Aug 11, 2010

A Refreshed Courtyard by Marriott

The refreshed lobby, bistro and guest rooms of the downtown Courtyard by Marriott in Grand Rapids can now finally stand on its own next to its beautiful sister hotels next door; the classic Amway Grand Plaza and the swanky JW Marriott. This amazing new look is part of the global refresh of all Courtyard's by Marriott International to better accommodate the needs of the brands savvier business clientele. The "Road Warrior" has grown up. The old school
cookie cutter lobbies are out. The new "Road Warrior" commands energizing spaces, without being too pretentious, and a splash of color to help wake up all the senses after a full day on the road.

Mike Donnelley, general manager, hosted a reopening party this evening to an overwhelmingly pleased crowd. The Bistro (formerly Blue Plate restaurant) introduces a Starbucks, a full bar and a very stylish dining room complete with banquettes with televisions, semi private dining room and a vibe more reminiscent of a big city lounge.

"We definitely hit a home run with the new look," says Mr. Donnelley.

Not only is the Bistro strikingly cool, the food hits the mark as far as what the business traveller expects from the road. My wife and I had the pleasure of dining for lunch two weeks ago, and let me tell you, the food is good.  From farm fresh eggs with all the breakfast trimmings ($8.75) to the Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap ($8.50) to the Asian Salad with Thai Chili Lime Vinaigrette ($7.50). And this evening, I had a sampler of the BBQ Chicken Pizza ($8.25) which could give CPK a run for its money.


Televisions are located everywhere in the hotel public spaces
An inviting new lobby and front desk pods
A cozy lobby enclave
The redefined "business center"
Coffee table books in the lobby
The Market next to the front desk pods
The lobby
Lobby details
Stylish sofas with fluffy pillows await the guests


The Bistro
Market centerpieces
Restaurant & Banquet Chef, Anne Wilterink, and F&B Manager, Natalie Goodrich
Pound Cake and Strawberries
GR CVB President, Doug Small, with Amway Hotel Collection VP of Sales, Ron Brondyke
JW resident DJ, Todd Ernst, provided the soundscape for the event
Cozy banquettes with personal TV's
Chilled Shrimp
Communal table inside The Bistro
Semi-private dining room lounge table and chairs
It's all in the details
Another look at the Bistro lounge area
Guest Service Manager, becky, with Amway Hotel Collection VP of F&B, Gerhard Schmied
Need I say more
Banquette floral piece
Starbucks and Bistro order counter
Beautiful flowers in the seating area
Semi-private dining room with flexible seating
A sampling of food items on the menu
Bar lighting

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