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.
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.
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.
Getting to my room
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.
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.
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.
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.