Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok

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Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok

The Marriott Courtyard Bangkok is located between the Grand Hyatt Bangkok and the St. Regis Bangkok down a small street near the Erawan Shrine.

You have to go through security before entering the hotel. Once through security, the front desk is located to the right.

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Garden

There is a little garden to the right of the hotel entrance.

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Lobby

The lobby is bright and spacious with several seating areas.

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Front Desk

The front desk has a library theme, with books behind the front desk.

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Corner King

I was upgraded to a Corner King Room.

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Closet

Upon entering the room, the closet is right next to the front door. Robes and slippers were provided, along with an iron, ironing board, and safe.

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Luggage Rack

The hallway extends further down where there is a luggage rack.

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Mini Bar

Next to the luggage rack is the coffee maker, mini bar and complimentary bottles of water.

Past the mini-bar, is the bathroom.

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Peek-a-Boo

There is a window looking out to the bedroom. Luckily there is a shade that you can pull down for privacy.

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Sink

There is a single sink with an ample amount of counter space.

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Nervae Produces

Nirvae amenities were provided, which weren’t half bad and had a nice citrus scent.

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Shower
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Bench

There is only a shower, which was pretty spacious. Water pressure could have been better but the temperature remained steady. There is also a bench in the shower.

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Toilet

The toilet was located in the corner.

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Desk

On the other side of the bathroom window sits the desk. The desk is slightly on the smaller side, but had enough working space for me. Outlets were conveniently placed next to the desk with one outlet that could be used without the need for an adapter. Next to the desk was the TV.

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Chair & Ottoman

In the corner of the room was a chair with ottoman, small coffee table and lamp.

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Bed

The bed was slightly on the firmer side with plenty space of walk around on each side. A nightstand was on both sides of the bed. Unfortunately, there were no outlets next to the bed.

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Welcome Amenity

Waiting in my room was a welcome amenity of a small chocolate cake, which was very rich and chocolatey.

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Trail Mix

On another day, I was given a small bag of trail mix, and sugared tamarind.

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Welcome Letter

I was given a welcome letter which outlined some of the benefits of the hotel. One of the unique features of the hotel is that it has a Club Lounge, a rarity for Courtyards.

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Merger Letter

I was also given a letter announcing the official merger with SPG.

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Business Lounge

The Business Lounge is located on the 15th floor.

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Lounge Entrance

The entrance had two glass doors. You had to scan your room key in order to enter the lounge.

There is a reception desk located to the left once you enter.

There is a front room with a few seats, but was mostly used to hold some of the food items.

Although I didn’t eat breakfast in the lounge, I did check it out one morning.

There was bacon, potatoes, eggs, beans, tomatoes, sausage, and condiments.  There was also a coffee maker and different varieties of tea.  There are also a couple of refrigerators with drinks including soft drinks, juice, yogurt, museli, milk, fruit, water and beer (evenings).

In the evening, there were salad fixings, bread, desserts, cheese, a selection of alcohol, and several hot offerings per night.

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Lounge Bathroom

The bathroom in the lounge is fairly spacious and was clean.

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Lounge Seating

The back room of the lounge has additional seating.

There is a balcony with additional seating, but it was raining during much of my stay.

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Lounge View

The view from the lounge is of the surrounding high rise buildings.

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Momo

Marriott/Ritz Carlton Gold and Platinum members get access to the lounge. I was given the option of having breakfast in their restaurant, Momo Cafe. You have access to the buffet.

There are a variety of juices, smoothies, fruit, Eastern and Western offerings.

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Laksa Station

There is even a Laksa station.

There is a signature egg dish offered during breakfast as well, which was a Chicken Panang Curry Egg Benedict, which was very good.

The gym is on the smaller side, but had enough equipment to get a decent work out. Bottled water, towels and a water dispenser if also provided.

The pool area is two stories to some extent.

There is a bar and outdoor shower by the pool.

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Pool

The pool itself is on the smaller side, but perfectly functional.

The top floor has a deck with a couple of lounge chairs and umbrellas.

The hotel also has a tuk tuk, which takes you to the Chit Lom BTS station. They depart every 30 minutes or so.

Although back from the main streets, the Marriott Courtyard Bangkok is an excellent choice, especially for Gold and Platinum members, due to the lounge and breakfast benefits.

Prices also seem pretty reasonable, as they seem to be under $100/night.

I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.  It’s a particularly good deal if you have status with Marriott/Ritz Carlton, and SPG once they get fully incorporated.

AC Hotel Carlton Madrid

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AC Hotel Carlton Madrid

We sort of played this trip by ear and didn’t have a definitive flight back home. We had a couple of days in mind to return home regardless of award space. I was hoping that Lufthansa first class space would open up closer to our anticipated departure date range.

After leaving Porto, we planned on spending a couple of days in Madrid before heading home. The night before we left Porto, first class award space had opened up on Lufthansa, unfortunately I was unable to book these flights directly through Aeroplan’s website, and was forced to call. I will say that Aeroplan’s call center is absolutely horrible when it comes to wait times. It seems that typical waiting times are north of 45 minutes, and usually lasted at least 1 ½ hours. On a couple of occasions, there was an option to have the call center call you back.

When I finally connected to an agent, he could not see the award space I was seeing on United’s site. I told him that we were flexible in the date that we left and/or routing. Our anticipated two night stay in Madrid got cut down to an overnight stay.

Instead of flying from Madrid with a couple hour layover in Frankfurt before departing home. Our new routing looked like this: Madrid to Brussels with a 3-hour layover, then Brussels to Frankfurt with an 18-hour layover. Leaving Frankfurt, we had a stopover in Washington, DC before heading to Los Angeles.

Not the most desirous routing, but at least we were able to secure first class seats on Luftahnsa.

We had planned a two night stay at the AC Hotel Carlton Madrid. I had a free night certificate with Marriott from a prior promotion. The certificate was for a Category 1-5 hotel. The AC Hotel Carlton Madrid was conveniently close to the train station, although somewhat far from the city center.

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Atocha Cercanias
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Madrid Puerta de Atocha

There has been much discussion about the easiest way to get to the hotel, especially if dragging a lot of luggage. If taking the Renfe train, upon exiting the Atocha Cercanias station cross the street and enter the Madrid Puerta de Atocha station. Go down on floor and exit the building on the left side when facing the building. There will be a small bridge. Walk under the bridge where all the taxis are lined up, and keep going straight for a couple of short blocks. The hotel will be on your left about one block down.

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Entry/Revolving Door

Upon entering the hotel, there is a revolving door. Immediately after exiting the revolving door however, there is a small set of stairs. I’m sure this set-up has caused many people to trip or fall in the past.

Check-in was fairly quick. I was informed that breakfast is not provided for Marriott or Ritz Carlton Gold or Platinum members, but could be purchased for ~€18.

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Lobby

The lobby is very small, with cramped seating throughout.

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Lobby Bar

There is also a small bar.

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Hallway

The hallways were clean and modern, although a bit narrow.

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Room 610

We were assigned room 610, a King room.

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Bed

The room was on the smaller side, but there was enough space for our one night. The “king” bed were two twins pushed together. The beds were on the firmer side.

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Chairs

Two chairs were at the foot of the bed. The set-up was kind of strange considering the size of the room.

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Bench/Luggage Rack

There was a bench/luggage rack in the corner, along with a mini fridge.

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Desk

The desk was on the smaller side, but still functional. Outlets were conveniently placed and easy to get to near the desk.

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Water

A complimentary bottle of water was provided.

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Closet

There was also a small shelf to place keys, wallets, etc., which was next to the closet and a set of drawers.

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Shower/Tub

The bathroom was on the smaller side. There was a shower/tub combo, with the dreaded half door.

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Toilet

Oddly, the toilet was placed very close to the wall on one side with plenty of room on the other.

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Sink

The sink had limited counter space, but there was some space underneath the sink.

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Safe

The safe must have been taken from a stagecoach during the Wild West days, as it required a key to use, which was not provided in the room.

The hotel was perfectly fine for a one-night stay. As we had never been to Madrid before, I am sure location wise there are preferable options, but it met our needs for this trip.

Lisbon Marriott Hotel

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Courtesy of Marriott

After landing at the airport in Lisbon we took an Uber to the Lisbon Marriott Hotel, which cost ~$7. The hotel was not too far away from the airport. There are many pros and cons about the Lisbon Marriott Hotel. On one hand, the hotel is relatively close to the airport, and many airline crews stay here. When flights are canceled are delayed, they also put those passengers up in this hotel. As a result, this is a pretty large hotel and somewhat feels like a convention hotel.

The main gripe about the hotel is that it is far from the city center, of which I agree. The second main complaint I see is that the nearest metro station isn’t very close, of which I am also in some agreement. I never walked to the metro station, but I would guess it would take about 15 minutes or so. There is a bus stop right across the street from the hotel, which will take you to the metro station. From there, you can maneuver yourself through the city on the metro.

To get to the bus stop, when exiting the hotel turn left and follow the walkway down to the street. Cross the street, and you will see a small concrete sign for the Universidade Catolica Editora and the bus stop is right there. Take either bus 755 or 768 and it will take you to the Zoo Metro Station.

I mainly chose the Lisbon Marriott as I had a 7-night certificate for a Category 1-5 hotel that was set to expire soon. It is not often that you see a full service hotel in that category range. Paid rates were nearly $200/night after taxes, so I felt I got a tremendous use of the certificate.

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Room 914

I was given room 914, but it should be noted that the Executive Lounge is located on the ground floor. Being on a specific floor with lounge access is not something you need to worry about here.

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Closet

Upon entering the room, the closet was immediately to the left.

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Closet

The closet was fairly spacious, and included an iron and ironing board, safe, along with robes and slippers.

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Sink

The bathroom was next to the closet, and featured a single sink with plenty of counter space.

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Shower/Tub Combo

There was a shower/tub combo that featured the dreaded half door.  Water pressure was kind of low, however.

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Toilet

The toilet was located behind the door, and the bathroom was fairly spacious.

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The king bed was comfortable, with a nightstand on each side.

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Desk

The desk was on the smaller side, but was good enough for my needs on this trip.  I was given a welcome amenity of one apple, and a bottle of water.  Lighting in the room was rather dim, even with all of the lights turned on.

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View
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View

The room does have a small balcony. The view from the room overlooked the pool and freeway.

It should be noted that Wi-Fi is painfully slow here, especially in the rooms. It was almost to the point of being unusable unless doing basic things like checking email, but even that took a while. The Wi-Fi was a little faster in the lobby and public areas though.

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Executive Lounge

As mentioned, the Executive Lounge is located on the ground floor by the bar, and the hours of operation and offerings are posted.

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Front Seating Area

Upon entering the lounge, there is a small seating area. There is also one computer and a printer.

There is also outdoor patio seating.

The lounge itself is not all that large considering the sheer size of the hotel, but it only got crowded on one occasion while I was there.

Breakfast consisted of cold cuts, bread, pastries, fresh fruit, cheese, cereal, nuts, a coffee maker, tea, juice, and yogurt. Hot offerings during the stay included waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and grilled vegetables.

We went to the lounge on one day in the afternoon when hors d’oeuvre were being served. The offerings were pretty miniscule and uninspiring.

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Pasta with Goat Cheese

It included a dry pasta with goat cheese.

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Chickpea and Sausage

There was a chickpea dish with sausage.

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Pasta Salad, Tuna Dish

A pasta salad, and tuna dish.

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Couscous Salad, Olives

There was a couscous salad, olives and cheese.

The lounge attendants, day or night, were very friendly and helpful. They did a marvelous job of replacing food quickly and clearing tables.

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Pool

The pool is on the smaller side given the size of the hotel, but it never got really crowded as far as I could tell.

The gym is oddly placed, as you have to past all of the ballrooms and conference rooms in order to get to it.

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Gym
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Gym
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Gym

Again it was on the smaller side. Equipment included treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, free weights, and mats.

Service throughout the stay was friendly. Although getting to the city center isn’t as tough as most people make it out to be, it does take 25-40 minutes each way depending on the bus/metros. Walking to the metro station may or may not shave a few minutes off of that. That should factor in your decision to stay here or not. So, although it is easy to get to the city center from the Lisbon Marriott, if visiting Lisbon again I would choose to stay closer to the city center, unless there was a very compelling reason to stay here again.

Boscolo Prague Hotel

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Boscolo Prague

The Boscolo Prague Hotel is an Autograph Collection Hotel in the Marriott portfolio. The hotel is conveniently located by the train station and is a 5-10 minute walk. There is a grocery store close to the hotel as well.

There was a doorman to greet us at the door. Upon entering, you need to walk up a small flight of stairs to get to the lobby level.

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Lobby

The lobby is ornately decorated but is slightly dim. Check-in was thorough, and I was informed that I could take breakfast at the New York Café as a Ritz Carlton Gold member. I was also informed that Wi-Fi was complimentary.

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Hallway

The hallways on the second floor had nice marble flooring.

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Room 218

I was given room 218 which was almost at the end of the hallway after turning right when coming out of the elevator.

The bathroom was located on the left after entering the room.

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Sink

There was a single sink with a decent amount of counter space.

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Etro Products

Etro bath amenities were featured.

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Shower/Tub Combo

There was a shower/tub combo with the dreaded half door. Water pressure and temperature was excellent.

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Toilet & Bidet

There was a toilet and bidet.

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Closet

Across from the bathroom was the closet, which was spacious and contained robes and slippers which is always a nice feature.

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Coffee Maker

The coffee maker was hidden in the closet.

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Mini Bar

Next to the closet was the mini-bar which included a bunch of snacks, alcohol, and a broken piece of glass. Thankfully the glass didn’t have any sharp edges protruding but it would be nice if the hotel fixed it.

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Fridge

There was also a fridge with drinks for purchase.

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Desk & TV

Next to the mini-bar area was the desk and TV.

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Sitting Area

There was a chair and small table in the corner.

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Bed

The bed was comfortable, and featured a bench of the foot of the bed, along with a nightstand on each side. Unfortunately, outlets were nowhere to be found near the bed, or near the desk for that matter.

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Chandelier

The room did feature very high ceilings and an ornate chandelier, however it did not produce a lot of light and the room was somewhat dim.

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New York Cafe

Breakfast at the New York Café featured an impressive buffet. It was not as extensive as something you would find in Asia or the Middle East but did provide a lot of options, and the food was of high quality. There was also an egg station with made to order eggs.

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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet

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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Breakfast Buffet
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Egg Station

Employees were friendly throughout our stay. The hotel is also located close to the city center, so it is centrally located by the train station, along with many shops, restaurants and tourist sites.  Although Hyatt is my preferred chain, they do not have any hotels in Prague, but I would be more than happy to stay here again.  It should be noted however that the Wi-Fi was horrible, and it took forever just to do something simple like checking your email.