TULSA, OK: Courtyard Downtown

I recently spent three nights at the Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown Tulsa and found the property to be fine in many ways, though it did have a few notable shortcomings.

Hotel exterior
The property is located in the Atlas Life Building, which dates to 1922 and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The building itself, including the ground floor lobby, evokes the Roaring ‘20s and is quite charming, particularly for those who appreciate architecture and/or history.

The building was originally an office building but was converted to primarily hotel use in 2010, so everything is still quite new and contemporary in style. The lobby, which is on the second floor, is small but up to date with a modest reception area, a pantry where guests can buy snacks, a restaurant and lounge, a sitting area, and computer workstations.

Guest rooms feature high ceilings; new, up-to-date furnishings in a contemporary style; and most of the amenities today’s travelers expect including in-room coffee, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, and iron and ironing board.

Each room also has a workstation with complimentary access to the fastest Internet connection I’ve encountered in a hotel so far.  According to www.speakeasy.net/speedtest, the upload speed for the wired Internet connection was almost 65 Kbps and the wireless was faster than 10 Kbps. The wired connection is more than double the speed of the 25 Kbps connection in my home office.

Service is quite good for a hotel at this price point. Most everyone was efficient and friendly and made me feel like a valued customer. I’m not sure I can identify the point where “valued customer” ends and “special guest” begins, but no matter; the Courtyard is not, nor does it purport to be, a Four- or Five-Diamond property.

Interior of Guest Room
It’s also convenient to several restaurants and bars, including the New Atlas Grill on the ground floor lobby (which has better and more reasonably priced breakfasts than the hotel restaurant), a Daily Grill two blocks away, and several restaurants in the Blue Dome District about five blocks away.

There were some drawbacks worth mentioning.
Guest rooms do not have in-room safes, which meant schlepping my laptop everywhere I went instead of locking it safely away.

Guest Bath
The bathroom did not have a bathtub. It only offered a shower, which may not be a major issue depending on your habits and what you’re seeking in a hotel. I almost always take showers, so a stand-alone shower was fine. However, guests who want the option of a long, hot soak might be disappointed.

Most notably, however, the Courtyard's towels were the thinnest I’ve used in a long time. It took two towels for me to get completely dry after every shower.

Valet parking is available but – and I’m sure this is rare – the attendants lost the keys to our rental vehicle. Not once, but twice. Street parking is available near the hotel, though there is a two-hour limit between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m

For a hotel convenient to downtown Tulsa and easy on the wallet or expense account, the Courtyard Downtown gets a thumbs-up from me.

Just park your own car and ask for extra towels.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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