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
In order to keep SANspotter.com growing, I’ve been trying to stay in a different hotel each night on every one of these mini-adventures of mine. I don’t have the big bucks (or the points) to stay at the most lavish of properties, but I still find it fun to review mid-level hotels just to see how they compare to the rest. It’s funny when I think about how this all started, because I’ve never really been a hotel guy. These hotel reviews are just something that started naturally when I launched this website and before that it never once occurred to me to take pictures of my hotel rooms and write about them. Back then, it was basically about airliner photography and really basic trip reports. Now I’m beginning to enjoy documenting the entire travel experience, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoy it…
I needed two hotel rooms for this quick two-night visit to Calgary. And to keep things as stress-free as possible, I decided that my “home base” would be centered around the airport (YYC). This would make my arrival and departure extremely easy, and a bit less expensive as well since I wouldn’t have to pay for transportation to a hotel located in the city center (eh, I mean “centre”) somewhere. I like easy and cheap, so the Courtyard Calgary Airport looked to be a fine choice for my first nights stay.
After clearing immigration and customs, I quickly found myself standing curbside at YYC in search of what I assumed to be a soon-arriving shuttle bus which would take me directly to the hotel. I ended up waiting for about 15 minutes, which wasn’t bad, but it was slightly annoying since the shuttle bus stop was located adjacent to the smoking section and the thick stench of cigarette smoke became annoying really fast. I was more than relieved when that shuttle bus finally rolled up!
I checked the location of this hotel on Google maps when I made the reservation, and it looked to be one of the closest hotels to the airport. This naturally led me to believe that the shuttle bus ride would take no more than a few minutes, and that it would be a quick and painless experience. A painless experience it was, but quick it was not. I didn’t know it at the time, but there is a lot of construction going on around the airport, and the addition of a new runway pretty much screwed everything up in terms of navigating around the airport in a quick fashion. So even though the Courtyard YYC is located right at the edge of the airport property, it took nearly 20 minutes of driving in a big circle around the entire perimeter of the airport to reach it.
Once at the hotel, I was glad to find that that it was a large and clean property, and it didn’t appear to be all that busy. Check in was a breeze, and I was on my way up to my room in just minutes.
It was almost 7pm by the time I got situated in my room and was ready to grab dinner. Room service would have been a nice option, but since it wasn’t available, I went back downstairs to check out the menu for Barlow (the in-house restaurant). It looked really good – and a bit expensive – but it was convenient and I didn’t really know what else to do if I didn’t choose to eat here. It ended up being a good choice for dinner. The food was tasty, fast, and the service friendly. Can’t ask for anything better than that!
My one night stay here at the Courtyard Calgary airport was a very good experience. The property is fairly new, the rooms are in great shape, and the staff was extremely friendly. The shuttle bus situation is a bit inconvenient though. Not only does it take a long time to reach the airport due to construction (I know this isn’t a fault of the hotel), the shuttles only come by once an hour so you have to plan ahead if you’ve got a plane to catch. As long as you are aware of that before you book this hotel, you can’t really go wrong with staying here.
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