I was traveling south on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and needed a place to stay for the night as the sun had set and I wanted to continue during daylight the next morning to check out more places along the way. PCH is the famous Highway 1 which runs north-south along the California coast.
Booking & Stay Details
Originally I planned to drive all the way to Santa Maria and stay at the Fairfield Inn, at which I had stayed just the week before for a rocket launch. Unfortunately, this hotel was sold out for that night and while checking for hotels in my area, I decided on the Courtyard by Marriott in San Luis Obispo. I would have preferred to stay at a Hyatt but there was no property in the area. I already qualified for Hilton Diamond thanks to more than 60 roll-over nights from the previous year. I decided to go with Marriott as their first promotion of the year just started which would give me 1000 extra points per night and one extra elite-qualifying night per eligible night.
I checked the Marriott app and booked the Courtyard by Marriott San Luis Obispo while only five minutes away having dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in San Luis Obispo.
The Courtyard by Marriott San Luis Obispo is located on the south end of the city. It’s located close to an off-ramp of Highway 101. The main highway through the area. The property is far enough away from the highway so that there is no issue with road noise. In the same area are two more hotels. A Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and a Motel 6.
I pulled up to the front desk and parked at the main entrance. The hotel still required face masks for guests and staff members. Check-in was, as usual, quick and easy. I had to show my ID and credit card and was given my room keys. I also got asked if I want the bonus points as my loyalty gift. Well, it was the only choice they gave me and I would have taken points either way. One elevator is located around the corner down the left hallway.
1 King Guest Room with Sofa Bed (Room 321)
The room is located at the end of the hallway, but close to a second elevator. This elevator is close to the back entrance of the hotel. As you walk in, you have the bathroom on your left. It’s separated by a door from the rest of the room. On the left is your vanity with a single sink and a wall-mounted mirror. Next to it is the toilet. On the other side of the bathroom is the bathtub/shower combination. Inside the shower are three wall-mounted dispensers for the shampoos. On the wall of the entryway is a dressing mirror.
Along the same wall is a large closet which comes with an iron, ironing board, and a suitcase stand besides extra space to store your belongings. Attached to it is a smaller closet with three drawers. The top of that closet continues and houses a pull-out work desk on wheels. On top of that area is a large flatscreen TV. The pullout work desk comes with a comfy office chair.
On the opposite wall is a cozy sofa with an ottoman and a laptop table. The sofa can be transformed into an additional bed. Between the sofa and the office desk is a window. The view is nothing special. You have a view of the parking lot and the nearby motel. Right under the window is the air conditioning unit. With its location and the location of the desk, you get air blown on you when the unit is working.
The King bed is against the wall of the bathroom portion of the room. It faces the window. A lamp is mounted on the large headboard of the bed. On either side of the bed is a nightstand.
The headboard creates a small niche between the bed and the bathroom walls. There you find a small refrigerator and on top of the counter is a coffee maker.
Public Areas & Amenities
The lobby is very spacious and has lots of spots to sit and hang out. There are plenty of chairs and sofas throughout the lobby to sit down. The lobby area also houses the breakfast area and a bar. The lounge chairs facing a TV remind me of what you find at American Express Centurion Lounges.
The business center consists of two workstations along a wall. There is plenty of spacing between the workstations. Both workstations share one printer. On the counter near the business center, you can find flyers with tourist information and some magazines.
Nearby is another workstation dedicated to printing boarding passes. It comes with its own printer. These printing stations become more and more obsolete but this is an older property.
The area next to the business center has a living room feel to it. It comes with plenty of comfy seating options as well as board games to entertain your kids or just yourself.
The fitness center is located down the left hallway. It’s about halfway down on your right-hand side. It’s a small fitness center but has a good selection of workout equipment. The window of the fitness center faces toward the outdoor swimming pool.
Pool and Outdoor Patio
Inside the courtyard of the hotel, you find the heated outdoor swimming pool as well as a small whirlpool. You need your room key to access the pool area. The pool area is large and has plenty of pool lounger chairs available. There is also a big shared cabana at the backside of the pool area.
Outside of the pool area, towards the lobby area of the hotel, you have plenty of outdoor seating. There is a firepit inviting you to hang out during colder nights to stay warm. Overall a very inviting space to relax.
A guest laundry is located near the fitness center on the other side of the hallway. Inside is one washer and one dryer unit. Both are coin-operated.
The breakfast here is the typical Marriott Courtyard setup. You get your Starbucks coffee and have a small menu to order from for breakfast. It’s better than a Starbucks, as you can get at least an “eggs your way” plate at the hotel. That’s what I ordered and it’s a well-proportioned size. However, breakfast is not included in your room rate. Everything is an additional charge. Breakfast is served daily from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m.
You can grab dinner at the hotel bar. It is located next to the breakfast area in the lobby. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
Next to the front desk is a small market offering snacks, beverages, and other small items you might need for your stay.
Overall a very uneventful stay. I arrived late evening and watched a bit of TV before heading to bed to be ready to continue my trip the next morning. The biggest pet peeve I have with this hotel is the ridiculous parking fee. I did a walk outside of the hotel after breakfast the next morning and noticed the $10 parking fee signs everywhere. To be honest, I didn’t check during the booking process if they charge for parking and they also didn’t even mention it during check-in. The parking fee is a complete rip-off. The Motel 6 and the Hampton Inn next door are not charging for parking at all. I also don’t see a reason why you would charge for parking, except for misleading customers. Be aware of that.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.