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. A place where I can feel comfortable outside of my room, sometimes you just need to get out. Free wifi is a plus and a place to grab a nice glass of wine and relax.

  2. Since I am not a coffee drinker, I like a lobby that offers a “free beverage bar” that includes also waters and teas. Plus a free local newspaper vs USA today.

  3. I like an open and airy lobby that’s comfortable with access to free water or coffee…perhaps outlets to charge my phone.

  4. I look for a lobby that has cozy nooks where small groups of four to six travelers can meet and make plans for their days together. I also like have tables so that there’s a place to put the coffee I’ve purchased from the nearby coffee bar, a coffee bar that also has a few nutritious and some not-so nutritious for sale.

  5. The smallest cozy corner, with it’s own lighting and a matching ottoman to go with a plush leather chair.

  6. A good balance of work space and relax space; I telecommute, and often do that from a hotel, so a good work-friendly lobby is a plus. Fast, reliable wi-Fi (even better if it’s free), comfortable work spaces and a quiet spot mean I can camp out and work if my room isn’t ready, or I just need a change of scenery. But the lobby should be a comfortable space, too, with seating that’s not too exposed to exterior doors (brrrr!) so I can enjoy an after-work glass of wine 🙂

  7. All day coffee and tea station. Semi-private areas where you can slump down into a comfortable seating area and check your email or do some last minute work.

  8. A clear unobstructed path from entrance to Reception. Good signs to the features and ameneties of the hotel. A genuine welcome for guests old and new, no matter what the time of day or night. Notice displaying frequently requested information – times of airport shuttles, opening and closing times of restaurant and cafe etc. Adjacent areas for meeting or awaiting people, good coffee either on tap or in a cafe. A discreet area to leave luggage without disrupting people flow. Overall, a homely feeling for guests who often spend far too much of their lives on the road.

  9. I like a lobby that is open, has comfortable chairs, ( I’m 5’3″ and many chairs aren’t comfortable for my size )
    Wifi with some privicy so I don’t have to worry about someone looking over my shoulder, and it’s neat and clean.

  10. I like a hotel lobby with a comfortable ambience without being pretentious. Nice chairs and good lighting helps.

  11. Clean and fresh and comfortable looking, as the lobby is the leader and suggests what I will find when I get to my room.

  12. Great blog, keep up the good work. I use my free cat 4 certificates at CY Jensen Beach FL, with the excellent ocean view rooms, my favourite airport hotel is CY London Gatwick with the fresh new lobby and rooms.

  13. Hi there,

    I did not see anybody win. Have you already picked the person? I did enter the contest so was curious.

    – naroowal

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