Marriott Courtyard Hotels

When I do domenstic travel, I usually try to stay in Courtyard hotels.  It is not because of point, or miles.  It is because it is a decent room, at an acceptable price.  Just be sure you are not near the elevator or the ice machine, and it is as good as a room that goes for $50 more a night.

You get a comfortable bed.  There is a decent breakfast at a reasonable price in the morning (although I am as likely to go for a starbucks and a pastry), and the internet is included.

The wrinkle is:

Marriott Courtyards have the slowest, crappiest elevators.  New properties.  Old properties.  Properties they bought and rebranded.  Doesn’t matter.  Shitty elevator.  Slow.  Rickety.  Budget.

Makes you wonder…

Travel Notes – Ridiculous Air Conditioning

Livign in Tucson, I thought I was used to AC set low.  Some people keep their offices/homes cold enough to hang meat.

I just got to Austin for the ITEXPO conference (had to give a media interview, and will be participating in a panel discussion tomorrow), and I think I need a parka here.  BRRRRRR.  It is a comfy 104F outdoors (hey, I am from Arizona, that is comfortable to me), but it feels like low 60s indoors.  I have been in server rooms that were warmer.

 

 

Travel Foibles: Part 8 (of too many to count) – “Premium” Seats

Since when was an aisle seat or a window seat “premium” and worth $15 to $40 more?  I understand the psychology of airlines, and their addiction to the nickel and dime charges that travelers are willing to outlay.  But, come on.  Tomorrow, I am flying to Austin Texas.  American TUS to DFW.  2;05.  I have a center seat.  eh, I can deal with it, because it is not a long flight.  But, you would think that I have a center seat due to the fact that the plane is overbooked, or ful.  

You would be wrong.  There are aisle and window seats available.  I just have to whip out my AMX card and buy the seat.  Sorry, not gonna do that.  

To me, a “Premium” seat is in a different class of service.  Like First Class, or Business Class.  It isn’t just a seat with only one other traveler next to me in it.  

Airlines, I would be willing to pay $40 for a seat with an extra 6″ of legroom.  I hate being cramped in a seat that should really have an OSHA limitation to be sold only to double, above the knee amputees and not have ergonomic issues.

Ah well, I guess I am tilting at windmills.

Travel Foibles: Part 7 (of many) – Hotel “green” initiatives

You have probably seen it, you get into your hotel room, and there are placards that describe how you can help them “save the environment” by any of a number of actions that include:

  • Not changing the bedding daily
  • Reusing your towel
  • Turning off lights and television while not in the room

All great things, and I do all of them (in fact, I virtually NEVER watch TV in my hotel room.  Just got out of the habit years ago and forget that it is even there anymore).

The one that bothers me the most is the reuse of towels.  I alway hang them on the hook to signify that I will use it again.  At home, I typically wash my drying towel once a week, so two or three days of use is neither “gross” nor a problem for me.

However, probably 90% of the time, the cleaning staff replaces the towel anyway.  So much for environmental consciousness. It makes you wonder what else they are not doing.

(For the record, the best experience was the Shiodome Hotel in Tokyo.  There is a card you put on your pillow to signify re-use of the bedding, and in return you get a “You are so AWESOME” card.  I have one taped to my office door.)

 

Travel Foibles: Part 6 (of too many to count) USA Today

I will admit to being a fan of newsprint.  Something about leisurely reading of the daily rag is something that I enjoy.  At home, we subscribe to the local newspaper, and read it every day.  While I read the NY Times everyday online, I still subscribe to the local fish wrapper.

As a product manager, I also travel.  A lot.  Hotels all over the USA, and the world.  Invariably, they come with a local paper.  In the US, if you are lucky, you will get a complimentary copy of the Wall Street Journal (although I enjoy reading that a lot less now that it is a Murdoch paper, but that is a tale for a different day).  However, you are about 99% likely to get a copy of the USA Today. 

Blah.

Seriously, I suspect that if the gratis copies provided to hotel guests were eliminated, the circulation is probably about 50 copies daily.  Why do I dis the USA Today?  It seems to be a purposely bland paper.  It tries too hard to be neutral in its editorial stance.  Its selection of stories is guaranteed to be non-offensive.  Even its opinion page strives to have a completely neutral balance.  Add that to the WHITE newsprint that gives it a more of a magazine look and feel, and you get a waste of words.

I usually glance through it, but as with a meringue, it is fluffy, but ultimately unfulfilling.