For our weekend in Phoenix, we stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott at 9631 N. Black Canyon Highway just off of the I-17, only about 10 minutes north of downtown Phoenix. This was the first time that we had ever stayed a a Courtyard, and it was a nice experience. Courtyard’s tend to cater to the business traveler, so a stay over the weekend was a quite time to stay. While we would not have any use for them, there are a couple of meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 25 people. Also because it is predominantly for business, there are other amenities that a business traveler needs. Just off of the lobby, there are two public computers to access the Internet. But also, in each room there a hookup for free Internet access if you have a laptop with you. I enjoyed the fact that this was free because it seems so many hotels now have a charge for in-room Internet service.
The rooms are good size. The room that we stayed in was on the ground floor with a view to the outside. It had a king size bed, a couch and coffee table along with a desk for the Internet hookup and limited table top space for working. They one thing that was missing from the room that I am used to having and would have been convenient was a small refrigerator or a microwave. We had eaten out for dinner and had brought back leftovers and had nowhere to keep them, although some rooms other than the basic do have these. There was the standard cable package and a medium sized flat screen TV. There were high definition local channels and some cable in hi-def, such as ESPN, but most cable stations were in standard definition. One thing that I always like to have in an hotel room is a nice bed. The bed was very comfortable and I was very pleased with it. There was a sliding door that had access outside to the parking lot, but all of the rooms on the inside look out onto the pool and each room either had a patio, or on the upper two floors a balcony.
There are other amenities at the property that I did not use, but would under different circumstances. There is a small fitness room with two treadmills, an elliptical machine, and some free weights. There is a pool that in other times of the year would be very nice to have access to. The amenities that we did utilize was the lounge are just off of the lobby. There is a gas fire place that adds a nice touch to the atmosphere, and a large screen TV. The weekend we were there, the NFL playoffs were on and since since Marriott is an official sponsor of the NFL they were promoting it by having fresh popped popcorn and the desk clerks were wearing jerseys. The other nice feature that we did use was the hot tub. It had been a cool, overcast day with a light rain in the afternoon, and the sauna in an open sided but covered room was a nice way to end the evening.
The one thing missing that I have grown accustomed to in my travels is a free continental breakfast. There was a hot breakfast bar that was available for an additional charge that did look and smell appealing, but for the same price or less you could get a similar meal at any restaurant, including one right next door. The convenience of only having to go to the lobby for breakfast would be attractive for a business traveler that would be able to charge it on the company’s account. For the average personal traveler there are better alternatives.
It was a very nice weekend stay. It was very clean, the staff was friendly if not extraordinary, and provided a comfortable feel and stay. I am sure it is similar to most Courtyard by Marriott’s anywhere and a place that I would stay again. In fact, we already have plans to return to Phoenix in February and plan on staying at the same location again.