01. Introduction: Let’s see if Canada will let me in…
02. WestJet 737-700 main cabin SAN-YYC
03. Dear Canada: why are your border agents so mean?
04. Courtyard Calgary Airport
05. Calgary Marriott In-Airport Hotel
06. WestJet 737-700 main cabin YYC-SAN
My primary goal for choosing this hotel for my second (and last) night in Calgary was so that I could sleep in a bit before catching my 10:30am flight back to San Diego. The morning of my last trip required me to get up at 3:30am in order to catch an early flight and it was such a miserable experience that I vowed never to voluntarily do that again. I’m getting too old for stuff like that! Thankfully the Marriott in-airport hotel here at YYC is conveniently located in the terminal, so there’s no need to mess with the hassles of getting to the airport. You wake up and you’re already there!
Of all the in-ariport hotels I’ve ever stayed in, this was one of the best. It felt like it was brand new – or at least recently renovated. And the best part? The views. Oh, those views! I had reserved a high-floor room with an “airport view”, and I was not disappointed. The hotel is attached directly to the main terminal (not set back like the Westin DTW and O’Hare Hilton) with windows that directly overlook the gates. I’ve never been this close to the action at any airport hotel I’ve ever stayed at!
The entrance to the Marriott YYC is large, grand, and very bright. It didn’t seem all that busy when I arrived (at about 5:20pm on a Saturday evening), and there was no waiting to check in. The woman who checked me in was happy, helpful, and fast – all three things essential for a great customer experience. She even walked me to the elevators, which was totally unnecessary but a nice friendly gesture.
Upon entering the room, I did pretty much what any serious aviation geek would do: run to the windows to check out that view! The rest of the room matters not in cases like this, and I didn’t even notice anything but the view from the window for the first 5 minutes of my stay. Once the high started wearing off (lol), I turned around to have a good look at the rest of the room. But, first, let’s check out that awesome view shall we?
As you can see, this is a very nice Marriott. I’ve never had many nice things to say about airport Marriott hotels, as most of the ones I have stayed at have felt dark and dreary with no sense of style at all (*cough*IAH Marriott*cough*). Such was not the case with this property. If I didn’t know it was a Marriott, I would have been floored if someone told me after the fact. The entire experience felt a bit more high-end than I would expect for this brand, and that was a very encouraging thing to see. Is this the direction that Marriott is heading? I would sure hope so.
I was really hungry upon arrival, and the limited room service menu (which was on the TV, not on paper) disappointed me a bit so I knew that I would have to venture downstairs find another option. Luckily the menu of the onsite restaurant looked really good so that’s where I had dinner.
For aircraft spotters and photographers, the Marriott YYC is a very (very) good place to sit and watch airplanes. I was able to get a lot of good pics of aircraft parked at the nearest gates with just a 105mm lens, but you’ll need more reach than that for aircraft taxiing past in the distance. 300-400mm would be perfect, though not required to have a very satisfying experience here.