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Courtyard Marriott – new lobbies and a contest!

As a frequent traveler—and one who could match any style of travel at the drop of a hat—hotels and other accommodation options have become an increasingly important part of my travels. Over the years I’ve stayed in everything from cockroach infested guesthouses to 5-star luxury hotels. I’ve slept on the floor in airports, train stations—even on the porch of a riverside guest house in Cambodia.

I’ve also slept in hotels with king size beds, business suites with full-service kitchens and VIP rooms that celebrities once slept in. I don’t have a particular style of travel because I pretty much like it all. If I’m in a foreign city, chances are I’m going to enjoy my stay.

But as an online junkie, certain amenities have become a pre-requisite for just about any booking. During my upcoming trip around the USA I’ll be visiting six different cities in six weeks across three time zones. Time is going to be an issue. I’ll be spending a lot of time in and out of hotels, but also in and out of a lot of cafes & wifi-hotspots. That’s why I was glad to discover that Courtyard by Marriott has started to revamp many of their hotels to make them more accessible for business travelers. The revamped hotels now provide many of the amenities I want: everything from Starbucks coffee to plenty of outlets for charging my travel gear.

Hotel lobbies with useful amenities

Five hundred Courtyard by Marriott properties have already been updated with an innovative hotel program called Courtyard Refreshing Business lobby. The renovation includes new lobbies each with a Bistro—a casual food & beverage cafe which serves healthy cuisine and Starbucks coffee. The new lobbies also include laptop-friendly work stations with plenty of outlets and a giant touch screen TV monitor (the GoBoard) where guests can look up the weather, local news and local attractions to help plan their stay. GoBoard screens help leisure travelers enhance their stay in the destination and encourage business travelers to get out and explore new surroundings.

To promote these new lobbies, I’ve partnered with Courtyard by Marriott to provide a $300 gift card for the international hotel chain. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which state in the U.S. you’d like to travel to the most.

Win a $300 Courtyard Marriott gift card simply by commenting on this post!

Want to win a two-night stay at a renovated Courtyard by Marriott hotel?

Simply leave a comment on this post telling me which U.S. state you’re most interested in visiting.

This contest is open to US residents and will run until August, 15, 2012. The winner will be randomly selected from the comments below using The winner will receive a $300 gift card toward a two night stay at any renovated Courtyard property. Currently there are over 515 properties in the U.S. alone.

This contest will run until August 15, 2012 on which date I’ll use to select a winner. Be sure to leave a comment below telling me which U.S. state you’re most interested in visiting!

If you’re looking for some wanderlust, be sure to check out my other hotel & accommodation reviews here.

Disclosure: This contest was sponsored by Courtyard by Marriott. The winner will receive a giftcard towards 2 free nights at a Courtyard by Marriott property within the Continental US. I will randomly select a winner on August 15, 2012 and reach out to him/her via email with further instructions. I will also be receiving a complimentary stay at a renovated Courtyard property.

  1. mandy says:

    South Carolina

  2. Great article! I would like to travel to New York the most! I just graduated from college and could possibly want to move there to start my new chapter!

  3. JessieV says:

    Hard to say – Minnesota! (in the summer!)

  4. Stephanie Phillips says:

    I would live to visit Georgia, particularly Savannah. I teach history and once I visit a location the History makes much more sense! I also would love to see San Antonio Texas- so much history there and so much to tell my students about. With today’s technology I could video and post so much! Thanks for this opportunity!

  5. Megan says:

    Help me finally make my way to Oregon :-)

  6. Janina says:

    We’d love to go down to Southern California.

  7. Miami – it’s one of the only big U.S. cities I haven’t been to yet and would love to scuba dive with the manatees and/or wrecks they have!

  8. Scott - weninchina says:

    The beaches around Jacksonville, FL would be mighty nice as it gets cold up here in Minnesota!

  9. Arti says:

    What a wonderful gift to give away! Wish I could take part.
    Have a beautiful week ahead Adam :)

  10. Jeremy says:

    I have always wanted to check out Hawaii, not so much for the beaches but it is the furthest US state that I can possibly go to!

  11. I would love to pay a return visit to Alaska and bring the kids. Minnesota would also be fun.

  12. Adam, What a challenging choice! I would most like to visit MONTANA or WYOMING and see Yellowstone! I cannot believe I have not seen it yet. Hope your travels go well.

  13. Alan Breslaw says:

    I would love to visit Florida as I never get enough beach!

  14. Cristina says:

    Believe it or not, I have never been to New York. Every year I promise myself I will go but take a look at the prices and freak out! Lol! I would LOVE to see this city in summer or NYE! This card would TOTALLY help!!

  15. If I’m American living in Australia right now, can I play? If so, I’d say Washington state!

    • pamela watson says:

      would love to win as my husband and I are planning an annivarsery of 41 years on a cruise and would like a place nice to stay on the way down driving to florida port canaveral.that would be a nice annivarsey gift .

  16. Susan says:

    Fun giveaway! Tennessee is on my list.

  17. Vicky says:

    I am most interested in visiting New Orleans in LA!

  18. Kristen says:

    Hmm – I think I would most like to visit Hawaii because, well, why not?! Plus it’s where my parents went on their honeymoon (and where I was most likely conceived. ;)

  19. Jodi says:

    It would be a tough decision between NY and DC. But they’re so close I would probably do both.

  20. Would love to go to South Carolina!

  21. Tory Doughty says:

    I have always wanted to visit New York! Studying art at a college in the mountains of Virginia, I really want to see all that New York is doing for the art world to better direct my own artistic pursuits.

  22. Robyn says:

    Florida! I want to take my boyfriend to Disney!

  23. Mary Ann Hawthorne says:

    I would most like to visit Massachusetts. I am huge history buff and am dying to go to Boston.

  24. Jessie Chouinard says:

    Florida! I have to go there in October and would love to stay somewhere nice!

  25. Michele Staczek says:


  26. Laura says:

    I’d like to go to California so I can reconnect with friends in the Bay area and go hiking!

  27. Beth Groffman says:

    I would love to visit Chicago Illinois. I have traveled to many places but somehow have never gotten to Chicago. A gift card to a Marriott would push me to get there.

  28. Nicole says:

    I’ve stayed in a Courtyard Marriott in… San Frans I think! Very nice but they were still in the middle of refurbishing it so I can’t wait to see how they fix the rooms! :)

    Would love to go somewhere new and stay in New Orleans. Culture, art, music, and a good drink – how can I say no?!

  29. Suzy says:

    Love Courtyard Marriotts and all of their outlets! Great contest to have Adam as accommodations in the US are not always affordable. I have been dying to visit Chicago lately so I would love to go to Illinois oddly enough!

  30. I would love to visit Colorado — put my National Park annual pass to good use!

  31. I would like to visit Washington so I can visit my new niece.

  32. Micki says:

    Love this! San Francisco, here we come. :)

  33. Will Martinez says:

    I never win anything but if I do I would go to Miami to visit family

  34. John says:

    Great contest Adam. I’d love to visit Alaska!

  35. Maureen says:

    Texas! I’ve been dying to see what Austin is all about.

  36. Will Martinez says:

    I never win anything but if I did win I would go to Miami to visit family

  37. Alaska! Especially in the summer, when it isn’t freezing. ;)

  38. Oregon — preferably Portland!

  39. Basha says:


  40. Mimi Shummete says:

    Definitely New York!! Particularly around NYC and its five boroughs. I come from an area that has SUCH a slow pace of life and want to experience the opposite. Especially considering that I am not able to travel much these days. :)

  41. Kiera says:

    Alaska, on my bucket list!

  42. Robbie Dickherber says:

    Would love to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The cantilevered skywalk looks amazing!

  43. Kate says:

    Great giveaway! I would use it to stay in a hotel on my cross-country road trip I’m planning for a honeymoon!

  44. Molly says:

    We’d love to get to California for our babymoon.

  45. Kathleen Conner says:

    I’d like to go to Nevada (Las vegas–I’ve never been!)

  46. Would love to visit South Carolina, but where I live – Massachusetts is terrific!

  47. NaEun says:

    Top of the list at the moment, California!!! Never been to the west coast.

  48. LeX says:

    I will give it a shoot! Thanks for the great offer! ;)

  49. JamesP says:

    I’d like to revisit the DC area, Virginia. Thanks for the contest!

  50. I am so jealous of your lifestyle. I would love to be able to travel like you do. I have so many places in the US I would love to visit. I would have to say the one on the top of my list right now is colorado, TY for the chance to win

  51. S.Fancy says:

    Without a doubt a trip to “The Big Easy” New Orleans, Louisiana would be epic! P.S – We are huge fans of the Courtyard Marriott brand, our preferd stay!

  52. Paul says:

    New York, without a doubt!

  53. I have a bazillion weddings this summer and fall–as seems to be the case every summer/fall having grown up in the South!–and could definitely use this to offset all the hotel fees. I’d choose Nashville or Atlanta, as those are the places I’ll be having to book hotels in next!

  54. Cynthia Ord says:

    I’m thinking New Orleans in December for an urban race championship!

  55. AlvU says:


  56. Nirmal Patel says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Boston!

  57. Christine says:

    I’d go to the downtown Seattle one in WA for my upcoming visit back home!

  58. Chris says:

    Maryland (Annapolis and Eastern Shore)

  59. Sarah says:

    Marriott Courtyard Manhattan/Midtown

  60. Jaclyn says:

    I would love to visit Maine! I’m from Los Angeles so it’s not exactly easy to reach from here, but I know it’d be worth it to go in the fall and see some beautiful foliage and eat tons of lobster! Sounds so relaxing & delicious. ;)

  61. Stacey Murphy says:

    I want to visit Pennsylvania

  62. I’m going to Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, PA next month and this could come in handy. Thanks for the contest!

  63. Jan LeBaron says:

    I’d love to win a gift card. We’be loved staying at Courtyard of Marriott throughout the U.S. Love your blog!

  64. Anthon Jackson says:

    I’ll be passing through California soon. Thanks for the contest!

  65. AMS says:

    I would love to visit Vermont! Thank you!

  66. Kaitlyn says:

    Great contest idea! I love visiting NYC and I know there is a fabulous Marriott in Time Square that would be amazing to get to stay in! Looking forward to more posts from you!


  67. Kevin Raposo says:

    I would love to visit California! Always dreamed of going there but the money situation is always the best! Hope I get this :)

  68. Elena Garcia says:

    I’ve been wanting to visit new york as I have never been there!

  69. Jinny K says:

    Alaska! I’ve never been, polar bears are my favorite animal and I’ve seen The Proposal many times ;)

  70. Jen says:

    I want to visit every state but maybe Alaska is at the top of my list.

  71. Susana Perez says:

    I would so love to visit the beautiful state of Hawaii!

  72. Jeremy says:

    I would love to visit Florida.

    • jani lebaron says:

      I forgot my state. Definitely Alaska; Anchorage specifically. My best friend and roommate lives there… haven’t seen her in years! I’ve seen pictures; it’s gorgeous!

  73. Nicole P says:

    I would love to visit Los Angeles because I would love to visit my family that lives there and I’ve never been there before!

  74. I would love to go to Memphis or Nashville TN!

  75. John Billiris says:

    I want to visit Illinois (Chicago!)

  76. Luci says:

    Northern California is (shockingly) still on my unexplored list.
    But Texas deserves a longer visit as well. Not sure if passing through on a Greyhound really counts…
    x Luci

  77. James says:


  78. David says:

    I would love to visit California, specifically Los Angeles.

  79. I am fascinated by the West Coast in general and would love to finally visit Oregon. Great for biking, road trips, wine tasting.

  80. Oooh. I was stay in (Reno) Nevada – right after Burning Man…..

  81. alvin says:

    I’m a youth speaker & the cities I will be traveling to in the U.S.this year are- Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Calif, Seattle, Washington & Detroit Michigan. It would be so cool to have this gift card to help me out.

    btw…love your blog- big fan here!

  82. Hilary says:

    Your site is too “smart” — it won’t let me correct my typo! Sorry if this is coming in 14 times …

    I’d use the hotel night to visit my best friend in San Francisco!

  83. Michelle says:

    I would love to visit Oregon!

  84. Erin R says:

    Florida here I come!

  85. Alan W. says:

    Wanted to visit Alaska ever since as a teenager I was told stories of heading north there in a railcar with a woodstove and stained glass windows.

  86. Francesca says:

    I’m thinking downtown New Orleans is the place for me!

  87. Mark Bikangaga says:

    would love to visit Seatle wA Marriott is the Best!!

  88. Liz says:

    Massachussetts! I have always wanted to go to Boston (am originally from upstate NY) and have sadly never gone over there. While I’m home for Christmas with my boyfriend, I am hoping to be able to go for the first time :)

    More hotels definitely need to make their lobbies more useful friendly. I was just traveling for two weeks and its suprising the number of hotels that don’t have enough outlets, or don’t have tables in their lobbies for people who need to sit down and do work. Adding in the option of coffee is perfect.

  89. Jessie Chouinard says:

    I would love to see Florida again and stay somewhere nice!

  90. Maggie says:

    I can’t believe I’ve traveled around the world, but I still haven’t been to Hawaii! So that’s #1 on my list of must-see places in the United States.

  91. Florian says:

    Montana! It’s gorgeous and empty.

  92. Anna says:

    Just one fantastic state : Texas

  93. Liz says:

    I’d want to visit Alaska. 24 hours of sunlight and stunning landscapes sound pretty good, even if you have to deal with some crazy locals like the Palin family.

  94. Casey says:

    Definitely California, to visit my family and to trek through beautiful Yosemite!

  95. Caitlin says:

    CA! I love your website!!!!!!!!!!!!

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