My primary reason for choosing to stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott was so that I could sleep in a bit before catching my 10:30am flight back to San Diego. It’s conveniently attached the main terminal, so there’s no need to mess with the hassles of getting to the airport. You wake up and you’re already there!

A full review of my 1 night stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott

Of all the in-ariport hotels I’ve ever stayed in, this was one of the best. It felt like it was brand new – or at least recently renovated. The hotel is attached directly to the main terminal (not set back like the Westin DTW and ORD Hilton) with windows that directly overlook the gates. It’s neat.

Getting there

The entrance to the Marriott YYC is large, grand, and very bright. It’s easy to miss though (even if you’re following the signs), and I walked right past it on my first attempt. It blends in very well to the decor of the airport terminal.

signs to Calgary Airport Marriott
Just follow the signs to the Marriott YYC in-airport hotel.
Calgary Airport Marriott entrance
The Marriott is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention – the entrance is up just ahead on the right.

The lobby

It didn’t seem all that busy when I arrived (at about 5:20pm on a Saturday evening), and there was no waiting to check in. The woman who checked me in was happy, helpful, and fast – all three things essential for a great customer experience. She even walked me to the elevators, which was totally unnecessary but a nice friendly gesture.

Calgary Airport Marriott check in desk
This is certainly one of the nicest airport Marriotts I’ve ever seen! Here is what you see upon walking through the main entrance. The check in desks are along the back wall, with the restaurant to the left.
Calgary Airport Marriott lobby bar and restaurant
The lobby was really impressive. Here I am looking towards the bar and restaurant.
Calgary Airport Marriott lobby
This is an airport Marriott? Really? If the lobby looks this nice, I can only imagine what the room is going to look like…
Calgary Airport Marriott lobby stairs
The overall size of the lobby was impressive as well. This is a big hotel!
Calgary Airport Marriott airline check in
I really appreciated this computer setup which was for printing boarding passes.

Getting to my room

Calgary Airport Marriott 6th floor hallway
Alright, now lets check out that room! Here’s the 6th floor guest room hallway.
Calgary Airport Marriott room 635
635 was my room for the night.

The view of the airport

Upon entering the room, I did pretty much what any serious aviation geek would do: run to the windows to check out that view! The rest of the room matters not in cases like this, and I didn’t even notice anything but the view from the window for the first 5 minutes of my stay.

Calgary Airport Marriott view of airport
I love pulling back the curtains to reveal amazing sights such as this. Wow!!
Calgary Airport Marriott planespotting
The views are even better at night. YYC isn’t a very busy airport, but standing right on top of the action like this (wearing nothing but my underwear) was quite an experience. AvGeek heaven!

For aircraft spotters and photographers, the Marriott at the Calgary Airport is a very (very) good place to sit and watch airplanes. I was able to get a lot of good pics of aircraft parked at the nearest gates with just a 105mm lens, but you’ll need more reach than that for aircraft taxiing past in the distance.

300-400mm would be perfect, though not required to have a very satisfying experience here.

The room

Calgary Airport Marriott bed
This is a hotel review after all, so let’s pull back bit and have a look at the rest of the room. That bed sure was comfy!
Calgary Airport Marriott room
As far as Marriott’s go, I found this one to be quite modern and stylish. A far cry from the Courtyard Marriott here at YYC I stayed at the previous night.
Calgary Airport Marriott chairs
These chairs came in handy after I turned them around to sit and watch airplanes all evening.
Calgary Airport Marriott decor
This Marriott had a very “Westin” feel thanks to the white linens and dark brown wood accents. It’s basically on the opposite (good) side of the “cool” spectrum compared to the Dulles Airport Marriott.
Calgary Airport Marriott interior design
Simple. Clean. Well designed. Just my style!
Calgary Airport Marriott desk and entertainment center
I found the asymmetry of the desk / TV / closet to be very well designed. Not very traditional, but cool nonetheless.
Calgary Airport Marriott alarm clock
Even the alarm clock was hip and cool. Hard to believe this is an airport Marriott!
Calgary Airport Marriott king size bed
That bed felt so amazing after a long day of driving out to Lake Louise and back.
Calgary Airport Marriott style and design
I can’t say enough good things about the style and design of this room – loads of good design elements here which I really liked. Not all hotels connected directly to an airport are nice (the Miami International Airport Hotel is one such example), so I appreciated the attention to detail.
Calgary Airport Marriott wide angle pic of room
Here’s a wide angle shot of the entire room, looking towards the windows.
Calgary Airport Marriott room overview
And here’s the view looking the other way towards the door.

The bathroom

Calgary Airport Marriott bathroom
The bathroom. All I was muttering at this point was “this is really a Marriott?” over and over again…
Calgary Airport Marriott bathroom vanity
Bathroom fixtures are where Marriott tends to get cheap (you can see exactly what I mean in my San Francisco Airport Marriott review), but there weren’t any corners cut here. This is a really nice bathroom!
Calgary Airport Marriott shower
While simple, the size of the shower was nearly perfect.
Calgary Airport Marriott toilet
Lots of room to spread out next to the toilet!
Calgary Airport Marriott bathroom amenities
Nice presentation of the bathroom amenities here.
Calgary Airport Marriott THANN bathroom amenities
The amenities are by THANN, BTW.
Calgary Airport Marriott bathroom overview
Finally, a wide angle pic of the entire bathroom. Well done Marriott!

The restaurant

I was really hungry upon arrival, and the limited room service menu (which was on the TV, not on paper) disappointed me a bi. I knew that I would have to venture downstairs find another option. Luckily, the menu of the onsite restaurant looked really good so that’s where I had dinner.

Calgary Airport Marriott restaurant
The on-site restaurant (located just off the lobby) was good – though a bit pricey.
Calgary Airport Marriott restaurant food
I was trying to be healthy by ordering a turkey breast sandwich, but it came with an irresistible pile of french fries…

Final thoughts

As you can see, this is a very nice Marriott. I’ve never had many nice things to say about airport Marriott hotels, as most of the ones I have stayed at have felt dark and dreary with no sense of style at all (*cough* IAH Marriott *cough*). Such was not the case with this property.

If I didn’t know it was a Marriott, I would have been floored if someone told me after the fact. The entire experience felt a bit more high-end than I would expect for this brand, and that was a very encouraging thing to see. Is this the direction that Marriott is heading? I would sure hope so.

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