Courtyard by Marriott Review (Atlanta)

POSITIVES COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT (ATLANTA)
Clean and quiet room in the hotel. Plenty of soft and cozy pillows and a firm but comfortable bed. Good location to Vinings/Smyrna area west of Atlanta.

Enough HD channels to provide a nominal amount of solitary amusement prior to bed.

Hot showers, free newspapers, friendly staff, workout room (but small), and plenty of close parking.

Appreciated the fact that the front desk area had a list of local restaurants to choose from. Front desk staff had a pretty good idea of the price range and type of food served at most of the local restaurants.

I appreciated the fact that the hotel staff allowed me to stay on the 4th floor – so I could get a little exercise climbing the stairs when I felt ambitious or when it appeared the elevator was rebooting (delayed).

Provided a nice tip at checking at the front desk and mysteriously, the front desk woman found a large hotel room for me.

The hotel provided directions to local shopping and restaurants – appreciated the fact they included maps to help us with getting around.

002CHALLENGES OR POTENTIAL TWEAKS
No indoor pool – disappointed as I was in Atlanta in December.

Audio didn’t work on my treadmill in exercise room. No steam room or hot tubs could be found. Perhaps with their long summers in Hotlanta, this wasn’t a requirement.

Clock on nightstand was about 30 minutes too fast. Good thing I noticed it before I went to bed on my first night in the hotel. Should not housekeeping reset this or check this randomly?

Met a woman on the first night whose husband was stuck in the hotel elevator without a cellular device as it malfunctioned. He had parked the car as she went up to the room to unpack and get organized. After about 10 minutes or so, she went down to the lobby asking Courtyard employees and the front office staff if anyone had seen her husband – providing his description while someone (it happened to be her husband) was trapped in a malfunctioning elevator. At that point, only the staff appeared to know that one elevator was malfunctioning. She was exasperated by the fact that the Courtyard staff did not mention this to her until the elevator was repaired.

In the hotel restaurant, there are two choices for breakfast. A continental breakfast was $9.95 and the hot breakfast was $11.95. Being an oatmeal guy, especially when I travel, I just wanted a bowl or two of oatmeal. Apparently, you’re not able to just order oatmeal à la carte. Therefore, a bowl of oatmeal will cost me around 10 bucks. I was also served coffee although coffee was available in my room. Throw in a tip with tax and the price is $12. Just image how much dry oatmeal you could purchase for $12? I know it’s easier and more convenient for the restaurant staff to design the price menu this way, however, in my mind, it’s certainly not customer centric as it appears their focus is on the businesses’ convenience and not their customers.

No fan in the shower or bathroom, I’m a big fan of one being in the shower, especially in small spaces.

Fresh cookies in the atrium at the Courtyard in Atlanta – good news. Bad news, these cookies were not warm or recently baked. The really bad news – the woman who carefully placed them into the box had just returned from her nicotine break or “smoke break”. I typically love chocolate chip cookies but after sensing that, my sensory experience told me to forgo this treat regardless of how well it was positioned or displayed.

RESTFUL NIGHT OF SLEEP
Some hotels, such as Courtyard by Marriott, boast about clean and comfortable sheets and a very firm bed. In other words, a pleasurable stay to ensure you get a restful night of sleep before tackling what lies ahead. Look, the hotel was clean and fairly quiet except for the occasional “slam of the door” outside my hotel room but generally quiet hotel rooms and comfy sheets are no guarantee you’ll get a restful sleep.

For the first two nights, I was awake for about 3 hours between 2 and 5 am. When you factor meeting new people, traveling in new places, eating in new restaurants, it’s not always easy to come down and relax and get a good night’s rest. The room and bed met my expectation although it’s still no guarantee one will get a restful night of sleep, especially the first night or two in the hotel.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

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