I am seriously rethinking staying at Courtyards. While the addition of the Bistro and Starbucks are nice additions, taking away the free coffee and hot water for tea bothers me. It bothers me because the Starbucks in the Bistro only keeps very limited hours. This leaves the coffee in the room as the only option (and frankly the quality of the in-room coffee isn’t very good).
This combined with no concierge lounge to enjoy a free breakfast is making Courtyard very unappealing to me – especially when the Courtyard I frequent has a full service Embassy Suites next door with a comparable rate, free happy hour and breakfast. I’d rather have Courtyard get rid of the in-room coffee and put fresh coffee out when Starbucks is closed (as many of us burn the midnight oil and need that caffeine boost) a breakfast coupon for Marriott Reward Elites would be well received too.
Hopefully Marriott will get enough feedback that they realize they are pinching pennies and potentially losing dollars being spent on their Courtyard brand.
CY used to be my "go-to" property, now I'm seeking to avoid them entirely. I hate the Bistro completely, the coffee thing is just the final straw in the squeezing of the clientele. I'm doing Embassy Suites/Garden Inns now instead when I'm seeking a mid-range hotel. I may not make PP beyond this year, but as a Lifetime Platinum, what does that really matter? I'd rather have that plus Hilton Diamond. The fact that the HGI still has free coffee all day, not to mention it's Starbucks as well, is just icing on that cake.
I appreciate your note regarding the change in our coffee offering and wanted to address. With the transformation of our lobbies to the new refreshing business concept featuring the Bistro, we have seen a decrease in demand for our complimentary lobby coffee. A great majority of our guests prefer our made-to-order Starbucks in the Bistro, which is why we made the recent change. It is our brand standard to offer Starbucks coffee and beverages for a minimum of 15 hours a day, which means mid-day when the Bistro may be closed. So, typically this service would be available from 6am - 9pm. During these mid-day hours, you should be able to ask a front desk associate to make you a beverage even if the Bistro is closed.
Also, just to note that complimentary coffee remains available daily in every Courtyard guest room, which is the same coffee that was being offered free in the lobby.
Thank you again for your feedback on this recent change. We appreciate your business.
Thanks for the reply above....You mention the "great majority" of guests prefer coffee from the Bistro. Was this info for the guest preference gathered from some type of survey? If so, do you recall the other options that were offered to the guests on the survey? Was there an option to comment on the removal of a staple, free coffee in the lobby? I'm curious to know if given a full list of choices, how many guests would truly choose paying $3 for a cup of coffee in the Bistro vs. pouring their own cup for no charge in the lobby. My bet is the "great majority" language may not be so clear for the Bistro...but that's just my guess. Even with all that, since most, if not all of your competitors offer this option to their guests...what was the big deal with leaving the lobby coffee? It comes across as a money grab and that never feels good to the vast majority of the guests.
I appreciate your explanation. The problem is that I find the statement regarding "the great majority of guests preferring the (expensive) made to order Starbucks coffee" over free lobby coffee simply hard to believe. Painedplatinum drills to the right questions regarding how Marriott came to this conclusion.
I'm a plain Jane 2-cup-a-day black coffee drinker (as opposed to those expensive lattes/cappuccinos, etc.) and while I find Starbucks coffee to be a bit too strong for me, I realize that I'm just one folk. Okay.
But the 4 cup in-room coffee makers have been replaced with single cup brew modules. Typically (in my experience), a room is stocked with 3 brew packets - 1 decaf and 2 caffeinated. So for two guests/room who drink regular coffee, that's one cup/person. When you say that complimentary coffee remains available all day in every guest room, are you inferring that guests can petition housekeeping, housekeeping carts, or the front desk for additional packets of coffee without feeling that we are asking for something more than what we are entitled to? If so, that would be good to know, so that I can spare myself unnecessary guilt the next time I ask housekeeping for more brew packets. Yet surely to my mind, maintaining an insulated pot of coffee in the lobby is far more cost effective than passing out numerous pre-measured single brew packets. Even the single 4 cup packet for the old 4 cup coffee makers seems more cost effective. Maybe I'm wrong.
I used to love Courtyards until all of these changes. The one cup brew modules, the removal of the complimentary lobby coffee, and the bistro are three strikes against my beloved Courtyard brand (plus the existing strike of not getting points for dining charges, which I'm not even counting), which unfortunately amounts to a strike out. I'm now faced with finding a new favorite mid-range hotel brand, and am not at all happy about it. Well, besides, all of my favorite CY's are moving from a Cat. 4 to a Cat. 5 anyway, so just all around not a good day in Mudville.
It's clear, Insiders; what we must do is find the "sweet" spot!
Sorry Alison - we will need to agree to agree to disagree.
Nearly every member of my 70+ person team and I (all Platinum Elite) feel the same way and none of us were ever surveyed about these changes.
The bottom line, CY used to be a avorite brand and now it is a brand we will likely moving away from (and judging from the response from this forum – we are not alone)
You may want to rethink the free coffee/team in the lobby and consider free breakfast for the Elites – your competition certainly is.
Not to pile on, but I bailed on the CY Cupertino after finding a letter in my room announcing the removal of the lobby coffee urns and checked into the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn, where I found free lobby coffee - Starbucks no less. So not only have they managed to find a way to hold on to it, they offer for free the same stuff the Bistro charges for. Full bar, real restaurant (no Turbochef to be found) and $30 a night cheaper.
Personally, I truly believe that Marriott has killed the Courtyard brand altogether, reaching to a market segment they don't understand, and isn't staying there anyway. As that was over 50% of my stays last year (an all-time low), that's at least 70 nights per year they've lost from me (and I've got a lot of years left). While my nights in the future may still include Marriott properties, they will most definitely not be Courtyards.
Hi CY Insiders on this blog post,
I wanted to jump back in and say thank you for your comments and for your passion. It pains us to hear we may lose customers for any reason. It is certainly our hope that through this exchange you will see that we do care. We don’t make these kind of business decisions without solid trends, data and giving it great thought. I have shared your comments with our senior leaders. They are working on some options as follows: bringing in a Starbucks blonde roast for those people who feel that the current Starbucks blend our hotels serve it too strong, programs to further acknowledge our best Marriott Rewards customers such as increased arrival points and other programs to recognize our best guests that are more customized. We truly hope you won’t give up on Courtyard. We appreciate your business and your loyalty.
VP and Global Brand Manager
Courtyard by Marriott
I am not a coffee drinker at all, so am not interested in all of this. But I was interested in your last comment " further acknowledge our best Marriott Rewards customers such as increased arrival points ". I have been staying at a Fairfield Inn (FFI) in the Toronto area, as I am a Marriott loyalist, even though my business colleagues stay at other hotels that are closer to the client. I find it very odd, that I can earn 10 points per dollar at a (FFI), but only get 200 points for arrival. I would suggest that any Marriott brand that gives 10 points per dollar spent, should provide an arrival gift of at least 500 points. I don't usually stay at FFI's, rather I stay at Full-scale Marriotts, but didn't find one in the area, so I am shocked that I am only receiving 200 points. Is this something you would consider seriously?
Thanks for your time!
Thank you for your response, Janis.
As Platimum Elite member, I am writing this as I stay at a CY in Toronto, where I was greeted my first morning earlier this week with an empty coffee stand, replaced by a cheery 8 1/2 x 11 print copy statement informing me that, (lucky me) "IT'S A BRAND NEW STAY!!" The fine print of course, told me that too bad, if I want coffee I can wait in line and pay 3 bucks at the bistro bar.
At first, I was just annoyed, but as the week wore on, I've discovered how much i enjoyed the self serve aspects of the coffee stand. I have had more time to contemplate Mariott's decision, particularly while waiting in long lines for the poor folks behind the cafe bar to prepare grande decafe one shot of this or that lattes AND take breakfast orders while all I want is a simple cup of coffee. Besides missing my 'ritual' i just dont have time in the am to wait in lines.
I am assuming that a cost benefit went into this decision, with some estimate of lost customers (revenue) appearing on the cost side. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, incremental customer service decisions such as these have a way of accumulating - and dumbing down the brand.
As a result, I am sorry to say, this is a decision that will affect my travel planning in the future. Marrtiott CYs will no longer be the 'go to', first booking choice as it always has been. Instead, I'll seek alternatives and other choices where possible & practical.
Again however, let thank you for monitoring this board, and providing a response to what I assume was a tough cusomter service decision for the company.