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With the opening of the 1,000th Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (the Courtyard by Marriott Walla Walla in Washington State), Marriott International is giving away 50 million Marriott Rewards points to guests checking into Courtyard properties worldwide today.
That's right. Marriott Rewards members arriving at Courtyard today will receive 1,000 bonus points a piece. (That sound you just heard is a bunch of folk pulling out their phone to make a quick reservation for today at a Courtyard.)
With this 1,000th property, Courtyard is now the single biggest brand in the Marriott portfolio (by number of properties) and the 8th largest hospitality brand worldwide. There are Courtyards in all 50 states, along with 38 countries and territories.
While Courtyard was commonly found near airport or in office parks, in recent years the brand has gone urban--to New York City and downtown LA--as well as tropical--to Bali and Waikiki Beach--and nearly everything in between (Middle East and Europe.) Inside the Courtyard, the room design now reflects today's traveler and free and fast WiFi is a priority. Food and beverage offerings have been upgraded as well, with most Courtyards offering at least a Grab-n-Go or Bistro concept, if not a full-fledged restaurant.
So with 1,000 properties all over the world, chance are some of you dear readers have stayed at a Courtyard hotel before. And now, we want to know which ones you like the most.
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Edinburgh Hotels / Courtyard By Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
Edinburgh's Urban Villa
It feels like only yesterday that we were mourning the demise of the Hotel Missoni (and then the most expensive hotel in Scotland), but Edinburgh isn’t the kind of town to let a couple of closures get it down – instead it’s up and at ‘em with new plans.
Hot on the heels of the opening of the Ibis Styles, which we talked about last week, come plans from Marriott to build Scotland’s second Courtyard by Marriott property (it already has one at Aberdeen Airport). The Courtyard Edinburgh Hotel will have 240 rooms and will open in 2016, taking over three neighboring Georgian townhouses in Baxter’s Place, in central Edinburgh. Fun fact: Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather once lived there.
Lately, we've been digging Courtyard by Marriott Hotels, thanks to their new, functional room layouts, ever-present free WiFi, nifty media pods and their convenient Bistro cafes. But it turns out Courtyard by Marriott gets no TLC from the 90s R&B band, TLC.
The Smoking Gun uncovered a rider for the band's TLC Reunion Tour (which is just T-Boz and Chilli, RIP LEFT EYE) and after several food specifications--Nobu sushi for Chilli, turkey sandwiches with Miracle Whip for T-Boz, the contract demands suites for the singers in a "5 star hotel." A "4 star hotel" will do “if a 5 Star Hotel is not available in the applicable location.”
And more specifically, under no circumstances shall the ladies be put up in “motels, inns or Courtyard Marriot’s.” AW, SNAP.
TLC may not want no motel scrubs but Courtyard by Marriotts are certainly not on the same level as motels and inns. All you have to do is look at their room rates, which have gone up significantly in the past few years and rarely dip below $100 here in the U.S.
Oh well, TLC may not be chasing waterfalls to stay in a Courtyard but we don't mind. We'll creep, yeah, just keep it on the down low....
[Photo composite: HotelChatter]
Hotel Openings / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / LA Live / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Yesterday we gave you a little sneak peek inside the dual-brand Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, across from the LA Live sporting and entertainment complex. The two select service brands are not just sharing a building but also a check-in desk, a lobby, a fitness center, a pool and even the guest room floors. (Here's how to tell which side of the hallway is yours.)
Now, here's the full reveal of the property. Peruse the photos below to see the shared spaces at the hotels, as well as the individual rooms of the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands. Then keep reading to see what we liked and what we didn't like.
Hotel Openings / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / LA Live / → All Tags
Marriott International has more than a crush on Downtown LA. Not content with having a Ritz-Carlton and a JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live, Marriott has now opened their first dual-brand hotel on the West Coast right across the street from the Staples Center--The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn at LA Live.
Not only is this the first dual-brand on the West Coast for Marriott but it's also the first dual-brand hotel to share a floor. (Typically, the different brands split the floors.)
So how do you know which side of the hallway is yours? Follow the carpeting.
When you step off the elevator, you'll see a lotus type of design on the floor. The purple side of the lotus will lead you to the Residence Inn side, while the orange side will lead you to the Courtyard rooms.
But the two brands share more than just the guest room floors. They also share the check-in desk, the lobby, the pool, the 901 bistro and the fitness center. However, only Residence Inn guests can access the spacious RI Lounge and its free, hot breakfast buffet. We'll tell you now, this lounge is worth the extra $20 a night that Residence Inn charges.
Room rates for the Courtyard side of the hotel, which has 174 rooms, are around $289 a night while Residence Inn has rates for its 219 suites starting at $309 a night.
Stay tuned tomorrow for photos galore!
Hotel WiFi / Hotel WiFi Speeds / Annual Hotel WiFi / Marriott International / Marriott Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Free WiFi / Tiered WiFi / Hotel News / → All Tags
To get online at a Marriott Hotel, typically you have to hang out in the lobby where the flagship brand of Marriott International has free WiFi for all, across all their hotels. Marriott has done this for its other brands too, including JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. But unless you're an elite member of Marriott Rewards you still have to pay for WiFi in your hotel room.
This is frustrating for sure, but even more so when Marriott International's select service brands----Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn and TownPlace Suites--have free WiFi for all guests, everywhere in the hotel. And they aren't just offering free WiFi, they're making sure it's really good WiFi.
In the past year, these brands have been pushing hard to improve the quality of their WiFi speeds for guests through a variety of strategies. For example, the newest Courtyard by Marriott which opened in NYC earlier this year, has "1.25 gigabytes of bandwidth with horizontal and vertical fiber optical cable network that allows for fast, extensive use on multiple devices at one time." Marriott has also introduced a tiered structure where basic WiFi is free and where faster WiFi can be bought. (The tiered WiFi structure is also in place the brands that charge for basic WiFi.)
While we can only hope that all of Marriott International's hotel brands will soon have free WiFi in the guest rooms, we do have to commend this special group for making free and working WiFi a priority.
To that end we asked Violeta Seidell, Vice President, Project Services for Marriott International a few questions (via email) about Marriott's recent WiFi strategies. While her answers focus mainly on the select service brands, a Marriott rep tell us the answers also apply to the full-service brands.
Boston Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Aloft Hotels / Courtyard By Marriott Hotels / Autograph Collection Hotels / → All Tags
It takes a long time for a hotel project to go from idea to groundbreaking, from construction to first check-in. So even as we luxuriate (hopefully) in new openings and exciting upgrades, we’re already looking into our crystal ball (AKA the Internet) for buzz on what’s coming down the pipeline. Herewith, we present the three Boston hotel openings in 2015 that have us most excited right now — and why.
1. Envoy Hotel
Why we’re excited: Because a hot neighborhood needs a hot hotel. Nothing makes something sound less hip than using the word hip.” But if you’ll allow us to don our verbal Mom Jeans for a moment — Boston’s Fort Point is hip. It’s hot. It’s very “now,” a little sliver of a neighborhood bordering the Seaport that happens to be filled with some of the most buzz-worthy restaurants in recent years: from legendary chef Barbara Lynch’s fine dining flagship, Menton, to the self-professed “working man’s oyster bar” (if you’re a “working man” in finance, maybe) that is Row 34.
Now the transformation from industrial area to hot hospitality ‘hood is nearly complete, with word that the $70 million Envoy Hotel (a rendering shown here) will open in 2015 on Sleeper Street near the Barking Crab restaurant. The six-story property is an entry in Marriott’s luxury Autograph Collection which also includes Maine's upcoming Press Hotel. Expect 136 rooms, plans for a pedestrian plaza that will link to the Boston HarborWalk, a rooftop terrace with skyline and harbor views, and 4,000 square feet of space on the ground level for – what else? – restaurants. Hip.
Hotel Openings / Tallest Hotels / Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / Hotels Near Central Park / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / → All Tags
As we mentioned in our Master List of Worldwide Openings this morning, New York City is now home to the tallest hotel in North America. So which hotel owns this distinction? The "two-pack" Courtyard By Marriott and Residence Inn Central Park which just opened a few hours ago at 1717 Broadway and 54th.
Measurement-wise the new hotel stands at 752 feet, 9 inches and without office or residential space attached, the hotel has grabbed the "Tallest Hotel" prize.
For guests staying at the hotel, they will have 68-floors of either Courtyard by Marriott or Residence Inn guest rooms and amenities to choose from. Courtyard has about 378 rooms on floors 6-33 (with those cool new room designs) while Residence Inn has 261 suites on floors 37-65. Check out the view from one of the Courtyard rooms. On the 35th floor is a fitness center floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor sundeck for relaxing, stretching or as Marriott says, "seasonal sunning."
Yet what has us more excited than the fact that Marriott has stuck two of its brands together in a giant hotel overlooking Central Park and with views of the Hudson River is that the entire hotel has complimentary WiFi. But that's not all. Marriott says each room delivers "1.25 gigabytes of bandwidth with horizontal and vertical fiber optical cable network that allows for fast, extensive use on multiple devices at one time." Yes, this is Marriott saying that.
Courtyard By Marriott Hotels / Hotel History / Bill Marriott / Hotel News / Hotel Parties / → All Tags
On October 15, 1983, Bill Marriott opened the very first Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Atlanta. When he posed for this picture, did he know that Courtyard would eventually grow to be the 12th largest hotel brand in the world and perhaps more importantly, the #2 most profitable brand for Marriott? (#1 is the Marriott flagship brand.)
Whatever Mr. Marriott's hotel spidey sense was feeling that day, Courtyard has accomplished a lot in 30 years and today, they are taking the day to celebrate.
At Courtyards around the world (and there are 1,000 in 38 countries), they are holding a global anniversary party with events in Hong Kong, Doha, Berlin, Mexico City and Atlanta, home of the first Courtyard. Additionally, in North America, the first 30 guests who check-in to a Courtyard will receive these commemorative Courtyard t-shirts. The party even continues over to social media. If you're birthday is today, you will also get a surprise Courtyard gift. Or you can just watch as 30,000 associates celebrate internally at Marriott with cakes, balloons and other festivities. Follow hashtag #Courtyard30 to party on with them.
In the meantime, here are some fun "Dirty Thirty" Courtyard By Marriott facts to read as well as a professional shots of their "Gen Next" rooms:
The Courtyard By Marriott Zone at the 2012 Super Bowl.
Tonight is the night we've all been waiting for. Well, at least some of us have been waiting for--The Return of the NFL!
While we plan on being glued to our laptops
cursing monitoring the performance of our Fantasy Football team every Sunday, we understand that some of you might have actual business to attend to while the games are on. Which is why you might want to stay at a Courtyard By Marriott Hotel.
Courtyard is the official hotel sponsor of the NFL for the third year in a row and they will be hosting NFL tailgate parties every Thursday night at different locations. Guests staying at one of seven Courtyards this season will be treated to VIP invite-only events that feature meet and greets with local NFL greats, raffles and an endless supply of tailgate food and drink. In addition, each event (except for Houston) will feature a grand prize drawing that gets a lucky winner tickets to that night's actual game. Here's where this season's tailgates are happening and when:
· 9/12/13 – Courtyard Boston Foxborough/Mansfield, MA
· 9/19/13 – Courtyard Mt. Laurel, NJ
· 10/10/13 – Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North , IL
· 10/17/13 – Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River, AZ
· 11/7/13 – Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown, MN
· 11/14/13 – Courtyard Nashville Downtown, TN
· 12/5/13 - Courtyard Houston Medical Center, TX
Downtown LA Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
Construction began on the hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel across from the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at LA Live just last March but the hotel looks nearly finished, at least on the outside.
We snapped this pic from the 10 Freeway the other day (Shh! Don't tell the CHP) and the hotel looks nearly identical to the rendering put out last year. And no, it's not your eyes or your computer screen, we think those rooms windows are supposed to have that haphazard look. (Or maybe that was just because we were in motion when we took this pic. Oops.)
When it's completely finished, the 24-story building will house a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott (hopefully with these new "Gen Next" rooms) and a 218-room Residence Inn. Word is the hotel should be done by Summer 2014.
Meanwhile Marriott isn't done with Downtown LA. They are still building a Renaissance Hotel across from the JW Marriott on the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street. The hotel will have 450 rooms when it opens in 2016. Construction is expected to start next year. Perhaps Downtown LA should automatically sign you up for Marriott Rewards when you visit.
[Photo: HotelChatter, while driving. Don't do this at home, kids.]
In our 2013 WiFi Report, we took a special look at what are considered good working WiFi speeds at hotels. (One to 5mbps is a fairly good speed that will allow you to get all your basic internet activities done.) We've since been keeping track of hotel WiFi speeds on this story here.
Courtyard has already recognized the important of free WiFi (which they've offered for years) but now they're implementing certain internet standards for their general managers to follow. These include implementing definitive internet strategies for each property and working with certified internet service providers. (Hopefully, that will eliminate such mishaps as this one.)
Word is compliance for these standards will begin in July so by next year, Courtyard will not only have super cool new rooms but (fingers crossed), super cool working WiFi as well.