I visit Edmonton a few times per year to spend time with family and friends. Whenever I need a place to stay downtown, my go-to Marriott hotel to book is the Courtyard Edmonton Downtown.
While it’s not the flashiest option available, and it certainly doesn’t compare to the JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District in terms of luxury, it’s a great spot to choose for a balance of location, value, and nice views.
On my most recent visit, I took advantage of the ongoing Edmonton’s Best Hotels promotion to book a three-night stay. The total cost of the room, inclusive of taxes and fees, came out to around $450 (CAD), or an average of $150 (CAD) per night.
The day after I checked in, I received a $225 prepaid Mastercard by email as part of the promotion, which I then applied to the balance at check-out. This reduced the total cost of the stay to just $225 (CAD) for three nights, or just $75 (CAD) per night, which is an absolute bargain.
Regular cash rates at the hotel fall at around $150 (CAD) throughout the year, with prices dropping to $95 (CAD) at the lower end and rising to upwards of $300 (CAD) during periods of high demand.
If you’re looking to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay, expect to pay around 11,000–16,000 points per night.
When pitted against our valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point, you’ll almost always be better off paying cash, especially through Edmonton’s Best Hotels.
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The Courtyard Edmonton Downtown is situated right on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, in the eastern part of Edmonton’s downtown core.
The Courtyard Edmonton Downtown is steps away from the city’s beautiful River Valley, which offers uninterrupted walking, biking, and running trails in both directions.
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is basically across the street from the hotel, and westward-facing rooms have views of the iconic property.
You’ll get to Edmonton’s ICE District and Rogers Place in around 10 minutes by foot, which makes the hotel a good option if you’re in town for a hockey game or a concert.
Downtown Edmonton’s bars and restaurants are all within walking distance from the Courtyard Edmonton Downtown. Whyte Avenue, which is around 10 minutes by car, also has a number of dining and nightlife venues.
Edmonton’s LRT system stops close to the hotel at Central Station or Churchill Station.
You can get to the airport in around half an hour by car, or by transit, it’ll take you about one hour.
We arrived at the hotel in the latter part of the evening after a flight in from Vancouver Island. It happened to be very cold during our stay, and we opted to take a cab from the airport to avoid spending too much time outside in transit.
The exterior of the hotel looks a lot like other buildings of a similar vintage in Edmonton. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out as an iconic property, it also isn’t an eyesore.
The lobby lounge is simple and relatively small, with a few spots available for sitting. The lobby lounge spills into the hotel’s restaurant, Riverside Bistro.
The hotel associate welcomed me as a Platinum Elite member, and gave me the choice of welcome gifts. Instead of 500 points, I opted for the $10 food and beverage credit, which totalled $20 per day as I was travelling with my wife.
Breakfast isn’t provided as a benefit at Courtyard hotels in Canada or the US, so we thought that the food and beverage credit would at least put a dent in the cost if we decided to eat at the hotel.
I requested a room on a high floor with views of the River Valley, and as per usual at this property, my request was granted.
After wrapping up the check-in process, we headed over to the elevators and up to the 11th floor to grab some sleep.
In my experience, the rooms at the Courtyard Edmonton Downtown are all very similar. Our room was in the corner of the hotel facing west; however, I’ve enjoyed very similar stays in other parts of the hotel with eastward- and south-facing views.
Upon entering, there is a small foyer that leads past a tall closet before the room separates into the bedroom and bathroom.
In the bedroom, the king bed takes up the lion’s share of the space. The bed is comfortable, and is flanked on either side by side tables with power outlets, as well as an alarm clock on the left.
To the right of the bed is an armchair, which is positioned in the corner of the room right next to the windows. During the day, you’re afforded with great views of the River Valley and the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.
To the left of the bed is a large desk, flat-screen TV, and minibar. The TV swivels out to make viewing from the bed a bit more comfortable.
The coffee maker is also housed in this area. Below it is a mini-fridge and a microwave in a cabinet, available for keeping your beverages chilled or warming up some food.
To the right of the desk is a luggage rack, with a couple of drawers underneath.
The bathroom has a simple arrangement, with a walk-in shower, single sink, and toilet.
Overall, the room is functional and modestly appointed, with great views of the surrounding area. While this room certainly isn’t the pinnacle of luxury, it’s also comfortable and relatively modern, and is perfect for a stay when you’ll be in and out of the hotel.
It’s worth noting that the rooms on the higher floors are quite quiet, especially ones that face away from the downtown.
Breakfast is served in the hotel’s sole restaurant, Riverside Bistro, which is located on the main floor of the hotel. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner.
There are a few different seating options available for guests. Anyone looking to enjoy a meal with a view can saddle up next to the windows, while someone looking to have a drink and watch some sports can lay up on a cozy lounge chair.
If you’re up for a more unique experience, be sure to check out one of the themed domes located on the hotel’s patio.
We decided to order breakfast to our room one morning, and ate in the restaurant on another day. The menu is simple, and read as follows:
It’s worth noting that there’s also a buffet setup, but I’m not quite sure if it’s always available or if it was just this one time. The fire alarm went off in the middle of the first night, and the hotel was kind to offer free buffet breakfast to everyone for the inconvenience.
The breakfast was neither outstanding nor terrible, and I’d rank it as better than the breakfasts served at many North American hotels of a similar quality.
There is a bar located at Riverside Bistro as well, serving up a modest selection of local brews and other drinks.
The fitness centre is open around the clock, and comes equipped with a decent array of exercise equipment that includes treadmills, exercise bikes, and weights.
In the lobby of the hotel, you’ll find a small market, which is a good place to stock up on some snacks to use up your food and beverage credit.
The Courtyard Edmonton Downtown is a great spot for a stay if you’re looking for a balance of value, comfort, and location. While it’s certainly not the most luxurious hotel in the city, it strikes a balance between being nice enough without having to shell out for a premium experience.
If you can score a room with views of the River Valley, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Even if you don’t, you can always pop by the restaurant to soak in some views.
Be sure to keep an eye out for booking the hotel through Edmonton’s Best Hotels, as it will certainly drop the price of your stay. Otherwise, book in advance to get a good rate.
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