BELLEVUE, WA: Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Bellevue Downtown

We recently stayed one night at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Bellevue and were delighted by both the facility and the service.

Located in the heart of downtown Bellevue, this hotel is the perfect place to park the car once, then walk to wherever you’re going, whether that’s to a business meeting, lunch, dinner, drinks, or entertainment. The central intersection of Bellevue Way and NE 8th Avenue is less than a half mile on sidewalks all the way, with too many shops, stores, bars and restaurants to count!

Inviting bar and lounge

The property is very nice, with bright open spaces, a convivial bar, on-site restaurant, and probably the most extensive 24-hour pantry I have seen in my years of traveling! Everything from wine and beer to microwavable meals to snacks to satisfy the sweet tooth.

24-hour pantry with extensive offerings

Many of the common areas were decorated in a dark, rich color pallette that gave off a luxurious vibe, more like a boutique hotel than a mid-range chain. But this was, after all, Bellevue!

Our guest room was lovely and spacious. At 13 x 15 feet, our king room included the bed, couch and ottoman, workstation with a proper task chair, a place to open suitcases, a small fridge and a Keurig coffee maker. Off the short hall was a closet with an iron and board and a safe. Our 5th floor room also included a Juliette balcony, alowing us to get some fresh air and survey the street scene below.

Generous king guest room

The bathroom was also fairly generous, with a nice Speakman showerhead that delivered good pressure for your morning wake-up shower. My only issue is that, like much of the industry, this property has shifted to offering bulk amenities – shampoo, conditioner, and body wash – instead of small individual bottles or bars. I understand the economics of that, but it still gives off the impression of a health club rather than an upscale hotel.

Bulk bath amenities

Importantly, this property does not seem intent on maximizing what I call the “convenience premium”: the higher prices that hotels charge for the convenience of not having to get in the car and/or go offsite for food and beverage. For example, our wine at the bar was $11 a glass; at other similar hotels elsewhere, it could easily have been $14 or more for the same wine. I believe that’s because there are so many alternatives as close as next door that hotel management -- wisely -- doesn’t want to risk driving guests elsewhere.

Parking was also reasonable for an in-city hotel at $20 a night.

As I mentioned earlier, service was very good. Check-in was accomplished smoothly by friendly, helpful front desk personnel; the bartender was quick and efficient; and some other minor issues were handled with a smile.

Should we have another occasion to spend the night in Bellevue, we’ll be heading right back to the Courtyard by Marriott.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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