Win Two Nights at a Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott has been redesigning their lobbies around the county. I recently got a chance to visit an updated Courtyard, and the changes were very welcoming. The first thing you’ll notice is a large interactive touchscreen where you can learn about the weather, news, and attractions around town. The seating and decor are all updated and inviting. Outlets for my laptop were easy to come by, and a casual fare Bistro had taken over the space previously occupied by the breakfast nook.

I no longer felt the need to just retire to the room as soon as I got back to my hotel!

I wasn’t done with my Marriott experience yet. Flying out of Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental airport (Terminal E), I got to experience Courtyard Marriott’s new Airport Lobby Zone. What they are doing is giving business travelers their new Lobby experience in the middle of a busy terminal. Comfortable seating and a few outlets let me recharge (my body and my laptop) before flying out. Outside of Houston, the Airport Lobby Zones are also in Phoenix and Baltimore through December .

To celebrate the Courtyard Lobby redesign and the Airport Lobby Zones, Marriott is giving away two free nights to any continental U.S. Courtyard! This contest is open just to Smart Women Travelers and our blog (Pearls of Travel Wisdom) readers, and it’s really easy to enter.

  1. Post a comment below and tell us what you look for most in a hotel lobby.
  2. “Like” Smart Women Traveler’s on Facebook. (now optional, see below)
That’s it! The contest ends on December 9th, 2011 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern, and the winner will be contacted by email shortly. (UPDATE: A slight change to the rules. You must post a comment to be eligible, but now “Like”ing Smart Women Traveler’s on Facebook is optional. If you “Like” us on Facebook, you are now entered for a second chance to win)

Courtyard by Marriott has offered these nights for the contest. They’ve invited me back for a complimentary stay, as well. Maybe I’ll see you in the lobby!

(UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Kyle. He likes good coffee and people watching, and will soon be enjoying two free nights at a Courtyard by Marriott of his choice.)

To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat, and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit and Watch for my new book, Business Travel Success – How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive and Travel with Confidence, being published by Morgan James in 2011.


  1. I always look for a comfortable sitting area with free wifi and some place to put my coffee mug while I’m surfing the internet.

  2. I really like multiple areas with comfortable chairs where you can sit and relax and wait for people or socialize with people in your party.

  3. omfortable chairs and wireless internet. Coffee and something lovely to look at. I also appreciate hotel staff walking around keeping things peaceful.

  4. I often like hotel lobbies to have both space for groups to gather, and space for solo travelers to have some privacy.
    Mostly because I travel in groups where we each have our own rooms, I like to meet up on the lobby to hang out, socialize, and unwind. Doing this in one of our rooms is usually just an ackward affair that requires people to hang out on the bed.
    I do like the private spaces as well though for conducting calls and such.

  5. I love fancy, wide open areas with little sections of their own so you feel you have some privacy. All furnitures should comfortable. But MOST of all, all the employees at a location in and around the lobby should very professional and kind.

  6. I look for the seats to be facing so that I can people watch. I don’t like the seats with a view of the wall — I prefer to see people coming in and out of the front door, and a view of the front desk. You can tell a lot about a hotel by watching how it greets guests and how it handles guest questions at the front desk..

  7. Comfortable chairs, plenty of space, kiosks to be able to check in and print a boarding pass. A coffee shop with extended hours would be great as well.

  8. Courtyard is my hotel of choice on business. Free Wifi, excellent staff, familiar rooms, what more could you want?

  9. I like bright, airy lobbies with business centers-& free coffee bars where I can grab a quick nosh or a free (preferably local) paper. In short, I enjoy these new Gen Y-style chains that feel more like dorms than some imposing antiseptic lodge

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