Review of Hotel Courtyard Marriott in Galveston TX and it’s surroundings. What to do, where to eat, have fun etc..We have visited the place and now you can read our honest review.
Living in the suburbs of Houston the closest beach or body of water is found at Galveston. Since I am not a big fan of the long drive and traffic we often make it an overnight stay or weekender. Hotels can be pricey on the seawall especially during Spring Break or in the summer months.So when I found the Courtyard Marriott I was happy. It’s a newer construction hotel and located further on the seawall away from the traffic and noise of the Pleasure Pier. I love that end of Galveston, the side closer to Jamaica Beach known as the West side of the island.
When making a reservation
you can book on line or call the reservation number. I usually call as I prefer to talk with a person so I can make sure I get an ocean view. They don’t have many rooms that face the water and they are usually first to go.
I have stayed at this hotel 3 times most all my trips were great. However I did have a bad experience with a front desk clerk that was pretty terrible but the manager gave me a night free to make up for that fiasco. Other than the one incident, I really enjoy this hotel because of the value and location. Once you make your reservation you just check in with a picture ID and the credit card you used to reserve the room. They will always send you an email confirming your stay with directions and a confirmation number.
To get to the hotel you Take I-45 South into Galveston, go over the ship bridge and take the 61st exit. Upon exiting get in the right hand lane and then turn right at 61st street. Take 61st all the way down until you dead-end into the seawall and then turn right on Seawall Blvd. Go down about 2 miles and you will see the hotel on the right hand side.
It’s a simple, affordable hotel but very nice. There is no valet or doorman but there is plenty of parking. Go directly to the check in counter because they give you a parking pass and if you don’t display that in your window you will get towed.
This hotel shares some of its amenities with an adjacent property in the back called Towne Suites. The pool is the main item shared by both hotels. I have wanted to use it but each time I visited it was too crowded to enjoy. It is a nice pool decked out with cabanas and tables but lots of teens and kids running around made it noisy.
The décor is nice and the lobby is spacious with tons of sitting areas, a lounge and a coffee shop right in the center of the entrance. The bar is further back and there is another bar at the pool. It has a small restaurant located in the hotel and they handle the room service (which is not very good). There is a small workout room and a computer center for guests who need to print documents or work.
The thing I love most about this hotel are the rooms are very spacious. In addition to the bed and the desk with TV station, you also get a sitting area with table and sofa. It makes it feel less like a hotel and more like a home.
The bathrooms are nice and have plenty of vanity space and large mirrors with soft towels. The hotel also offers free Wi-fi and cable channels.
My two complaints with the rooms are this:
1. The tub is small and kind of tight to take a bath.
2. Very, very few units have a patio you can open with balcony
The ocean facing rooms have huge windows with lots of sun light and great views of the water but most of the time those units are not available. I feel it’s a moot point to come to the beach and not be able to hear the waves or feel the ocean breeze. The rooms without the patios are less attractive to me because I want to hear the waves and they feel stuffy. I stayed in one with a patio (lucky & persistence) paid off and I stayed in one without a patio and even though those select rooms are more expensive it’s worth it.
Here is a view from our room that has the patio and as you can see it’s lovely. It’s a great spot to wake up and have morning coffee. We made our coffee in the hotel room and we went out and picked up breakfast tacos and burritos to go from Bronco Burrito. Now the lobby does offer coffee and pastries in the common areas but I recommend you go try Bronco Burrito and thank me later.
The pier you see in the photo will be where we have our adventure for the day. That’s the 81st Fishing Pier and it is open 7 days a week 24 hours a day. Yes you can fish 24 hours if you want but beware of the beer drinkers.
My hubby is a pro photographer so he often loves to go climbing around rocks and piers and etc. to see what kind of cool shots and long exposures he can get. That is another perk of Galveston you can get some great photos if you fancy yourself a shutterbug.
Here are some more photos of the 81st Fishing Pier. It has a bait shop, fishing pole rentals and a restaurant on the upper deck called Jimmy’s on the Pier. The pier is also cleaner than the other piers further down. Plus it’s within walking distance from the Courtyard Marriott.
So we had an interesting time at the pier that day. Normally we will catch a few fish and move on to another activity but my hubby ended up reeling in a Bull Shark!!! We had heard they were out there but we had never caught one or even seen one. We took a quick photo and then released him back into the ocean. I am a shark lover so I’d never allow anyone to hurt them but it was pretty cool to see one up close.
After all that time wrestling with a shark we both worked up an appetite and for some reason I was craving hot dogs but didn’t want commercial fast food. So I asked around to the locals and they gave me a great tip about a place called Jungle East. It was a quirky sandwich shop that was very neat. The staff was super friendly and offered me samples of everything so I could decide what I liked. I ended up getting a chili-cheese hotdog and frito pie. The homemade chili was super good. She had given me a sample of their beans and those were outstanding too. They have 2 locations West side and East side.
After that we just wanted to relax and enjoy the beach, the sun and read a magazine. Basically do nothing and relax. We went down to the beach and rented the 2 chair and umbrella combo, It’s not a bad deal it’s 10.00 – 20.00 daily depending on the day/season. It beats having to lug around your own chairs and umbrella. It’s very nice just to sit there and soak up the surroundings.
After a few hours we ended up getting a bit red from the sun and went back to the hotel to take a nap.
The beds are very comfortable, a bit firm but still good.
I was too tired to get dressed up and dine out somewhere, so we decided what better way to end our night then to pig out on pizza. I don’t do typical pizza places so I was looking around for some good hand tossed pizza and I found Gino’s Italian Restaurant. I called in my order and I ended up running a bit late as they were closing up. The owner stayed and waited for me to get there even after he had closed, great service. We took the pizza back to our room and enjoyed the cable TV and by the way the pizza was AMAZING.
Another neat perk about the hotel is it’s right on the seawall. So after pizza grubbing and resting we wanted to take a midnight moonlight stroll along the beach and being at this location made that an easy task because you just walk out of the hotel and you’re at the beach.
The next morning we checked out
by just handing in our cards and they gave us a printed copy of our bill. They even gave us some coupons for our next visit. At certain times of the year you can get these rooms under 100.00 and even in the heart of summer when business is booming and prices go up, I think this hotel is the most reasonable for location and comfort.
The only downsides to this hotel are:
the room service food is not that good,
crowded pool area and
the majority of the rooms have no ocean view or a patio that opens to feel the breeze.
I think the oversized rooms with all the goodies, the reasonable prices and great location make up for any short comings.