Courtyard Calgary Airport

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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.

Courtyard YYC calgary airport

Courtyard YYC exterior – looks pretty good from the outside!

courtyard YYC main lobby

This is the main lobby – the check in counter consists of those three small podiums along the back wall.

courtyard YYC airport restaurant

This is the in-house restaurant (as seen from directly the opposite direction from the previous pic). I ended up having dinner here this night, so more pics from here later on in this trip report…

boarding pass / check in station courtyard YYC

There was lots to see during the walk to the elevator. First up is the boarding pass / check in station – very convenient!

courtyard YYC business center

A few steps beyond that in the next room was this huge and very library-like business center.

courtyard YYC lounge

The opposite side of this room was very homey and lounge-like with a real fireplace and big screen TV.

courtyard YYC elevators

Finally, here we are at the elevators.

courtyard YYC hallway

I haven’t even made it to my room yet and I’m already digging the style of this hotel. Here’s what the guest room hallways look like.

courtyard YYC room 510

The door to 510 – my room for the night!

courtyard YYC hotel room

The room as seen upon stepping through the door.

courtyard YYC hotel room features

Oooh, nice little detail there. I like!

courtyard YYC hotel room

Walking a bit deeper into the room, and as you can see, it’s pretty basic for the most part. The Beverly Hilton this is not!

courtyard YYC sofa and coffee table

I’m a big fan of sofas and coffee tables in hotel rooms. It’s usually the place where I get most of my work done.

courtyard YYC calgary hotel room

While quite basic, I thought this room was very well designed with nice finishes everywhere.

courtyard YYC calgary hotel room

Underneath all those fancy materials is just a basic hotel room though – the layout wasn’t anything special.

courtyard YYC hotel room

Here’s a wide angle view of the entire room just so you can get a sense of what the space is like.

courtyard YYC hotel room desk

Now that’s a tiny desk!

courtyard YYC mini bar

Adjacent to the main entrance was this mini-bar area.

courtyard YYC in room refrigerator

Behind the door was a safe and decent size refrigerator.

courtyard YYC mini bar

Another wide-angle pic showing how the mini-bar area is wedged into the space. The room door is to the right.

courtyard YYC bathroom

While quite big, I found the bathroom to be a bit less stylish than the rest of the room.

courtyard YYC hotel bathroom

Nothing fancy here!

courtyard YYC hotel room vanity

The texture of that vanity gave me a headache… (#firstworldproblems, I know)

courtyard YYC selfie

A little behind-the-scenes action here. This is what I look like when I’m doing hotel reviews!

courtyard YYC bathroom

The rest of the bathroom, showing the toilet on the right, and a huge shower on the left.

courtyard YYC hotel shower

Check out the size of that shower!

courtyard YYC hotel shower

The shower was very nice – but the door was in a very awkward spot in relation to where you are supposed to turn on the water. There’s no way to get the water running without getting soaked!

courtyard YYC hotel room toilet

Basic. Simple. Clean. All one really needs in a toilet!

Paul Mitchell amenities

Paul Mitchell amenities here in the bathroom.

courtyard YYC hotel room view

The view from my 5th floor window isn’t much to write about, but at least it was a nice day out there.

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!

courtyard YYC Barlow restaurant

View of the (empty) restaurant from my table. I was really hungry, so I appreciated the fast service!

courtyard YYC hotel barlow restaurant

I pretty much had the place to myself this evening, which was nice.

courtyard YYC hotel bar Barlow restaurant

The bar. *crickets*

courtyard YYC hotel barlow restaurant

I took way too many pictures of this place, but it’s not very often I have the chance to get trip report footage without other people blocking the best shots!

courtyard YYC hotel restaurant

On to the meal pics! This tomato soup starter was quite tasty.

courtyard YYC hotel restaurant

Following that was a delicious plate of salmon and mushrooms. This hit the spot!

courtyard YYC hotel restaurant barlow

This restaurant was so convenient that I returned for breakfast the next morning. It’s hard to go wrong with oatmeal and yogurt to start the day, right?

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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