I am so frustrated with the Courtyard's decision to stop free coffee I've decided not to spend a penny at the hotel's Bistro. If Marriott reverses their decision I'll be happy to return. In many cities the Courtyard is the only suitable option for stay but I've been searching alternative brands and chains that offer coffee and staying there.
I even offered to trade my points or market item offer I get on arrival for free coffee and I was offered one free coffee in exchange. Given my husband and I travel together, one coffee won't go very far. Guess I'll be visiting a nearby shop for coffee rather than being forced into StarBUCKS silt. My loyalty is repaid by this.
Shame on you Marriott, a very cheap move.
I am a big fan of complimentary "grab and go" coffee in the lobby. Read a post today on the Courtyard Walham MA that says they have Keurig coffee makers in the room. IF I could get a few good cups of coffee in the room, that would satisfy me. The current one-cup coffee makers are a joke and the coffee almost undrinkable (to me, that is.)
lakersfan - see my previous post for setting the context here --> Now that I have switched to Hilton, the HGI in Calgary had placed Keurig makers in all their rooms several months ago. I hear that all HGIs have installed Keurig-makers. I, too, agree that the one-cupper, plastic tray "junk" approach makes a terrible pot of coffee. While I have the option of the Keurig, I still prefer to walk to the lobby and grab a cup mostly because when I first wake up, I am not in the mood to make a cup because I haven't yet had my coffee. Chicken-or-the-egg syndrome.
Ironically, almost all coffee I have while on the road (Keurig, lobby, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, fresh-ground/brewed in the office) sucks in quality, but it is better than going without. I roast my own beans at 12-16 oz. at a time, let them "rest" for 24 hours, and use them up in my grinder before 10 days elapse. I brew using a press pot (aka French press). So anything on the road is **** relatively speaking, but still Java.
I'm not a coffee drinker either, but I rarely eat at the Bistro. The food is alright, but it's a poor value. Better to eat at a nearby restaurant. I've been enjoying SpringHill Suites over Courtyards for a while now. I still stay at both, if I can find a SpringHill near my destination, that's where I'll be.
Courtyard in Houston Refuse to Share Occupancy Rate
July 4, 2013, stay at a Courtyard in Houston, which was extremely slow, not many guests. When asked the front desk agent, what was the occupancy rate, he refused to share that information. He probably was disappointed with the few number of guests the hotel check in. Should'nt hotels share that information?
I like the convenience of the Courtyard Bistro vs. going out to eat. I find that there is a healthier selection of foods and to me the prices are not so bad compared to going out to eat. I do find that there is a wait to get the food, but I save time by not having to venture out to dine. The free buffet that is offered at the Fairfield and Residence Inn is nice, but I have found that the quality of the buffet served is not always consistent from hotel to hotel, so I do like to have a variety of selections for breakfast even though I have to pay for it. I don't go to Starbucks, but when I stay at the Courtyard I do treat myself to a Starbucks coffee made to my liking. So going to the Bistro when I stay at a Courtyard is one of my simple little pleasures in life.
I occasionally get a glass of wine, if offered, and always get the oatmeal for breakfast. Other than that though, I am really not a fan of the food - I find the menu limited and the quality of food to be less than what I could usually get by walking across the parking lot or by taking a short drive. I may be pickier than most but take my food seriously. I was at a Courtyard last week and it took almost 30 minutes for them to deliver a bowl of oatmeal to my table. Ladle into bowl, put nuts, cranberries/raisons, and brown sugar in little plastic cups and some milk in a vessel and bring it over. Couldn't believe it took so long. I, too, am displeased about the lack of the free coffee in the lobby. If Residence and Fairfield can do it, I don't see why Courtyard can't. There are still some out there. The Courtyard Boston North - Woburn (in Unicorn Business Park) provides free coffee all day AND has a full bar, along with a nice indoor pool, full restaurant and great workout room. The Courtyard Embassy Row in DC has a very nice cafe and wonderful restaurant called Nage next to the lobby. I guess they share the space, but it is a great place to stay. I also get up around 4:30 or 5:00am every day and hate having to wait until 6:30 or so to get a cup of coffee. That torches my whole routine.
In my opinion, the conversion of the Courtyards to the Bistro rivals the Coke fiasco as one of the biggest marketing fiascos in the history of major brands. I avoid Courtyards and will stay at competitive properties. I don't see how an experienced marketer could ever make such a misguided decision regarding their 'business' traveler brand.
I have stopped staying at Courtyards. I stay at full service Marriott's or at a Fairfield Inn where you can get a pretty good breakfast as well as coffee usually 24 hours. Price of full service Marriott is actually sometimes cheaper than a courtyard!! I agree with those that Marriott made a strategic mistake in how they rebranded courtyard.
raviation - I will copy your statement but add my spin: I am so frustrated with the Courtyard's decision to stop free coffee I've decided not to spend a penny at ANY Marriott brand until the free coffee is returned (my position in green). I have done exactly that with 210+ nights in 2013 at Hilton versus 210+ nights at Marriott (2012, and an average of 200 nights per year since 2003). The only Marriott stay since the January 2013 coffee announcement was ON POINTS.
Despite the poor quality of the free coffee, it was still FREE. To have to pay for the coffee in such a blatant way (rather than bury the cost in the room rate) to me is a slap in the face to all CY guests. CY management might just have put up a big sign in the Bistro "NO MORE FREE COFFEE - GET YOUR COFFEE NOW AT STARBUTTS." Anyone who likes coffee, had ever stayed at a CY, and had for years grown accustomed to the free coffee placed in the lobby got the message just as clear as a great big sign.