Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breakfast battle: Westin vs. Marriott Courtyard

On a recent project, I've stayed at both a Westin and a Marriott Courtyard in the same city. Overall, the Westin is nicer (and more expensive), but I prefer breakfast at the Courtyard by a big margin.

I'm interested in this because the breakfast at the Courtyard is both better and cheaper. At hotels, much of what you pay for is time savings. You pay a ridiculous amount for laundry service so you don't have to go find a dry cleaner yourself. You pay twice as much if you want valet parking. So you ought to pay more for not having to wait for breakfast, but instead you pay less.

The Marriott Courtyard offers a breakfast buffet, with eggs made to order, oatmeal, waffles made to order, cereal, fruit bar, yogurt - pretty much everything you could want in a breakfast.

For me, a crucial element of breakfast is speed. I want to walk in, eat immediately, and head off to where I'm going. For this, the Courtyard is perfect.

At the Westin, you sit down and order, and then wait 10 minutes for a bowl of oatmeal.

If I'm doing a morning breakfast meeting, then I might prefer the Westin by a slight margin. But otherwise, I'll take the buffet at the Courtyard.

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