounges which is something I value for a quick bite when traveling for work. And the rooms are usually old and worn out.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 12:17 pm
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Courtyards used to be more similar to HGI before the "Bistro remake". They're still usually a step up from the lower tier (Fairfield, Springhill, Hampton, etc.) in my experience. The new thing seems to be adding a full restaurant to a Courtyard and calling it a Delta (Utica, NY, Huntington, WV, for example). I certainly can't tell the difference beyond that, unless comparing with the original Delta's - some of which can be very nice. There are also some terrific Courtyards which don't exactly adhere to the standard, and are my favorite hotels in some locations. Elite recognition should be improved at all Courtyards however.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by yyzflyer View Post
There are also some terrific Courtyards which don't exactly adhere to the standard, and are my favorite hotels in some locations. Elite recognition should be improved at all Courtyards however.
First sentence is a very good point. A few such properties in the US and quite a few internationally. Most of the US properties in larger cities.

I don't know that elite recognition needs to be improved. It's definitely not as good as the higher-end brands, but I don't think it's meant to be. We know what we're getting when we book a CY. I'd love to see more benefits at every brand, but Marriott makes it's business decisions and we make consumer decisions.

What I will say, is when there's a CY and a FS/Ren/Westin etc. near each other in a large city, they CY is usually not a significantly lower price. I'll book one of the full-service hotels in that case. But in some small town or suburb, where my choice is CY, a bunch or no-name hotels, and maybe a Hyatt Place, RI, or HGI, I'll book the CY. I'm sure Marriott realizes where a lot of these properties are located and believes they have the right mix of benefits for the brand.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxFlying View Post
First time at a CY. Toronto. Not terrible, but I had forgotten what grim, cheap hotels look like. Cheap fittings, nasty bedding, horrible toiletries, rough towels, no room service. Not sure where they are meant to fit in the portfolio but way below 4 points standard. Only stayed at two non-SPG hotels since the merger and realised why that is likely to remain the case.

I would give anything to have SPG back.

I have now also started asking all hotels to remove the Book of Mormon that they keep leaving in my rooms...
I for one have completed stays at Four Points Memphis, Four Points Miami, Sheraton Mission Bay San Diego and the Sheraton Fishermans Wharf these past few months and I would grade them all way below the worst Courtyard I have ever stayed at. Granted, SPG had many desirable properties but they were desperately lacking in midrange properties. A Courtyard is no luxury hotel. YouĎre not gonna be happy there if you want a luxury collection experience. On the other hand, in my experience, they are at least clean, which honestly I vould not say about most midrange SPG hotels
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
First sentence is a very good point. A few such properties in the US and quite a few internationally. Most of the US properties in larger cities.

I don't know that elite recognition needs to be improved. It's definitely not as good as the higher-end brands, but I don't think it's meant to be. We know what we're getting when we book a CY. I'd love to see more benefits at every brand, but Marriott makes it's business decisions and we make consumer decisions.

What I will say, is when there's a CY and a FS/Ren/Westin etc. near each other in a large city, they CY is usually not a significantly lower price. I'll book one of the full-service hotels in that case. But in some small town or suburb, where my choice is CY, a bunch or no-name hotels, and maybe a Hyatt Place, RI, or HGI, I'll book the CY. I'm sure Marriott realizes where a lot of these properties are located and believes they have the right mix of benefits for the brand.
With apologies for a double-negative, I don't disagree with your key point comparing Courtyards to full-service properties - especially when it comes to pricing. (A location I like to stay a couple of times a year has a Courtyard and JW a block from each other, with often the only difference being parking options and their cost.) However, if faced with the choice between a Courtyard and Springhill (for example) in close proximity, there's usually a price difference in favor of the Springhill where one also gets free breakfast. The actual accommodations are quite similar depending on the age of the property. The only benefit to paying more at the Courtyard is the somewhat inconsistent $10 food coupon. That's why I think if you're paying more, as an Elite you should actually receive more for your money.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Muerz View Post
I for one have completed stays at Four Points Memphis, Four Points Miami, Sheraton Mission Bay San Diego and the Sheraton Fishermans Wharf these past few months and I would grade them all way below the worst Courtyard I have ever stayed at. Granted, SPG had many desirable properties but they were desperately lacking in midrange properties. A Courtyard is no luxury hotel. YouĎre not gonna be happy there if you want a luxury collection experience. On the other hand, in my experience, they are at least clean, which honestly I vould not say about most midrange SPG hotels
Fair comment. I actually haven't stayed at a 4 points in the US for a long time, but have always found ones in Canada to be decent and definitely clean. Outside of North America I have found some very good ones.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxFlying View Post
Fair comment. I actually haven't stayed at a 4 points in the US for a long time, but have always found ones in Canada to be decent and definitely clean. Outside of North America I have found some very good ones.
1) In general, limited service brands outside of North America are built closer to full service hotel standards - Courtyard, Four Points, etc. Comparing a Four Points in China or something to a Courtyard in suburbia US is apples and oranges

2) In the US, Four Points are usually old Sheratons or similar hotels that lost the Sheraton brand because the owner did not want to upgrade them. In contrast there are hundreds of newly built Courtyards
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Old Dec 30, 19, 4:03 pm
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My very personal view of courtyards. This isnít to say if you just need a bed, they are a great choice. Courtyard at Disneyland is also an exception but none the less I avoid courtyards like the plague. But below is how I pretty much sum up courtyards...

cough, clears throat

voice of gruff Russian prison guard

Door, bed, you sleep here. Do not ask me for help, do not ask me for food. This is the best gulag in Siberia, we can make much worse if you ask me for anything. Sleep now
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Old Dec 30, 19, 4:16 pm
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We're discussing four different things in this thread:

1. Elite benefits at Courtyard
2. Brand standards at Courtyard
3. Adherence to brand standards at Courtyard and other brands
4. Relative value when Marriott Bonvoy properties near each other compete

Number 4 is the most significant. We all vote with our wallets. Some guests want the cheapest, regardless of quality. Some guests want the best, regardless of cost. And some guests are looking for the best balance. You could have a great Courtyard near a run-down Marriott — or the other way around. And price differences vary greatly from location to location, and even from night to night.

The benefits for Platinum Elite (and higher) members at Courtyard are not that terrible. Ignoring international Courtyard properties with lounges, the benefits are:

— Arrival gift of 500 points OR F&B item OR USD $10 F&B credit per night of stay for member + 1
— Usual Elite point bonus
— Other Elite benefits, such as upgrades and late check-out

In addition to Courtyard, there are four other "select service" brands in Marriott Bonvoy that do not provide breakfast to all guests:

— AC Hotels
— Moxy
— Four Points
— Aloft

The first two follow the Courtyard benefit model.

The final two provide breakfast for member + 1 per night of stay as an option instead of the credit. Yes, that's better, but it's a small difference. On the negative side, Aloft officially does not provide upgrades.
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