I am gold since 2009 and now platinum. In this time I try to avoid Courtyards. Why?
You do not get free breakfast or points for food and rarely upgrades. In toto in cities with Marriott/Renaisance and Courtyard the Marriott/Renaissance Hotels are cheaper.
Why does only Courtyard do not offer breakfast? What are the reasons for you to stay at this brand, if you are Platinum or Gold?
pluto77 I think you will have something very valuable to add to this discussion!
There are also several other threads that discuss the issues with CY. Take a look you will find it enlightening. Including I think I'm Cured.
I agree, there isn't much for an elite traveler at a CY. They are mundane in appearance and comfort and few if any benefits. I avoid them if at all possible.
I'll only stay there if there is nothing else or not worth the price difference. But if I am staying for any length of time I'll stay in a RI and take less points to avoid a CY.
Well, as I understand things CY really broke new ground when it was launched in the 1980s as an economic business choice, Bill jr spotted a market that nobody even knew existed, and it boomed. There was no need to encourage loyalty to the brand, it was super-busy and other chains were left trying to catch up. The original Marriott Rewards scheme was limited to just the FS hotels and there seems to have been little attention given to buying loyalty (for that is what FF schemes do) for this rapidly multiplying giant of the group for 25 years. But by 2010 it's numbers were suffering, it was still the leviathan, but as US Secretary of State Dan Acheson said of Britain in the 1960s, she'd lost an empire but hadn't found a role, so it is now with CY. Hotel fashion has moved on again with Holiday Inn Express, Hamptons, Fairfield and Premier Inns gaining enormous popularity, the budget chains of clean, cheap and cheerful have taken customers from the bottom of CYs market, whilst both the cheaper FS and the "cheap boutiques" have creamed off the higher spending element leaving CY a distinctly lost and unloved leviathan of a bygone age.
But CY remains big, and franchisees are not yet ready to desert the brand, neither are it's core customers, alas that's not enough, changes have to be made, either appeal to the traditional stayer, go upmarket, add services, and prices, or try to repeat the trick that led to such momentous growth in the 80s and 90s. CY has chosen the latter, redoing its foyers and dining with the bistro concept, and getting rid of the distinctly untrendy free "joe", something guaranteed to alienate the old warhorse road warriors, but hopefully attract the next generation of travelling businesspersons with airy open areas, free wifi, sharing seating, casual food and pricey coffee. It's worked for Starbucks!
I think Marriott fears cannibalising its FS trade by introducing significant elite improvements for CY, and CY franchisees fear the cost. I'm not so sure a change that's really little more than simply adding a coffeeshop is going to save a hotel format that seems to have had its day. Like the ubiquitous Holiday Inn it seems like an old mammoth, looking enviously left and right at the smaller, nimbler, cooler animals running around in a new, sunnier, world...
Good point vickisocal! It's good to hear they are going strong. Just because they aren't my preference or others in this forum doesn't mean they aren't the preference of other travelers. Personally being in a hotel every week, I look for something more appealing to the eye and I find that CY's don't fill that expectation. They do seem to be full and busy though when I do stay at them. Maybe this helps us pickier travelers (and I admit I can be picky) to have rooms in the hotels where we prefer to stay!
I am with you. But I do not see any sense of it. Once a customer is Gold, he begins to avoid CY.
In my opinion the main purpose of a program is to increase revenue. This is possible by gaining customer loyality. At Courtyard the program decreases revenue by shifting loyal customers to Hilton Garden Court. Isn't it?
My sentiments exactly, Jerryl -- even when I was staying at Marriotts frequently enough to earn PP or P levels, I learned to avoid Courtyards for the simple reason that almost nothing you did there but sleep counted for points. I'd stay at a Hilton Garden Inn any day given the choice.
You're probably referring to Courtyards in the USA. I've stayed at Courtyard in Istanbul, Turkey and Rome, Italy.
I had free breakfast as a Marriott Platinum member. These Courtyard also provide shuttles to the airports.
I'm also booked at stay a Courtyard in Venice, Italy. This Courtyard also has free breakfast and complementary shuttle to the airport.
Having stayed at the CY in Venice and putting my kids in the CY in Prague (checked them in myself so I could use a certificate), I concur; they are better than here in the US, though there are a handful of exceptional CY properties here in the States (that don't adhere to the new bistro concept.)
Here in Germany, we do not have any significant differences between Courtyard and FS Hotels.Most of the Courtyards have a restaurant and are located in bigger cities.
You cannot really see any differences, e.g. Courtyard Berlin, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Cologne, ....
Even the prices are equal. So why do I get benefits at FS but not at Courtyard for the same typ of hotel?
So at least in Germany for Elite Member there are no reasons to stay at Courtyard. Luckily we have some new brands in Germany like "Motel 1", "B&B", Ibis styles", "25hours" that become more and more bigger.
Maybe that leads Marriott to improve services for Elite Member at Courtyards.
CY may not be the first choice for many of us, but there are a couple reasons I stay with them quite often. First, they located almost everywhere. Chances are good that you'll find a CY in most cities even, ones that might not have a FS brand. When you get into even smaller markets, FFI (and sometimes TPS or RI) are the only choices, but the CY brand is widespread. Second, as a Platinum, the welcome gift is double that of FFI, SHS, RI, or TPS (and just slightly less than the FS brands). That may not be a big reason, but for a one night stay, those few extra points (usually at a similar cost) might be worth it.
It's about picking a brand in a location I want to be at a price I like. For me, Marriott and Renaissance are best; SHS and CY are next; FFI, TPS, and RI are near the bottom (the last two because of the lower reward points earned). That said, I've stayed at all seven of these brands this year.
I think the only reasons to stay in a Courtyard are price (if it is lowest in area factoring in breakfast cost), or if you need MR points/qualifying nights. As a lifetime platinum, I don't understand why anyone would choose a typical Courtyard over a Hilton Garden Inn. Although I like that the Bistro offers lunch and dinner options, it is a disaster for breakfast (which is the most important meal for me at a hotel) .
Like others have said. The Hilton Garden Inn is the competitor of the CY. They have cooked to order breakfasts and it is free to me as a Gold. Hilton is adding more HGIs which tells me that they are doing well. If I have a choice I choose HGI. Marriott has been losing my $$s I only choose CY if there is no other choice or the price is low enough to buy breakfast and still save money,
Agree. While elites might not like CYs obviously enough travelers in general do.
Why even elites will stay at CYs is simple - they're everywhere (largest brand within the Marriott family) & there may not be a FS nearby, and sometimes their prices (not always) are better. Not everyone is on a large corporate expense account.
To me CY is near the bottom of my list to stay at; if I'm not staying FS then I prefer Springhill Suites. If a CY has a dirt cheap price then I'll certainly stay at one.
The CYs in US/Canada don't offer brekkie normally, but the Asia CYs are more like FS brands. Europe they might have a restaurant vs Bistro, but with few exceptions most European CYs don't offer brekkie either.
I do find some of the newer Courtyards to be more appealing. Many are located in convenient locations without many other hotel options (for example: Briarcliff in KC) and these properties are comfortable and modern (including the rooms). A key reason Courtyard was initially successful is they were the first to build hotels in suburbs where businesses were expanding, and where there were no other business oriented hotels in the area. This appears to be the strategy for some of these newer properties. However, the older properties haven't done much to update the rooms, since all of the money was spent on bistro and lobbies. They are small, dated, noisy, and uncomfortable with inadequate fitness facilities.
Eating breakfast in a bistro is still a last resort, so I make sure there are other breakfast options in the area even when staying in a newer property.
I stay at one particular CY very often due to the location of the property, friendly Front Desk Associates and our friend the Bartender, they treat us like family......that's the only reason! Any other rare CY stays would again be for the location.
Since I don't eat breakfast at the hotel I could care less about the Bistro, am not a big coffee drinker so the lack of free coffee is no big deal even though this particular CY did still have free coffee in the lobby at my last stay in August.
IAHFLYR, that sums up my feelings as well. Breakfast at the hotel is not important, though I do like me some SHS or FFI waffles when I can get them (half the time I'm on the road before breakfast is served anyway). I don't do coffee either, so a fee or free cup o' joe makes no difference to me.
If the location is right, I'll choose CY. I've eaten at the Bistro exactly once when I was too tired to venture out for dinner. The food was okay (if overpriced), but I prefer to experience a local restaurant wherever I happen to visit. Since I almost always use the gov't rate, a lot of my decision depends on which properties offer it (CY usually does).
I'm not a CY hater, but I have no particular love for them either.
I'd sure hate to be in the crossfire between you and the waffle kind (erc) as you dash to the waffle irons.
Yep, you pretty much are right along with me bejacob. You mentioned the gov't rate it reminded me of traveling for work when we could get the gov't rate in season near Atlantic City I would not even check the CY Downtown, just picked a RI farther away and enjoyed the AC Expressway!
I must admit, I've not had much cause to stay at CY, there's only a couple in the UK, at opposite ends of the Country, Aberdeen and Gatwick, both airport hotels at airports I have no intention of utilising.
In fact there's very few in Europe, with the odd exception of Germany. I don't know why they're so common there but so comparatively rare elsewhere on the continent. In any event my only CY stay was at Prague airport for 1 night on points. I was actually impressed, the room could easily have been a new-build Marriott, only the lack of facilities gave a clue to its "select service" guise. If all CYs were like that, and significantly cheaper than FS (to make up for the lack of bennies) then I'd stay. Alas, they seldom figure in my searches, other than this Halloween, when I'm in Philly and caught between the Marriott and the, slightly cheaper, Courtyard. The CY is apparently a better example of the brand, whilst the FS is allegedly pretty humdrum. Even so, the lounge access and free breakfasts at the Marriott are likely to win out, despite the slightly higher price...
I agree with a few other posts I've seen, my favorite CY is in DC on 9th and F, I love it because of the location, the historic building it's in and the great staff. I usually get breakfast coupons and grab a quick bite to eat in the Bistro, and as far as no coffee in the lobby anymore, I'm one of those weirdos that thinks the in-room coffee is just fine. However the room rate at this CY is usually pretty steep so I often stay at a full service Marriott in Crystal City and enjoy breakfast and snacks in the Concierge Lounge. I recently stayed at the CY Waikiki Beach and it was also fine, no breakfast coupons but I drank the in-room coffee and it was good enough for me. The room rate was about half the rate at the Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa which I have stayed at before and it was nice but I couldn't justify spending almost 250 dollars per night just to get breakfast and a complimentary Mai Tai which I think is included in the daily resort fee.
So the two Courtyards I have stayed at in the recent past and probably will in the future are the ones mentioned above and they suit me very well.
For weekdays (most business travelers) the CY brand no longer carries much appeal. I agree with your sentiment. The only reason I stay at them occasionally is on Friday/Sat nights when traveling for leisure. The weekend rates are usually good and for Gold/Plats they are 10% off. The older properties are very bland looking usually but there are some that have been refreshed and are in good shape. While there are never any CLs or 47th floor two floor suites to be had, you can often get an upgraded room on weekends due to sometimes low occupancy.