Purpose of Courtyard by Marriott

Old Apr 15, 21, 7:51 pm
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Purpose of Courtyard by Marriott

Hi FlyerTalk,
Is there ever a reason to stay at Courtyard by Marriott? Every time I go to one (if other hotels are overbooked), it ends up being overpriced, has no free breakfast even though I am already Gold nor an option to cheaply buy breakfast with the room rate, and also charges for parking a lot of the time despite being limited service. Not to mention the locations are usually old and have minimal renovations. Others like HGI, they usually don't charge for parking, and I can buy breakfast for the entire room (if we travel as a family) for an extra $10/night, and the final price is usually still cheaper than Courtyard and near the price of Hampton Inn, except there is also a convenient restaurant and it is a little more fancy. Same goes for the shabby Sheratons, maybe I missed something?
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Old Apr 15, 21, 8:00 pm
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I thought the last one I stayed at was perfectly fine, if nothing amazing. It was the most reasonably priced out of hotels at that star level (HGIs, Homewood Suites, Hyatt Places or Hyatt Houses, Residence Inns, HIXes, low end Hiltons/Sheratons/Marriotts, ). Parking was free. I really don't care about onsite breakfast (there was a breakfast place close by that does nice breakfasts as opposed to buffets).

I don't mind staying in places at that end of the spectrum, generally, because I don't have the dosh to drop on five star hotels when traveling most of the time. (I probably like Hyatt limited service properties the most of all those mentioned, but not "hey, pay $50 a night/$200 a stay extra" much.)

But you do you.
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Old Apr 15, 21, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by billy0472021 View Post
Hi FlyerTalk,
Is there ever a reason to stay at Courtyard by Marriott? Every time I go to one (if other hotels are overbooked), it ends up being overpriced, has no free breakfast even though I am already Gold nor an option to cheaply buy breakfast with the room rate, and also charges for parking a lot of the time despite being limited service. Not to mention the locations are usually old and have minimal renovations. Others like HGI, they usually don't charge for parking, and I can buy breakfast for the entire room (if we travel as a family) for an extra $10/night, and the final price is usually still cheaper than Courtyard and near the price of Hampton Inn, except there is also a convenient restaurant and it is a little more fancy. Same goes for the shabby Sheratons, maybe I missed something?
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Old Apr 16, 21, 5:59 am
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We've had a couple that we've stayed at regularly when visiting family or on business, with acceptable breakfast included for Plats. Wouldn't chose one in a city, but in a suburb close to where we need to be we'd always consider a CY
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Old Apr 16, 21, 6:16 am
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Breakfast is a weak spot for Courtyard. I don't like the Bistro breakfast regardless of it is complimentary or paid. Other than that, they are fine. It is just another upper mid-level limited service brand. I have stayed at many Courtyard properties. Other than inner city locations where all hotels were charging for parking, parking has generally been free. Room furnishings are slightly better grade than FI, SHS, HIX, etc. but not enough to be a compelling factor. Also many (if not most) Courtyard properties do indeed have a rate that includes breakfast. How many CY's have you stayed at? Based on your description of them, I suspect it is a fairly small sample set.

All of the above notwithstanding, Courtyard is not my first choice most of the time. Other than inner city locales, I am more likely to choose FI, SHS, or RI (when I do want more space and a better breakfast) over CY. I might also do HIX if I am looking outside of the Marriott brands. Inner city I will look for full service Marriott, Renn., Autograph, Kimpton, etc. Marriott and IHG are my focus programs and I try to keep all stays within their brands other than occasional non chain hotel stays during leisure trips. E.g. maximize points earning and status. Hilton properties are generally fine but just outside of my focus area. I have had very little experience with Hyatt (a few full service properties), and they have also been generally fine. If I wanted to realign my focus programs Hilton or Hyatt would be candidates from a property quality perspective. Hyatt would fail on footprint. Anyway, I have veered way off topic...

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Old Apr 16, 21, 6:27 am
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The courtyard in Taipei is honestly an amazing hotel. Last time I visited, they sent me free pastries from the bakery. The room was large and clean. They even provided a phone with a data plan in each room for guest usage throughout the city.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 7:02 am
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Its a good question. We've never been fans of Courtyard for many of the same reasons. I'd put free "breakfast" high on that list. For that reason we prefer Fairfield or Residence Inn when staying at a non-FS property. Of course, with the covid changes to "breakfast" that's not really an issue these days.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 7:36 am
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CYs have been targeted to business travelers where there isn't a FS Marriott nearby or their hotel budget is more limited. Because it is target at business travellers who can usually expense their breakfast, breakfast is not included (similar to FS Marriotts). For leisure travelers FI and SHS with their free breakfast is where people would usually stay.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 7:40 am
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I don't like the redesign they pushed out a few years ago -- the place feels like a college student commons now. COVID has made breakfast a non-factor, really, but a complimentary cup of self-serve coffee would be welcome. Prefer HGI or Hyatt Place now.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 8:10 am
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I'm generally not a fan of the free breakfast options- rather spend some money and get something I actually want to eat, so breakfast is an irrelevant offering to me.

Really just comes down to price/location for me. If a Courtyard is where I need to go and its the better deal, I stay there. If its not, SHS or FI, unless I'm in a big city and an AC, Aloft, or Moxy are available.

Though lately the Courtyards I've stayed at have been not well cared for, which is kind of annoying. The one last week had a desk chair in the room that looked like a cat attacked it.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 9:06 am
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This has been discussed often here: Trying to understand the Courtyard business model

I feel like there was an epic thread at like 20 pages where people just mocked Courtyard, but I cant find it so maybe its not as epic as I remember.

But yeah, since the beginning of Flyertalk, people be like “LOL ... Courtyard” and Marriott be all like “we make buckets of money every day, we know what we are doing”

So, in the end? Whats the point of Courtyard? To make money for Marriott and shareholders. Apparently it works, otherwise there would be no Courtyards.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 10:20 am
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I do thing on average CYs are just a bit better than Fairfields and Springhill suites in terms of furniture, bathrooms, etc. Though this is to a large degree offset by the fact that many Fairfields and Springhills seem newer. I'd rather stay at a Fairfield or Springhill than a CY on average because of the breakfast, not just because its free, but I find a buffet (pre-pandemic) much faster which is good when I just need a bite before I head out to work. I guess the nice thing about CYs that they have an on-site bar and restaurant, which even if not amazing, gives you a way to drink without having to drive (assuming suburbs). This is US CYs only, many Asian CYs are really nice and do have breakfast. I will note that if you don't have status, I'm not sure people see a difference between CY and lower end FS hotels which also don't have free breakfast.

Sheraton, as you mention, is really the black sheep. I avoid any sheraton v. any FS marriott unless I actually know it is a good hotel. I've had so many mediocre or worse sheratons that feel like they haven't been renovated since the 1st Bush administration. That said, if they do have a CL, they tend to have a slightly better breakfast than the select service hotels. There are good Sheratons, but man, so many need a refresh stat.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by WasKnown View Post
The courtyard in Taipei is honestly an amazing hotel. Last time I visited, they sent me free pastries from the bakery. The room was large and clean. They even provided a phone with a data plan in each room for guest usage throughout the city.
courtyards in asia are a completely different beast than courtyards in the US, which is what OP is complaining about
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Old Apr 16, 21, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
This has been discussed often here: Trying to understand the Courtyard business model

I feel like there was an epic thread at like 20 pages where people just mocked Courtyard, but I cant find it so maybe its not as epic as I remember.

But yeah, since the beginning of Flyertalk, people be like “LOL ... Courtyard” and Marriott be all like “we make buckets of money every day, we know what we are doing”

So, in the end? Whats the point of Courtyard? To make money for Marriott and shareholders. Apparently it works, otherwise there would be no Courtyards.
This. So very much this. For over 20 years, all sorts of FlyerTalkers have dissed Courtyard because "they don't give me "free" breakfast! Waaaaaahhhh!" And for over 20 years, Marriott has ignored every single one of them and made oodles of bucks with the brand.
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Old Apr 16, 21, 11:04 am
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A fairly extensive discussion thread from the MR Forum: Does Courtyard provide good value relative to other Marriott brands?

Plus, as a bonus, DenverBrian 's CY history lesson: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23767177-post43.html

David
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