Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport

30 Aug 2013 by GrahamSmith

BACKGROUND

Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport is the first property to feature the brand's new design for its European hotels. It opened in mid-July. The new concept will next be seen in Courtyard's Cologne hotel, which is scheduled to open in spring 2014.

The majority of Marriott's 900-odd existing Courtyard properties are in the US, but the group is adapting its design to fit the European market, where it has around 45 properties.

Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

A six-floor, rectangular new build. Most of the hotel's facade is taken up by the large windows that are a feature of the new design.

At the time of my visit, the hotel had only been open for five or six weeks, so still looked and smelled pristine.

The first thing you notice on entering is the large open-plan lobby, which includes an interactive "Go Board" screen featuring up-to-date news, weather and local information.

There is also a 24-hour market selling food and drink and items such as toiletries and phone chargers. These are paid for at the front desk.

The entrance

The lobby's interactive "Go Board" screen — featuring news, weather and local information — and market to the left

WHERE IS IT?

Less than a five-minute walk from Aberdeen International. The hotel sits on the airport's perimetre and is in an ideal location for people in the region on business, particularly those who have no need to head into Aberdeen itself.

The vast majority of guests during my stay were oil rig crew workers spending the night on dry land before being helicoptered out to the North Sea the following day.

ROOM FACILITIES

The hotel has 194 rooms, of which 37 have twin beds. All are the same size — 22 sqm — and are spacious with an uncluttered feel. The walls are painted a neutral light grey while the bed head, side tables and wardrobe are made of wood.

I was staying in a "deluxe non-smoking king". The double bed was, of course, a trademark Marriott king-size mattress and boxspring. It was extremely comfortable and provided an excellent night's sleep. Little reading lamps are built into each side of the bed head, and plug sockets — both UK and EU — sit above the side tables.

Courtyard Aberdeen Deluxe King room

Equally sized: Each room measures 22 sqm

On the wall opposite the bed was a 42-inch LCD TV with freeview built-in. In the corner of the room, by the large window, was an oval glass workdesk with ergonomic chair set on wheels.

The wardrobe contained an iron, ironing board, coat hangers and a safe. A small kettle, sachets of sugar, coffee, including decaffinated, and teabags were provided alongside two small mugs and saucers.

The air conditioning worked efficiently, although it hardly had a tough job to do, given that Aberdeen is not known for its tropical climate. I suspect it will prove more useful in heating the room in the cold winter months.

The room I stayed in was at the back of the hotel and overlooked the airport's runway, which is a short distance away. (Rooms at the front of the hotel overlook a small car park and a brand new Premier Inn). However, the double glazing is so effective that you cannot hear the aircraft. In the morning, once the curtains had been opened, it was quite relaxing to drink a cup of coffee in bed while watching planes take-off into the mist.

The bathroom had a sink, toilet, shower and 230v and 115v shaving sockets. Like the bedroom, it was uncluttered and conveniently functional. The small bottles of shampoo and shower gel provided were fine.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The hotel's large dining area is located to the left of the open-plan lobby and doubles as a bar and general lounge. A dozen or so sofas and armchairs are nearest the check-in desk, positioned next to a bookcase and two PCs and two Apple Macs.

Behind this area is the main body of the room, which is filled with upright tables and chairs, the kind you might find in a smart bar, only more comfortable.

Courtyard Aberdeen Bistro

Open-plan: The hotel's bar (right), lounge area (left) and dining area (at the back)

Courtyard Aberdeen Media Pod

Privacy: One of three media pods

It is here where most guests eat the food served by the all-day Bistro Restaurant, although some take this up to their rooms. A continental buffet breakfast is served from 6am to 10am. It costs £10 per person.

The bar serves beer on tap and has a modest selection of drinks.

At the back of this open-plan space are three media pods, each with their own table, cushioned booth and television. They seat three to four people and are ideal for having a quiet chat or for locking youself away from the world for a short while.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

There is a meeting room with floor-to-ceiling windows on the ground floor that seats ten or more people. It comes with a large television/monitor with ports for a laptop or iPad.

However, parking in the hotel car park is £5 daily, or free for two hours.

Courtyard Aberdeen Meeting Room

The hotel's meeting room is designed to seat ten, but can accommodate more

LEISURE FACILITIES

There is a small gym that is equipped with three running machines, each with an iPod dock, exercise balls and a set of scales. There is also a giant television on the wall.

VERDICT

A comfortable hotel for a business stopover. It is unlikely you'd stay here for more than a night or two and so the hotel caters for that travelling demographic. To that end, what the Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport might lack in individuality, it makes up for as an efficient and moderately stylish environment for those on the move.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 194 in total, of which 37 have twin beds.
  • HIGHLIGHTS Comfortable lounge with Starbucks coffee machine and quiet room.
  • PRICE £65 per night on Friday and Saturday, £153 per night between Sunday and Thursday
  • CONTACT Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport, Argyll Way; tel +44 1224 432 000; marriott.co.uk


Graham Smith

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