Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A decent but unexceptional midrange chain frequented by business travelers in town to do business at the nearby Department of Transportation
The main thing that distinguishes the Courtyard from its competitors -- and the first thing you should know about it -- is its location near Washington's Navy Yard, in Southeast D.C. We've lumped it in with the rest of Capitol Hill, but unlike most of the other hotels in that neighborhood, it's south of the Capitol, not north of it, and that distinction is key. (For more on this, see Location, below.)
Beyond that, there's not a whole lot you need to know, especially if you've ever stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott -- or any midrange, business-oriented chain hotel, for that matter. That is to say, it has everything you'd expect. Occupying 192 rooms on 14 floors of a condo-like building, the Courtyard offers cordial and efficient but unexceptional service; generic decor; clean, comfortable rooms with some nice amenities; and standard essentials like a gym and business center. There is also a restaurant and lounge on site serving typical, if unexciting, fare. It opened in 2006, so it's still in excellent shape, and the property is well maintained.
The Courtyard brand keeps the layout and decor in its rooms quite consistent. My room looked an awful lot like my room at the Courtyard in New York, which in turn closely resembled the room I occupied at the Courtyard in Miami. For some people, that's boring; for others, it's both comforting and comfortable. The rooms are a good size for DC -- between 320 to 380 square feet, depending on the layout -- and many of the rooms with king beds come with pullout sofa beds, making it a decent option for families. Other positives: excellent water pressure in the shower, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, a coffee machine and complimentary coffee, and free Internet.
The highlight for many will be the indoor pool, though it isn't big enough for swimming laps, and the smell of chlorine overwhelmed me enough to disuade me from taking a dip. Also, if they keep it as warm in the summer as they did during my autumn visit, it wouldn't be a very refreshing break from the muggy weather. Still, aside from the location, which will be a negative for most visitors to the capital, the pool is the Courtyard's lone distinguishing feature.
Southeast D.C., near the Navy Yard, Department of Transportation, and Nationals Park
The location should be your deciding factor. This Courtyard is the only hotel in the vicinity, so if you're in town to catch a Nats game or conduct business at the Department of Transportation (or somewhere else in the area, though I don't know where that would be), it's your best option. But there really aren't any other reasons to stay this far southeast. The area is one of several up-and-coming neighborhoods in a rapidly gentrifying city, but it still feels pretty isolated; some may find it unsettling, especially at night. There's a Metro stop a block away, which makes it easy to get around, but the Green Line doesn't go to a lot of key places.
Unless you're doing business in the area or you're in town to catch a Nationals game, there's no reason to stay here. It's a nice enough place -- clean, comfortable rooms; gym and business center; even a pool with Jacuzzi -- but the neighborhood is sleepy, and a bit isolated from the rest of D.C. There are other, similarly priced Marriotts in better locations.