Very unhappy with Marriott's decision to discontinue the complimentary coffee bar at Courtyard properties with a bistro. As a Platinum Premier Elite it is already aggravating enough that Courtyard is the only property in the Marriott chain where I cannot get a complimentary breakfast. But I had accepted this. But now that Courtyard is taking away the coffee also I will boycott any Courtyard without the free coffee bar. The in room coffee is not an option because of sanitary concerns. All you need to do is google in room coffee. Many travel sites warn guest about using the in room coffee makers. Personally I have become ill because of using an in room coffee maker. You are forcing guest to buy your overpriced Starbucks coffee and this is unacceptable. I am also a Diamond with Hilton and I never have to buy breakfast or coffee at any of their properties. I will continue to post all properties failing to offer coffee anywhere I travel on this site and on Facebook. All PPMR menbers need to let their voice be heard.
THANK YOU to,
Dulles Town Center, Lexington, KY and Durham, NC for keeping the free coffee bar!
Avoid Beckley, WV or Woodbridge, VA
'it is already aggravating enough that Courtyard is the only property in the Marriott chain where I cannot get a complimentary breakfast.'
In addition to Courtyards, it has been my experience that the Autograph properties do not honor the free breakfast either. They just tell you that they don't follow the Marriott rule. So, even thought there are some nice properties, I avoid Autograph properties as well as the Courtyards.
tef6178 is right Autograph hotels usually don't offer free breakfast but there are a few other Marriott Brands that do not. Gaylord, Marriott Vacation Clubs, and many Marriott Resort hotels do not offer any type of free breakfast. Also the hotels that do have concierge lounges usually only offer free breakfast Mon-Fri mornings.
Personally I don't find not having a free breakfast is a big deal. It's a nice perk if available. I much rather have free parking at all properties vs free breakfast.
I've always wondered why a Gold or Platinum member would ever stay at a Courtyard (unless it's the only Marriott around!). Full service Marriotts have the Exec lounge, while at least the Fairfields and RIs offer free breakfast / dinner. What on earth does a Courtyard have to offer the "Elite" member?
The one we stay at most often has a corp. rate that includes a breakfast buffet for everyone in the room. I know all of the staff and many are my friends away from home. The rate is less than $100 and I can use the e-cheques that were "bought" before the EOY. They also still have the coffee bar and have been putting off those changes in regards to bistro and Starbucks for as long as possible. That's Cola., SC NE. It's not perfect, but they try hard.
Also, we look for bargains in the travel coupon books. Last Thanksgiving, we found a coupon for less than $100 at a newly built CY in Homestead, FL. The new Hampton next door was $10 cheaper and included a breakfast, but I could use the cheques and have a bit more money on hand. Unexpectedly, we also got 2500 points for the stay. They weren't going to honor the coupon because holidays were exempt and Friday after Thanksgiving counted as a holiday. The place was almost empty (being a new multi - floor) and I wouldn't accept the room until she did agree to the rate in the coupon because I was going to check on the Hampton next door and probably wouldn't have come back regardless. It really made it a lot easier for her to be happy about giving the special rate after telling her my husband's being plat. didn't hurt any, as well as it's being almost vacant.
So, bargains count for me. I can always leave to get breakfast for some of the discounted prices. And a lot of Marriott's don't have comped breakfasts on weekends, either.
I can answer this!
I have just stayed at the Courtyard Buffalo Airport. Normally I would stay at the Buffalo Marriott or a Residence Inn. However, the Buffalo Marriott has tiny old rooms, and their Concierge Lounge is not only old and dismal, but the snacks, coffee, and service are horrible. It is so not worth my paying extra to stay there.
WRT the Residence Inns in Buffalo.... they are also old and dingy with terrible food. Not to mention a lack of airport shuttle service.
I would gladly pay for quality food and beverages (and did) on top of the room rate for a much better room than I can get at the RI's and the full service Marriott. I avoid crowded crappy breakfasts wherever I can, even if they are free.
I just recently moved up to Gold status with Marriott and have stayed at a lot of different properties this year. I totally agree with the aggravation that Courtyard represents. A little history - I was around when the first Courtyards were opening up and I thought they were fantastic. Really oriented to the business traveler with not a lot of perks but more than most hotels offered at the time and at a reasonable price.
I have been focused mainly on Hilton and Starwood over the past 12 years and sort of lost touch with Courtyard hotels. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the new Courtyard. Yes, they've upgraded the lobbies quite nicely and the Bistro does offer some things that many of us can take advantage of when we really don't have the energy to go out to dinner. But, this no coffee business in the morning is a distinguished mark of arrogance. I, for one, do not like doing business with companies that offer little more than their competitors (reference:Hyatt Place, Sheraton Four Points, Hilton Garden Inn) but have decided to place themselves on some artificial pedestal. I'm with the majority of commenters, if there's another option besides Courtyard, they will be getting my business.
I don't drink in room coffee, because it always sucks. and there's like 1 creamer pack and one packet of sugar. enough for possibly 2 cups max at that minimal level. I'm sure people prefer the on demand bistro coffee when they don't care about price and can wait in line for it, because it's fresh made. Even when you get free breakfast, you only get a small cup of coffee without paying extra. For my money i'm going somewhere else for coffee i like better in the mornings.
If they want to eliminate wasted coffee in the lobby from unused urns, then put in one of those "pod" single serving coffee on demand brewers in the lobby ( or 2-3 of them to handle demand peaks), and put appropriate condiments out, such as creamer, sugar, splenda, etc. the only work would then be stocking once/twice a day.
I am boycotting the bistro for the reason of the coffee already since the change. i drive to Dunkin Donuts for Breakfast, i go out to eat dinner or order in for delivery. Equates to an additional cost of $6 per day for my dunkin donuts trips, so i figure that in to "room rate quote".
So yea, long term i'm considering accepting a status match from Hilton to jump over to hilton garden, which is the direct comparison for CY with a little nice amenities....like free coffee all day....
The elimination of free coffee in some Courtyard hotels has caused a lot of complaints and negative comments about Courtyard properties specifically and Marriott in general. There is a Courtyard hotel about 1/2 mile from the location of our plant. It has caused many of our weekly visitors to stay at other properties, including non-Marriott hotels. For these guests, it is about convenience, not cost! Our visitors are all on company business so the cost of coffee at the Bistro will be reimbursed. What they miss is the convenience of being able to quickly grab a cup of coffee and getting a quick refill.
Following up with the hotel got me nowhere except the suggestion to have our guests use the in-room coffee. The in-room coffee is, in my opinion, undrinkable. A frustration is that I have been unable to get anyone to take this complaint seriously and receive a response from above the individual hotel level - and the response from the specific hotel is inadequate.
I have tracked stays and In the past four weeks visitors to our plant have spent 18 nights at other properties. The decision to add a little revenue by eliminating complimentary lobby coffee is causing the loss of room night revenue. And, probably more significantly long term, a lot of negative comments about Marriott.
I have been boycotting Courtyards with Bistros for a few months unless rate/ location and early meetings (no need for breakfast) make it a logical option. I have stayed 10 nights at Hilton Garden Inns as a result of Courtyard Bistro(slow service and expensive breakfasts) and lack of free coffee. My work colleages are doing the same thing. Hopefully Marriott will get the message at some point.
As a platinum member, I agree that the Bistro stinks. I check in at 7PM and want to have a coffee while I finish some work--that will be $4 please!
I avoid Courtyards at all costs unless it's the only Marriott property in vicinity. The traditional breakfast style was much better. More choices, faster, better food. The Bistro is a joke. Supposedly CY is designed for business travelers and that's what makes it even more ridiculous. I don't want to eat a microwaved egg sandwich for $8. I could get that at McDonalds for $2. I don't want Starbucks. I want free and accessible coffee (at all hours of the day!). And the "dinner" meals are certainly not worth the price, nor are they any good. I have found Courtyards to be more expensive, even using our corporate code, than Springhills/Residence Inns/Fairfields---and you get nothing of value for the extra cost. It's the worst brand of the Marriott group--no perks for platinums, no special amenities during stays, higher priced rooms, slower service, faux gourmet food.
I suppose I'm lucky in that the CY I'm staying does not have a bistro.... yet... I think they are fighting it for now and I hope they continue until my gig is up here in November. After that, I will probably avoid CYs in lieu of SHS since I stayed at one in Seattle/Renton during my last gig and was well pleased. Yes, lower rate, free breakfast, kitchenettes, and other perks that made my stay better than 99% of the CYs out there. If I want the bistro thing, I would be staying at Super 8s and still getting the morning meal free... AND free coffee. I see an epic fail if this continues.
Gladly have or will join that boycott. I was nearly 100% Courtyard but now ONLY stay in a Courtyard if I have to.
Add Nashville/Brentwood TN to your list.
I despise having to stand in a line this morning and pay $3 for a lukewarm medium black coffee. I noticed that it even comes out of the same pump coffee dispensers that used to be in the lobby, but now you have to wait in line and pay $3.
So this morning I had cereal, banana, and coffee for $10.75. What an amazing deal.
Agreed that the Courtyard brand is not doing any of us any favor. I was told today, Courtyard/Oldsmar/Fl that this brand doesn't do it. Well I stayed in Orlando and Coral Springs and I received it. Not that I really wanted it b/c I rarely stay at a Courtyard, this trip just came out that way for location, but Platinum is not treated as well as at other brands.
Now if only everyone would speak with their feet - - - >
Remove my coffee - I remove my business. (see how my activity changed - Hilton on left beginning February 4, 2013 and Marriott on right ending February 2, 2013). Note - I could only view back 13 months yet my Courtyard Calgary activity went back to May, 2013:
I Am not sure I get it either, but how about this....
now courtyards give a PLT arrival gift of 400 points. Why not make a choice offering of 200 points and coffee from the bistro as a choice, when you charge it to the room it gets removed, like the Internet? I really didn't like the free coffee toward the end as it was watered down in an effort to drive us to the premium coffee.
Perhaps that would have been a good compromise - but IMO, the CYs raised their points for PLT members BEFORE removing the coffee from everyone - regardless of status. My approach is that all statuses lost out on the free coffee and this was a mistake by corporate. Since I like to "look out for the little guy" (in regards to status), I voted in the end with my feet, taking my business along with me.
Ironically, at the HGI, I get the 750 points in lieu of breakfast coupons, yet because I have stayed so long, I can still get the free breakfast simply by showing my face. So not only am I able to get free coffee in the HUGE carafe in the lobby, I can also get the breakfast - win/win. Just another reason to hope the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - take the risk and be pleasantly surprised when it is!
The problem is with Coffee from Bistro that it is typically only a small and only when the Bistro is open. Also it's not "all day" but only with breakfast. Additionally, the bistro is not open all night. Sometimes, I tend to wake up at 4am and grind out some work on the computer before getting ready. Coffee in the lobby 2-3-even 4 cups was normal when this happened. They can say there is coffee in the room, but i tested this by throwing out the coffee supplies, and it was not re-stocked. Probably overlooked, because nobody wants the crappy excuse for coffee in the room.
HGI does have the free coffee in the lobby, and if the one in the town i currently travel to wasn't so high price wise i'd switch immediately $60 more a night . There's a homewood in the same price range as where I currently stay, again with free coffee, and even free snacks in the afternoon. Hilton will do a status match if you complete a 90 day challenge, which would be easy as much as I stay, and probably for most of you as well.
I guess nothing will be done about the coffee. You'd think running off someone who spends 175 nights a year would be a big deal, but i guess buisness is too good to worry about it.
This also goes to skiadcock's powerful point, not only does Marriott remove the free coffee and make you purchase it (often while standing in the morning breakfast line) but you wouldn't even receive points for paying, since CY, like several other brands (including the Ritz) do not credit points for any purchases other than room rate. Ouch.
I asked the bartender at the CY I'm in when they were going to switch to the Bistro option. She replied that it would probably be in December since that's when they do their major changes (slow time for them I guess.) She added that I was one of MANY of her regulars (and there are a lot) who were grumbling and indicating they would switch to the Fairfield just over the interstate when it happens. She also indicated that in order for them to remain a Marriott, they had to make the change.
When I get up at 5:30 I want a smoke and a cup of coffee and I don't want to wait, so it's down to the 1st floor, get a cup of joe, go out to the smoking area and get my day started right (yeah, I know...) If I had to make my own coffee or wait in line to get a $4 cup, I would not be a happy camper...
I may stay with Marriott, but my next gig will have me avoiding CYs in favor of SS, FI, etc. The places I stay are "home" 3 to 4 nights a week, every week... The better you treat me, the more likely I am to come back every week. Take my coffee away and I'm going to the Motel 6 if I have to...
Oh, they responded alright, here are a couple from the past year. To Marriott's credit, they learned that by trying to put a corporate spin on a highly unpopular service reduction, they only multiplied the customer irritation; they lately have announced the changes and let the chips fall. As much as I hammer them for ineffectively attempting to give us the communications razzle dazzle, I actually appreciate the new "Let them eat cake" approach and respect the fact that it's now very clearly implied, if not stated, it's every consumer/vendor for themselves (which it has been for the past year and a half, it's just that us consumers didn't get the message).
Previous Marriott responses to CY coffee issues: (for you latin/legal fans, res ipsa loquitur)
Currently Being Moderated
"We are looking at ways to continue to make our best customers feel appreciated at Courtyard. Next year we will be increasing the Platinum arrival gift points option for Courtyard to be closer to that of full service. We are also looking at some other Courtyard specific benefit enhancements which we hope to announce sometime middle of 2013. Stay tuned for more on this in the near future.
I really appreciate your comments and the opportunity to dialogue. I hope to use our Courtyard Insider community in the future to seek feedback and reaction to new ideas for the brand. We will also try to give you sneak peeks and insider information on things that may be coming down the pike. Thank you for your passion, your comments and most of all for your business!"
Head of Brand Management for Courtyard
Currently Being Moderated
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.
INITIALLY OMITTED BY erc - ADDED 10 MINUTES AFTER ORIGINAL POST
Currently Being Moderated
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
Hey I just realized that my low grade tech skills lead to my profile picking up alisonh's Marriott associate badge. I was able to use the badge to join in on this morning's conference call at HQ regarding the CY coffee. I didn't catch all of the discussion, but here was the portion I heard:
"Free coffee? They don't need no free coffee. We don't need to give them no stinkin' free coffee!"
"Say hello to my little friend....The Millenial"
If you knew those paraphrases were from Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Scarface then your next Fairfield Inn breakfast is on the house.
I think this new badge you've picked up is the beginning of your entering a new dimension........when you see Rod Serling you'll know you've arrived!
I think I saw you floating by at about the 17 second mark........keep that badge close by...I think it guarantees automatic upgrades when you get there!
I agree with your comment about 'the Millenial' being the only customer that Courtyard cares about. I bet nobody in Courtyard Marketing department is over 40, so they can't relate to the needs of the 'experienced' travelers who probably made up over 50% of their business. In my previous company, the marketing department never wanted to include anyone over 45 in our research until I proved that 55% of our total revenue came from households with the primary grocery shopper being 45+. This is becoming more true as adult kids (such as mine) moving back home.
The most annoying statement in the response above is 'A great majority of our guests prefer our made-to-order Starbucks in the Bistro'. Over what? They probably didn't include in the survey the fact that you would have to pay for it, wait 20 minutes, and not have the option of the free coffee in the lobby any more.
Bad marketing research is usually worse than no marketing research. Just ask Coca Cola. I have come to the conclusion that Courtyard no longer conducts good research and ignores their core customers.
I've actually moved to Columbus, OH due to another corporate merger. I grew up in Cincinnati and the Bengals may be good this year, and I hope the Reds can survive their injuries and bad hitting to make the playoffs. Since I lived in STL for a few years, I am a rare Reds fans who also roots for(and respects) the Cardinals. I was fortunate to live in Cincy during the big red machine years. What a lineup!
If it was marketing research that leads Marriott to make Courtyard Hotels less friendly by eliminating the complimentary coffee, I question that research. Staying at Marriott hotels since 1983 I can't remember any marketing surveys. I have received, and responded to a lot of surveys about specific stays, but not for Marriott in general. Perhaps...I am TOO OLD!
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.
How much more easy can customers make it, than to say BRING BACK OUR FREE COFFEE ?
Nothing elaborate, no focus groups needed, no further acknowledgements required.
This SNAFU has been recycled ad nauseum for years, since MRI figured out how to spell "BISTRO". Nothing has changed, except more CY's now have them, and more CY's took away free coffee.
The old bait and switch routine continues...........
Stop talking..and start walking................................
Great picture. The coffee's expression says it all. Unlike Delta, it appears that Marriott will never change a mistake no matter how many customers express disappointment and leave the franchise. Until there is a change at the top, I don't expect much. Hilton Garden Inns are actually pretty nice.
dejamo, superchief, et al
From our boy Jimmy Cramer
"TheStreet Ratings rates Marriott International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year".
Many long timers leave, many reduce stays, many switch - but, we're all apparently replaced. Marriott, often the only choice in several markets, continues to engineer its successful 'asset light' business model by utilizing its competitive advantage in property and management contract development (recently announcing the profitable sale, of $800 million Edition properties - not the mgmt. contracts) providing it significant financial impact and flexibility (also indicating their ongoing commitment to that specific target audience). With the influx of newer lodgers and the seemingly unlimited development opportunities in Asia, we loyal lodgers have little if any impact. That reality lead me to state above, that if we're going to get hosed, I'd prefer not to be fed corporate babble on top of it (the one apparent rare consumer driven change - the U.S. weekend continental breakfast was ever so cleverly masking the removal of the welcome amenity).
Disappointingly for shareholders/elites (stock price appreciation covered many category and price increases); the only glitter of hope for a return of service attention to us the previous, apparently outdated, target audience, is the concern of some firms on 'the street' about Marriott's lowering of revpar and earnings forecasts (still higher than previous year, but less than expected) where if continued, might force a readjustment of Marriott's "Let them eat cake" approach.
Super - enjoy your sports (Buckeyes included), your Rewards/elite victories will be few and far between.
Well, I am not a millennial, I am a damn customer (used to be anyway)......and I suppose my money wasn't good enough for them. So, it will be a cold day in hell when I will voluntarily spend 1 cent on anything related to MRI.
As you know, coffee was not my only gripe over the last 4-5 years. I was happy to leave last year, and I have never regretted it.
Hopefully, the MRI diehards will see the above picture come to fruition
I work and travel with several younger people. Most don't like Courtyards for the same reasons. When traveling on business, they are looking for similar things: comfortable quiet room, affordable breakfast with coffee (except for a few non-coffee drinkers), consistent service, free reliable wireless, and fair value. Most could care less about the lobbies and hate waiting in line for mediocre bistro food.
Some extra scoop on the impact of the removal of free coffee - - -
About 6 weeks ago, I stopped at the CY-Calgary and chatted in depth with one of the desk managers (who had gotten to know me very well the first nine months). He was very candid in our conversations and was willing to share some "inside knowledge." Specifically I had asked, "How many Platinum/PPs were offended when the free coffee was removed?" If I recall correctly, he stated there were about 10-12 P/PPs who were regulars (stayed every week). Of those, 6 had specifically stated they were leaving because of the coffee fiasco and have never come back. 2 others had voiced their disdain about the coffee, left for several weeks/months, but had returned. The others either did not complain or were not coffee drinkers and continued patronizing the venue.
In summary, using his numbers, removing the coffee drove away 50% of the top-tiered MR loyalists. All I can say is, "THAT'S SPEAKING WITH YOUR FEET/WALLET."
I just got confirmation back from Hilton moving me to Diamond status after i meet a 21 stay challenge, and moving me to Gold immediately. Looks like i'll have that met in 5 weeks from today, so wow that was easy. I like Marriott and my only gripe was the coffee. The comment that there was room coffee, or that the gift points were higher was a bad one. for folks who drink their coffee with cream and splenda added, those are limited to small quantity in the room. Hilton has flavored creamer with their free coffee. it might be a small thing, but you know small things make being a road warrior bearable. Additionally, for a late night programmer guy who wakes up in the middle of the night to hammer out some code for the automation project the next day, coffee is nescessary. For 6 months i have now avoided the bistro completely for meals in the evening, and ignored the free breakfast opting to pay for dunkin donuts in the morning because of the coffee situation. Now after a lack of resolution, my buisness is moving and welcomed with open arms by the HGI chain, and for the first time this year i won't qualify for the megabonus this year. I'll still be qualified for platinum elite for next year, so i'll be listening to updates if they change their tune, but I don't expect anything.
I really don't understand all of this, though i am not the road warrior I once was, I've also have never been a fan of CY. I've always wondered the point of the whole franchise. That being said, why not just stay at a Springhill, they are without a doubt the best property Marriott has for the road warrior. big room, free breakfastm coffee all day it really doesn't get better. My other point with all of you that are so fast to jump ship for a cup of coffee, have fun accumulating points in Hilton s program, they just don't have the properties.
Groucho - the removal of free coffee was the proverbial "straw / camel's back" as I could have found any reason over the last 25 years and 3000+ paid nights to jump ship. I'm with dejamo on this one as I finally got fed up with Marriott brands. I agree, that I do take a risk jumping to Hilton in that I may find grievances with their properties, but I am not a "diehard Marriott loyalist" as much as I was even just 3-4 years ago. The coffee issue was just enough for me to check out the grass on the other side of the fence, and thus far, it appears to be lush. Lastly, the BIGGEST issue I have had with MR over the years is the failure to provide/allow GUARANTEED SUITE - even if on POINTS to their top-tiered members. Having been a PP for 9+ years and LTP, one would think that my paid 200+ nights a year would get me some "special treatment" that one or two times a year I want to spoil the family on a vacation - in a SUITE. Nope, not even after I was promised via phone call 2+ years ago that MR was working on a program to do just this - but had to iron out the technicalities. My take on the technicalities is MR cans spend hundreds of thousands on Facebook fluff to attract millennials but not expend any effort to have the suite program in place by now - shows their love of extreme loyalty.
I agree with so many of your poinst, Like i said I am no longer the road warrior i once was, but i still use Marriott about 30 times a year for family functions, ( I have 4 kids all over the country) My biggest comp[laint with Marriott, has been for the most part , their customer service, starting with the agents over their phone and their inflexibility. as an elite member , I expect something for being a long time member . whether, it be 20 bucks off a room or free parking when I leave my car at the airport for 5 days. ( When I asked once why you have to charge me 9 dollars a day, the answer I got was ' we we have to make a profit don't we" I was about to go into how many stays I've had and how PROFIT i've given them over the years, but I choose not too. Yes I'm not as happy as I once was with Marriott, but I'm also not happy with other companies I've done business with over the last few years. for the most part Marriott still gets high marks with me. BTW, if I still were the road warrior, I'd be pissed about the coffee too..
When Courtyard Hotels were introduced, they were very unique. Courtyard Hotels offered a consistent product at a reasonable price point without the extra "frills" of full service hotels. When Courtyard Hotels were introduced, I don't think that SpringHill Suites was even a concept. Most Courtyard Hotels are much more up-scale than the original concept, often surpassing older full service Marriott or Renaissance properties. And...while I really think elimination of complimentary coffee is a mistake...this just seems to be part of the Courtyard evolution. I don't think many of us would trade today's Courtyard hotels with the decor, furnishings, and service from ten, twenty or more years ago.
I don't disagree with the newer CYs bringing a fresher feel than the originals....BUT, almost all new hotels bring this type of freshness. I stayed in a Microtel for the first time about 18 months ago. It was the only game in town aside from a smoke filled old Comfort Inn. That Microtel would also put the older CYs to shame. I was quite pleased with the overall layout, furnishings, free breakfast offerings, etc. I'm pretty sure that Microtels in general are not considered high end by any means. So, my point is that if CY thinks that by remodeling old worn hotels and building a few ground up hotels should excuse them from offering basic items like lobby coffee, they may be underestimating even the lowest competitor. The risk is that they are assuming their core customers won't complain and shop around. IMO.
I stayed at the CY Pioneer Square in Seattle and even though they had the Bistro, they had 24 hour coffee. The hotel was very nice and it would be a mistake to not stay because of Bistro. I just didn't go there other than to walk through. It was close to empty every time I looked in. I think Marriott will get the idea.
Another issue I have with the Bistro/coffee policy is that I usually drink more than one cup of coffee in the morning. Not only are the Bistro meals a la carte, but you have to pay for each cup of coffee. Every other major hotel chain at least provides free refills. At $2-3 per cup, my daily meal expense disappears quickly at a Courtyard. Coffee drinkers beware.
When Courtyard added the Bistro I was happy I had a different option than the old stale breakfast room and even better, a light dinner at the hotel when the weather is bad or I'm just plain too tired to head out. BUT when I get up at 5 AM to work before heading out and the only option is in-room coffee with powdered imitation milk, OR watered down espresso made by the night clerk, it just doesn't work for me. AND when I have to rush out in the morning, and need to wait in a line of triple macchiato customers, its just not good customer service. So despite many loyal Marriott years, I won't qualify for Gold Elite status next year because it seems they forgot they are in the customer service business, and part of that in a hotel is having a nice cup of coffee there when you wake up. I am now a Diamond Elite customer at a chain that not only has coffee hot and ready all the time, but offers me free bottled water and a cooked to order breakfast in the morning, as a 'thank you' for my loyalty. So from now on, if I stay in a Courtyard, it is only because there are no other options left and I'm stuck.
Recently while on the road, stopped by a CY in Stuart Florida. When walking to the front door I noticed a Holiday Inn Express less than 100 yards away. IMMEDIATELY left the CY and registered at the HI.
I believe MOST hotel brands want the loyalty of frequent travelers. I question the validity behind that statement with Marriott supporting CY.
Sorry for the bump in an older post. I am surprised to see so much talk at the lack of free coffee. I do love coffee, but GOOD coffee and I will gladly pay for it. In room coffee is not good...like most people here have said. Free lobby coffee is also not good (imo). Coffee from a restaurant in general is not good.
Coffee from a LEGIT coffee shop is good. I don't think I would call the courtyard bistro a legit coffee shop. I have yet to try courtyard bistro coffee... maybe this weekend.
I would imagine most Millennial's standards for coffee are pretty high. My fav coffee comes from Costa Rica. You can look at it when you open the bag and SEE the difference. I also prefer freshly ground. I will grind the beans myself and use a coffee press.
I think the trend is to serve better coffee and Marriott can make more on doing that. It's been working or Marriott would not be continuing with the bistro idea. Maybe they lost a good bit of service from Plat and Gold, but I think Courtyard targets a different market altogether. Will Millennial's pay $6 for a good cup of coffee? Why yes! yes they well. I sure do.
I do still think they should have free coffee out....just basic non flashy coffee. I won't touch Community or Folders but if that's what brings Gold and Plat members back...why not give free basic coffee?
Well, I don't fit the description of a Millennial, however, I do know what I like. Lobby coffee varies all over the place. Many of the Hilton properties now serve Starbucks and, while it isn't necessarily as fresh and tasty as a Starbuck's store's coffee, it usually isn't too bad either. The last time I stayed at a Courtyard a couple of weeks ago, I found myself waiting until 6 or 6:30 for any coffee to be available (I don't count the room coffee as real coffee) and then I stood in line. I like running down to the lobby (occasionally in my PJ's) pouring a couple of cups of decent coffee and hustling back up to my room with the morning USA Today. The good news is I can still get a free USA Today at the Courtyard but that's where it all ends.
Over the past 3 years, I have stayed in one CY for two nights, out of well over 100 nights at Marriott properties. I don't boycott CY, but I will only stay at one when it is my only option in a community and I need the nights to continue as Platinum. There was a time when CY was my first choice as a place to stay, but those days are long gone!