Been a road warrior for 12 years, stayed at many Courtyard properties, sometime for months at a time.
Have seen many fine Courtyards ruined by conversion to Bistro.
Inconvenient, limited choices,
All the charm and ambiance of a McDonalds.
Fake, Plastic, Impersonal, Unappealing.
I used to favor Courtyards.
Now, not so much.
There is a blog or 2 (or more) about the dislike of Courtyards now that the Bistro is the "calling card" for them and the free lobby coffee is gone at those places. I haven't seen too many posts that are in favor of them.
I go for the best value when choosing a place to stay. The Courtyards without Bistros are still viable for me, and a new CY in Homestead, FL with a coupon in the travel magazine that was a better rate than what I could get when calling CS was a great stay despite the down sides of the Bistro and coffee.
And some CY's are charging for parking if they're near an airport or maybe even for other reasons, even though a FFI next door has free parking. That CY in Atlanta is off my list, too.
See "More Like This", which is to the side.
Welcome to the site, mistercarter.
Not sure I hate it, but I almost never eat at the Bistro. I agree that the menu options are limited.
I did have a Bistro dinner (once) after a long day on the road (didn't feel like going anywhere for food). The meal was acceptable and while priced a little higher than what one might find elsewhere, it was an okay value. My preference is to find a decent restaurant (within walking distance since I usually spend so much time in the car). The Bistro is certainly convenient, but that is overshadowed by the limited menu and generally overpriced, merely average food.
I'm not as excited about CY as I used to be, but still utilized them on occasion. I'll choose SpringHill Suites over CY any day if the option is available. If I am at a CY, the Bistro is never more than a last resort as a dining option.
Look to the right of this discussion under 'More Like This,' and you will see just how not alone you are. Many dislike the Bistro, the removal of complimentary lobby coffee at CY's, and the new one cup in-room coffee pods (and not just at CY's, they're showing up in full service Marriott rooms too.) I now avoid CY's because of it (with rare exception and only if the CY has not gone 'bistro' yet).
Ghetto... tacky... cheesy... Those perhaps aren't quite the right descriptors. Well, maybe. I don't really know how to describe the CY bistro concept... I feel like I've entered the teen zone at a resort or on a cruise ship. Or maybe it feels a little like going to Starbucks. Oh ya, but I don't go to Starbucks (but at least SB furniture is more comfortable). At the bistro, I order a bagel (or skip a necessary meal) and I'm given it in a paper bag with a disposable cream cheese cup and a plastic knife and fork(?). One paper napkin. We go sit at one of the media pods. The seats are uncomfortable. Pull out the bagel, cut it in half. The knife breaks. Put one half on the napkin. Put the other half on - oh, the paper bag. Lovely. And they want us to pay $139/night (or more) for this? Yikes.
Actually, you're descriptors are spot on.
Whatever happened to nicely appointed lobbies, lobby bars and complimentary coffee and ice water with lemon at mid-range hotels?
I actually like the concept better. I never found the food at a CY great and there was never a place to just hang out and use your IPAD or computer. So to me I have been able to have a meeting now or just come down early get a bagel and coffee and get some work done before I had to leave for a meeting. I am not saying the new food is great but being able to hang out and get stuff done is to me a benefit. the coffee I agree with but that is another issue
I thought I would add another courtyard view. First I don't want one to assume I like them a lot as I would still prefer the full Marriott's but I think the bistro and redo of lobby is to attract more millennium guests. I am a boomer but millenniums tend to like a less structured setting and if you look at the bistro it can remind you more of Starbucks which of course gets people to sit and work on their ipad or computer while they have a coffee and something small. So a lot of people don't want to a meal with a waitress so the bistro caters to that. I personally as I stated like the concept but can understand with a radical change many might not. The proof to Marriott will be in occupancy
I would agree with you on the concept. Although the food offereings are not ideal, I often find myself down there in the evening to grab a bite, a glass and get work done. Depending on my day, the evening is when I get my real work done and I dislike working in a hotel room for hours. I find the concept more comfortable to get things done. As compared to the past setups, I never considered a Courtyard restaurant a place to dine. In regards to the coffee, as a Platinum member, I always get a free coffee in the morning, and its better than the coffee that used to free in the lobby.
I have never really used the Courtyard bistro. I am mostly liking the new weekend breakfast option at most Marriotts though. A few (San Mateo Marriott, Madison Marriott West, Renaissance Boulder) are offering access to their full breakfast buffet and several others (Minneapolis Marriott CityCenter, Denver Marriott CityCenter) are letting you upgrade for only a small charge.
YES! I have joined the boycott of the Bistro, and last night was the first time I have been in a CY since August, so I estimate I have 'taken' 15 nights away from various CY properties.
Last night I stayed at CY Lexington, KY, south, Hamburg Place. This morning in the Bistro: 5 people in line. A grumpy cashier who was also making food, which to me is disgusting. All 5 of us had to wait because she could not find a pen. They were out of orange juice, so they brought out a box with OJ bottles. Everything was chaos, dirty, my cereal milk was warm.
On top of the lousy service, questionable sanitary conditions, it is $6.30 for a cereal, banana, orange juice. And you have to wait usually 10 minutes. The Bistro concept, in my opinion is a disaster. Maybe thats why you dont see anything like it in other Marriotts or other brands?
Breakfast is a meal I will never eat at the Bistro. Dinner is a poor value, but breakfast is even worse. My business is going more and more to SpringHill Suites. When I do stay at CY, I consider the Bistro off limits (except in the exceedingly rare case when I just can't drag myself outside for dinner).
I've stopped staying at Courtyards unless it's the only Marriott property available. As a Plat Rewards Member I've found there's no advantage at all to staying at a CY. Am I wrong to want a free cup of coffee or a free breakfast? I thought I was being petty at first but I've read plenty of reviews and comments from people that feel the same way I do. I don't "hate" the bistro but I do hate that CY has removed the free coffee service in the lobby and no longer offers complimentary breakfast to gold and platinum members.