I have been a Marriott Rewards Member since around 1995. I am Premier Platinum, and getting ready to switch to Hilton brands at the end of the year. For business travel, Courtyards used to be the answer. However, most of them have not been remodeled since around 2003. It seems they are falling apart. I checked in today to the Courtyard Fort Worth Fossill Creek today. Stains on the hallway carpets. No WIFI! Unbelieveable. "Box" TV's the size of a refrigerator. Worn out bed. Sadly though, I can name a million Courtyards in this shape. When I try to complain usually they say 'sorry' or we won't have WIFI until we remodel. I have posted on here before as well. I cannot believe the condition of these Courtyards. Does anyone from Marriott actually go out and look for at their properties? I cannot do it anymore...I am a loyal customer but my colleagues all rave about Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden. I cannot think of the last time I raved about a Courtyard.
And sadly, the remodels are nothing that attractive, either. I think no one here is shocked to hear my dissatisfaction with the entire Bistro/GoBoard/Kiosk idiocy. Frankly, it's going to look tired and silly in less time than is required to "upgrade" the remainder of the brand. If I wanted McDonalds, I'd go there. I stay(ed) predominately at CY because it was convenient and business-friendly, and often there was a property that stood above the fold that made me look forward to return visits. No longer. The utter plastic sameness is depressing and insulting to me as an actual adult over 25.
I've got too much invested to abandon Marriott entirely (as I'm sure they count on), but the brand choice is not as certain anymore, to be sure.
I also started noticing quite a few "tired" Courtyards out there. I lit up a poll on here, http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/polls/1052 .... and asked for other's opinions. It was an interesting read.
I stopped staying at CYs years ago. Most are badly in need of renovation and no free breakfast for elites. Some of the breakfasts, even if I am willing to pay are undesirable. Due to the Summer promotion, I stayed at 2 and both were a bad experience, one worse than the other. I did stay at the Glenwood Springs, CO one a while back and it was fairly new and not bad but I do not like the Bistro and the reviews on it are not good. It appears that Marriott has made another mistake. The CYs used to have free coffee in the evening and not they want us to buy it at teh Bistro.
The CYs are competing with Hilton Garden Inn and they are newer and offer free breakfast to golds. I think the CYs are losing.
I completely agree with the above topics. I do not see how Courtyards are trying to differentiate themselves. I recently planned to stay at a CY in Edmonton Canada for 9 nights. As a Platinum Premier I am accustomed to getting "free" breakfast. The GM there told me he was "forbidden" by Marriott to do this, even though he felt he should. So I checked out and walked across the parking lot to a Hampton Inn. Great experience! I also think for the money Hilton Garden Inn's are the best value. I'm lifetime Platinum but this year I have been staying at more Hiltons and achieved Diamond status. All Marriotts are going down hill in my opinion. A a frequent traveler I could care less about a new and updated reception/lobby. Every minute I spend in the lobby of a hotel is a minute of wasted time (other than eating breakfast)
For all the 'promotional' work Marriott has done to get everyone excited about their new 'bistro' plan, they certainly haven't been able to 'sway' many good feelings about the new structure. I don't really understand the 'bistro' concept and how it works for a business person. It is slower (translated as 'lost time' or 'non-productive time' to the business folk), more labor intensive for the employee, more costly for Marriott or the franchise operator and really slows down the flow as opposed to the buffet they used to have. And..with the higher prices that Courtyards charge, the 'no breakfast' attitude is a loser. Other chains, as related above, have begun to 'clean their clock'. The only time I stay at a Courtyard is when there is no other choice....although my old (meaning not remodeled) South Boston Courtyard will continue to get my business when I need an overnight stop close to the airport in Boston....as long as they continue to give me the free breakfast buffet as they have in the past.
I have recently stayed at 2 CY's. One that had been remodeled, the selection of Breakfast foods was thin, and you waited on a line (which many of us did not like). The non-remodeled CY had a ne enormous Breakfast selection, no lines what-so-ever and everyone appeared happier.
I have been almost exclusively loyal to Marriott for 15 years. 85 nights already this year. This week, I stayed in 2 Hilton properties, a Hilton Garden and a Hampton. Hilton gave me Gold status right away.
I was shocked to see the difference in either property versus the usual Courtyards I stay in. The beds were not worn out, the towels didn't look like a college kid's, the hallway carpets were not stained. These are things I see all the time in Courtyards.
With respect to the Bistro, I don't like waiting in a line while someone in front of me decides what kind of coffee they want. I understand the objective, the Bistro brings all day and night revenue. That's ok. But for $7.00 you get cereal and juice. I don't like eating out of a styrofoam cereal cup for $7.00. The whole thing seems over done, and wasteful.
It is sad to me, as Courtyards used to be so good, but corporate has lost the ball here. "Business" hotels that still don't have WIFI in 2012 should not exist.
If I have ever stayed at a Courtyard, I cannot remember when. That said, it amazes me the number of complaints made of these properties by the very people they are catering to, Business travelers. Seems Marriott has a very serious problem on their hands and have yet to even acknowledge the problem...
Years ago, CYs were my hotel of choice. They were new and the Marriotts were old and needed help. It seems that Marriott puts more focus into the Marriotts. Now, I only stay at a CY when I have no choice. I recently stayed at 2 because of the promotion. Out of the last 3, 2 were bad and the other was just OK. Why has Marriott let them deteriorate? They are now renovating them but no one likes the Bistro even when I visit a site like TripAdvisor, the comments on it are not good. Now why are they continuing to convert to them based on this? They are the only one of the Marriotts (I think) that don't offer breakfast to elites.