As I mentioned in a previous post, we ended up going to Atlanta for Memorial Day weekend since there is a plethora of direct flights from Pittsburgh and its hotels, unlike in some other American cities (Boston and Nashville, I’m looking at you) were not only reasonably priced but also compatible with a free e-night certificate we needed to use before the end of this month. So that’s what led us to the Courtyard Atlanta in the city’s downtown.
When it came to picking a neighborhood to stay in, I was torn. Many travelers and guidebooks recommend staying in Midtown, an area that is home to an abundance of hotels and, at least from what I read and heard, some of the city’s most sought after restaurants. Others touted the downtown which is what I ended up selecting. I figured that being within walking distance of popular attractions like World of Coca Cola, Olympic Centennial Park, and the new Ferris wheel SkyView Atlanta would be a good thing. It was, since whenever possible I prefer walking to any other form of transportation. The only thing I would say about staying in the downtown is that it was a bit dead after hours, which I hadn’t expected from a city as large as Atlanta. Certain areas were livelier than others, while some had a bit of a “ghost town” feel to them. Due to always being on the go and feeling extremely tired from the day come evening, we weren’t ever out after 9 PM but at least up until then, I never had an issue with walking around some of the more desolate streets. Location-wise, one of the biggest benefits of the Courtyard Atlanta is definitely the fact that it’s basically a stone’s throw from the Peachtree MARTA station which is home to the red and gold lines, extremely convenient when coming in from the airport or visiting nearby Midtown.
We arrived at the hotel about 10 AM and thankfully were able to check in which allowed us to not only freshen up after our early morning start but also not have to worry about leaving our bags. My only negative of our stay was that our room was on the third floor of a more than 10 story building. Normally when we stay at Marriotts we are given rooms on high floors due to our Marriott Rewards status. I know that when redeeming points or in our case, using a free e-night certificate, travelers are often given the less desirable rooms, so I can only assume this was the case with us. It wasn’t a bad room but being so near to the ground, it was on the same level as the street lights, which meant that we really had to position the drapes just so to prevent light from coming in.
The room itself was very comfortable and had some nice perks including an empty mini fridge (as opposed to the overstocked fridge full of overpriced snacks and drinks) and a sleek looking flat-screen television that you could move according to your viewing location preferences. The one odd thing about the room was the bathroom-it didn’t feature a traditional door but rather a retractable one that you could move in one direction sideways. It never meshed perfectly with the wall when closed but it wasn’t too big of a deal. The bathroom, though, was one of the largest hotel bathrooms I had ever stayed in.
Being a holiday weekend, housekeeping wasn’t the best. After being out for most of the day on Saturday, we came back to our room just after 4 PM to discover that it had never been done up. As we had plans at 6:30 for dinner, we both wanted to be able to shower and rest without being interrupted. I called down to the front desk and asked if someone could come up momentarily since we had plans. The front desk worker just said that housekeeping was getting rooms ready the rooms ready of those people who had checked out that day. I can understand that but still feel if you haven’t had a Do Not Disturb sign on all day, you shouldn’t have to wait until almost 5 PM for your room to be finished.
The hotel was more of a rest and sleep base for us than anything else but there is a restaurant onsite as well as a Starbucks cafe that serves all of your coffee favorites in addition to light fare like breakfast and lunch sandwiches and other snacks. There is also an exercise room onsite but with all the walking we did while there, we didn’t feel the need to have to partake. Front desk and bellman staff were always courteous and very polite.
With its close proximity to public transportation and popular sights in the city, I would definitely recommend staying here.
Atlanta Courtyard Downtown
133 Carnegie Way NW Atlanta Georgia
More in this series!